erin-dederich
Author

Erin Dederich | Correspondent

Erin Dederich is a Mail Correspondent covering the Olympia communities. She is from McLean, Illinois, and is a senior at Olympia High School. Erin is involved in many extracurricular activities, ranging from sports to Student Council and yearbook.

 


The Chosen Series
Local News – Waynesville

The Chosen Series

Every Friday night at 7 pm, the Waynesville United Methodist Church will be showing “The Chosen” series. Two episodes will be played each night, up until March 4th. That will conclude with watching seasons one and two. Everyone is welcome to come even if you missed the previous episodes!  READ MORE...

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Village Board Meeting

Village Board Meeting

The monthly board meeting for the Village of Armington will be held on February 2. These are at 6:30 pm at 103 N. Main Street. For questions contact Catherine Ingram, the Armington Village Clerk. 

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Pre-School Screenings

Pre-School Screenings

The Olympia District will have preschool screenings on Wednesday, January 26. These are available for children ages 3-5 to participate in the Pre-K program. The screenings will take place at the Atlanta Christian Church, 300 NE 3rd Street. The sign-up form can be found on the Olympia website with questions directed to Ami Lawson at the District Office. 

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Vaccination Clinic

Vaccination Clinic

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Blood Drive

Blood Drive

On Monday, January 24, the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove FPD will be hosting a blood drive from 1-6 pm. To sign up to donate blood call, Brenda McCallister, at 309-874-2532 or visit the ImpactLife Blood Center website. Please consider donating to help out in this time of a critical blood shortage!

High School Sports  |  January 23, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

This week was very busy with sporting events for Olympia High School. Every day there was at least one competition going on, with multiple on many days. 

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Movie Night

Movie Night

At least once a month, the Waynesville Christian Church hosts an event for junior and high school students. This Sunday, January 16th, they will hold a movie night at 6pm. The movie shown will be Woodlawn. There will also be discussion time following the movie. 

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
MLK Day

MLK Day

The Atlanta Library, along with many other businesses, will be closed Monday, January 17th, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day. City, county, state, and federal offices are also closed for the national holiday. 

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Blood Drive

Blood Drive

On Monday, January 24th, the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove FPD will be hosting a blood drive from 1-6pm. To sign up to donate blood call Brenda McCallister at 309-874-2532 or visit the ImpactLife Blood Center website. 

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Fitness Class Time Change

Fitness Class Time Change

Times for the fitness classes have changed! These classes are held at the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove Park District. Cecile Mercer leads a variety of classes for just $5 each. Make sure to bring your own yoga mat or cushion. Forever Fit is a cardio, strength training, and stretch class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-8:50am. Yoga classes are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9-10am. Yoga focuses on improving flexibility and concentration while reducing stress. Yin Yoga occurs on Fridays from 8:30-9:30am. Yin Yoga is a slower form of yoga adding in meditation and mindfulness. 

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Story Time at the Library

Story Time at the Library

Storytime at the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove Library occurs on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. Bring your kids out on January 22nd at 10am for a wonderful story. A take-home craft will also be offered. This is also a great time to enjoy the library and pick out some books for your family. Don’t forget that face masks are required. 

Spotlight  |  January 16, 2022
K’s Cafe in Minier: Local, Homemade, and Fresh

K’s Cafe in Minier: Local, Homemade, and Fresh

K’s Cafe is a small, locally owned and operated restaurant on 111 South Main Street in Minier, IL. They serve a variety of different kinds of foods, including but not limited to, walleye, pork chops, tenderloins, burgers, and fried chicken.  To write this article, my family and I went to K’s Cafe to try out the food for ourselves. Their Friday night specials were butterfly pork chop, walleye, catfish, or spaghetti meals. We decided on three pork chop and one chicken strip dinner. They all came with a choice of potato and one side. My dad opted to forgo his sides and went for a one-trip salad bar instead for only an extra $1. To say the least, we all enjoyed our food immensely and were surprised with how everything was homemade and fresh! The salad bar was plentifully stocked. The portions were quite large and very fairly priced.

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
The Chosen Series Rescheduled

The Chosen Series Rescheduled

“The Chosen” series at the Waynesville United Methodist Church has been rescheduled to now start on Friday, January 14th. This will take place on Friday night from 7-8:30pm. 

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Paint & Sip Event

Paint & Sip Event

The next Paint & Sip by the Atlanta Public Library and Museum is on January 22nd. This event is held at the Union Hall at 2pm. The cost is $30 to participate and covers the cost of supplies. Registration and payment needs to take place at the Union Hall with the deadline of January 12th. Sign up soon!

