Minier Mail

Serving Minier, Illinois since 2020
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Front row (L-R): Cheyenne Hanlin, Mallory Miller, Nora Collins, Aime Witham and Anna Kindred. Back row (L-R): Reed Naughton, Rylee Robb, Libby Shaffer, Logan Demling, and Keagan Meserole.

Olympia FFA Honors Members at Chapter Banquet

On Sunday, April 16th, the Olympia FFA Chapter held their annual Chapter Banquet. Due to the fire at OHS, the awards banquet was held at Minier Christian Church this year. There were 52 FFA members and over 150 guests present at the banquet. On this night the FFA recognizes all of the FFA members and their accomplishments. 

Yoga4Life Studio in Mackinaw

Yoga may be one of the oldest practices in human history to focus on a person’s happiness - a person’s physical and emotional well-being. In the United States it is estimated that 36 million adults practice yoga on a regular basis. They are likely to practice one of a couple kinds of yoga that derive from Vedic yoga and involve 12 basic postures, with names like cow, cobra, or fish. These kinds of yoga will also involve teaching deep breathing patterns  along with a focus on being present and mindful. Luckily for Mackinaw area residents, we have an expert on the subject: Julie Rhoades of Yoga4Life, located at 107 South Main Street in Mackinaw.

Illinois Unemployment Rates Down for the Tenth Consecutive Month, Jobs up in Most Metro Areas

SPRINGFIELD – The unemployment rate decreased over-the-year in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas in January for the tenth consecutive month according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Jobs were up in twelve metro areas, and were unchanged in one, and down in another.

KDJ Sales and Services in Mackinaw

For this week’s Business Spotlight, I was able to speak with President of KDJ Sales and Services Inc, Dustin Schmidgall, and get a peek into the history of his company and what the future may look like moving forward. Started by Keith Schmidgall in Armington IL in 1978, the company originally focused on residential plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. After about 7 years, the decision was made to move the company to Mackinaw in 1985 and switch focus to doing electrical work on grain elevators. In 1987, the company moved to the Mackinaw Industrial Park, where they remain today. In 1995, KDJ added to their list of services when they added automation and control systems development.

In Time for Spring, 3:7 Garden Shed in Hopedale

Opening up on April 9, 2022, the 3:7 Garden Shed is a gardening shop owned by Jeff and Chris Litwiller but you may also see their four daughters around the shed helping out. The 3:7 Garden Shed took the place of the Hopedale Garden Shop after the owner decided to sell the business to Jeff and Chris Litwiller. Before this, the business originated as Slager Lawn Service in the 1980s. The shed’s name comes from 1 Corinthians 3:7; “Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow”.

F.L. Sons Fire Equipment

With 10 years of experience in fire equipment and the fire safety industry, Fred Lawrence, along with his wife Emily, started Fred Lawrence and Sons Fire Equipment in Pekin in 2010. Business came quickly and before long, the decision was made to incorporate the business to its current name F.L. Sons Fire Equipment Inc. in 2015. Fred and Emily began hiring employees and realized that their current situation: one work truck, a very small 10’x15’ garage, and a spare room in their home acting as an office - just wasn’t going to meet their needs. So, the Lawrence family started to look elsewhere, knowing that they would need a home for them and their 2 sons, along with a separate building to run their business out of.

DIY Fire Pit

With summertime approaching, there is nothing more fun than sitting around a fire pit with your friends or family! Well, maybe a tropical trip! Fire pits are a great way to add some fun to a yard! With a little hard work and some elbow grease, you’ll have one in no time. We put one in at our last home and loved it, I can’t wait to do it again! 

How to Make a Dreamcatcher

In Native American culture, dream catchers were believed to catch and trap bad dreams, whilst allowing good dream to pass through the spider-web design, and drift into the heads of the children that lie sleeping below them. Nowadays, dreamcatchers come in many shapes and sizes, and are an incredibly popular bedroom decor choice! If you’re ready for some sweet dreams, why not learn how to make a dreamcatcher?

Baked to Perfection Ziti

The key to creating a perfect Baked Ziti is to keep it from drying out. This classic Italian baked pasta dish is made by layering penne noodles, sauce and cheese. Once it is prepared correctly, however, it will become the only way you make it.

Small Raised Paver Patio

Sometimes you are in the middle of a project and realize you need something else! This happened to me when I was creating my back garden scape. I placed my new Adirondack chairs in there place. They were a perfect fit, if the ground didn’t slope down in the back! I knew I needed to make an elevated bed for them. I had recently found a ton of old pavers in the yard and knew this was the spot for them. 

When Empowerment Narratives Miss the Mark

Escape

ESCAPE hints at a story brimming with resilience and the fight for freedom. With ten women at its heart, taken from their peaceful lives of luxury and thrown into a problematic plan by a notorious cartel, the movie sets the stage for a narrative of grit and perseverance. The vast and unforgiving desert is more than scenery; it provides a formidable adversary in its own right. Under Howard J. Ford's direction, the deeper we delve, the more apparent ESCAPE's luster is dimmed by its lofty ambitions and the out-of-touch male gaze in attempting to empower women.

A Dark Allegory of Nutritional Obsession

Club Zero

CLUB ZERO offers viewers a window into societal critique, with director Jessica Hausner guiding us through a labyrinth of deception. The film's presentation is captivating, painting a vibrant yet critical portrait of modern elitism. Mia Wasikowska, embodying Ms. Novak, walks a tightrope between nurturing guide and harbinger of radical ideology, ensnaring her students in a web of dubious 'enlightenment.' The film presents us with a pretty straightforward narrative, but what the cast and writing handling of it is with it ultimately makes it so compelling.

