August 22, 2014

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A-C Central in Running for Seeds of Change® Grant, Seeking Community Support via Online Voting

The A-C Central FFA, located in Ashland, has entered the Seeds of Change® Grant Program for an opportunity to receive one of two $20,000 or one of 15 $10,000 grants.
The grants will be awarded to organizations that help support and develop sustainable, community-based gardening and farming programs that focus on teaching people where their food comes from and the delicious ways it can end up on your plate. The Seeds of Change® Grant Program works to enhance the environmental, economic and social well-being of gardens, farms, farmers and communities.

Sen. Durbin visits Beardstown

By Kim Watson
For the Star-Gazette
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranked Democrat in the United States Senate, stopped in Beardstown for a visit at Yesterday’s Café on March 22.  Durbin greeted a group of residents and addressed some pressing issues of the community, the state and nation.
Durbin listened to local issues including funding for schools, the marina project and a decreased tax base. It was commented that Beardstown has a unique situation that many school districts do not have. Beardstown has 78 percent of the children in the district in free or reduced lunch programs. It was said during the discussion that the cultural diversity is unlike most other school districts downstate, with these differences making it more difficult to provide the services that are needed.

Fire department hosts gas and electrical safety workshop

By Kim Watson
For the Star-Gazette
Beardstown Fire Department hosted a natural gas and electrical safety workshop last week, funded by Ameren. The Beardstown Fire Department was filled with approximately 80 participants which included staff from fire, police, ambulance and first responders from Beardstown and surrounding areas.

U of I Extension is April Co-Business of the Month

The University of Illinois Extension, Cass County Office is the April 2014 Co-Business of the Month! The University of Illinois Extension is the “flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.” They offer educational programs in four key areas: 4H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Community and Economic Development, and Food and Nutrition. Front row: Brenda Robinson--Office Support Assistant, Dustin Fritsche--Community and Economic Development Coordinator
Back row: April Littig--Youth Development Coordinator, Tanya Hetelle--4-H Program Coordinator, Aaron Dufelmeier--County Extension Director, Ken Johnson--Horticulture Educator. (Submitted photo)

School program cuts discussed at Policy Committee meeting

By Sandra Haschemeyer
Star-Gazette editor
A lot of questions were asked and a lot of issues brought up but few answers were given during a meeting of the Beardstown School Board's policy committee held last Thursday to discuss the process for reinstating clubs and middle school sports that have been cut from the budget. Members of the Tiger Nation Booster Club, a group formed to help raise funds for deactivated programs and clubs, were present.
The next step will be a meeting between representatives of the board and the teachers' union, scheduled for April 22 and 23, to discuss the possibility of decreased stipends for coaches and club sponsors. The question will be whether the stipends can be legally re-negotiated and, if so, whether decreased stipends will be accepted. This will be a starting point to help determine how much money will be needed to reinstate the cut activities, said Brittney Taylor, Tiger Nation president.

Meredosia-Chambersburg School Board reviewing options

By Sandra Haschemeyer
Star-Gazette editor
The Meredosia-Chambersburg Board of Education took no action on a proposal to close the elementary school in Meredosia and move those students to the high school building during a meeting held April 2.
The board will go back to the drawing board, Superintendent Ron Gilbert said, and consider all possibilities before making any decisions. Regarding a restructuring plan, there are many factors to consider such as facility repairs, age of the building, and how feasible it is to have all students under one roof. There is space available at the high school, but renovations will be needed to make it work better, Gilbert said.
The elementary building has 137 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. There are 106 students in grades 6-12.

Opera House accepting art for Annual Art Show

by Christina A. Brant

The Beardstown Opera House, 123 State St., Beardstown, will be holding it's annual art show on Saturday, May 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be no admission fee, however, donations at the door will be appreciated.
The Opera house is accepting art to display at the show including, paintings, photography, scultpures, and more. Prizes will be awarded in both adult and youth categories. Best of Show, $25, will be given by the popular vote.

Exchange Club promotes Child Abuse Prevention Month

Members of the Exchange Club of Beardstown are joining thousands of fellow members across the country to raise awareness of child abuse. Mayor Steve Patterson signed a proclamation on April 1 designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Beardstown. The local Exchange Club is planning activities during the month. Read the full story in next week's Cass County Star-Gazette

Beardstown Arts in the Park set for May 10

Beardstown Main Street will be hosting its first Beardstown Arts in the Park event on Sat., May 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the city square.

Tiger Nation presents proposals to reinstate activities

By Sandra Haschemeyer
For the Star-Gazette
A group rallying to raise funds to reinstate extracurricular school activities presented funding proposals to the Beardstown School Board during the board's meeting Wednesday, March 26. Brittney Taylor of the Tiger Nation Booster Club gave a slide presentation showing a three-phase proposal to fund activities cut by the school board in February