erik-malmgren
Author

Erik Malmgren | Correspondent

Erik Malmgren is a Mail Correspondent covering the Mackinaw, Deer Creek and Heritage Lake communities. He moved to Mackinaw in the summer of 2019, and is an avid reader, and bluegrass enthusiast.

 


1 Way Kidz
Area Roundup

1 Way Kidz

At the Mackinaw Community Center, New Castle Bible Church presents “1 Way Kidz”. Children in the Mackinaw area are invited to come hang out at the Community Center and enjoy games, activities, and friends. Kids will be well supervised and cared for in a safe environment with lunch included every day. This event runs every Monday and Wednesday from 10:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Registration is easy at myncbc.org.  READ MORE...

Area Roundup  |  July 17, 2022
Concert in the Vineyards

Concert in the Vineyards

On Saturday, July 23rd, the Concert in the Vineyards Series presents “Sushi Roll”, a high energy cover band that plays everyone’s favorite hits from Bruno Mars to Rick Springfield. Concert starts at 7:00 P.M. and runs through until 11:00 P.M. No advance tickets, $10 per person at the door.

Area Roundup  |  July 17, 2022
Drizzledabs 3rd Annual Float

Drizzledabs 3rd Annual Float

On Saturday, July 30th at 10:30 A.M., starting at the Dee-Mack bridge is “Drizzledabs 3rd Annual Float". Floaters provide their own floats whether it be a tube, kayak, paddleboard, or canoe for a 3 hour float trip with shuttles provided. Floaters are then invited to Pub 52 for live entertainment, food and drink specials, 50/50 door prizes, and a grand prize drawing for a kayak. Registration can be found on Eventzilla.net.

Local News  |  July 17, 2022
Lions Club and Dee-Mack Boosters Announce Golf Outing

Lions Club and Dee-Mack Boosters Announce Golf Outing

Grab your clubs and finest Higdon hat for the Mackinaw Lions Club Golf Outing at Quail Meadows Golf Course in Washington, on Saturday, August 13th. $90 per person covers green fees, a golf cart, and lunch at the course starting at 11:30 A.M. prior to tee off. Golfers can form their own team of 4 or sign up individually and be assigned to a team. 

Local News  |  July 17, 2022
New Restaurant Opens in Mackinaw

New Restaurant Opens in Mackinaw

Mackinaw gained a new restaurant with the opening of Eddy’s Kitchen Family Restaurant on June 28th. Providing a wide variety of menu options for breakfast and lunch, local residents are sure to find something delectable that will make Eddy’s a community staple. Chef Eddy’s wife, Iris, tells The Mail how Eddy’s Kitchen Family Restaurant came to fruition. 

Area Roundup  |  July 10, 2022
Art and Wine Festival

Art and Wine Festival

Sunday, July 17th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting their Art and Wine Festival from 12:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. Cars of all kinds will be available for viewing, crafts, and live music.

Area Roundup  |  July 10, 2022
Community Church in the Park

Community Church in the Park

Community Church in the Park: Hosted by New Castle Bible Church in Mackinaw's Veterans Park at 100 East Fast Avenue on Sunday, July 17th. Service starts at 11:00 A.M. Bring a lawn chair!

Local News  |  July 10, 2022
Dee-Mack Wrestling Hosts Open Gym Nights

Dee-Mack Wrestling Hosts Open Gym Nights

In preparation for a rapidly approaching wrestling season, the Dee-Mack wrestling program has decided to host “Open Gym Practices” every Tuesday and Thursday this summer, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. During the open gym practices, aspiring wrestlers of any age and ability level will have the opportunity to practice with both senior wrestlers and Dee-Mack coaches. Practices will run like a typical practice during the wrestling season and will consist of a warm up routine and then work on basic fundamentals of the sport.

Area Roundup  |  July 10, 2022
Good Pantry Days

Good Pantry Days

Wednesday evenings are Good Pantry Days at the Mackinaw Community Center from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Donation drop offs are also accepted during this time.

Area Roundup  |  July 10, 2022
Mack-a-Fest Begins

Mack-a-Fest Begins

The Mack-A-Fest begins on July 14th at 5:00 P.M. and ends Saturday, July 16th at 10:00 P.M. Dozens of activities will be available, as well as a food vendor and beer tent. Don't miss out!

Top Story  |  July 10, 2022
A Night Out With the Stanford Police

A Night Out With the Stanford Police

Honestly, I was a bit surprised to receive an invite for a ride-along from Stanford Police Chief Dustin Carter. While Chief Carter has shown himself to be more than willing to work with local media - I’ve spoken with him a few different times on past articles - it’s quite the jump to go from answering press questions over email to inviting the local media into a squad vehicle to see what police see. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. After finalizing a date and then having to take a rain check due to my pesky full time job, we settled on meeting at the Stanford Town Hall at 4:00 P.M. on Saturday, July 2nd.

Area Roundup  |  July 3, 2022
1Way Kidz

1Way Kidz

Beginning July 6th, from 10:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Mackinaw area kids are encouraged to hang out at the Mackinaw Community Center for games, activities, bible lessons, and socializing. Kids will be well-supervised in a safe environment. Lunch is provided and it’s all free. Register at MyNCBC.org

Area Roundup  |  July 3, 2022
Fireworks at Brock Lake

Fireworks at Brock Lake

July 4th fireworks will be at Brock Lake starting around dusk. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on and enjoy the show!

Area Roundup  |  July 3, 2022
Mackinaw Valley Wine Run 5k

Mackinaw Valley Wine Run 5k

Sunday, July 24th, the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting The Mackinaw Valley Wine Run 5k at 9:00 A.M. Whether you love running, walking, or wine, this event is for you. More details can be found on the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard website.

Local News  |  July 3, 2022
Offering Help for Those in Need

Offering Help for Those in Need

When it comes to helping local residents in need, the Mackinaw Community Center Food Pantry is stepping in to help in a big way. Located in the Mackinaw Community Center at 101 S. Orchard St, the organization is currently ramping up their efforts as need in the community grows. This week, pantry board members invited The Mail to come down and check out their operation in the hopes of getting the word out about the big plans that are in the works.

Local News  |  July 3, 2022
Staycation Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

Staycation Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

During a time when the price of, well, pretty much everything keeps increasing, many families find themselves feeling like long and luxurious vacations are simply out of the picture. Instead, many families are opting for a “staycation” - a smaller trip, or multiple small trips, closer to home. A staycation can drastically cut the cost of fuel and lodging, while also providing an opportunity to learn about the places that are closer to home that one might otherwise have passed up. If you’re feeling like that trip to the Gulf of Mexico or beyond just isn’t in the budget this year, here are some ideas for smaller trips within state lines:

Top Story  |  June 26, 2022
Police Respond to Attempted Child Abduction

Police Respond to Attempted Child Abduction

Residents of Armington were shaken up last week with reports of an attempted child abduction on Wednesday, June 16th. A social media post gained area-wide attention stating that an officer from the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department had approached residents seeking information relating to the incident that happened in the town park. While details on the incident are sparse at this time, one source familiar with the investigation tells The Mail that multiple police agencies responded to the area to investigate the report.

Local News  |  June 26, 2022
Food Banks Help Address Summer Hunger

Food Banks Help Address Summer Hunger

Schools may be out of session and concerns about grades may be temporarily abated, for many students, this is the season of “Summer Hunger”. For kids who rely on school meals for the majority of their nourishment during the school year, summer can quickly turn into 3 months of hunger and tension. Past research shows that family grocery costs can increase as much as $300 a month during the summer. In the Summer of 2022, one might expect those increased costs to rise even further, leaving many low-income families in a precarious situation.

Area Roundup  |  June 26, 2022
JFL Cheer Camp

JFL Cheer Camp

Tuesday, July 5th, at 5:30 P.M. through July 8th at 7:30 P.M. The Dee Mack JFL Cheer Camp is being held at Brock Lake. For complete information, contact Mindy Marshall at mindy61554@gmail.com

Area Roundup  |  June 26, 2022
Legion Presents Craig Gerdes

Legion Presents Craig Gerdes

Starting at 6:00 P.M. on Thursday, June 30, The American Legion presents the music of Craig Gerdes. No cover to attend.

Area Roundup  |  June 26, 2022
Vineyard Concert Series

Vineyard Concert Series

Saturday, July 9th, from 7:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard presents “Revel in Red” as part of their Summer Concert Series. $5 per person, 12 and under are free.

Area Roundup  |  June 19, 2022
Back Seat Radio Plays the Vineyard

Back Seat Radio Plays the Vineyard

Saturday, June 25th, the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard presents Backseat Radio as part of their Concert in the Vineyard Series. Backseat Radio provides high energy dancing music with their mix of Pop and Rock hits. Admission is $5 per person while free for those 12 and younger.

Area Roundup  |  June 19, 2022
Benefit for Brian Waldon

Benefit for Brian Waldon

Saturday, July 9th, the Deer Creek American Legion is hosting a benefit for Brian Waldon. Brian lost his eyesight after 2 strokes last fall and will need long term care. The action starts at 1:00 P.M. and will continue until at least 11:00 P.M

Local News  |  June 19, 2022
Community Rallies for Team Reed

Community Rallies for Team Reed

In April 2019, Reed Fry was diagnosed with cancer. With local communities rallying around the young man, Reed fought against his ailment and eventually won. Last month, the 13 year old and his family received more bad news: Reed’s cancer is back. In light of the news, local communities once again rally around the Fry family in an attempt to make Reed’s fight as comfortable as possible. 