Short Film, Long-Lasting Emotional Impact

Any Sign at All

Get ready to be surprised by how much story and emotion can fit into a nine-minute runtime. In ANY SIGN AT ALL, you're immediately enveloped by an emotional whirlwind, compact yet expansive in its storytelling. From the get-go, the film explores a pivotal moment in a young woman's life, dealing with the complexities of impending motherhood. With Jeanine Mason’s vulnerable portrayal of Jessie and Faryl Amadeus's direction, the film transforms this journey into an emotional odyssey that stays with you.

Independent Stories, United by Terror

V/H/S/85

V/H/S/85 whisks audiences back to the neon-drenched, synthesizer-heavy, shot-on-video era of the 1980s, serving up an array of horror tales as diverse as the directors behind the camera. This addition to the V/H/S franchise seamlessly marries the allure of nostalgia with the thrill of horror, creating a viewing experience that's uniquely refreshing and eerily familiar. While the anthology format inherently brings a rollercoaster of quality, this compilation offers a range of inventive, engaging, and, at times, genuinely unsettling stories.

A Narrative of Caution and Crime

The Playboy Murders - Season 2 (Episode 6)

THE PLAYBOY MURDERS' "Dance to Death" peels back the layers of marble floors and the crystal chandeliers of the Playboy empire to reveal some of the sad realities beneath the surface. The story of Paula Sladewski, a former Playboy model whose life ended tragically, serves as a powerful narrative that critiques the often dangerous intersection of fame and desire. This episode captures the imagination and prompts reflection on the allure and pitfalls of this lifestyle that looks so perfect from the outside.

Caring for Your Garden in the Summer Heat

Temperatures are looking to rise again this week, making now a great time to talk about how to help care for your garden crops in the hot and dry times of summer. Late July through August can tend to be very hot and it is important that you are taking proper care of your crops to get them through when they are ready to be picked from the garden. Some plants can tolerate the heat better than others. When you consider that most plants are made up of 85 to 90 percent of water, it makes more sense why plants need extra attention in the heat. 

The Importance of Crop Scouting a Field

Crop scouting is when fields are evaluated for pest and disease problems, or for checking in on growth progress. Scouting is important because if a problem of any kind is found in the field, it can be solved or managed as quickly as possible. This process is critical for farmers to grow their best crops and have the highest yields possible, which allows them to make the most profit. Crop scouting is a critical tool to protect a farmer’s investment in each field.

Agriculture and the Fourth of July

Like many holidays, the Fourth of July is connected to agriculture! In the spirit of celebrating our Independence Day this weekend, we can look at a quote about agriculture from Thomas Jefferson. The Founding Father and former president stated, “Agriculture.. is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to wealth, good morals, and happiness…”. Jefferson proclaimed the importance of agriculture in our country in a letter he wrote to George Washington. 

Dairy Farms in Central Illinois

All dairy products like milk and cheese start by the production and care of dairy cows on a dairy farm. Dairy farming is when farmers raise mother animals and use their milk to feed humans. Other dairy products than milk and cheese include butter, yogurt, ice cream and more. Byproducts from dairy farms are even used for nonfood purposes. Byproducts allow for an operation to produce more goods and be useful for as much as they possibly can. 

Standards Apply for Organic Farming

When you look through a produce section at the grocery store, you will likely find both organic and nonorganic items for sale. To be labeled organic, foods must meet United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards. Companies or farmers can not just label something “organic” without meeting these standards. The USDA sets organic standards for crops and livestock, as well as the handling process. 

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

The sports season for OHS in the 2021-2022 school year concluded on Friday. Friday was the state track & field meet for our boys' team. The boys competed in the prelims on Friday but did not end up making it to the finals on Saturday. The qualifying 3200-meter team consisted of Anthony Ragland, Cooper Phillips, Owen Dare, and Brad Schardan. Owen and Brad wanted to save their energy for the 800 so the alternates, Logan Demling and Caden Clark ran instead. The team ran an 8:42.37 relay. Then, Brad Schardan ran the 800-meters at a personal best time of 2:00.20. Owen Dare was right behind him with a time of 2:00.26. Then, Keagan Uphoff did the 300-meter hurdles and had a time of 44.40. With Keagan being just a sophomore, he has a lot more potential to advance further in the coming years. He is off to a great start and ready for more! 

OHS Boys Track & Field athletes (L-R): Brad Schardan, Owen Dare, Anthony Ragland, and Cooper Phillips.

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

This was regional week for the softball and baseball teams! To begin, the baseball team played Clinton on Monday night, coming away with a 3-2 win. This advanced them to play Pontiac on Thursday. The Spartans were not as good as Pontiac’s baseball team and lost 1-14. Pontiac is now going to the regional championship game on Monday vs Tremont. Olympia High School hosted all these regional baseball games. The high school baseball season has now ended and the boys are ready to play travel ball. The baseball program is grateful for finally having a full season that was very fun and memorable, too!

Olympia High School Weekly Sports Recap

Post-season for Olympia High School athletics is coming into full gear. Just this week Girls Track and Field competed in their IHSA Sectional Meet. Anna Beiber qualified for State at the meet with a time of 2:21.68, just 2 seconds under the state qualifying time. Melissa Bieber just barely missed the qualifying time by .29 seconds with a 47.98 in the 300 hurdles, which is less than a second off the school record. Boys Track and Field will compete in their Sectional this coming week on the 18th.