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Around The Burg

Weather

Friday: Windy. High 52. Low 38.

Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 49. Low 33. 

Sunday: Sunny. High 53. Low 34. 



Mark Your Calendar

Friday, Feb. 9 Lions 76th Pancake Day, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 120 N. Kellogg St. Adults $10, children 12 and under $5.  Tickets available at the door or from any Lions member. For more information email  galesburgnoonlions@gmail.com


Community Foundation

High school seniors and college students from the region can apply for scholarships through Galesburg Community Foundation from February 1 to March 1 at yourgcf.org/scholarships.

The Community Foundation offers ten scholarships, and each has its own criteria. To apply, students fill out an online application, which will match them with the scholarships for which they meet the eligibility requirements.

Awards can be applied toward educational expenses and will be sent to the designated school. “Through these scholarships, generous individuals are helping students pursue their dreams, which is good for our communities,” said Jillian Isaacson, Director of Grants & Programs at Galesburg Community Foundation.

Below are the scholarships that can be applied for through the Galesburg Community Foundation.

Becky Carlson Scholarship

Applicants must be a United High School or Monmouth-Roseville High School senior and have participated in the Special Education Program as K-12 student.

Cole Steele Memorial Scholarship

Applicants must be a Knoxville High School senior interested in pursuing an education in a vocational program. Students having a background or experience in agriculture will be given additional consideration.

Dolores M. Ryner Business Scholarship

Galesburg High School seniors that have taken a business course and plan to major in a business-related field in college are eligible for this scholarship. The student must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The scholarship is renewable for up to 4 years.

Helen H. Wetherbee Nursing Scholarship

Applicants must be accepted into a school of nursing or currently studying under a nursing program. This scholarship is open to Knox and Warren County area students.

John E. Bohan Excellence in Athletics Scholarship

This scholarship is open to senior athletes from United High School and Monmouth-Roseville High School who have been accepted into a collegiate program of study. Preference is given to United High School football players.

Lyle Pierce Athletic and Leadership Scholarship

Applicants must be Warren County high school students that demonstrate leadership and perseverance on and off the playing field. Applicants must have participated in athletics and plan to attend a four-year college or university and major in education.

Millie Martin Memorial Academic Achievement Award

This award is presented each year to the female student graduating from ROWVA High School with the highest grade point average. No written or online application needed.

Oneida Telephone Exchange Scholarship

Applicants must be ROWVA High School seniors. Eligible applicant families must be in good standing with the Oneida Telephone Exchange Coop and/or Oneida Networks Services.

Steve McBride Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to two graduates of United High School who are residents of North Henderson, Suez, Kelly, or Spring Grove townships. Applicants are evaluated based on written application and in-person interviews with the Steve McBride Scholarship committee. The award is given to the most deserving seniors at United High School.

Verna May Sargent Scholarship

Applicants must be a Galesburg High School senior who participated in music education in high school and plan to major in music or a music-related field in college. Preference will be given to those who have an emphasis in voice.


Congress

Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) released his 2023 Year-End Report, highlighting his office’s work to invest in Central and Northwestern Illinois by making the region more sustainable for generations to come, keeping communities safe and healthy, and making government work for working and middle-class families.  

“I love where we live, and I love our communities here in Central and Northwestern Illinois. We have a special way of life and I’m dedicated to working each and every day to improve the lives of families here,” said Sorensen. “As your ‘good neighbor in Congress’, my job is to make sure that our communities are sustainable for our children and our grandchildren, that our families are safe and healthy, and that our government works for you. We have a long way to go, but I’m proud of what we accomplished in year one.” 

Sorensen’s report outlines how his office made progress on issues that matter most to families in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, like lowering costs, creating good-paying jobs, and building safer communities. 

Among the accomplishments highlighted in the report, Sorensen is highlighting the following wins: 

Making Government Work for Illinois 

  • Returning $810,597 to constituents and local businesses in overdue tax returns, Social Security benefits, student loans, veterans’ benefits, and more. 

  • Resolving 818 constituent cases, helping Illinoisans with issues related to federal agencies, which include the IRS, Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and more. 

Delivering Bipartisan Results 

  • Passing the bipartisan DOE and NASA Interagency Research Coordination Act in the House of Representatives – This was one of 11 pieces of legislation Sorensen introduced in 2023. 

  • Cosponsoring 149 bills, with over 75 percent being bipartisan. 

  • Casting 706 votes on the House floor, making sure Central and Northwestern Illinois residents have their voices heard on every important issue. 

  • Securing six amendments in House legislation to address issues like keeping jobs at the Peoria Air National Guard base and bringing manufacturing jobs to our region to develop new military technologies.  

  • Getting 14 community projects for Central and Northwestern Illinois included in appropriations legislation, which includes $846,910 to support police training in Winnebago County, $75 million to revolutionize our river infrastructure and bring farmers’ goods to market faster.  

  • Attending 47 committee hearings and legislative markups, where Sorensen made sure to voice Illinois priorities and found ways that the government can better deliver for Illinois working families. 

