taylor-huffington
Author

Taylor Huffington | Correspondent

Taylor Huffington is a Mail Correspondent covering the Olympia communities. She is from McLean, Illinois, and is a Junior at Olympia High School. Taylor is a member of the National Honor Society, the recording secretary of Student Council, and a softball athlete.

 


McLean is Setting for Horror Novel
Top Story

McLean is Setting for Horror Novel

The Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 brought forth a lot of things, including the inspiration for Trevin Nichols’ My Tiny Town Just Got Put on Lockdown. Trevin Nichols grew up in Iowa but moved to Leroy, Illinois as a kid where he graduated from high school. Now he works building maintenance at Country Financial and has a wife, three kids, and two pets.   READ MORE...

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Popcorn and a Movie

Popcorn and a Movie

If you check out a movie at the Danvers Township Library on a Friday in January you will receive a free bag of microwave popcorn to go with the movie. This is happening only throughout January so make sure to stop by the library on a Friday this month to receive the gift.

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Winter Field Day

Winter Field Day

The Hopedale Community Center is hosting a Winter Field Day on January 29th-30th. Here attendees will be able to enjoy fun and food with the Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club. If you would like more information you can contact Justin Flick, N9WX.

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
In-Person Pre-K Story Hour

In-Person Pre-K Story Hour

The H.A. Peine District Library is hosting an in-person Pre-K Story Hour. If you would like to sign your pre-schooler up you can call 309-392-3220 to register for a spot. The Story Hour is on Tuesday, January, 25th at 11 am and has limited spots available, so make sure to register soon to secure a spot.

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Speech Team Competes

Speech Team Competes

The Olympia High School speech team competed at Glenwood High School this past weekend. Here the team placed 4th in the team sweepstakes. Three JV members and 11 Varsity members were finalists in this tournament. The team has one more regular-season tournament left before the IHSA Series begins in February

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Danvers Library Board of Trustees Opening

Danvers Library Board of Trustees Opening

The Danvers Township Library has an open spot on their Board of Trustees and is looking for someone to fill it. If you are interested in the position or would like to know more you can either contact the library or their Board President, Cliff Magee, at 309-963-4269.

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Winter Reading Program

Winter Reading Program

Beginning on January 31st through March 5th the Danvers Township Library will be hosting their Winter Reading Program for Adults. Throughout these five weeks, anybody who participates will have their name put into a raffle where they can win prizes such as Starbucks and Amazon gift cards, tote bags, and/or a travel mug. If you would like to register for the program you can do so through a link on the Danvers Township Library’s Facebook page or through their website at danverstownshiplibrary.com.

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Updated Kidz Club Hours

Updated Kidz Club Hours

The Hopedale Wellness Center has updated its Kidz Club hours. Now on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am the Kidz Club is open. If you would like to sign your kids up for this you can do so on their SignUpGenius which can be found on the Hopedale Wellness Center Facebook page.

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Grilled Pork Chop Sandwiches

Grilled Pork Chop Sandwiches

On Tuesday, January 18th at the boys’ basketball game against Monticello the Olympia FFA chapter will be selling their pork chop sandwiches. They will begin selling at the start of the JV game at 5:30 pm and will continue on throughout the Varsity game that follows. FFA will also be selling their sandwiches on Monday, January 24th at the girls’ basketball game against St. Joseph-Ogden.

Local News  |  January 16, 2022
Vaccine Clinics

Vaccine Clinics

Olympia North, Olympia West, and Olympia South will all be hosting COVID 19 vaccine clinics from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Wednesday, January 26th, and Wednesday, February 16th. The clinics at each school are open to the public and will have Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines available. If you would like to register for the clinics you can visit the Olympia website and find the links for each school and date available. 

High School Sports  |  January 16, 2022
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School’s athletics had a successful week with the majority of the teams adding wins to their record and competing well throughout their games and meets.

Community Spotlight  |  January 9, 2022
Waynesville Mayor Paul Wiggins

Waynesville Mayor Paul Wiggins

Early in his term as Mayor, Paul Wiggins the Mayor of Waynesville, Illinois is excited to help and grow his community. Paul grew up in Oakley, IL and lived there until he graduated from High School & went to college. In 2002 Paul moved to Waynesville where he has lived ever since. Before taking over the position as Mayor, Paul served as the Village Trustee for several years. 