Local News  |  June 19, 2022
Teen Assailants Appear Before Judge

Teen Assailants Appear Before Judge

The alleged teen assailants in the assault against Danny Hale in the Mackinaw Casey’s parking lot that occurred on the evening of May 12th have had their first appearance in court last week. 4 adult teens were arrested by Mackinaw Police following the alleged assault, along with an unnamed teenage minor. The 4 adults: Blake Huffman, Ryan Robertson, Jorge Santana, and Jacob Ragon were transported to the Tazewell County Jail and charged with Mob Action and Aggravated Battery of a Senior Citizen, the last charge could possibly be upgraded to a Class 2 Felony.

Area Roundup  |  June 12, 2022
Benefit for Brian Waldon

Benefit for Brian Waldon

On Saturday, July 9th, from 1:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. A benefit is being held for local resident Brian Waldon at The Deer Creek American Legion. Come enjoy live music, a bags tournament, and raffle drawings. 

Area Roundup  |  June 12, 2022
Concert in the Vineyard

Concert in the Vineyard

Saturday, June 17th, at 7:00 P.M. The Mackinaw Valley Vineyards presents Jammsammich for their 2nd “Concert in the Vineyard” event. No advance ticket sales, pay at the door.

Local News  |  June 12, 2022
Local Group Takes Aim at Windmill Farms

Local Group Takes Aim at Windmill Farms

Tazewell County residents gathered at the Tazewell County Justice Center in Pekin on Wednesday and Thursday of last week to voice their opposition to the proposed windmill farms, known as the Rail Splitter 2. Since the proposal of the windmill farm, an opposition group has formed, known as the United Citizens of Tazewell County (UCTC). As part of their efforts, the UCTC has hired counsel who was allowed 90 minutes to make opening statements on Tuesday evening. During that time, the attorney spoke about the important issues as seen by UCTC. In short, these issues come down to the distance between homes and each individual windmill, along with wanting improvements made to sound limits, shadow flickers which results in a strobe light effect to those who may live in the shadows of windmills, along with addressing the red strobe lights that rest atop the windmills. The group hopes to succeed in being granted a moratorium on development, to grant more time for further research into the impact the windmill farm will have on local residents.

Area Roundup  |  June 12, 2022
Paint With Tony

Paint With Tony

Thursday, June 23rd, the Mackinaw Public Library presents “Paint with Tony”, a night of painting with local artist Tony Johnson. The event is being held at the Mackinaw Community Center and starts at 6:30 P.M.

Top Story  |  June 12, 2022
Local Resident Takes Ride on Honor Flight

Local Resident Takes Ride on Honor Flight

Waynesville native Al Furman was recently recognized for his service to the country by a group known as the Honor Flight Network. The national group selects men and women who have served in the U.S. military, and flies them to Washington D.C. for an exciting day seeing the nation’s memorials and experiencing the gratitude and appreciation of a thankful country. “I’d been asked to go in the past”, Al tells The Mail, “but I’d always thought it was more appropriate to let the ‘older guys’ go ahead of me. But, I’m 81 now. So I guess it was just my turn.”

Area Roundup  |  June 5, 2022
28th Annual Canoe Float

28th Annual Canoe Float

28th Annual Canoe Float for the Kids of St. Jude - Saturday, June 11th at the Deer Creek American Legion. Sign up from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. $25 per person includes a t-shirt and food. Contact (309) 447-6776 for more details.

Area Roundup  |  June 5, 2022
Back Seat Radio Plays the Vineyard

Back Seat Radio Plays the Vineyard

Saturday, June 25th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard presents Backseat Radio - a 4 person band playing all the chart toppers from today and yesteryear. $5 per person, 12 and under are free.

Local News  |  June 5, 2022
Benefit for Brian Waldon

Benefit for Brian Waldon

Last fall, local business owner Brian Waldon suffered 2 massive strokes that took his vision and impaired his memory. Unable to continue working, Brian fell under the care of his mother and father. Despite help from his family, Brian’s medical bills kept piling up - the 2 largest total over $500,000 -the Waldon family knew that it was time to act accordingly. With the help of the Deer Creek American Legion, a benefit is being planned. 

Top Story  |  June 5, 2022
Shooting in Uvalde: Are We Prepared?

Shooting in Uvalde: Are We Prepared?

On Tuesday, May 24th, 18 year old Salvador Ramos entered Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde Texas, armed with a rifle and pistol. Reportedly carrying 1,600 rounds of ammunition, Ramos went on an hour-long shooting spree that left 19 students and 2 teachers dead, while also wounding over a dozen others. Ramos was eventually shot dead by Border Patrol agents who entered the school; of their own accord, while Uvalde police forces remained inactive in a nearby parking lot. The lack of police action on that day has left Americans struggling to answer certain questions, the main question being “What can we expect from local police if a similar event happens in my town?” However, to even start to answer those types of questions, it is worth becoming familiar with procedures currently in place within law enforcement entities.

Area Roundup  |  June 5, 2022
Yard Waste Pickup Day

Yard Waste Pickup Day

Monday, June 13th is the next Yard Waste pickup day in Mackinaw. Have your bags of dry landscape out on the curb by 6:00 A.M. and city workers will do the rest.

Local News  |  May 29, 2022
After School Program Fills Community Needs

After School Program Fills Community Needs

Busy parents looking for a faith based after school program need look no further than New Castle Bible Church. Located on Dee-Mac road, between Mackinaw and Deer Creek, the church has opened its doors to school aged children who are in need of a safe place to hang out after school. The Mail spoke with Program Director Melanie Burge to find out a little more.

Area Roundup  |  May 29, 2022
Benefit for Brian Waldon

Benefit for Brian Waldon

On Saturday, July 9th, from 1:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. A benefit is being held for local resident Brian Waldon at The Deer Creek American Legion. Come enjoy live music, a bags tournament, and raffle drawings. 

Area Roundup  |  May 29, 2022
Concert at the Vineyard

Concert at the Vineyard

Saturday, June 4th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard presents “Concert at the Vineyard - Decade of Decadence”, a look back to the most popular music of the 80’s. Bring your own snacks, just no beverages of any kind. $5 per person.

Top Story  |  May 29, 2022
Poppies Bloom for Memorial Day

Poppies Bloom for Memorial Day

Every year Americans take time out of their busy lives to acknowledge Memorial Day, a holiday enacted, originally, to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice during our civil war that raged from 1861 to 1865. Originally known as “Decoration Day”, American citizens were encouraged to visit the graves of those who fell at battles such as Bull Run, Antietam, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg. In modern times, “Decoration Day” has turned into “Memorial Day” and is meant to honor the American citizens who have fallen in all American wars. Proof of the evolution of this holiday can easily be seen with the prevalence of the Red Poppy. 

Area Roundup  |  May 22, 2022
Early Dismissal

Early Dismissal

On Thursday, May 26, Dee-Mack schools will be letting students out at 1:30 P.M.

Top Story  |  May 22, 2022
Local Youth Grabs Gold

Local Youth Grabs Gold

Local teen Jadon Nafziger traveled with his family to Hillsdale, Michigan last weekend to compete in the National Junior Paralympics Regional Championships, where he brought home the gold medal for precision shooting. Jadon competed in the under 15 para standing precision air rifle event over the course of 3 days, shooting twice in competition. This week, The Mail was granted exclusive access to The Champ to find out more.

Area Roundup  |  May 22, 2022
Music, Wine, and Craft Beer Festival

Music, Wine, and Craft Beer Festival

Saturday, May 28th, the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will be hosting a Music, Wine, and Craft Beer Festival from 11:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. and then again on Sunday May 29th from 12:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. The event includes live music both days and will be held rain or shine. $15 per person.

Local News  |  May 22, 2022
Teen Assailants Are Well Known to Area Police

Teen Assailants Are Well Known to Area Police

More information has been uncovered about the criminal histories of the young men who allegedly assaulted Danny Hale at Casey’s gas station on the evening of Wednesday, May 11th. Court documents obtained by The Mail show that the assailants are well known to local police.

Area Roundup  |  May 22, 2022
Yard Waste Pickup Day

Yard Waste Pickup Day

Monday, May 23rd is the official Yard Waste Pickup Day for Mackinaw. Dry landscape waste bags must be placed out at the curb by 6:00 a.m. on the day it is to be collected.  Pick-up will occur on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

Top Story  |  May 15, 2022
Assault at Casey's Leads to Arrests

Assault at Casey's Leads to Arrests

A large altercation involving multiple teenagers occurred at Casey’s gas station, in Mackinaw on Wednesday, that lead to the arrests of 4 teenagers by the Mackinaw Police Department. Some time that evening, the teens exited the gas station and created a disturbance in the parking lot, at one point surrounding the vehicle of a 31 year old mother who had chided the teens for their misbehavior, witnesses say. At one point, the teens indicated that they were willing to resort to violence, however, local resident Danny Hale stepped in. 

Area Roundup  |  May 15, 2022
Decade of Decadence

Decade of Decadence

Saturday, June 4th, from 7:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard presents “Concert at the Vineyard - Decade of Decadence”, a tribute to 80’s Hair Band era. Tickets are $5 per person, no advance tickets available.

Area Roundup  |  May 15, 2022
Honky Tonk Happy Hour

Honky Tonk Happy Hour

Thursday, May 19th, the Deer Creek American Legion is hosting K&R Country for Honky Tonk Happy Hour. The event starts at 11:00 P.M.

