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4-H invites youth to join 4-H clubs

4-H members in this county will join the 6 million youth across the country in celebrating National 4-H Week, Oct. 7 - 13. 4-H youth development programs provide hands-on learning activities for youth in Illinois and throughout the country. 4-H youth programs focus on leadership, citizenship and life skills.


Every county in Illinois has a 4-H program which is operated through University of Illinois Extension. 4-H club membership is open to youth aged 8 to 18. Youth 5 to 7 years of age may join the 4-H Cloverbud program.

There are several ways to participate in 4-H. Youth may join 4-H clubs, coordinated by local screened adult volunteers. Each club decides how often it meets, the location of its meetings and the activities held during the meeting. Members may select from dozens of project areas to study while they build leadership, teamwork, cooperation, decision-making and communication skills.


Youth may also choose to focus on a very specific project area and join a club specifically related to that one project, said Martha Ebbesmeyer, University of Illinois Extension Educator.  Robotics, quilting, horses and gardening are just a few of the popular topics for special interest clubs.


One may also participate in 4-H through short term projects held during school or at after school youth organizations. Some of these popular groups teach youth about caring for the environment, preparing for a career, making healthy choices or other priority issues which build a person’s life skills.


To learn more about 4-H and enroll your child in a local club, one may contact the Carroll County University of Illinois Extension Office at 815-244-9444, Lee County at 815-857-3525 or Whiteside County at 815-632-3611 or visit our website at


SVACC's Kris Noble Selected for U.S. Chamber Fellowship

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Launches Education and Workforce Fellowship Program-Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director among Inaugural class. WASHINGTON, D.C.—


Responding to the needs of state and local chambers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today launched a new premier business leadership program to help address their most pressing education and workforce issues. The Business Leads Fellowship Program will train and equip fellows with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address these challenges. “State and local leaders know better than anyone the critical link between education and economic development,” says Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce. “We created this program to help these leaders find opportunities to develop initiatives that will advance the growth of their local economy and put education policy into practice.” Following a competitive application and selection process, 35 state and local chamber executives have been chosen for the inaugural class of Business Leads. The fourmonth fellowship will cover the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education, and workforce development. Upon completion, fellows will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives. Given the overwhelming interest in the program, with more than 140 applicants, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a second cohort in spring 2019. The first meeting of the inaugural class took place from September 19-21, 2018, in New Orleans, LA. Kris Noble, Executive Director, Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, participated in the program last week in New Orleans. For a full list of participants in the Business Leads inaugural class, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website. For more information, contact Kris Noble, SVACC; 815-625-2400




Dixon Habitat for Humanity

A volunteer crew from Wesley United Methodist Church of Sterling painted the interior of the Dixon Habitat for Humanity project home on September 22nd.  The crew was led by Jeff Davie and included David Abele, Kevin Gabrielse, Jeff Cedro, Edward Anderson, Rory Smith, Steve Downes and Andy Pitsch.

2nd Annual Aviation and Career Day at Whiteside County Airport

A large crowd turned out for the 2nd Annual Aviation and Career Day was held on Saturday at the Whiteside County Airport.  This event was free and open to the public.  There were a wide variety of aircrafts, aviation career vendors, activities for the kids, and seminars on hand for the public to enjoy.  Our Tammy Nehrkorn spoke with Darrin Heffelfinger, Airport Manager, Kris Schmidt, and Sean Weir at this event…….


For more information on services provided by the Whiteside County Airport check out their website at:

7th Taste of Fiesta in Rock Falls

The 7th Annual Taste of Fiesta Celebration was held Saturday on the Rock Falls Riverfront.  It was a beautiful day for the huge crowd that turned out to celebrate and honor our community’s Hispanic heritage and to enjoy authentic cuisine.   The event included a welcoming by Rock Falls Mayor, Bill Wescott, folkloric dancers, booth vendors, music, art, and fun activites for the kids.  Our Tammy Nehrkorn spoke with Fernando Garcia and Joan Padilla on Saturday………


September is Hispanic Heritage Month. 

As Fire Prevention Week approaches, the Sterling and Rock Falls Fire Departments encourage residents to "Look. Listen. Learn." What does that mean?

Today’s home fires burn faster than ever. In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Knowing how to use that time wisely takes planning and practice.


The Sterling and Rock Falls Fire Departments are teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ­?? the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week™ for more than 90 years ?? to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere™,” which works to educate the public about basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.


NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate per 1000 home fires that are reported to fire departments was 10 percent higher in 2016 than in 1980.


“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”


Carli also notes that although people feel safest in their home, it is also the place people are at greatest risk to fire, with four out of five U.S. fire deaths occurring at home. That over-confidence contributes to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.


“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” said Gary Cook, Chief of the Sterling and Rock Falls Fire Departments “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference escape planning and practice can make and motivating them to action.”


Chief Cook says this year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:


  • Look for places fire could start.
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Learn 2 ways out of every room.

While NFPA and the Sterling and Rock Falls Fire Departments are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply to virtually anywhere.


“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Chief Cook “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit


Whiteside GOP Hosted Grand Opening of Headquarters and a Candidate Meet & Greet on Monday Evening

Monday night a large crowd turned out to attend the grand opening of the Republican Headquarter in Sterling and meet various Republican candidates.   The Whiteside County Republican Headquarters is located at the corner of Freeport Road and Route 2 in Sterling.  Our Tammy Nehrkorn spoke with several of the candidates on Monday Evening…….


The midterm election will be held on November 6, 2018.