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
An Evening with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

An Evening with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Danvers Township Library is hosting an online zoom event on Wednesday, January 26th at 7 pm where fans can meet Silvia Moreno-Garcia and listen as she discusses her most recent book Velvet Was the Night. Silvia is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Certain Dark Things, Gods of Jade and Shadow, and Mexican Gothic. At this event there will also be a conversation with Gus Moreno, the author of This Thing Between Us. You can find the link to this event on the Danvers Township Library’s Facebook page.

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Sausage and Pancake Breakfast

Sausage and Pancake Breakfast

On Sunday, January 9th the Danvers’ Fire Department is hosting their 22nd annual All You Can Eat Sausage and Pancake Breakfast from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. The meal is being served at the Danvers Township Building at 989 N West St. To pay for this meal all you need to do is to donate to the Fire Department. 

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Kid's Craft Day

Kid's Craft Day

The H.A. Peine District Library in Minier is hosting another Kids’ Craft Day where kids can learn their names in Morse Code on Tuesday, January 11 from 2:30-4:00 pm. Kids will have the opportunity to make a bracelet with a hidden code and explore communicating in morse code. There will also be coloring pages and activity sheets at the event and the kids will be given a snack to take home. The library is located at 202 N. Main, Minier and if you want to know more about the event you can call 309-391-3220.

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Minier Tap Trivia Night

Minier Tap Trivia Night

On Wednesday, January 26th Minier Tap is hosting a Trivia Night. The event starts at 7:00 am and ends at 9:00 pm. The game features seven rounds of trivia designed to challenge participants. The Minier Tap is located at 121 S Main Ave, Minier, IL. 

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Meal Train for Michelle Mollet

Meal Train for Michelle Mollet

Michelle Mollet from Stanford, Illinois recently came home from a long hospital stay. People in the Stanford community wanted to help out Michelle and her husband by providing meals for them during this tough time. There is a SignUpGenius where people who would like to contribute a meal can sign up for a date and time and also see the meal preferences of the two. You can find this link in the Stanford, IL Community Group on Facebook if you are interested in helping out.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Payton Rich Recovers From Surgery

Payton Rich Recovers From Surgery

In May of 2021, Payton Rich was at her last middle school basketball practice of the season when she went to do a pivot move and bent her knee backward. This movement resulted in a stretched/swollen ACL and multiple bone bruises. On May 10th, a week after her injury, Payton went to go see a knee surgeon about her injury. Over the summer she spent time resting it, hoping at a chance to play in her freshman basketball season. Payton was in a wheelchair and wearing a leg brace for some time to help in the healing.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Ryan Sweeney

Ryan Sweeney

Ryan Sweeney grew up in Bloomington, Illinois. He began volunteering in the Secor Fire Department in 2004, and in 2006 he joined the Armington Fire and Rescue Department. In 2007 Ryan moved to the rescue side of the fire department, and just a little over a year ago he became chief of the rescue department. Overall Ryan has been volunteering and helping those in need for over 17 years.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Veterans Day Dinner

Veterans Day Dinner

Veterans Day is a day to celebrate our American heroes, acknowledging their sacrifice and thanking them for their service. The McLean Legion Auxiliary does this through their annual Veterans’ Day dinner. This year the dinner was held on Thursday, November 11th and took place at the Mount Hope Community Hall. At this dinner they served turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, rolls, choice of apple or cranberry sauce, desserts, and drinks. Any veteran who attended this dinner ate this meal for free. Otherwise, the dinner was $12 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
2021 Minier Christmas Parade

2021 Minier Christmas Parade

With Christmas fast approaching, there are so many ways to celebrate the holiday. Going back at least 80 years, one of the longest-running parades in the state, the Minier Christmas Parade has become a local tradition to celebrate Christmas. This year the parade was held on November 27th with the theme “Minier Memories”. This theme was put in place to acknowledge the generations of Minier residents that have watched and been a part of the parade.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
George Washington Minier