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Painting Party at Red Wing Bowl

Painting Party at Red Wing Bowl

Saturday, January 15, there will be a Painting Party at Red Wing Bowl. This event will occur from 3-5:30pm. Betty Wheeler Renfrow is the coordinator, sponsored by Canvas-Connections. The painting that will be taught is a billiards painting on a 16 X 20” canvas. Artists are encouraged to add their own ideas and special touch to their piece! Cost is $30 per person, and all ages are welcome. Registration can occur at the alley prior to the event or online at canvas-connections.com. Red Wing Bowl will also have food and beverages available for purchase at this time. 

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Blood Drive

Blood Drive

On Monday, January 24, the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove FPD will be hosting a blood drive from 1-6pm. To sign up to donate blood call Brenda McCallister at 309-874-2532 or visit the ImpactLife Blood Center website. 

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Fitness Classes Offered

Fitness Classes Offered

Fitness classes for the year of 2022 have begun. These classes are led by Cecile Mercer at the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove Park District. Forever Fit is a cardio, strength training, and stretch class on Tuesdays from 8-8:50am. Yoga classes are on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9-10am. Yoga focuses on improving flexibility and concentration while reducing stress. Yin Yoga occurs on Fridays from 8:30-9:30am. Yin Yoga is a slower form of yoga adding in meditation and mindfulness. 

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Horse Day Camp

Horse Day Camp

Breezy Bluff Riding Academy will run a horse day camp on MLK Day from 2-4:30pm. The cost is $80 per person. Riders just need to be at least 4 years of age and less than 285 pounds. Everyone is welcome to spend the day off with horse riding, learning, and fun! Email BettyB@breezybluffridingacademy.com for an enrollment form and waiver. Camps are filling up fast so act quick!

High School Sports  |  January 9, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Over winter break, Olympia boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball had the opportunity to participate in the State Farm Holiday Classic tournament. There were 4 brackets and classifications of games played. Both Olympia teams were in the small school brackets. 64 teams total came to Bloomington-Normal for one of the best basketball tournaments in Illinois. 

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Under The Big Top

Under The Big Top

The traveling Culpepper and Merriweather Circus came to Atlanta, Illinois, on Thursday, September 2. This was a great event sponsored by the city of Atlanta for both the locals and tourists alike. The event was set up at the Atlanta ballfields in the morning. Guests were able to come by and see the raising the Big Top and then take a free tour learning all about the performers, the animals, and the history of the C&M Circus.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Atlanta Fall Festval

Atlanta Fall Festval

The Atlanta Fall Festival ran from September 9th-12th at the park. The festival is an annual event for all ages because it has many different activities to enjoy, including a parade, karaoke contest, rides, vendors, inflatables, games, food, bingo, and live music! 

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Christmas on Route 66

Christmas on Route 66

Even though everyone celebrates Christmas differently, the town of Atlanta, Illinois had a fun event for people of all ages. The Atlanta Christmas Weekend festivities were held on November 27th and 28th. To start off the event, the Holiday Market was set up inside the Union Hall. Perfect for small businesses, there were booths that sold woodworking, crafts, jewelry, and more. Before the parade on the 28th, Santa came to visit the children and granted all of their holiday wishes! Also, guests enjoyed complimentary cookies and hot chocolate while waiting for the parade to start. The parade was held at 4:30 along Historic Route 66 and showcased many amazing floats and cars beautifully decorated with the Christmas spirit! Local businesses were invited to have a car or float, with a prize for the best decorated. The best float, a Christmas movie theme, was made by the Logan County APA, and the best car, a Grinch theme, was made by the Atlanta Public Library. Congratulations to these organizations! 

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Sonshine Daycare

Sonshine Daycare

Looking for a good, quality daycare for your children? Then look no further. Sonshine Daycare in McLean is a ministry of the McLean United Methodist Church community which exists to provide quality child care in a Christian environment for children in McLean and the surrounding communities. Sonshine was established in July 1993 at the Methodist church, but then as it grew, expanded and now housed in the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove Park District (old grade school) building since June 2006. The Olympia school district provides bus transportation to and from the daycare for all children attending Olympia South. The hours of operation are 7 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Eric Fulk

Eric Fulk

Eric Fulk joined the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove Fire Department on January 8th, 2000. After years of hard work and determination, he was hired as a full-time EMT and promoted to Fire Chief on May 1st, 2011. As a young boy, Fulk spent many hours around other family members in the fire service including his late father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was extremely proud that his father was instrumental in bringing Advance Life Support to McLean County.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
The Town Well Closes

The Town Well Closes

The Town Well restaurant in Stanford closed its doors on October 1st, due to their lease not being renewed, but with hopes of finding a new location someday soon. The small-town bar and grill was well-known for its top-notch food and service, recently receiving multiple recognitions in The Pantagraph’s Reader’s Choice Awards including 2nd in “Best Cheeseburger,” 3rd in “Best Horseshoe,” and in the top 5 for “Best Steak.”

