Jack Frost has cast his spell upon us and sub-zero temperatures have found us. Make sure if you have to go outside that you dress with extra layers of clothing and don’t leave any of your extremities exposed to the elements; don’t stay outside for long periods of time. Remember, if the temperature is zero and the wind is blowing at 10 mph it really is -16 out. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur within 30 minutes in these types of conditions.

If you have to drive be sure that you have plenty of gas in the tank should you get stuck and have to wait to be pulled out. Some items you may want to put in your trunk during the winter season: a bag of ice melt, shovel, blanket, and a flash light. For those with smart phones there are plenty of flash light apps that can be down loaded to your phone. I caution drivers to be cognizant of many factors while driving during these weather elements, which include not only the snow or ice on the roadway, but the equipment out there trying to combat the weather-related problems.

Your public works, IDOT, townships and county snowplows are doing a great job of addressing the streets on a consistent basis, but please be mindful that by not paying extra attention accidents can happen.

I hope everyone’s Holiday season is going well. Stay warm and stay safe.

I’ve heard from some folks up and down the street that the idea of an interchange really doesn’t have much of an impact upon them individually. “If I need to go to Belvidere or Rockford, I just take Route 20. If need to go to the McHenry County suburbs, I just get on 176. To get to the Toll Road, all I need to do is get on at Belvidere or Hampshire.” For many in and around the immediate area of Marengo, these are true observations.

When completed, the city’s overall investment in the development of the $35-36 million.

I-90/State Route 23 interchange will amount to about one percent (1%) of the total cost. This level of municipal funding (which is close to being finished) may very well represent the impact the interchange has upon Marengo and its citizens as it currently stands. Obviously, the City’s investment cannot be considered the driving force behind the development of this interstate access.

Those other governments that are funding this interchange - the Tollway Authority at 50%, the Illinois Department of Transportation at 25%, and McHenry County (coupled with the City investment) at 25% - all look at this interchange from an economic development perspective. The Tollway and the IDOT made their financial commitments because through their evaluations they determined that this interchange would enhance the economic development of Illinois. McHenry County made their commitment because they too think that county’s economy will be improved by diversification. As a result, McHenry County officials expect to see county residents (especially those around Marengo) gaining an opportunity to shift some of the tax burden away from homeowners, while creating jobs for those who are leaving the county because of limited employment opportunities. All of these governments recognize that access to the interstate highway is essential to get people to and from the newly created jobs, and to get goods and services to and from markets outside our immediate area. This interchange is about the future of not just Marengo, but for the entire region.

A well wish often heard at this time of year is: “…and may you prosper in the New Year!” It’s been a while in coming, but I think our community is on the verge of a new prosperity that could be recognized in the next few years. Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday season and if you were paying attention to the wreath in front of the Station you know that the wreath is still red. Although we were able to make it through the holidays with no fires, the last few months of 2016 were filled with some horrible accidents on Rt.176. We have talked with many people about how dangerous that road can be if you’re not paying attention. We encourage drivers to always wear your seatbelts and pay attention to other drivers on the roadway. Driving defensively, and limiting distractions like texting, can greatly reduce the risks while driving.

As we look into 2017, the Marengo Fire Rescue District look to begin a New Fire Academy along with the first new hire testing process. Every year beginning in February we begin the Basic Operations Fire Academy. This course meets all the requirements of the State Fire Marshal’s Office in order to become certified as a firefighter in Illinois. We begin class in February and complete the course in June. During that time, recruits will learn about fire behavior, hazardous materials, rescue operations, and fire suppression. This course is the minimum requirement needed to work as a firefighter in the state of Illinois and is the stepping stone to obtaining other certifications within the fire service. If you are accepted into the fire academy you will become an apprentice for the Marengo Fire Rescue District. This program is designed for anybody who wishes to pursue a career in the fire and emergency medical services and gives recruits an opportunity to gain experience while attending class. In order to apply for this class, you need to be at least 18 years of age. Classes are held 2 nights a week and on Saturdays. High school seniors who meet the age requirement are eligible to take this course. In order to apply for this program please fill out an application and submit it to us by January 20.

Also in January, we will begin the first testing process for potential new employees. In order to begin the testing process, applicants need to fill out an application and return it to our station located at 120 E. Prairie St. no later than January 20. Once your application has been received you will be contacted with the date of the written exam, followed by an oral interview. Potential new hires will be placed on a list and contacted when openings become available.

The application for either of these programs can be found on our website at www.marengofire.org. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us 815-568-8912.

What a way to end 2016 with the bitter cold December weather – a true winter with lots of snow and cold!

I wanted to do a big shout out to Clasen's Tavern for their continued support and donations from the recent Turkey Testicle Festival. These fund raising events help the Union Fire Fighters to put together scholarships and funds for uniforms and small tools – thank you everyone for your support during our events. And while we are on that subject – our annual February fund raising event will be changed up for 2017. This year we will continue to sell the big drawing tickets, however, the event is changing to a Meat Raffle / Feather Party to be held at Clasen’s Tavern in Union on Feb 18, 2017 from 2-6 PM. We again will raffle off a charming kid’s rocker built by Barry Mishler. Look for signs and the ever-popular social media info! I do hope that you will come out and support the Union Fire Fighters as you have in the past!