George Washington Minier

Founded nearly 154 years ago, the village of Minier has an interesting history all of which leads back to its founder, Rev. George Washington Minier. Born on October 8th of 1813, Rev. Minier was one of ten children. He was raised in Bradford County where he found his education in public schools and Athens Academy. He was so dedicated to his studies he would walk six miles to and from school. After Rev. Minier finished his college education, he taught for three years.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes

HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes

HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes is a local 501c non-profit with the mission to give back to wounded soldiers. Four out of the five board members are Olympia graduates. To complete their mission HOOAH provides outdoor activities to these wounded soldiers. This includes events such as turkey hunts, fishing trips, deer hunts, and pheasant hunts. These activities are supervised by volunteers and every aspect is formatted to fit the needs of each soldier.

Community Spotlight  |  December 5, 2021
Minier Library Holiday Kids’ Craft Party

Minier Library Holiday Kids’ Craft Party

The village of Minier hosts a variety of Christmas-themed events. Just last week the annual Christmas Parade was held and now coming up on Tuesday, December 7th the Holiday Kids’ Craft Party is being held at the Minier Library. This event is a great place to get your kids into the holiday spirit and celebrate Christmas with some fun activities. 

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

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

Olympia High School’s winter sports are now in full motion, most having begun their season last week and continuing into this week. Multiple of the teams have had early successes, showing promise for the season to come.

Top Story  |  November 28, 2021
2021 Minier Christmas Parade

2021 Minier Christmas Parade

With Christmas fast approaching, there are so many ways to celebrate the holiday. Going back at least 80 years, one of the longest-running parades in the state, the Minier Christmas Parade has become a local tradition to celebrate Christmas. This year the parade was held on November 27th with the theme “Minier Memories”. This theme was put in place to acknowledge the generations of Minier residents that have watched and been a part of the parade.

Community Spotlight  |  November 28, 2021
OHS Speech Team Scores at Tournament

OHS Speech Team Scores at Tournament

As many other sports and activities start to get rolling for the winter season, so does the Speech Team. While it is still early in their season, they have had three tournaments so far with a lot of success. On the 20th the team competed in the Richwoods tournament where they had seven Varsity Finalists, four JV Finalists, and as a team they placed 5th overall. These early successes show just how great of a season they are likely to have.

Community Spotlight  |  November 21, 2021
Madrigal Feaste

Madrigal Feaste

Grand castles, intricate clothing, a grand feast, and the joy of Christmas and great music; all of this is what you will experience at Olympia’s annual Madrigals event. Every year about 100 students from Olympia High School’s Chamber Choir, Court Singers, Madrigal Band, Madrigal Masque, and 8th Grade Chorus perform in front of a crowd of guests, stepping them back in time and into the renaissance period. 

High School Sports  |  November 21, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

In these next coming weeks winter sports at Olympia are beginning to start. The Girls’ Basketball team started their first week of games this week, coming out of it with a win and loss for both the Varsity and Freshmen teams. The Varsity team played TCSV on Monday and won 57-29 and then played Mt. Pulaski on Tuesday losing 45-54. The Freshmen team played Metamora on Tuesday and ended up losing  20-45. They finished their week off on Thursday playing Lincoln and winning the game by four points. The JV Girls’ team hasn’t played yet, but so far the girls are off to a good start. This weekend the Varsity team has a tournament at Clinton and then they will play Athens on Monday.

Community Spotlight  |  November 14, 2021
George Washington Minier

George Washington Minier

Founded nearly 154 years ago, the village of Minier has an interesting history all of which leads back to its founder, Rev. George Washington Minier. Born on October 8th of 1813, Rev. Minier was one of ten children. He was raised in Bradford County where he found his education in public schools and Athens Academy. He was so dedicated to his studies he would walk six miles to and from school. After Rev. Minier finished his college education, he taught for three years.

Community Spotlight  |  November 7, 2021
Rebecca Marvel

Rebecca Marvel

Born in 1806 and passing away in 1893, Rebecca (Barr) Marvel is an important person in Waynesville history. Rebecca, at just 18 years old in 1824, traveled from Gibson County, Indiana to Central Illinois. Here, Rebecca, her husband, her brother, and his wife settled down in what we now know as Waynesville, Illinois. For several years they were the only ones living in the area, living out of log cabins they had built for themselves. As the years went by more people joined the settlement and built a community.