Community Spotlight  |  December 19, 2021
Cookies and Cocoa with Santa

Cookies and Cocoa with Santa

As the holidays approach us, the Minier Christian Church held a special event called Christmas Cookies and Cocoa with Santa on Saturday, December 11th. The day was hosted by St. Jude Olympia to Peoria Run with the help of organizer, Stacey Boots. The Olympia High School National Honor Society students volunteered to staff the event. Families thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and holiday activities.

High School Sports  |  December 19, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

This week has been a rough week for Olympia High School sports. Many students are sick, injured, or quarantined so they are unable to play. Thus, the week was much lighter with sports and activities going on. 

Community Spotlight  |  December 12, 2021
Virtual Angel Tree Offers Christmas to Needy

Virtual Angel Tree Offers Christmas to Needy

It’s Christmas time! The Olympia High School National Honor Society is sponsoring its annual virtual Angel Tree project. The Spartan Promise Council also works in close conjunction with this event. This Angel Tree gives gifts to middle and high school students in need within the district. Selected students have been given the opportunity to make a list of wants and needs for Christmas. All students have identified both clothing and recreational items.

High School Sports  |  December 12, 2021
Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

To start off the week, girls’ basketball had a home game against Heyworth. JV had a nice win of 37-17. The varsity also won 57-32. Leading scorers were Taylor Nowaskie with 23 points and Hannah Cleveland with 17 points. Wednesday night, the freshman team traveled to St. Joseph-Ogden and came out with a win. Thursday was an away game at Tremont. Since this game was much closer in distance, the Spartans had a fan section of students. Again, the JV team won by a lot. The varsity girls also lead throughout the whole game and came away with a 66-54 win. This advances the team to eight wins and only two losses. They begin conference play with home games on both Monday and Thursday of this coming week. On Saturday morning, the freshman girls played a home game against Normal Community and lost 29-52.

Top Story  |  December 5, 2021
Christmas on Route 66

Christmas on Route 66

Even though everyone celebrates Christmas differently, the town of Atlanta, Illinois had a fun event for people of all ages. The Atlanta Christmas Weekend festivities were held on November 27th and 28th. To start off the event, the Holiday Market was set up inside the Union Hall. Perfect for small businesses, there were booths that sold woodworking, crafts, jewelry, and more. Before the parade on the 28th, Santa came to visit the children and granted all of their holiday wishes! Also, guests enjoyed complimentary cookies and hot chocolate while waiting for the parade to start. The parade was held at 4:30 along Historic Route 66 and showcased many amazing floats and cars beautifully decorated with the Christmas spirit! Local businesses were invited to have a car or float, with a prize for the best decorated. The best float, a Christmas movie theme, was made by the Logan County APA, and the best car, a Grinch theme, was made by the Atlanta Public Library. Congratulations to these organizations! 

Community Spotlight  |  December 5, 2021
OHS Student Collecting Supplies for Homeless

OHS Student Collecting Supplies for Homeless

Senior, Andrew Fishman, at Olympia High School is running a supply drive for the homeless. This fundraiser is all student-generated by Andrew. The donation drive works through the Salvation Army from 11/19 to 12/20. The Salvation Army allows for a bed and warming center for the needy, especially during the winter months. They have 33 beds and around 90 additional people who also stay for the night. With all the goods collected, Andrew will be filling bags for each person, making his goal of at least 123 bags. 

Spotlight  |  November 28, 2021
The Quiram-Peasley Funeral Home in Atlanta

The Quiram-Peasley Funeral Home in Atlanta

The Quiram-Peasley Funeral Home is in Atlanta, Illinois. This business was owned by the Quiram family starting with Gordon Quiram in the 1940s. His children, John and Jim, continued the family legacy until Don Peasley took over in September 2006. Now, the funeral home has been independently owned and operated by Don Peasley, a funeral director since 1993. Don purchased his first funeral home in Lincoln in 2002, known as the Peasley Funeral Home. His sister, Krystal Peasley Salvator also works as a partner and licensed funeral director. 