Local News  |  May 15, 2022
Rural Route One Meat Company

Rural Route One Meat Company

Though Rural Route One Meat Company is fairly new, the company is built off of generations of experience. Starting with Randy and Marj who, in 1976, started a hog farm on Rural Route One, the knowledge of farming has stayed in the family. However, like many businesses, 2020 proved to be a tough year. Emily Schmidgall explains, “It was through the struggle of 2020 that Rural Route One Meat Company was established. Because of several supply chain difficulties, our farm was unable to sell pork to our standard buyers. Our family and friends observed this struggle and wanted to help alleviate the load by purchasing pork direct from our farm rather than their usual outlets. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive as customers enjoyed not only the taste and quality of the product, but also the ability to buy and support local farmers.”

Area Roundup  |  May 15, 2022
Spring Clean up Day

Spring Clean up Day

Reminder: Saturday, May 21st is Mackinaw’s Spring Clean Up Day. Items for disposal must be on the curb by 6:00 A.M. More requirements can be found at mackinawil.gov under the “Upcoming Events” section.

Area Roundup  |  May 8, 2022
Colt Ball and Stumpy Joe

Colt Ball and Stumpy Joe

On Thursday, May 12th, at 6:00 P.M. The Deer Creek American Legion presents Colt Ball and Stumpy Joe “Bendin’ Strings and Tapping Toes”. Head on down for a healthy portion of Feel Good Music!

Area Roundup  |  May 8, 2022
Spring Clean up Day

Spring Clean up Day

Saturday, May 21st, is Spring Clean Up Day in Mackinaw. Items intended for pickup must be on the curb by 6:00 A.M. and must be able to be loaded by 2 men. Please see mackinawil.gov for more restrictions.

Local News  |  May 8, 2022
Local Schools Make the Grade

Local Schools Make the Grade

Local News  |  May 8, 2022
Meet Deer Creek’s New Police Chief

Meet Deer Creek’s New Police Chief

The Village of Deer Creek gained a new police chief last week after former Chief Brad Potts retired. Potts will be replaced by Dr. Bill Lally. Lally was sworn in at the Deer Creek Community Center on Sunday, May 1st, during a public gathering known as “Coffee with a Cop”. Besides the swearing in ceremony, attendees were able to see a county K-9 and its handler, take a fun mugshot, sit inside a squad car, and even try on a police vest and other gear. 

Top Story  |  May 1, 2022
Local Born Songwriter Turns Children's Author

Local Born Songwriter Turns Children's Author

If you could go back 5 years to ask Atlanta native Jimmie Barr if he was ever going to author a children’s book, the answer would have been a resounding “No”. While Jimmie was no stranger to written word - he had been writing music for quite some time and even has an award or two under his belt, the thought of writing a book had never seriously crossed his mind. However, when the family added another member in the form of daughter Carlee, Jimmie was inspired.

Area Roundup  |  May 1, 2022
K&R Country at the Legion

K&R Country at the Legion

Thursday, May 19th, the Mackinaw American Legion welcomes the band known as K&R Country. Show starts at 11:00 P.M.

Area Roundup  |  May 1, 2022
Mother’s Day Masterpiece Painting Class

Mother’s Day Masterpiece Painting Class

Sunday, May 8th, from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.MThe Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting a Mother’s Day Masterpiece Painting Class. Take your Mother out for wine flights and a painting class. Check the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard website for more details.

Local News  |  May 1, 2022
Sign Dreamers Yard Card Greetings in Mackinaw

Sign Dreamers Yard Card Greetings in Mackinaw

With a new home based business, Mackinaw resident Kate Brown has plenty to celebrate while also hoping that you do as well. This is because the mother of 3, along with her husband, have recently started a business called “Sign Dreamers”, that rents large signs in the yards of customers who are celebrating a special event. Kate originally saw a Sign Dreamers sign in the Chicagoland area in 2021. She and her family were attending the birthday party of a child who had a Sign Dreamers sign in the front yard. Intrigued, Kate spent some time looking into the business and by the end of September 2021, Kate had her assigned territory and became a business owner.

Area Roundup  |  May 1, 2022
Sunday Funday at Pub 52

Sunday Funday at Pub 52

“Sunday Funday” at Pub 52 on Sunday, May 1st, from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. The Pub will have live music, food, and drink specials. No cost to attend.

Top Story  |  April 24, 2022
Drinking Water System Improves

Drinking Water System Improves

Issues with manganese in the drinking water of the town of Danvers have been resolved, according to village officials. In January, residents were notified that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency had found manganese levels in the city’s drinking water to exceed their threshold of .150 PPM. In response, village officials determined that a media filter was the cause and made plans to replace it. However, shipping issues arose and work to replace the filter had to be delayed.

Area Roundup  |  April 24, 2022
Early Dismissal

Early Dismissal

On Monday, April 25th, is an early dismissal day for Dee-Mack schools. Students will be released at 11:30 A.M.

Local News  |  April 24, 2022
Mushroom Season Comes to Central Illinois

Mushroom Season Comes to Central Illinois

It’s that time of year again - mushroom hunters will be out in full force during the next few weeks, and the target on their radar is the elusive morel. For many local hunters, mushrooming spots are considered top secret and are often “handed down” from family members. The mushrooms commonly appear after warm, wet spring weather, with daytime temperatures in the high 60’s or 70’s, and nighttime temperatures hovering in the 50’s. For central Illinois, this usually occurs in late April and into mid, or even late May. 

Area Roundup  |  April 24, 2022
Spring Market VIP Shopping Night

Spring Market VIP Shopping Night

Friday, April 29th, from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will be hosting their Spring Market VIP Shopping Night. Vendors will be on the grounds and food concessions will also be available. $5 per person.

Area Roundup  |  April 24, 2022
Sunday Funday at Pub 52

Sunday Funday at Pub 52

“Sunday Funday” at Pub 52 on Sunday, May 1st, from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. The Pub will have live music, food, and drink specials. No cost to attend.

Community Spotlight  |  April 17, 2022
Little Learning Chiefs Academy in Mackinaw

Little Learning Chiefs Academy in Mackinaw

Pre-school isn’t just about the sand box anymore. As the world becomes more complex and intertwined, the need to update and improve the educational experience of the youngest members of our society becomes a bit more obvious. In Mackinaw, we are lucky that Krista Sands is meeting this challenge head on with her “Little Learning Chiefs Academy”. Not only is the academy providing stimulating lessons for preschoolers, the program is also providing real life teaching experience for high schoolers who are interested in the teaching profession.

Area Roundup  |  April 17, 2022
Red Cross Blood Drive

Red Cross Blood Drive

On Tuesday, April 26th, the American Red Cross will be in the old gym at the Dee-Mack high school from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. for blood donations. If you would like to donate, email bdailey@deemack.org to set up a time.

Area Roundup  |  April 17, 2022
St Jude Rides Sporting Clays Event

St Jude Rides Sporting Clays Event

Saturday, April 30th from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. the Oak Ridge Sportsman Club is hosting their 6th Annual St. Jude Rides Sporting Clays Event. Head out to shoot some clay pigeons for a great cause. 

Area Roundup  |  April 17, 2022
Pixie Party

Pixie Party

Sunday, April 24th, K&M Village Tap is hosting a “Pixie Party” from 1:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. Those in attendance will be able to purchase soap, candles, wax melts, and much more.

Local News  |  April 17, 2022
Tremont Robotics Team Set to Travel to Texas

Tremont Robotics Team Set to Travel to Texas

Putting their custom made robots to the test, members of the Tremont Robotics Team known as “The Roboteers” recently competed at the Expo Square Pavilion in Tulsa Oklahoma, April 7th-9th. Attended by fans, families, educators, and industry leaders the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition awarded several teams with honors that recognized design excellence, competitive play, and high impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities. Hoping to win an opportunity to compete at the FIRST championship in Houston, Texas, 36 robotics teams from around the country worked with professional mentors to design and build a robot over a six-week period that solved a problem using a kit of parts and a standard set of rules.

Area Roundup  |  April 10, 2022
Easter Egg Hunt at Westwood Park

Easter Egg Hunt at Westwood Park

On Saturday, April 16th the Mackinaw Lions Club will hold their annual Easter Egg Hunt at Westwood Park Pavillion at 2:00 P.M. Ages 0-11 are welcome to come out and hunt.

Community Spotlight  |  April 10, 2022
Meet Clarissa Colombini, Foreign Exchange Student

Meet Clarissa Colombini, Foreign Exchange Student

In a continuation of our past article with Angie Reedy who works with the International Cultural Exchange Services, The Mail was able to sit down and speak with Mackinaw’s current exchange student and her host mother. Clarissa Colombini is an outgoing 18 year old from north east Italy who arrived in the U.S. in January and stays with the Kaiser family: Derek, Meaghan, and their 3 young children. I didn’t expect to be greeted by a shy student, as I doubted that an introverted 18 year old would be willing to travel halfway around the world to stay with a family for the better part of a year; however, I didn’t expect to be greeted by a such an outgoing and gregarious young lady whose host mother was equally as extroverted. It took about 2 minutes to realize that this was going to be an incredibly fun interview.

Area Roundup  |  April 10, 2022
Spring Market

Spring Market

Friday and Saturday, April 29th and 30th, the Mackinaw Valley Winery will host their first ever “Spring Market” event. Friday’s festivities will run from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., while Saturday will run from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Top Story  |  April 10, 2022
Windmill Farm Planned

Windmill Farm Planned

Construction on a windmill farm in Tazewell county known as the “Rail Splitter II” could begin as early as 2023. Rail Splitter II Wind Farm will be located  north of the town of Lincoln. The wind farm is near the townships of Boynton, Hopedale, Hittle, and Little Mackinaw. The company behind the project, EDP Renewables North America, claims that the wind farm will bring numerous benefits to area residents and mention financial, environmental, and even national security concerns. 

