Woodford County news briefs

Jaycie Schertz of Woodford County is one of the winners of an Illinois 4-H Foundation scholarship. (Photo courtesy of Illinois 4-H)


Operational food establishment permits due    

The Woodford County Health Department (WCHD) requires all operational food establishments to renew their food permit and remit fees annually. Permit fees are based on the Illinois Department of Public Health risk category that apply to the food establishment as determined by the Woodford County Health Department.

A completed food permit application, along with renewal fee, and a copy of the food establishment’s current menu must be received by the Woodford County Health Department at 1831 S. Main Street, Eureka, IL 61530 no later than 4 p.m. on Dec. 31 or postmarked no later than Dec. 31.

WCHD will be closed on Jan. 1, and does not have an outside receptacle where food permits can be dropped off. A late fee of $10 per day will be charged each day a permit application is late. Any late fees must be paid at the time of the permit fee.

Visit the Woodford County Health Department website at www.woodfordhealth.org for operational food permit applications and answers to frequently asked questions, including deadlines for seasonal establishments.

For further information, call 309-467-3064 during normal business hours; M-TH 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m. to noon. WCHD will be closed Dec. 23-25.

4-H Foundation awards $49,000 scholarships

The Illinois 4-H Foundation provided $29,000 in college scholarships and awarded another $20,000 in national conference travel scholarships to 4-H members honored at a ceremony held in Champaign.

The annual celebration recognized over 100 of the top participants in the state’s most successful youth development program.

Winners include Jaycie Schertz of Woodford County.

“Our awardees embody the true spirit of 4-H, having made a difference not only in their communities, but also Illinois and the nation,” said Lisa Diaz, University of Illinois Extension assistant dean and director of Illinois 4-H. “We are proud of the dedication, service, and fortitude of the young men and women who have developed through our 4-H programs.”

Schertz’s leadership talents make her a high performer in her beef, goats, rabbits, poultry, clothing, foods, tractor, veterinary science, and health projects.

She studies ag business and elementary education at Lake Land College to earn a four-year degree and return home to the family grain and livestock farm.

“4-H has shaped me into the person I am today, and I fully thank the 4-H program for the countless opportunities provided for me,” Schertz said.

“Our donors are generous and believe that higher education changes lives,” said Angie Barnard, Foundation executive director. Donors include Farm Credit Illinois, Nann Armstrong, Patricia Clickener, Lila Jeanne Eichelberger, the Nellie R. McCannon Trust, Keith and Lissa Parr, Dorsey Murray, George Obernagel, Legacy endowment contributors, LA-CO, Illinois Farm Bureau, Peter Johnson, Susan Moore, Katherine Razim, Ryan and Elaine Ruwe, Marvin and Elizabeth Schnitzler, Gerald and Linda Thiele, Lindsay Young, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation.

Illinois 4-H Foundation presents the Legacy of Leadership Scholarship to 4-H members who demonstrate and maintain a high standard of 4-H excellence and mastery during their membership tenure.


 Heartland offers special express enrollment week

Heartland Community College is scheduling a fast-track enrollment period for the week of Dec. 16-20 , from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on  Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.

During this week, students will be able to complete their Heartland application, complete any required placement testing, meet with an academic advisor, prepare to register for classes and get answers to financial aid questions.

Students need to bring with them a photo ID (for residency and Testing Center check-in), SAT/ACT/PSAT scores, if you have completed those tests within the past two years, and any official/ unofficial college transcript(s) if you have previous college coursework.

For more information, call contact Jennie at 309-268-8401 or go to



 Time to register for the Youth Goose Hunt

Youth interested in participating in the annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, sponsored by the IDNR, may register now for the hunt scheduled for Jan. 19-20, 2020.

To register for a drawing to participate in the hunt, youth hunters must phone in to the IDNR at 217-785-8060 by the registration deadline of Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.

The youth goose hunt will be held at private waterfowl hunting clubs in the Canton area in Fulton County. A lottery drawing involving all youth who phone in to register will be conducted Jan. 6, 2020, and youth hunters selected will be notified by mail.

First-time applicants will be given a priority over previous participants in the drawing. The hunt is open to youth ages 10-17 at the time of the hunt.

 IEMA highlights holiday safety in December

With the holiday season in full swing, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is offering tips to help people stay safe now and into the new year.  From decorating the tree to traveling to grandma’s house with a sleigh full of new toys, be sure to take simple steps to keep your family safe.

Decorating —Whether decorating for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve, candles and strings of colored lights create a festive atmosphere but it’s important to be careful when using them.

Candles should never be left unattended, and placed far away from flammable materials.

Candles should also be placed on stable furniture in fire-safe holders that will catch dripping wax.  Holiday lights and electrical decorations should bear the name of an independent testing lab to prove they were safety tested.

 Heating —Chimneys, fireplaces and wood and coal stoves should be regularly inspected and cleaned when necessary.  Additionally, furnaces should be checked every year by professionals to ensure mechanical parts are functioning properly and that nothing is blocking the flue.

Malfunctioning furnaces increase both the fire and carbon monoxide risks.

Under Illinois law, homes should be equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of each sleeping area.

The detectors should be tested monthly to ensure they’re functioning and the batteries are still good.  Never use a gas or charcoal grill inside your home or attached garage because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Shopping — Whether shopping online or in the store, be sure to utilize smart shopping techniques this holiday season. If shopping online, connect with care.

Make sure your home wireless network is password protected, and set strong passwords that make it hard for cyber criminals to guess.

During the holidays, scammers may send fake emails requiring you to click a link for a special offer.  Shop online through trusted retailers to avoid these scams, and do not click on links from unknown senders.

Travel — When traveling, whether by car, train or plane, be sure to utilize smart travel tips.

If traveling by car, remember to pack an emergency supply kit with essentials for all your passengers.

Fill out an emergency communications plan and let your in case of emergency (ICE) contact know your plan.  Also, before you hit the road, check local road conditions and avoid traveling during winter storms.

If traveling by plane for the holidays, be sure to review the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) security screening tips.

When packing for your flights, consider a small emergency kit that includes a flashlight and spare USB power bank.

Follow IEMA on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) for additional #HolidaySafety preparedness information. You can also find additional information on emergency preparedness at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.