  • Joined 13 caucuses, including the Pro-Choice Caucus and Congressional Labor Caucus. 

Being a Good Neighbor  

  • Responding to over 30,000 constituent messages—communicating with an average of nearly 81 Illinoisans each day. 

  • Hosting 729 conversations and meetings with constituents, stakeholders, and community leaders.  


OSLAD Grant

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced the award of $54.9 million in Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Grants to 111 local park projects in Illinois.

Included in the awards announced is $500,000 for the City of Galesburg to develop a new park on the southwest side of the city at 652 West Second Street (location of the former Cookie Elementary School).

The total project cost is approximately $1,000,000 with the OSLAD grant providing $500,000 or 50 percent of the cost. The proposed park development includes the creation of a trailhead, playground, picnic shelter, pathway for accessibility, parking area, restroom, trees, and other native plants. 

The City of Galesburg was also a recipient of OSLAD Grants in 2022 and 2023 for improvements to H.T. Custer Park and Lancaster Park. Those projects are underway, with the parking area, walking path, and new playground completed at H.T. Custer this past fall, and the new shelter and restroom slated to be completed in the spring. The Lancaster Park improvements are in the design phase. Construction is expected to being in the spring, and will include a shelter, parking area, accessible path, new playground, and half basketball court. 


Parks and Recreation

The Director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Galesburg, Elizabeth Varner, retired from the city for the second time on February 2. Varner has devoted over 33 years of service to the City of Galesburg, serving as a Recreation Supervisor for over 30 years before her retirement in 2018. In 2022, Varner returned from retirement to lead the department as the Director of Parks and Recreation. 

Notable achievements during Varner’s leadership include the award of OSLAD Grants for park improvements at Lancaster Park, and a park development on the southwest side of Galesburg. She also coordinated implementation of improvements to H.T. Custer Park, also funded by an OSLAD Grant. Extensive exterior and structural repairs to Hawthorne Municipal Pool have also been achieved during Varner’s term as director, allowing continuation of aquatic programming at the facility. 

Congratulations Varner on your retirement!

The City of Galesburg is currenting recruiting to fill the position of Director of Parks and Recreation. 


Project Labor Agreements

Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17), a member of the Congressional Labor Caucus, is applauding an executive order that requires project labor agreements (PLAs) to be used for federal construction projects, ensuring federal tax dollars support union jobs. This announcement comes after Sorensen urged the administration to implement the order late last year. 

“Illinois tax dollars should support good-paying, union jobs across our region. By making sure federal construction projects benefit from project labor agreements, we are putting Illinois workers first,” said Sorensen. “I’m proud to stand alongside the men and women who built this country and the middle-class, and I look forward to being a trusted voice for our unions.”   

“The Biden administration’s announcement requiring Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for large-scale federal construction projects is a huge win for Illinois working families,” said Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea. “PLAs are a time-tested tool to guarantee that highly trained workers are hired and their wages stay in our communities. PLA’s protect workers and our communities by ensuring safety standards are upheld and are an investment in our local workforce. We are grateful to work with Congressman Sorensen who tirelessly advocated for this policy on behalf of working Illinoisans.” 

“PLAs are effective mechanisms for controlling construction costs, ensuring efficient completion of projects on time and within budget. PLAs establish fair wages and benefits for all workers on these projects. They also set a level playing field for all contractors bidding on the project. PLAs also help ensure worker health and safety programs. PLAs also promote hiring a local labor workforce. With the money that will be earned and spent there keeping the local economy thriving,” said Cory Bergfeld, President of the Tri City Building Trades Council. 

“I applaud Congressman Eric Sorensen for his advocacy to require Project Labor Agreements for large-scale federal construction projects,” said Dan Gosa, President of the Quad City Federation of Labor. “This recent announcement is a huge win for Illinois workers, and will ensure we are supporting good, accessible jobs in our region for years to come.” 

The Biden Administration recently announced that federal agencies would be required to use PLAs for large-scale federal construction projects. PLAs are collective bargaining agreements between unions and contractors. By governing the terms of agreement surrounding projects, PLAs ensure that workers receive fair wages, adequate benefits, and safer workplace conditions. PLAs also protect taxpayers by eliminating costly delays due to labor conflicts or shortages of skilled workers. 

Since entering Congress last year, Sorensen has been an advocate for the American worker by:  

  • Helping introduce the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to push back against anti-worker laws and protect workers’ right to organize, and speaking on the House floor urging for its passage.  

  • Standing with Northern Illinois UAW workers at the Belvidere Assembly Plant outside Rockford to show support as they negotiated with the big automotive companies. 

  • Cosponsoring the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act, which would deny employers a tax deduction for expenses incurred while attempting to influence employees’ labor organization activities. 

  • Helping introduce the Striking and Locked Out Workers Healthcare Protection Act to prohibit an employer from terminating an employee's health insurance coverage during a lockout. 