Top Story  |  April 3, 2022
Catalytic Converter Thefts

Catalytic Converter Thefts

Thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise nationwide and central Illinois is seeing more than its fair share of the crime. A catalytic converter is an emission control device that converts toxic gasses and pollutants into cleaner air by way of a chemical reaction. Thieves target converters because they contain three valuable metals: platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Rhodium, the most valuable of the 3 metals, is currently selling for $600 per gram. Typically, these thefts occur between midnight and 5:00 A.M. and involve the thief getting under a vehicle and cutting the part out with a saw. A skilled thief with the proper tools can cut a converter out and be gone in under 3 minutes. The Mail reached out to two local police chiefs - Mackinaw’s Michael Kemp and Stanford’s Dustin Carter - for their perspective on the issue.

Area Roundup  |  April 3, 2022
Circuit Kickboxing

Circuit Kickboxing

Starting on Thursday, April 14th, Mackinaw Valley Karate and Fitness will be holding weekly “Circuit Kickboxing” classes. Classes will be every Thursday from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. and will last for 8 weeks. Cost is $90 per person.

Local News  |  April 3, 2022
Eli’s Coffee Finds New Home in Mackinaw

Eli’s Coffee Finds New Home in Mackinaw

Big news for Mackinaw this week as Eli’s Coffee announces that they are coming to Mackinaw in the near future. Eli’s, started in 2005 and looks to make Mackinaw the home of their 4th location. Other shops exist in Metamora, Morton, and Tremont. After the announcement of the big news, owners Weston and Rachael Berchtold were kind enough to talk to The Mackinaw Mail and tell us about their business and how Mackinaw was chosen as the next site.

Area Roundup  |  April 3, 2022
The Beverly KillBillies

The Beverly KillBillies

The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will be hosting another murder mystery theater, this one titled “The Beverly KillBillies” on Friday, April 8th, at 6:30 P.M. Admission is $50 and includes a buffet style dinner after the 1st Act.

Area Roundup  |  April 3, 2022
Wednesday Night Free for All

Wednesday Night Free for All

On Wednesday, March 9th at 7:00 P.M. The Hideaway Tap presents “Wednesday Night Free For All With Stumpy Joe”. “Stumpy” Joe Sweckard will be playing his unique blend of country. Rumors of a special guest abound. 

Area Roundup  |  March 27, 2022
Food Pantry Pickup

Food Pantry Pickup

Wednesday, April 6th food pick ups from the Mackinaw Community Center Food Pantry Inc. will be available from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. The Mackinaw Community Center is located at 101 S. Orchard Street.

Area Roundup  |  March 27, 2022
Greg Williams Plays the Vineyard

Greg Williams Plays the Vineyard

Sunday April 3rd, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting favorite local musician Greg Williams for a solo acoustic set starting at 1:00 P.M. and lasting until 4:00 P.M.

Area Roundup  |  March 27, 2022
Mega Meatball Throwdown

Mega Meatball Throwdown

If you love meatballs, keep a spot open on your calendar for Sunday, April 3rd. Haynes on Main is hosting a “Mega Meatball Throwdown” starting at 3:00 P.M. Tasting Tickets will be sold to customers for $10.

Top Story  |  March 27, 2022
Accident Claims Lives of Two Sisters in Tremont

Accident Claims Lives of Two Sisters in Tremont

On Saturday, March 19th, at approximately 4:51 P.M. The Tazewell County Coroner’s Office was contacted to respond to a two vehicle accident at the intersection of Townline and Locust Roads in rural Tremont. At 5:51 P.M. Tazewell County Coroner Charles R. Hanley pronounced 22 year old Ashley Embree and her 16 year old sister, Sarae Embree, deceased at the scene. Both victims are residents of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.  A recent CI Proud article quotes Tazewell County Sheriff Jeff Lower as saying that the UTV the sisters were riding in “ran a stop sign and collided in the intersection with a pickup truck that was traveling eastbound on Townline road.” 4 other people involved with the accident, including the driver of the UTV and the pickup truck, were transported to OSF St. Francis Medical Center.

Spotlight  |  March 27, 2022
Yoga4Life Studio in Mackinaw

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.

Community Spotlight  |  March 20, 2022
Foreign Exchange Program Seeks Hosts in Mackinaw

Foreign Exchange Program Seeks Hosts in Mackinaw

Local representatives of a group known as International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES) are currently looking for host homes in the Mackinaw area for the 2022-2023 school year. For those unaware, the ICES is an international non-profit student academic and exchange organization dedicated to promoting a peaceful world by increasing international awareness and cultural understanding. With the help of ICES, students from around the globe can study in America for a certain duration. Some students may stay for only a semester - others may stay as long as a full school year. The Mackinaw Mail spoke with Angie Reedy, local Field Manager for ICES, to find out a bit more.

Area Roundup  |  March 20, 2022
Meatball Tasting Contest

Meatball Tasting Contest

Sunday, April 3rd, Haynes on Main is hosting a “Meatball Tasting Contest”, starting at 3:00 P.M. Participants are needed: must bring 50 meatballs, with prizes awarded for the top 3 winners. Judges will be local “celebrities”. If you’d just like to eat some meatballs, tickets are $10.

Area Roundup  |  March 20, 2022
Spring Break

Spring Break

Dee-Mack schools will be releasing students at 1:30 P.M. on Friday, March 25th. Students will also be off for Spring Break from March 28th to April 1st, 

Area Roundup  |  March 20, 2022
Trivia Night at the Winery

Trivia Night at the Winery

Saturday, March 26th from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. The Mackinaw Valley Vineyards will be hosting Trivia Game Night. This is the last game of the year, so don’t delay. $5 per person.

Area Roundup  |  March 13, 2022
Early Dismisal

Early Dismisal

Monday, March 14th, all schools in the Dee Mack school district will be dismissing students at 11:30 A.M.

Area Roundup  |  March 13, 2022
Ladies Night

Ladies Night

Starting Thursday, March 24th, Ladies Night is back at Haynes on Main. Every Thursday will include food and drink specials, occasional vendors, and a chance to win some prizes.

Top Story  |  March 13, 2022
Pain at the Pump

Pain at the Pump

Gasoline prices have risen significantly in recent months and weeks. Naturally, average American citizens want to know the reasons behind this price surge that has set the national average for a gallon of gasoline at $4.32, with Illinois in front of the pack at $4.56 on average. It is important to note that gasoline prices rise and fall with the prices of crude oil, though that effect is not always in sync or to the same degree. We should also take into consideration that cause and demand play the biggest part in whether the price of gasoline rises or falls.

Area Roundup  |  March 13, 2022
Trivia Night at the Winery

Trivia Night at the Winery

On Saturday, March 19th, the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting a Trivia Game Night from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. $5 per person and walk-ins are welcome.

Spotlight  |  March 13, 2022
KDJ Sales and Services in Mackinaw

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.

Area Roundup  |  March 6, 2022
Legion District Meeting

Legion District Meeting

Sunday, March 6th, the American Legion is hosting the 16th District Meeting starting at 11:00 A.M.

Area Roundup  |  March 6, 2022
Music in the Tasting Room

Music in the Tasting Room

On Sunday, March 6th, from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. Greg Williams will be playing a solo acoustic set in the Tasting Room at the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard.

World News  |  March 6, 2022
New Cold War Is Running Hot

New Cold War Is Running Hot

After spending more than a month amassing Russian soldiers near the Ukrainian border, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced, on February 24th, that “special military operations” had begun in eastern Ukraine under the pretext that his forces will “denazify” regions that fall under Russian control. Missile and artillery attacks began on Ukrainian air bases and the capitol Kyiv, along with Ukraine’s second largest city of Kharkiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appealed to the international community for further sanctions on Russia, as well as shipments of arms to keep the Ukrainian military fighting. Many countries responded, with Germany - who just days before had halted the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas line project with Russia - said they would send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles. This move was significant for Germany as it meant a reversal of their policy to not send weapons into war zones. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson committed similar military aid, including helmets and body armor.

Area Roundup  |  March 6, 2022
St. Patty’s Day Party

St. Patty’s Day Party

Thursday, March 17th, Haynes on Main will be hosting a St. Patty’s Day party starting at 11:00 A.M. Live music starts at 2:00 P.M. and Irish fare will be served all day long.

Area Roundup  |  February 27, 2022
Cash Drawing

Cash Drawing

It isn’t too late to sign up to win $2350 at Haynes on Main. Drawings are held Tuesday evenings and you must sign up before the day of the drawing.

Area Roundup  |  February 27, 2022
Early Dismisal

Early Dismisal

Wednesday, March 2nd, all Dee Mack schools will be letting out early at 1:30 P.M.

Area Roundup  |  February 27, 2022
Gilligan's Island of Death

Gilligan's Island of Death

Top Story  |  February 27, 2022
Pressure Mounts on State’s Attorney

Pressure Mounts on State’s Attorney

MACKINAW – As the rash of vehicular break ins and burglaries seems to continue unabated, the Mackinaw general public has one question on their minds: “Why are these adolescents allowed to continue with their crimes?” As a matter of fact, the Mackinaw Police Department seems to be wondering the same thing. On February 8th, at 9:05 A.M. The police department published a post on their public Facebook page which encouraged Mackinaw residents to contact the Tazewell County State’s Attorney’s Office, and even reach out to Stewart Umholtz via Facebook; with their questions or to air their concerns for the safety of the community. At 11:23 A.M. The Mackinaw Police Department changed the tone of their message when they edited out the contact information to Stewart Umholtz and his State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Spotlight  |  February 27, 2022
F.L. Sons Fire Equipment

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.

