Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bluebird Project Update

From the Pontiac Daily Leader

By Luke Smucker 
Posted Jan 17, 2018 at 9:54 AM 
After years of community exposure to Pontiac Township High School’s “Spread The Word To End The Word” campaign, today’s Life Skills students have more opportunities than ever before. This will be the high school’s ninth year organizing activities for “Spread The Word To End The Word”, but each year brings new opportunities thanks in-part to grants written by students taking part in the high school’s Youth Activation Committee and Peers in Action programs. “They are constantly thinking outside the box to figure out new ways to involve the student body,” Life Skills teacher Laura Baumgardner said. “They write the grants and find ways to bring more activities to our high school and community.” Students helped the high school receive five grants this year. One of the grants was used to start a new Unified Basketball program coached by Buck Casson and Pam Sawyer, similar to the school’s established Unified Soccer program. Another grant was used to purchase new uniforms for the team. Students are also hoping to organize a new event called the Fish For Respect. Life Skills students already participate in the Unified Bass Fishing program, so Baumgardner said they are hoping to connect with Livingston County Anglers to start a Fish For Respect event. There are also plans to hold a mini summit for junior high students. “We want to get them to come to the high school on Saturday, March 3, to learn about inclusive youth leadership, social justice, ‘Spread The Word to End The Word’ and respect,” Baumgardner said. “We have also been invited to meet with the Livingston County Board again. During their February meeting, we are going to ask for a resolution to proclaim ‘Respect Week.’ Last year, the Livingston County Board recognized and proclaimed March 4 and 5 as ‘Respect Days.’” Life Skills students are also planning to work with offers from the Pontiac Correctional Center, and possibly Pontiac Police, on another Chili Cook-Off: Torch Run fundraiser, scheduled for March 11. The high school will also host the sixth annual Run For Respect 5K/Fun Run and Walk on April 21, as well as the fifth annual virtual run. Baumgardner’s students will be taking their annual Life Skills Play to the Eagle Performing Arts and Conference Center. This year, the students are performing “Jack and the Bean Stalk” at the high school on the morning of March 21. That evening, thanks to help from Vermillion Players Board President Liz Vincent, the students will also have an evening show at the Eagle Performing Arts and Conference Center for the community. “It is really amazing to me to see just how everything continues to grow,” Baumgardner said. “I think Principal Eric Bohm said it best, ‘the program has become a tradition and is something that is expected within our high school.’ It’s really become a part of our school’s culture.” “If you think about it, this is the fifth or sixth year we’ve organized the “Spread The Word To End The Word” poster contest. So, all of the students currently attending Pontiac Township High School right now have all been a part of the poster contest at the grade school. Knowing that they have been exposed to our message of self respect for all makes working together much more fun for all students.” While a lot of activities are being organized for the community, a few new project are going on in the classroom, too. “We read a book called ‘Seedfolks’ in the first semester with Elizabeth Hatfield’s PTHS English Essentials class,” Baumgardner said. “Then, Jesse Faber came in and worked with our students to create a tower garden. He helped them plant the seeds and we have harvested about 2½ pounds of lettuce.” The students are also continuing to take part in the Bluebird Project. Baumgardner said the Bluebird Project has been one of the best projects that the students have been involved in because it has brought together not just schools, but the whole county. It started in Chatsworth, home of the Chatsworth High School Bluebirds. Chatsworth Mayor Richard Runyon initially contacted PTHS Earth Science teacher Paul Ritter, who contacted Baumgardner about the project in 2015. “That year, Mitch Kelly and a couple of Paul Ritter’s students went over to Chatsworth and presented what we knew about Bluebirds,” Baumgardner said. “We started installing bluebird houses in Chatsworth that spring. “Last year, Paul Ritter and a few of his students, along with me and a few of my students, went to Cullom and teamed up with the National Honor Society Advisor Allison Buckley and some of her students to install even more bluebird houses in the Cullom/Kempton/Piper City area. “We also went to Springfield last year with Mayor Richard Runyon. We met with Sen. Jason Barickman and Gov. Bruce Rauner to make a proclamation declaring May 4, 2017, as Bluebird Project Day in Illinois.” Ritter, Baumgardner and two Life Skills students — Austin Vanover and Nick Ellis — went to Dominy Memorial Library in Fairbury on Jan. 14 to speak to the Friends of Dominy Library Book Club about Bluebird program. “It just so happens that two students were in attendance because they had heard about what we were doing and wanted to do something similar in their community. So, Nick and Austin are inspiring students outside of Livingston County — this project has been a really great thing.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 16 Update