High School Sports  |  November 28, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

To finish up the Turkey Tussle tournament, the Varsity girls’ basketball team played against Riverton on Thursday. This game was a close battle the whole night, with the Spartans pulling ahead with the win by just one point. The Olympia Spartans then advanced to the third-place game at Clinton High School on Saturday. From the other bracket, Olympia matched up against Clinton. After a long game, Clinton pulled away with the win by just a few points. 

Community Spotlight  |  November 21, 2021
History of Thanksgiving

History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a national holiday observed only in the United States. In 1621, the Plymouth colonies and Wampanoag people had a huge autumn harvest feast recognized as the first Thanksgiving celebration. Then, everyone else in the United States started having similar gatherings. Eventually, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a holiday to occur on the 4th Thursday in the month of November. This year it is celebrated on Thursday, November 25th.

Community Spotlight  |  November 14, 2021
VanDyke Sworn In As EMA Coordinator

VanDyke Sworn In As EMA Coordinator

On November 1st, Jeff VanDyke was sworn in as the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Coordinator for McLean, Illinois, at the McLean County Government board meeting. I interviewed Cathy Beck, the director for the McLean County EMA about Jeff’s newly appointed position. Cathy oversees all operations. The village of McLean has not had its own EMA Coordinator for over eight years. This is a volunteer position and there is no set term length or requirement for this job. Jeff will be able to work as long as he desires, or until he becomes physically incapable. 

High School Sports  |  November 14, 2021
Spartan Night Introduces Winter Teams

Spartan Night Introduces Winter Teams

Friday night was Spartan Night at Olympia High School for a winter sports preview to parents and spectators. To begin the night, the pep band played the National Anthem. Directly after, cheer and dance performed the school song. All teams were dressed in uniform for team, individual, and senior banner pictures. Then, Mike Castleman, Olympia High School's Athletic Director, recognized the speech team. These students were responsible for announcing all individual players and teams for the winter sports season. The night finished with various scrimmages of boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, and wrestling. 

Community Spotlight  |  November 7, 2021
NHS 8th Annual Halloween Fest

NHS 8th Annual Halloween Fest

The National Honor Society at Olympia High School hosted the 8th annual Halloween Fest this past Sunday. National Honor Society is a chosen group of junior and senior students that set high academic standards and impact the community with service projects. This year there are about 50 high school students, with advisors Mrs. Lisa Steve and Mrs. Amanda Hapgood.

Community Spotlight  |  October 31, 2021
Halloween Events

Halloween Events

HALLOWEEN EVENTS

High School Sports  |  October 31, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

To conclude the high school football season, the JV team traveled to El-Paso Gridley Monday night. This was a Varsity preview game for next year for both schools. The Spartans finished strong with a 50-8 win. Good job to all the players, coaches, and fans. The loyal support of our football teams does not go unnoticed.

Community Spotlight  |  October 24, 2021
Halloween Events

Halloween Events

HALLOWEEN EVENTS

Spotlight  |  October 24, 2021
WeCraft Family

WeCraft Family

Amber Lesson of Atlanta just began her business with WeCraft Family in January 2021. In reality, Amber created this business by accident. All she wanted to do was make a door sign for her friend. Then, she saw a sweatshirt with a cute boutique design and thought, “I can make that cheaper!” With a big hit in this, the WeCraft Family business began. At this time, her family was planning a trip to Washington D.C. and was just trying to make the money to pay for it. WeCraft Family was going to be a little side gig business, but it has now turned into a “second full-time job.” 

High School Sports  |  October 17, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Last Saturday, the Olympia District Special Olympics team participated in the Region G Bowling Event. This was a wonderful placement event for our athletes. Caleb Busick earned Bronze and Kacie Raffety with Silver. The two Gold finishers of Hannah Baker and Dylan Olson will advance to the State Event on December 4th. 

High School Sports  |  October 17, 2021
Olympia High School Homecoming Court

Olympia High School Homecoming Court

The Olympia High School Homecoming Court was announced. 

Community Spotlight  |  October 10, 2021
Sonshine Daycare

Sonshine Daycare

Looking for a good, quality daycare for your children? Then look no further. Sonshine Daycare in McLean is a ministry of the McLean United Methodist Church community which exists to provide quality child care in a Christian environment for children in McLean and the surrounding communities. Sonshine was established in July 1993 at the Methodist church, but then as it grew, expanded and now housed in the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove Park District (old grade school) building since June 2006. The Olympia school district provides bus transportation to and from the daycare for all children attending Olympia South. The hours of operation are 7 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday.