High School Sports  |  November 7, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

As the fall season of sports dies down, many sports and activities at Olympia High School have reached their post-season. Last Saturday the 30th the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams both competed in their sectional meet. At this meet, the Boys Team took second with Owen Dare finishing 10th and Carter Phillips finishing 21st. The Girls Team finished 3rd overall with Anna Bieber taking 15th and Abby Litwiller taking 21st.

Community Spotlight  |  October 31, 2021
Area Ghost Stories

Area Ghost Stories

Halloween fills the month of October with spooky decorations, scary films, and people itching to get in the Halloween spirit. With this comes ghost stories. You would be surprised at the number of ghost stories our local areas have. All of the stories I tell today are from the website Haunting Places where people can submit the lore of buildings and places. 

Spotlight  |  October 31, 2021
Funks Grove Country Store: Antiques, Primitives

Funks Grove Country Store: Antiques, Primitives

The Funks Grove Country Store is a store that offers a wide range of antiques spanning decades. The owners of this store are Judi Braid, who I interviewed for this spotlight, and Rey Jannush. In 2018 the two decided to partner up and run the antique store together. When speaking to Judi she said that they “both love antiques and creating, so that was probably the big draw to do it together.”

Top Story  |  October 24, 2021
13 Days of Halloween

13 Days of Halloween

Starting on the 19th and going through the 31st, Atlanta is hosting a Halloween event with a multitude of activities, weekday events starting at 4 pm and Friday and Sunday events starting at 7 pm. Each night there is a different craft or activity that families can participate in, including pumpkin painting, trick or treat bag decorating, board games, and so much more. All of these events lead up to their main event being hosted on the 29th through the 31st, the Haunted Museum.      Christina Vannoy, the director of the Atlanta Public Library, and Julianna, the Programs Director at the library, are the two who have planned the majority of this event. They have also had help from Whitney Ortiz, Dale Colaw, Diane Devore, Jim Welchel, and a few volunteers. Both Christina and Julianna are really excited about the Haunted Museum. They said they had “a lot of fun researching the stories included in it, and [they’re] looking forward to sharing it with the community.” Christina is also excited to see what the kids create throughout the event and how creative they get with their arts and crafts.

High School Sports  |  October 24, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

To kick off the week of OHS activities, on the 16th the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams both competed in the St. Anthony Invite. In this meet, most of the girls and boys from the teams placed in the top forty. The Boys Team got first overall in this meet and the Girls Team got second overall.       The Girls Swim team had a meet at Porta High School where the team did really well. Isabelle Forrest got first in the 200 IM and the team also got first and second in the 200 Medley Relay. Just like many other fall sports, their postseason is fast approaching with their sectional meet two weeks from now. With only a few weeks left of normal meets, the season will soon come to an end and winter sports will be starting.

Community Spotlight  |  October 17, 2021
Harry Potter Escape Room

Harry Potter Escape Room

As many Halloween activities kick off in October, the Danvers Library is hosting a Harry Potter Escape Room. Two escape rooms were planned, and the first one has already been held last Monday on the 11th for younger kids. The second escape room is being held on the 23rd and is for those 15 and up. The first escape room was primarily puzzles laid out on tables. The escape room hosted on the 23rd will feature hidden keys, locked boxes, and “a small, but interesting, twist” according to Chantel Sisco who is running the two escape rooms. There are one-hour time slots with six people allowed in each time spot.

Top Story  |  October 10, 2021
OHS Homecoming

OHS Homecoming

To begin the Olympia High School Homecoming Week a kick-off assembly was held. In this assembly, the School Song competition was first where students competed to see who could be the loudest while singing the school song. The seniors took first with the juniors coming close behind. Slime Time was held after the School Song competition. The contestants for Slime Time were Maddie Conway, Taylor Nowaskie, Michael Bagby, Jayden Kavanaugh, and Mrs. Brown. Students bid on who would get to slime each contestant, the highest bid being $231 from Andrew Litwiller to slime Taylor Nowaskie. The dress-up theme was to dress like your elementary self. 