Articles from the Urbana Daily Courier from the early 1900's.
Thomas Taylor weds Virgina Bell-1935
Story of the Hagaman sisters Wreck-1914
Story on "Jack" Moore, murderer's escape-1903
Mrs. Zimmerman (Chatsworth Wreck survivor) visits son in Champaign-1913
Tornado deaths in Campus-1912
Story on Citizen's Bank robbery-1910
Chatsworth Wreck survivor dies-Sarah Graves-1924
Click on file at the bottom of that page to read.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Obit of Gary P. Bell

Gary P. Bell, 76, of Chatsworth, IL passed away at 6:05 pm on Sunday, January 7, 2018 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Funeral services will be held at 7:00 pm on Monday, January 15, 2018 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Chatsworth, IL with Pastor Ed Bunt officiating. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at Cowan Cemetery in Lowndes, MO.He was married to Lana Orwig. He is survived by his daughter: Dana Bell of Pontiac, IL; his brothers: Jim Bell of Normal, IL, Darrell Bell of Chatsworth, IL, Larry Bell of Forrest, IL, and Jerry Bell of Advance, MO; his sisters: Shirley Durham, Sue Kurtenbach, and Glenda Faye Baker all of Chatsworth, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents, and four sisters: Verna Humphrey, Ruth Cantrell, Brenda Bell and Peggy Higgins; two brothers: Gene and Ivan Bell. Gary served his country in the United States Army Gary was a truck driver all his life. He retired several years ago and decided to return and had been working for Trainor Grain. He enjoyed boating and being on the road. Gary was a loving dad, brother, and uncle who will be greatly missed.

Gary P. Bell

Obit of Ounita (Tayler) Kimmel

Ounita Kimmel, 95, of Forrest, IL passed away at 9:58 m on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at her home. According to her wishes cremation rites will be accorded and no services will be held. Inurnment will be held at a later date at West Lawn Cemetery in Cullom. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Forrest is handling arrangements for the family. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Midwest Affiliate or Muscular Dystrophy Association. Ounita was born June 11, 1922 in Gilman, IL, a daughter of Loren and Delia (Brenneisen) Tayler. She married Dale Kimmel in 1951. He passed away in 1985. She is survived by her son: Kevin (Debb) Kimmel of Forrest, IL and their children: Jessica (Jason) Niemann, Kari (Jon) Bettisch, Brittany (Scott) Ziller and their children: Ayden and Ethan, Kailea Dunn and her daughter Channing, and Travis (Erin) Weller and their daughter: Kylie; her step daughter: Rita (Ted) Dunn and her family; and one brother: Jerry Tayler from Colorado. Ounita was preceded in death by her parents; husband; children: Rick, Jim, and Lorna; and one grandson: Kyle Kimmel. Ounita could operate anything from sewing needles to hammers, wiring houses, or making doll houses. She was a resourceful woman who was full of life. She was a loving mother and sister who will be greatly missed.

Thursday, January 4, 2018




WED., JAN. 17, 2018



Chicken Noodle, Potato and Chili Soups
Assorted Breads, Relishes and Dessert
Carry-outs Available at the door.

Proceeds to fund 2018 Heritage Days entertainment.
Contact - 815-674-0639



12 OZ. RIBEYE - $18

WED., JAN. 31, 2018






Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Obit of Margaret Mary (Lasics) Stadler

Margaret Mary Stadler, 78, of Chatsworth, died at 5:57 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 23, 2017) at her home. A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Chatsworth with Father Richard Brunskill officiating. Inurnment will follow at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Chatsworth. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Chatsworth, is handling arrangements for the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to HOPE Church, Livingston County Animal Shelter or a charity of the donor’s choice. Margaret was born May 20, 1939, in East Chicago, Ind., a daughter of John and Kathryn (Toth) Lasics. She married Robert J. Stadler on Sept. 16, 1961, in Griffith, Ind. He died on July 4, 1983. She is survived by her children, Laura, John, Nancy and Tom Stadler all of Chatsworth; nieces and nephews, Donny, Margie and Susie Stadler; and Ian and Adam Lasics; and one sister-in-law, Joyce Lasics of Munster, Ind. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sister, Kathryn (Don) Stadler; brother, John Lasics Jr.; and one nephew, Jimmy Stadler. 
Margaret worked for Henald Manufacturing for several years in the assembly department in Piper City. She was a member of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church. She enjoyed sewing, decorating church, jigsaw puzzles, cats and exercise. She was a loving mom, sister, aunt and cousin who will be greatly missed. This obituary may be viewed and condolences sent to the family at