Top Story  |  October 3, 2021
The Town Well Closes

The Town Well Closes

The Town Well restaurant in Stanford closed its doors on October 1st, due to their lease not being renewed, but with hopes of finding a new location someday soon. The small-town bar and grill was well-known for its top-notch food and service, recently receiving multiple recognitions in The Pantagraph’s Reader’s Choice Awards including 2nd in “Best Cheeseburger,” 3rd in “Best Horseshoe,” and in the top 5 for “Best Steak.”

High School Sports  |  October 3, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The only activity that went on Monday night was a home JV football game vs St. Joseph Ogden. Again, all levels of the football team were heavily depleted by injury. Late in the 4th quarter, Olympia was able to take the lead 22-20, but then St. Joe quickly came up with a hook and ladder play to win 22-28. Even with this loss, the coaches were very proud of their football players for all their hard work.

Meet The Chief  |  September 26, 2021
Eric Fulk

Eric Fulk

Eric Fulk joined the Mt. Hope-Funks Grove Fire Department on January 8th, 2000. After years of hard work and determination, he was hired as a full-time EMT and promoted to Fire Chief on May 1st, 2011. As a young boy, Fulk spent many hours around other family members in the fire service including his late father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was extremely proud that his father was instrumental in bringing Advance Life Support to McLean County.

Spotlight  |  September 26, 2021
Funk's Grove Maple Sirup

Funk's Grove Maple Sirup

Funks Grove Maple Sirup is located in the heart of Central Illinois. This is a rural area of homes, fields, creeks, trees, animals, and plenty of nature. Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup is owned by the Funk family. They have been running this historic business since 1824. 

High School Sports  |  September 19, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

This past weekend, JV and Varsity volleyball had some strong tournaments in Clinton. After a rough start, the Varsity team climbed their way back up to play in the championship game. Olympia played against St. Thomas More who is a huge conference rival for this sport. This was a big match with plenty of competitive rallies. The Spartans fell short of the win and ended up accomplishing second place. Shelby Finchum, Madeline Conway, and Andria Ewalt made the all-tournament team. On the other side, the JV volleyball team also played very well and earned third place. Tuesday and Thursday were home games for all levels. As always, Blue Crew represented Spartan spirit strong with a huge enthusiastic crowd. JV won both days while Varsity ended up going to three sets each time and losing. 

Top Story  |  September 12, 2021
Atlanta Fall Festval

Atlanta Fall Festval

The Atlanta Fall Festival ran from September 9th-12th at the park. The festival is an annual event for all ages because it has many different activities to enjoy, including a parade, karaoke contest, rides, vendors, inflatables, games, food, bingo, and live music! 

Spotlight  |  September 12, 2021
TNT Farms Horseback Riding

TNT Farms Horseback Riding

This week, we would like to spotlight the business of TNT Farms. Taylor Harvey is the owner, and she is a 22-year-old running a personal hobby farm based out of Waynesville. She has three horses, a mini donkey, two goats, and two chickens.

Top Story  |  September 5, 2021
Under The Big Top

Under The Big Top

The traveling Culpepper and Merriweather Circus came to Atlanta, Illinois, on Thursday, September 2. This was a great event sponsored by the city of Atlanta for both the locals and tourists alike. The event was set up at the Atlanta ballfields in the morning. Guests were able to come by and see the raising the Big Top and then take a free tour learning all about the performers, the animals, and the history of the C&M Circus.

High School Sports  |  September 5, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The boys’ soccer team and the cross-country runners were very successful this week for Olympia High School sports. On Tuesday, the soccer team won 6-2 at Blue Ridge highlighted by George Martin’s 5 assists, Jace Whitted’s 4 goals, and 11 saves by Elijah Smith! On Thursday, the guys picked up a shutout win. Again, goalie Elijah Smith performed very well earning a clean sheet by allowing no goals. 

High School Sports  |  August 29, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Monday night was a big night for HS boys soccer against Meridian winning its home opener. Evan Deterding, George Martin, Jace Whitted, and Elliott Hohulin all scored goals or made assists. On defense, Elijah Smith had 7 saves. Boys and girls golf had matches with Clayton Barnes finishing in 1st place. Volleyball had their first match on Thursday against the Eureka Hornets. Varsity came out strong defeating the Hornets in the first set, but then fell short at the end against the state-ranked team even with the help of the Blue Crew. Other events, including cross country, were canceled due to the extreme heat.

Sponsors
Advertisement 0000022 Advertisement 0000024 Advertisement 0000023 Advertisement 0000001 Advertisement 0000025 Advertisement 0000021 Advertisement 0000030

 

Top

Breaking News