Another large crowd was in attendance at the recent Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet at the Armington Center at Greenville College.  Doctor Ish Smith presented this year’s guest speakers, University of Illinois football coach Ron Zook and FCI Chaplain Marcellus Casey.  Jack Trager presented the Huddle Coach of the Year award to Vandalia baseball coach Luke Holt. Bradford Bank President Frank Joy was recognized for his support of Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ activities, and Tom Morgan presented the annual FCI Scholarship to Okawville High School Athlete Reid Recker.  During our interview with Tom Morgan about the award, he said, “We had six outstanding young people here tonight and it was tough to pick out just one.  They were all outstanding.  To see them standing up here to receive that kind of recognition was inspiring to me.”


According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the February unemployment rate fell for the 13th consecutive month, down .1 percent to 8.9 percent.  According to the IDES, since January 2010 Illinois has added more than 85,000 new jobs.  Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services, Educational and Health Services, Manufacturing, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities.  The number of unemployed individuals dropped more than 10,000 to 588,500, the lowest level since January 2009. 


Congratulations to FFA members for placing in the District Proficiency Awards.  First place awards went to Katelynn Mollett in Ag Education, Austin Potthast in Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance, Corey Manning in Ag Mechanics and Fabrication and Design, Daniel Suess in Diversified Crop Production, Kent Thole in Forestry Management, and Jordan Willeford in Home and Community Development.  Placing second were Chelsie Stewart in Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance, Brett Woker in Dairy Production, and Justin Volentine in Grain Placement.  Congratulations from WGEL on your FFA accomplishments!

Prairie Farms


The Bond County Farm Bureau announced that applications are now available for nurse practitioner scholarships.  There will be five $4,000.00 scholarships granted this year.  To be eligible, students must be Illinois residents and be a registered nurse accepted or enrolled in an accredited nurse practitioner program.  Funding is provided by the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program.  Applications are available at Farm Bureau offices throughout the state, or on the Illinois Farm Bureau website.  Applications are due by May 1.  For more information, call 309-557-2350.



Elizabeth J. “Betty” Holtgrave, age 72, of Highland, passed away Friday, March 18. Memorial services will be Saturday, April 2 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland. Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Friends may call Saturday, April 2 from 8:30 a.m. until service time at the church. Memorials are suggested to BJC Hospice or in the form of Masses. Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland is in charge of the arrangements. 

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