QUIET Act

Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) along with Congressman Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) introduced the bipartisan Quashing Unwanted and Interruptive Electronic Telecommunications (QUIET) Act, which requires robocallers to disclose when artificial intelligence (AI) technology is used and increases penalties for violators who use AI to impersonate individuals. 

“These scammers are getting better at tricking seniors and working families into handing over billions of dollars in theft each year,” said Sorensen. “My QUIET Act cracks down on bad actors using technology to impersonate human voices, so we can better protect our neighbors and loved ones. To keep Americans safe, we need to stay one step ahead of these criminals.” 

“With the advancement of technology, robocalls have turned from an occasional nuisance to a tool utilized by bad actors looking to defraud Arizonans,” said Ciscomani. “Now, with the integration of AI, they have the power to be more deceptive than ever. I’m proud to be partnering with Congressman Sorensen on the QUIET Act to cut down on fraudulent robocalls and protect our communities from malicious scams like these.” 

“I’m grateful for Rep. Sorensen’s work to crack down on illegal robocallers and scammers using artificial intelligence to emulate a person — a reprehensible use of this technology that often targets older Americans who are vulnerable to these kinds of scams,” said House Committee on Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone (NJ-06).

“Americans are fed up with receiving these non-stop calls and texts, and I look forward to our work ahead to get this bill signed into law.” 

The QUIET Act will also increase penalties for violators who use AI to impersonate individuals or entities with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. This would build on the TRACED Act, which was passed and signed into law in 2019. 

The bill is being introduced as a part of a larger package sponsored by House Committee on Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone called the Do Not Disturb Act, comprehensive legislation to protect consumers from the bombardment of dangerous and unwanted calls and texts. 

Since entering Congress, Sorensen has made ending scam robocalls and robotexts a top priority. In June of 2023, Sorensen led 35 of his colleagues in requesting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provide plans to address scam robocalls and texts, which heavily target seniors. 


Readings, Reiki and Gems

On February 1 Readings, Reiki and Gems opened at 93 South Seminary Street. Their hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Tax Cut

Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) helped pass the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, a bipartisan tax reform package that will lower taxes for working families and small businesses. 

The bipartisan bill would expand the Child Tax Credit and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, incentivize U.S. innovation, and lower taxes for small businesses. Sorensen secured provisions in this bill that he introduced in his Plan to Cut Costs for Working Families last year.

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act includes an expanded Child Tax Credit that will help 50,000 children across Illinois 17th Congressional District in its first year. 

“I hear from my neighbors in Central and Northwestern Illinois who are struggling to pay for groceries, childcare, and other basic living expenses,” said Sorensen. “This bipartisan tax bill provides relief for middle-class families and small businesses when they need it most. I was proud to see numerous provisions I fought for from my Plan to Cut Costs for Working Families as a part of this critical legislation. I urge the Senate to quickly pass this bipartisan bill so we can put money back in the pockets of hardworking families.”  

In September of 2023, Sorensen released his Plan to Cut Costs for Working Families, where he proposed plans to reform the tax code to reduce prices for everyday goods, support small businesses, and grow the middle class.    


Western Illinois University

This spring, Western Illinois University students will have the opportunity to attend career and internship fairs provided by the WIU Career Center and various academic departments. These fairs are free for job seekers and offer valuable opportunities for students and alumni seeking information about local and regional organizations.

“Western is proud to host multiple opportunities for students and alumni to connect with organizations that are seeking high-quality talent for a variety of roles. The one-on-one interactions that take place at career fairs allow both the employer and job seeker to begin developing a relationship and see if it is a good professional fit,” WIU Executive Director of the Career Center and QC Outreach Audrey Adamson said.

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Macomb: Summer Opportunities Fair

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 1-4 p.m. in the Quad Cities: QC Colleges Career Expo

Friday, March 1, 3-5 p.m. on Handshake: International Student Virtual Career Fair

Friday, March 8, 1-3p.m. in Macomb: Education Career Fair

Wednesday, March 13, 3:30-6 p.m. on Handshake: Virtual Education Career Fair

Tuesday, March 19, noon-3:30 p.m. in Macomb: All-Majors Career and Internship Fair

Tuesday, April 24, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. in Macomb: LEJA Career Fair

For more information or to register as an employer or attendee, visit wiu.edu/careers/careerfairs, or email careers@wiu.edu.


Wrestling

On January 27 eight members of the Galesburg High School girls wresting team advanced to the sectional.

Galesburg finished second in the team standings with 155 points. Geneseo finished first with 205 points. 

Winning regional championships for the Streaks were Annalisa Gibbons and Eliana Juarez. 

Juarez placed first at 115 pounds and Gibbons placed first at 140 pounds. 

The following students also qualified:

Hannah Almendarez placed second at 100 pounds.

Emylee Miller placed second at 105 pounds. 

Lilliana Burns placed third at 245 pounds. 

Isabella Rivera placed fourth at 190 pounds.

Amyah Pruitt placed sixth at 135 pounds.

Andrea Morales placed sixth at 145 pounds. 


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