Area Roundup  |  February 20, 2022
Board of Trustees Meeting

Board of Trustees Meeting

Monday, February 28th, the Mackinaw Board of Trustees will hold a meeting at Village Hall at 7:00 P.M. The meeting will adjourn when the board motions for adjournment.

Area Roundup  |  February 20, 2022
Bourbon and Bites

Bourbon and Bites

Sunday, February 27th, from 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. once can enjoy “Bourbon and Bites” at Haynes on Main. Chefs Brian and Mike will make a series of “small bites” that will be served with 4 pairings of bourbon. Tickets can be purchased at Haynes on Main.

Local News  |  February 20, 2022
Crash Claims Life of Danvers Resident

Crash Claims Life of Danvers Resident

On Wednesday, February 9, at about 11:00 A.M. Authorities were contacted to respond to a 2 vehicle collision on Illinois Route 9 and King Road, east of Mackinaw. At the scene, they found a 2000 Ranger flipped on its side, with a 2018 Enclave in a ditch on the south side of the road. The driver of the 2000 Ranger, Danvers resident Larry Conder, age 69, was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:41 P.M.

Area Roundup  |  February 20, 2022
Trivia Night at the Winery

Trivia Night at the Winery

Saturday, February 26th, from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting “Trivia Night”. Teams of 4 will compete in 8 categories with a tie breaking 9th round, if needed. Cost is $5 per person.

Local News  |  February 13, 2022
Bourbon and Bites

Bourbon and Bites

Sunday, February 27th, from 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. once can enjoy “Bourbon and Bites” at Haynes on Main. Chefs Brian and Mike will make a series of “small bites” that will be served with 4 pairings of bourbon. Tickets can be purchased at Haynes on Main.

Local News  |  February 13, 2022
Masterpiece Painting Class

Masterpiece Painting Class

On Sunday, February 13th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will be hosting a Valentine’s/Galentine’s Masterpiece Painting Class. The painting class will be taught by an artist from “Merlot and Masterpiece” and includes all supplies and instruction to make your own work of art. Class starts at 1:00 P.M. and ends at 3:00 P.M.

State News  |  February 13, 2022
Most Illinois Mask Mandates Set to End

Most Illinois Mask Mandates Set to End

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday that most statewide mask mandates will be lifted on February 28th, provided the continual decline of Covid cases in the state. However, Pritzker is not dropping masking rules for schools, public transportation, medical care facilities, or government buildings. When announcing his decision, Pritzker pointed to a rapid drop in the number of Covid hospitalizations around the state, after Illinois experienced a surge of cases in December and January thanks to the omicron variant.

Local News  |  February 13, 2022
Seasons of Refreshing

Seasons of Refreshing

Top Story  |  February 13, 2022
Two Mackinaw Juveniles Taken into Custody

Two Mackinaw Juveniles Taken into Custody

Following a series of burglaries in the area, on Monday evening Mackinaw police  announced that they have taken two juveniles into custody on burglary charges, with more charges expected. In a social media announcement, the Mackinaw Police Department encouraged local residents to contact the Tazewell County State's Attorney Office to express concerns for the safety of the community and urge the office to follow through with charges “as it seems to be the same group of juveniles, repeatedly”. In the post, the Mackinaw police asked the community for their assistance with these types of crimes by reporting any suspicious activity one might happen to notice. “If you see something suspicious, get as much information as you can, and report it. Nothing is too small to report! Some important pieces of information we like are: descriptions, pictures, video, last direction of travel, etc.”

Local News  |  February 6, 2022
Greg Williams Plays the Vineyard

Greg Williams Plays the Vineyard

Sunday, February 6th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will be hosting musical guest Greg Williams from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Local News  |  February 6, 2022
Super Bowl Pre-Party

Super Bowl Pre-Party

Sunday, February 13th, Haynes on Main is having a Super Bowl Sunday Pre-Party from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The kitchen will be open and a bloody mary bar will also be available.

Top Story  |  February 6, 2022
Winter Storm Landon Batters Central Illinois

Winter Storm Landon Batters Central Illinois

Central Illinois was nearly shut down this week thanks to extreme weather brought on by “Winter Storm Landon”. Landon started, locally, on Tuesday evening with rain that turned to sleet, followed quickly by snowfall that had accumulated at an inch per hour in some places. According to the National Weather Service, Mackinaw received 10 inches of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, with some communities in the area reaching the 12 inch mark. In Fulton County, Lewistown reported almost 14 and a half inches, with Canton receiving just over a foot of snow. Gen. Wayne A. Downing International Airport, in Peoria, officially received 10.6 inches.

Local News  |  February 6, 2022
Women's Bible Study

Women's Bible Study

On Tuesday, February 8th, from 6:15 P.M. to 8:15 P.M. The New Castle Bible Church is offering a Women’s Bible Study Night. Study for the evening will focus on the Book of Acts.

Local News  |  January 30, 2022
Farm to Wick Candle Making

Farm to Wick Candle Making

On Thursday, February 10th, the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will be hosting “Farm to Wick” - a custom candle making class, from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. The class fee is $25 and includes supplies and all instructions to make your very own candle.  

Local News  |  January 30, 2022
Food Drive

Food Drive

From February 6-13, the New Castle Bible Church is hosting a food drive. Donations may be dropped off inside either of the entrance doors.

Local News  |  January 30, 2022
School Board Meeting

School Board Meeting

Thursday, February 17th, the Dee-Mack school district Board of Education will hold a Regular Board Meeting from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

Top Story  |  January 30, 2022
Tremont High School Goes Solar

Tremont High School Goes Solar

Construction is set to begin on a new solar power system at Tremont Middle/High School this month, in a project that is designed to provide all the energy needs of the building; as well as save the school district money in the future. There are three areas where solar panels are being installed -- 1) a ground-mounted array; 2) panels on the roof of our bus maintenance shed;  and 3) panels that will go on top of a newly-constructed bus canopy that will provide protection from the elements for the school buses. The construction of the system is paid for by the solar company, Hawk-Attollo, and the investors who contributed financially.  They will benefit from the tax incentives and other rewards that come from solar installations.  The school district will not own the system, but will instead purchase the electricity it produces from Hawk-Attollo at a rate that is cheaper than current electric rates.

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Basketball Games

Basketball Games

Friday, January 28th, High School boys Sophomore and Varsity basketball teams will play GCMS High in the Deer Creek Mackinaw main gym. Games start at 5:30 P.M.  

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Early Dismisal

Early Dismisal

Wednesday, January 26th is a 1:30 P.M. dismissal day for all Deer-Creek Mackinaw schools.

Local News  |  January 23, 2022
Trivia Night at the Winery

Trivia Night at the Winery

On Saturday, February 5th, The Mackinaw Valley Winery is hosting a Trivia Game Night. Check in and wine tasting starts at 6:00 P.M. and the game starts at 7:00 P.M. Teams can be a maximum of 4 players.

Spotlight  |  January 23, 2022
Mackinaw Valley Karate and Fitness

Mackinaw Valley Karate and Fitness

Nestled in the Mackinaw business district, there lies a small building with enormous heart. If you drop in at 107 Fast Avenue, in Mackinaw, you’ll likely find Keyth Mooneyham practicing his craft - Shotokan Karate. Keyth, 43, practiced the art as a child, Keyth decided to return to it in 2007 when his children became school aged. In 2011, Keyth earned his blackbelt and, around the same time, took over the program from his former sensei. He described that transition as “flawless”, owing to the fact that he had spent years training in the building.

Top Story  |  January 16, 2022
Rivian: Growing Pains or Future Problems?

Rivian: Growing Pains or Future Problems?

It is no secret that Rivian, the electric vehicle company in Normal, has had a bit of a tough time the last few months. Last week, their COO stepped down not long after the company announced that they were going to be 200 units short of their 1,200-unit goal, set by the end of 2021. Rivian stocks went public on November 10, 2021, at a price of $106.75 and have fallen to $79.95 at the time of this writing. Living in the area, I’ve heard plenty of rumors about what is happening on the Rivian production floor. Honestly, I’d be shocked if our average reader hasn’t heard some of the same rumors. This week, I was given the go-ahead to search out current and former employees of Rivian and compare their experiences.

Top Story  |  January 9, 2022
Village Issues Water Warning

Village Issues Water Warning

The Village of Danvers has been under a “Do Not Drink” order for infants following the discovery of high levels of manganese in the local water supply. Residents have been notified that the water in their taps is unsafe for infants, as manganese is known to cause damage to the nervous system, especially if exposure is prolonged. According to the notice released by The Village of Danvers, “infants under 6 months old should not consume formula or food prepared with tap water. Use bottled water or alternative sources of water for infants.” The notice goes on to tell residents that they cannot boil their water, as manganese does not dissipate with boiling. In fact, boiling water can cause the concentration of manganese to increase.Village officials expect the issue to be corrected within 60 days, per the notice. A Board of Trustees meeting was set for Wednesday, January 6 to address the issue, however, it was canceled due to illness. According to the EPA Violation Detail, officials from the Village of Danvers were notified on November 24, 2021, yet the public was not notified until December 22, 2021. The Mail has attempted to contact Village Officials regarding this matter, however, at the time of writing there has been no response.