This upcoming McHenry County College fire academy will have a new Union recruit, FF Todd Harris! Todd joined the Union Fire Dept in the past year and has been a valuable addition. In the upcoming months you will find us training in and around town at various locations – please stop and watch us in action! It is always great to see the community, and we are always available to answer questions. Training is scheduled for Tuesday nights with some Saturdays as well.

If you ever have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at info@ufpd.org. Hoping all the best for a Happy 2017! Be safe!

General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC) Illinois will be offering the following Scholarships for students who will be attending an ILLINOIS school:

Arthur Grant Smith Scholarship- DRAMA-$500.00

GFWC Illinois Centennial LIBRARY SCIENCE Scholarship-$300.00

Hamilton Ridge Scholarship- MUSIC-$1000.00

Illinois Cottage Park Ridge VOCATIONAL Scholarship for GIRLS-2 at $1,000.00 each

Lincoln Lodge VOCATIONAL Scholarship for BOYS-2 at $1,000.00 each

Lorado Taft Scholarship- ART-$1000.00

Vina Miller Memorial Scholarship-with emphasis on INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH-$1000.00

For information and application please contact Cynthia Tomczyk, Marengo Woman’s Club Scholarship Chair at 815-568-1776 Deadline: Postmarked February 15, 2017

We hope your holidays were filled with family fun and time with friends. After the end of the year the first weeks of January can be dark and cold. However, we always look forward to getting the winter solstice behind us so that each day is ever so much longer.

Boys Squad Dumps Sycamore In Nichols Tourney Win

The host Indians (8-3) upended Sycamore 49-33, in the E.C. Nichols Holiday Tournament, on the strength of an 18-3 third period highlighted by scoring from Michael Volkening (20 points), Alex Shirmer (9), and Blaine Borhart (7). Marengo led 16-14 at halftime, before the barrage of shots widened the lead, and their defense closed down the passing lanes. The Spartans were held to five total points in the middle frames.

Volkening hit a trio of three-pointers, with Connor Wascher and Aidan Kirchner each adding one of their own. The Indians moved on to the Dec. 28 fifth-place contest against the Antioch Sequoits.

Northern Illinois Holiday Classic Dec. 21, 2016

The Indians (6-8) beat the Woodstock Blue Streaks 55-51, behind the scoring of Marissa Knobloch (19, 3 three-pointers), Hannah Faber (9, 1), and Bailey Bertrand (8), and Lauren Aubry (6) in the Dec. 21 victory in the consolation bracket, at Woodstock. Hannah Ritter went 3-4 at the free throw line, Jordan Parker (5), Trinity Chanthalansy (2), Amy Rohe (1), and Erin Haeflinger (2) also figured into the scoring. Stillman Valley

Holiday Tournament Dec. 17, 2016

The Indians varsity wrestling squad (7-1) had Joe Mier (160), and Landon Pfeiffer (106) take championship slots at the Stillman Valley tournament, and an overall total of nine grapplers helped the team take the first place title by advancing to place-setting contests. In the 220-weight class, Aaron Recendiz finished in second-place.

Boys Bowling

In a Dec. 13 match-up against the Johnsburg Skyhawks, the Indians picked the win 3,198- 3,150. In the Dec. 12 contest against the Woodstock Blue Streaks, the team lost 2,194- 3,340. Both events were held at the Glo Bowl in Marengo. The team roster is Kyle Appelhans, Jake Barton, Austin Davis, Cole Deller, Paul Fournier, Antonio Laino, Riley Lundgren, C o l e Martins, Brendan Walters, and Patrick West.

Girls Bowling

In a Dec. 13 contest against the Johnsburg Skyhawks, the Indians won 2,241-2,141. The team also beat the Woodstock Blue Streaks Dec. 12 by a 2,361-1,592 score.

COLLEGEMarengo’s landscape has changed significantly from those days in the spring of 1835 when the ox drawn carts clunked on to the prairie that eventually became our town. Over the years Marengo has supported various enterprises - nurseries, a few pickle factories, a stove factory, lumber yards, a steam mill, an interurban electric railway, and a college – yes, a college.

Snow fallWe all have our winter memories which are usually broad in nature. But then there are those more “personal” events that I shall call winter moments. In the January 18, 1979, edition of the Marengo Beacon News, reporter, Scott Brown, highlighted a few of those more personal events that arose out of a significant snow event that, according to Floyd “Fritz” Griebel, created the need to remove approximately 25 tons of snow from the central business district.

Simons FarmEditor’s note: This is the third of a series of articles on local farms that produce the food we eat.

Curt Simons is a fifth generation farmer on Carmack Road in Marengo. “My family originally purchased sixty acres of land from the State of Illinois. Now we have three hundred and thirty acres.”

“We have forty Holsteins and Jersey cows. They provide approximately two hundred and twenty five gallons of milk each day. Our milk is hormone free, we do not give growth hormones to our cows. We grow our own replacement stock.” Forty cows are milked and forty more are in different stages of development. As the cows age, younger cows take over milk production. “We sell the bulls.”


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