High School Sports  |  October 10, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

This week was a busy week for the Spartans with Homecoming Week going on and multiple activities having games. Boys and Girls Cross Country ran in the Illinois Prairie Conference meet which was held at Olympia. In this race, the Boy’s team placed second overall. They finished off the week on Saturday with the Metamora Runnin Red Invitational. The Boy’s team got eleventh overall and the Girl’s team got sixth.

Community Spotlight  |  October 3, 2021
HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes

HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes

HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes is a local 501c non-profit with the mission to give back to wounded soldiers. Four out of the five board members are Olympia graduates. To complete their mission HOOAH provides outdoor activities to these wounded soldiers. This includes events such as turkey hunts, fishing trips, deer hunts, and pheasant hunts. These activities are supervised by volunteers and every aspect is formatted to fit the needs of each soldier.

Spotlight  |  October 3, 2021
Gordy’s Garage

Gordy’s Garage

Gordy’s Garage is a local small engine repair shop ran by Mike Fuller. The shop is located in McLean and is specialized in repairing all kinds of small engines. Some examples are lawn mowers, chain saws, weed eaters, and other similar items. Essentially anything that has a small engine on it can be repaired by Mike.

Community Spotlight  |  September 26, 2021
Payton Rich Recovers From Surgery

Payton Rich Recovers From Surgery

In May of 2021, Payton Rich was at her last middle school basketball practice of the season when she went to do a pivot move and bent her knee backward. This movement resulted in a stretched/swollen ACL and multiple bone bruises. On May 10th, a week after her injury, Payton went to go see a knee surgeon about her injury. Over the summer she spent time resting it, hoping at a chance to play in her freshman basketball season. Payton was in a wheelchair and wearing a leg brace for some time to help in the healing.

High School Sports  |  September 26, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

The Girls Volleyball team had a strong week with two wins added to their record. In their first game of the week against Decatur, they won in two sets. The first set was 25-19, and the second set was 25-12. On Thursday against Prairie Central, the team won in three sets, winning the first one 25-13 and winning the third 25-19. Hopefully, they can keep the momentum going into next week.

Top Story  |  September 19, 2021
Summer Gives Way to Fall

Summer Gives Way to Fall

Fall is personally my favorite season, from the colorful trees and the crunch of fallen leaves, to the chilly nights and childhood memories of Halloween. It is a beautiful season full of all kinds of fun celebrations and traditions. Even if Fall isn’t your favorite season, it is still an enjoyable season packed full of all kinds of fun.

Spotlight  |  September 19, 2021
McLean Depot Train Shop

McLean Depot Train Shop

Tom Ludlam is the owner of the McLean Depot Train Shop and has been for 11 years. After he retired from the army, he had an opportunity where he could use the Depot building for a train shop, something he had “in the back of [his] mind to be an interesting thing to do for many years”, so he took the chance. The Depot is owned by the village, but he runs it and the Train Shop together. He loves being his own boss and working in a hobby he has an interest in.

Meet The Chief  |  September 12, 2021
Ryan Sweeney

Ryan Sweeney

Ryan Sweeney grew up in Bloomington, Illinois. He began volunteering in the Secor Fire Department in 2004, and in 2006 he joined the Armington Fire and Rescue Department. In 2007 Ryan moved to the rescue side of the fire department, and just a little over a year ago he became chief of the rescue department. Overall Ryan has been volunteering and helping those in need for over 17 years.

High School Sports  |  September 12, 2021
OHS Weekly Sports Recap

OHS Weekly Sports Recap

To start off the week, the JV football team got a win 18-8 against PBL Monday night. Alex Olsen led the team, getting a safety to end the second quarter, and a pick-six to end the game. On Thursday the Freshman team beat Monticello 20-16. 

Spotlight  |  September 5, 2021
Missy’s Cupcakes, Cookies, and More

Missy’s Cupcakes, Cookies, and More

Missy’s cupcakes, cookies, and more is a baking business based in Stanford and run by Missy Gaither out of her home. Missy started this business about 10 years ago because of her love of baking. As an entrepreneur she has turned her passion into a business and one of her favorite parts is being her own boss. Not only this but she loves meeting new people through her work. Missy wants to “grow [her] business and someday have a storefront.”

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

 

Top

Breaking News