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Board of Trustees Meeting

Board of Trustees Meeting

On Monday, January 10th, the Mackinaw Board of Trustees will be held at 7:00 P.M. at the Village Hall and will adjourn when the board motions for adjournment.

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Mackinaw Fest Meeting

Mackinaw Fest Meeting

Thursday, January 13th, a meeting will be held regarding the upcoming Mackinaw Festival at the Mackinaw Community Center at 6:00 P.M. Anyone wanting to volunteer their time or services for the festival is encouraged to attend. 

Local News  |  January 9, 2022
Zoning Board Meeting

Zoning Board Meeting

Wednesday, January 12th, the Zoning Board of Appeals will be held at the Village Hall at 7:00 P.M.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
4 Arrested After Double Shooting

4 Arrested After Double Shooting

At 9:15 P.M. Friday October 22nd, Tazewell County police responded to a call originating from a home on American Legion Road, outside of Mackinaw. At the scene, officers found 2 gunshot victims - Rebecca Bolin (age 51) was dead on the scene while her husband, Douglas Bolin (age 52) was Life Flighted to OSF Medical Center in Peoria in critical condition. 3 teenagers were taken into custody by Saturday, October 23rd, and are all charged with First Degree Murder with Intent along with one count of Attempted First Degree Murder: Sage Raeuber (19), Nathaniel Maloney (18), and Andre Street (17).

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Fire At The Roadhouse

Fire At The Roadhouse

In the early morning hours of Sunday September 5th, a structure fire occurred at The River Roadhouse, 30573 IL-9 in Mackinaw. According to Training Officer Roger Benhoff, of the Mackinaw Fire Department, firefighters reacted to the initial alarm at approximately 4:37 A.M. and 13 firefighters were soon on the scene. Before long, the decision was made to also bring in units from both Tremont and Minier Fire Departments for extra assistance. Working under clear conditions, firefighters battled the blaze for about 4 hours before being able to extinguish the flames, with no injuries reported.      Referring to an Illinois State report that The Mail has yet to obtain, Training Officer Roger Benhoff reported that the fire is believed to have started in the southwest corner of the building as a result of a faulty electrical box. When asked about the damage that occurred to the interior of the building, Roger responded “Gutted. I believe it will be a total loss.” A dollar estimate of damage is not immediately available.       The Mail has reached out to the owners of The River Roadhouse and the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Neither were available for comment at  time of publication.  

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Emery Joseph Whisler

Emery Joseph Whisler

For this week's profile, I had the opportunity to dust off a little project I haven’t quite gotten around to trying to: track the details surrounding the military service of Emery Whisler, a son of Mackinaw. Take a visit to Veterans Park and you’ll find a memorial inscribed with the words “Priv. Emery J. Whistler 122 M.G. Bn. 33 Div. 1898-1918”, indicating that young Emery was a member of the 122nd Machine Gun Battalion of the 33rd Division during World War One. Starting with this information, here is what I’ve been able to piece together.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
A Brief History of Mackinaw

A Brief History of Mackinaw

Originally the first seat of government for Tazewell County, Mackinaw draws its name from the local Kickapoo Indian tribe that was said to live in the western and south-western parts of the county. During this time, local tribes were still dealing with some upheaval caused by local events and friction between tribes. For a period of time, the Kickapoo Indians were not considered friendly to non-natives, but were subdued in part due to influence from the local Potawatomi tribe. Luckily, the Potawatomi tribe was superior in numbers compared to surrounding tribes. Eventually, Kickapoo Chief Mackina would come around and begin the process of building neutral, if not friendly, relations with local settlers. Unfortunately, due to national events in 1832, local tribes would largely evacuate from the state of Illinois.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
The Tea Room at the Depot

The Tea Room at the Depot

At the edge of Mackinaw sits an interesting piece of central Illinois history. Known as “The Tea Room” today, this old train station was once a stop on a trolley line that existed between Champaign and St. Louis. In 1978, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Despite this designation, The Depot sat empty for 40 years until an experienced business woman with a vision stepped in. Enter: Beth Wiegand.

Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Dee-Mack Friday Night Football

Dee-Mack Friday Night Football

Football fans couldn’t have asked for a better evening to watch a football game. Pork chops were on the grill as fans filed into the stadium. After a brief opening ceremony that included the Mackinaw JFL football teams, it was game time.

Local News  |  December 19, 2021
Cash Drawing

Cash Drawing

There is $2,150 up for grabs at Haynes on Main. Drawings occur every Tuesday between 7-9 P.M. and you must sign up at least a day before. 

Local News  |  December 19, 2021
Christmas Eve Service

Christmas Eve Service

Friday December 24th, The New Castle Bible Church will be holding a Christmas Eve Service open to all. Services start at 4 P.M. and are expected to last about an hour. 

Community Spotlight  |  December 19, 2021
Jingle All the Way: Drive Sober this Holiday Season

Jingle All the Way: Drive Sober this Holiday Season

In a continuation of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office has announced plans to participate in a “statewide impaired driving awareness campaign”, starting on December 17th and running through January 3rd.

Local News  |  December 19, 2021
Village Meeting Cancelled

Village Meeting Cancelled

The Mackinaw Board of Trustees Meeting on Monday, December 27th has been cancelled.

Top Story  |  December 19, 2021
Winter Preparedness: A Quick Guide

Winter Preparedness: A Quick Guide

It’s that time of year again: snowbanks and slippery roads. That’s right, it is time to outfit your vehicle for a “worst case” scenario where you may be stuck on your own for a bit. Here is a quick rundown of what you may need to help yourself should the worst occur. 

Local News  |  December 12, 2021
Christmas Eve Service

Christmas Eve Service

Friday December 24th, The New Castle Bible Church will be holding a Christmas Eve Service open to all. Services start at 4 P.M. and are expected to last about an hour. 

Local News  |  December 12, 2021
EMT Class Starting

EMT Class Starting

EMTs are needed in Mackinaw. On January 5th, an EMT (B) class will be starting, which is on-line except for skills testing. More information to come. 

Local News  |  December 12, 2021
Holiday Luminary Stroll

Holiday Luminary Stroll

Saturday December 18th, the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting their "Holiday Luminary Stroll and Warming Night". Bring your friends and family for a charming stroll around the vineyard grounds and enjoy the multiple offerings presented. Deals on wine will also be available. The festivities start at 4:30 P.M. and run until 9 P.M.

Top Story  |  December 12, 2021
Kids and Social Media: What A Parent Should Consider

Kids and Social Media: What A Parent Should Consider

Most parents worry about their children’s interactions surrounding social media, and it’s tough to blame them. Generally speaking, scientists agree that 25 is the age at which the average brain finishes development, which means that the debilitating effects of social media have quite a long time to take hold. For example, one 2009 study showed that, if you take multi-tasking into account - texting while scrolling Facebook, for example - kids are engaged in “entertainment media” for between 7 and 11 hours a day. This refers to an effect called “continuous partial attention” and you may be unsurprised to learn that it does not lead to our children being better multi-taskers.

Local News  |  December 12, 2021
Mackinaw Fest Meeting

Mackinaw Fest Meeting

On Thursday, December 16th, there will be an informational meeting surrounding the upcoming Mackinaw Fest, which will be held at the Mackinaw Town Hall building. The meeting will start at 6 P.M. and anyone who is interested in volunteering is encouraged to attend.

Local News  |  December 5, 2021
EMT Class Starting

EMT Class Starting

EMTs are needed in Mackinaw. On January 5th, an EMT (B) class will be starting, which is on-line except for skills testing. More information to come. 

Local News  |  December 5, 2021
Mackinaw Fest Meeting

Mackinaw Fest Meeting

On Thursday, December 16th, there will be an informational meeting surrounding the upcoming Mackinaw Fest, which will be held at the Mackinaw Town Hall building. The meeting will start at 6 P.M. and anyone who is interested in volunteering is encouraged to attend.

Local News  |  December 5, 2021
Tickets Still Available

Tickets Still Available

Tickets are still available for The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Murder Mystery Dinner “A Christmas Gory” set to start at 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, December 12th. Suggested arrival time is an hour before the show, to allow for wine tasting, mingling, and you can even let the cast know if you would like to be part of the show.

Community Spotlight  |  December 5, 2021
Volunteers Needed for Upcoming “Mackinaw Fest”

Volunteers Needed for Upcoming “Mackinaw Fest”

The Mackinaw Mail sat down with organizers for the upcoming Mackinaw Fest to discuss plans currently in the works and the dire need for volunteers. Larry Morgan and Dustin Schmidgall  explained that crowd size at the event has been dwindling the last few years, while also acknowledging that Covid was a big part of that effect. In order to turn that around, something new needs to be tried.

Community Spotlight  |  November 28, 2021
Defense Argues Against Media in Murder Case

Defense Argues Against Media in Murder Case

Three of the four suspects accused in the October shooting of Rebecca and Douglas Bolin appeared again in Tazewell County Court on Wednesday November 24th. Andre Street appeared in person, arriving in handcuffs, and escorted by an armed guard. Street was charged with seven crimes including 1st Degree Murder, 1st Degree Attempted Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, and Home Invasion.

Local News  |  November 28, 2021
Sleigh Door Hanger @ Mackinaw Winery

Sleigh Door Hanger @ Mackinaw Winery

Thursday, December 2nd at 6:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.,  the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting “Art at the Bodega” and making Sleigh Door Hangers. Tickets can be purchased at theartbodega.com, while food and wine can be purchased on site.

Local News  |  November 28, 2021
Volunteers Needed

Volunteers Needed

On Thursday, December 16th at 6:00 P.M., an informational meeting surrounding the upcoming “Mackinaw Fest” is being held at the Mackinaw Town Hall building. Anyone interested in volunteering to help during the 3 day fest is encouraged to attend.

Top Story  |  November 21, 2021
The Mail Celebrates First Anniversary

The Mail Celebrates First Anniversary

It’s a big week for The Mail Newspapers as the publication celebrates its first full year of covering current events in Central Illinois. The Mail broadly consists of 10 newspapers and publishes relevant news for the 12,337 residents that live within its purview. The mission of The Mail is “to chronicle the milestones of our community and neighbors, celebrate common values, support our home teams, and promote civic engagement and local business.” In celebration of 52 editions published, I spoke with publisher Robert Fang and contributors Chris Jones and Chloe Scroggins to get their views after a year in business. 

Local News  |  November 21, 2021
Adult Discipleship Electives

Adult Discipleship Electives

On Sunday, November 28th, The New Castle Bible Church is hosting an “Adult Discipleship Electives” event, starting at 9:30 A.M.

Local News  |  November 21, 2021
Big Party Night at Pub 52

Big Party Night at Pub 52

On Wednesday November 24th, K&R Country returns to Pub 52 for “The Big Party Night”. The show starts at 7:00 P.M. and goes on until 10:00 P.M.

Local News  |  November 21, 2021
Sleigh Door Hanger @ Mackinaw Winery

Sleigh Door Hanger @ Mackinaw Winery

Thursday, December 2nd at 6:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.,  the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting “Art at the Bodega” and making Sleigh Door Hangers. Tickets can be purchased at theartbodega.com, while food and wine can be purchased on site.

Local News  |  November 14, 2021
All Day Food Drive

All Day Food Drive

On Sunday November 14th, the New Castle Bible Church will be hosting an all day food drive to benefit the Community Food Pantry in Mackinaw. Tubs will be placed at entrances to place donations in.

Local News  |  November 14, 2021
Board of Trustees Meeting

Board of Trustees Meeting

On Monday November 22nd, the Board of Trustees meeting is being held at Village Hall. The meeting will start at 7 P.M. and conclude when the board motions for adjournment.

Local News  |  November 14, 2021
Holiday Open House

Holiday Open House

On Sunday November 14th from 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting a Holiday Open House. The event includes cork ornament making, shopping, live music by Greg Williams, wine, and some free food. Wine discounts will also be available!

Local News  |  November 14, 2021
Suspects in Murder Plot Appear in Court

Suspects in Murder Plot Appear in Court

MACKINAW – Three of the four suspects accused in a murder for hire plot to kill a local couple have appeared in court on Wednesday, November 10th. Sage Raueber 19, and Nathaniel Maloney 18, appeared in court virtually; while Andre Street 17, who will be tried as an adult, appeared in person. The three, along with an unnamed 15-year-old female, are being held for their roles in the October shootings of Rebecca and Douglas Bolin. Rebecca was killed while Douglas was left in critical condition. 

High School Sports  |  November 14, 2021
Meet the Chiefs Night Begins Winter Season

Meet the Chiefs Night Begins Winter Season

On Friday evening, the Dee-Mack Booster Club hosted a Winter Meet the Chiefs event at the Mackinaw High School. The evening started at 5:00 P.M. with an introduction to the Mackinaw High School band, who then played the National Anthem followed by the Dee-Mack School Fight Song. The Spirit Team was also introduced, followed by the Scholastic Bowl team. Next, the wrestling team rolled out 2 of their mats and the 8 wrestlers split off into pairs and gave Dee-Mack fans a quick exhibition of the drills they run during practice, before being introduced. The wrestling team is coached by Timothy Thomas and their first meet is on Tuesday November 30th, at 5:30 P.M., at home.

Local News  |  November 7, 2021
Board of Trustees Meeting

Board of Trustees Meeting

On Monday November 22nd, the Board of Trustees meeting is being held at Village Hall. The meeting will start at 7 P.M. and conclude when the board motions for adjournment.

Community Spotlight  |  November 7, 2021
Malmgren Wedding

Malmgren Wedding

Mackinaw residents, Erik Malmgren and Tara Sepich, were united in marriage on Friday November 5th. He is the son of Karen Malmgren and (late) James Malmgren, both of Canton. She is the daughter of Jennifer Sepich and (late) David Sepich, also of Canton.

Top Story  |  October 31, 2021
4 Arrested After Double Shooting

4 Arrested After Double Shooting

At 9:15 P.M. Friday October 22nd, Tazewell County police responded to a call originating from a home on American Legion Road, outside of Mackinaw. At the scene, officers found 2 gunshot victims - Rebecca Bolin (age 51) was dead on the scene while her husband, Douglas Bolin (age 52) was Life Flighted to OSF Medical Center in Peoria in critical condition. 3 teenagers were taken into custody by Saturday, October 23rd, and are all charged with First Degree Murder with Intent along with one count of Attempted First Degree Murder: Sage Raeuber (19), Nathaniel Maloney (18), and Andre Street (17).

Local News  |  October 31, 2021
Costume Contest

Costume Contest

On Sunday October 31st, The Mackinaw Lions Club Costume Contest will be held at the Mackinaw Firehouse. Doors open at 3:00 P.M. Costume judging starts at 3:15 P.M.

Local News  |  October 31, 2021
Holiday Open House

Holiday Open House

Sunday, November 14, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting a Holiday Open House from 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. This is a customer appreciation event - bring your friends and have fun making cork ornaments, shopping, live music, wine and some free food. Discounts on 6 and 12 bottles of wine will also be available.

High School Sports  |  October 31, 2021
Chiefs Crush the Phoenix 40-14

Chiefs Crush the Phoenix 40-14

Football playoff time is upon us once again as our Dee-Mack Chiefs hosted The North Lawndale College Prep High School (Phoenix) on Saturday afternoon. North Lawndale received the initial kickoff and quickly found themselves punting. Lucas Blumeyer received and ran the ball back about 30, leaving the Chiefs with excellent field position. Brent Denniston was repeatedly used to march the ball down the field, with Blumeyer getting into the end zone on a very impressive reverse to the left. The 2 point conversion attempt was no good. 

Community Spotlight  |  October 24, 2021
A Brief History of Mackinaw

A Brief History of Mackinaw

In last week's edition, we took a quick look at Mackinaw history leading up to the 20th century. Which puts us in a perfect chronological position to discuss an incredibly important part of the town’s history: The Mackinaw Depot. Starting in 1895, local development of train lines began. By 1910, lines had been laid through Danville, Champaign, Decatur, Springfield, Bloomington, Peoria, and eventually St. Louis. Mackinaw, as residents could guess, was the stop between Peoria and Bloomington. Collectively, these tracks belonged to an entity known as “The Illinois Terminal Railroad System”.

Local News  |  October 24, 2021
Hallo-wine DJ Dance Costume Party

Hallo-wine DJ Dance Costume Party

On Saturday October 30th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will host “Hallo-wine DJ Dance Costume Party & Salsa Lessons” from 7:30 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. Come for an hour of Salsa dance lessons at 7:30 P.M., followed by a dance party with awards for top costumes. $15 per person and reservations are strongly suggested. For reservations, call 309-359-9463

Local News  |  October 24, 2021
NCBC Family Night

NCBC Family Night

Wednesday November 3rd at 5:00 P.M. The New Castle Bible Church will be hosting a Family Night until 7:30 P.M. Invite friends for dinner followed by age appropriate workshops. Awanas/ROOTED for the kids and young adults, and a parenting workshop for the adults.

Local News  |  October 24, 2021
School Board Meeting

School Board Meeting

Thursday October 28th, the monthly school board meeting will be held at 7 P.M. Meetings are held at 401 E. 5th Street, Mackinaw.

High School Sports  |  October 24, 2021
Chiefs Get Stung By Hornets 29-20

Chiefs Get Stung By Hornets 29-20

The Dee-Mack Chiefs suffered a loss against the Eureka Hornets at home Friday night, with a final score of 29-20. The Chiefs started the game with possession of the ball and marched up the field to Eureka’s 22-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. Eureka fired back with an 85-yard touchdown reception and extra point kick for an early 7-0 lead. Not to be outdone, The Chiefs had multiple runs up the middle, resulting in a touchdown. The 2-point conversion was good, putting the Chiefs in the lead 8-7.

Community Spotlight  |  October 17, 2021
A Brief History of Mackinaw

A Brief History of Mackinaw

Originally the first seat of government for Tazewell County, Mackinaw draws its name from the local Kickapoo Indian tribe that was said to live in the western and south-western parts of the county. During this time, local tribes were still dealing with some upheaval caused by local events and friction between tribes. For a period of time, the Kickapoo Indians were not considered friendly to non-natives, but were subdued in part due to influence from the local Potawatomi tribe. Luckily, the Potawatomi tribe was superior in numbers compared to surrounding tribes. Eventually, Kickapoo Chief Mackina would come around and begin the process of building neutral, if not friendly, relations with local settlers. Unfortunately, due to national events in 1832, local tribes would largely evacuate from the state of Illinois.

Local News  |  October 17, 2021
Hallo-wine DJ Dance Costume Party

Hallo-wine DJ Dance Costume Party

On Saturday October 30th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will host “Hallo-wine DJ Dance Costume Party & Salsa Lessons” from 7:30 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. Come for an hour of Salsa dance lessons at 7:30 P.M., followed by a dance party with awards for top costumes. $15 per person and reservations are strongly suggested. For reservations, call 309-359-9463

Local News  |  October 17, 2021
Pumpkin Painting at the Legion

Pumpkin Painting at the Legion

The Deer Creek American Legion is hosting a Kids Pumpkin Decorating Party on Saturday October 23rd, from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Lunch and treats will be provided when you are finished decorating your pumpkin. Call 309-447-6776 to sign up.

Local News  |  October 17, 2021
Tail Gate Party

Tail Gate Party

Friday October 22nd, John Zaiser - Country Financial is throwing a tailgate party for the last high school football game of the season. Food, drinks, and activities for the children will all be available from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M.

Top Story  |  October 17, 2021
The Origins of Halloween

The Origins of Halloween

One of the world’s oldest holidays, the origins of Halloween pre-date much of recorded history. A form of Halloween was being celebrated by Celtic peoples in Northwestern Europe, Ireland, and the United Kingdom long before Julius Caesar fought for control of those areas. Since those times, Halloween has evolved in a fashion that would come to mirror the traditions and values of each country it is celebrated in. 

Local News  |  October 10, 2021
Cash Drawing

Cash Drawing

Tuesday October 12th, Haynes on Main will again hold their cash drawing sometime between 6 P.M. and 8 P.M. The amount this week is $1,925! Remember, you must be signed up before the day of the drawing.

Top Story  |  October 10, 2021
Dee-Mack Homecoming

Dee-Mack Homecoming

The Dee-Mack Chiefs gave fans an exciting show as part of their Homecoming festivities on Friday night in a game that had fans on their feet. 

Local News  |  October 10, 2021
Music on the Patio

Music on the Patio

On October 17th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will be hosting musician Greg Williams for “Music on the Patio”. The show runs from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. No cover charge. Chocolatier chocolates and Ropp Jersey cheese will also be available.

Local News  |  October 10, 2021
Water Main Flushing

Water Main Flushing

Reminder: The Village of Mackinaw will be flushing hydrants in Mackinaw and Heritage Lake October 11th through the 15th and October 18th through the 22nd. Residents may experience loss of water pressure and/or a slight discoloration of water.

Community Spotlight  |  October 3, 2021
Emery Joseph Whisler

Emery Joseph Whisler

For this week's profile, I had the opportunity to dust off a little project I haven’t quite gotten around to trying to: track the details surrounding the military service of Emery Whisler, a son of Mackinaw. Take a visit to Veterans Park and you’ll find a memorial inscribed with the words “Priv. Emery J. Whistler 122 M.G. Bn. 33 Div. 1898-1918”, indicating that young Emery was a member of the 122nd Machine Gun Battalion of the 33rd Division during World War One. Starting with this information, here is what I’ve been able to piece together.

Local News  |  October 3, 2021
Pumpkin Mandalas and Wine

Pumpkin Mandalas and Wine

Pumpkin Mandalas and Wine at the Mackinaw Valley Winery on Thursday, October 7th from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. If you feel your home needs a little extra Halloween decor, come out and paint ceramic pumpkins! The cost is $45 and, of course, includes a wine tasting.

Local News  |  October 3, 2021
Second Dose

Second Dose

Reminder for those who attended last week's vaccination clinic at the Mackinaw United Methodist Church and need their second dose: the date to do so is October 14th.

Local News  |  October 3, 2021
Tail Gate Party

Tail Gate Party

On Friday October 22nd from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., Zaiser Country Financial will host a tailgate party for the final home Dee-Mack football game of the season. Food and drinks will be available, as well as plenty of activities for the children, and even some giveaway items. Mark your calendar and come out to support the Chiefs!

Music  |  October 3, 2021
Highway J Plays the Vineyard

Highway J Plays the Vineyard

Local musicians Highway J appeared at the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard on Saturday, September 25. If the band name sounds familiar, there is a reason for that: Highway J has appeared at the Vineyard many times throughout the years, this time around for the Summer Concert Series. Composed of 5 musicians, Highway J can be best described as an exciting fusion that brings together classic rock, a dash of country, along with contemporary hits.

Local News  |  September 26, 2021
Animal Reiki Training

Animal Reiki Training

Wednesday October 6th, Yoga4Life will host an Animal Reiki Training starting at 6:30 P.M. Come learn how to bond with your pet and how this practice is beneficial to an animal's health. Tickets are $20 and may be obtained by calling 309-349-1041

Local News  |  September 26, 2021
Family Night at NCBC

Family Night at NCBC

Local News  |  September 26, 2021
Sunday Funday at the Vineyard

Sunday Funday at the Vineyard

Sunday October 3rd, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard presents SUNday FUNday with musical guest Brushville, from 3 P.M. to 6 P.M. $10 per person, 12 and under are free. Bring a lawn chair!

Local News  |  September 26, 2021
Tuesday Night Cash Drawing

Tuesday Night Cash Drawing

Head up to Haynes on Main and get signed up for their Tuesday Night Cash Drawing. For every week the pot is not claimed, $25 will be added. One lucky winner could take home $1,875 this coming Tuesday! The drawing is held sometime between 7 P.M. and 9 P.M. and participants must be signed up before the day of drawing. 

High School Sports  |  September 26, 2021
Jim McDonald Field

Jim McDonald Field

In a small town with a passion for football, few locations mean as much to the community as the local football field. Not only is it a place for student athletes to congregate and compete, it is also a social outlet for adults. This is especially true for Mackinaw's Jim McDonald Field.      The argument could be made that the modern-day history of Jim McDonald Field starts with its namesake, Jim McDonald. Coming to Mackinaw as a student teacher from Eureka College in 1974, Jim went to work under then head coach Larry Young. After 5 seasons, McDonald was ready to take the reins himself for 2 years. While he did go back to assistant coach for another 2 years, Jim officially took over in 1982, where he would stay for the next 23 years. During his 25-year tenure, the Dee-Mack Chiefs amassed an impressive record of 178-84, with a state runner up finish in 1987 and 5 undefeated regular seasons.      In 1995, McDonald would be fundamental in establishing a JFL league for Deer Creek-Mackinaw. Starting with a goal of $11,000, several fundraisers were held that summer. Under Jim’s guidance, the club would go on to smash that goal, bringing in almost $20,000 with the help of many community members and businesses. As of 2018, the JFL teams would also play occasional games on the high school field.      McDonald went on to retire from coaching and teaching in 2005 at the end of yet another successful season that included a 9-0 regular season run, a Midstate Title, and a #1 state ranking. However, the winning tradition that Jim started would not end there. In 2016, under head coach Job Linboom, the Chiefs would bring home the state title after defeating Maroa-Forsyth 35-7 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.      In August of 2018, the Dee-Mack football stadium was dedicated to Jim McDonald during half time of their home opener against Tremont. The ceremony was emceed by current athletic director, Mitch Holmgren, and featured speeches from coach Job Linboom and former player Zach Zehr. The 11-minute ceremony can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6oSFnRZ3v4      The next home game at the Jim McDonald field will be on Friday October 8th, against the LeRoy Panthers at 7:00 P.M.

Local News  |  September 19, 2021
Concert at the Vineyard

Concert at the Vineyard

On Saturday September 25th, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard welcomes “Highway J” for their Concert at the Vineyard series. There is a cover charge of $5 per person and you may also reserve deck seating for an additional $5 per person. Outside food is welcome, no outside beverages.

Local News  |  September 19, 2021
Music Ministry

Music Ministry

At noon on Sunday September 26, The New Castle Bible Church will be hosting Music Ministry Informational. Lunch will be provided as Tysin Smith speaks about how teens and adults may be able to intertwine music and ministry.  

Local News  |  September 19, 2021
Paint Nite Event

Paint Nite Event

On Monday September 20th at 7 P.M. The Deer Creek American Legion will be offering “Paint Nite: Hummingbird Takes Flight”. Tickets are $27 per person and may be purchased at yaymaker.com. This is a 21+ event.

Local News  |  September 19, 2021
Vaccination Clinic

Vaccination Clinic

On Thursday September 23rd, Mackinaw United Methodist Church will be hosting a free Covid-19 vaccination clinic from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM Both Pfizer and J&J vaccinations will be available to those age 12 and older. No appointment needed, this is a walk-in only event. For those who chose the Pfizer vaccination, the follow-up date is October 14th for the second dose.

Community Spotlight  |  September 19, 2021
Dee-Mack Boosters Club

Dee-Mack Boosters Club

Should you decide to attend a Dee-Mack sporting event, you’ll likely find a group of people dedicated to supporting student athletes as well as Chiefs faculty. This group is the Dee-Mack Booster Club and, this week, The Mackinaw Mail was able to speak to Treasurer Sara Wilkins to get some insight into how the group operates and what the local community can do to support their overall mission.

High School Sports  |  September 19, 2021
Chiefs Fall to Titans 14-6

Chiefs Fall to Titans 14-6

Another night of Friday Night Football is upon us as the Dee-Mack Chiefs host the El Paso-Gridley Titans. Both teams took the field for a 7 o’clock kickoff. The first quarter was incredibly exciting, starting with a Chiefs touchdown during a 6-minute drive, as Lucas Blumeyer ran the ball into the end zone. Unfortunately, a 2-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful. The resulting Titans possession would end with a fumble at their own 39-yard line, which was recovered by the Chiefs defense.       The first snap of the Chiefs drive would go high, resulting in a 2nd fumble in as many plays; giving the Titans the ball. 2 plays later, the Titans threw an impressive pass to put 7 points on the board, after a successful PAT.       The 2nd quarter was an absolute slug fest with both teams trying to out-maneuver each other, but to no avail, despite an excellent interception by sophomore Tyce Albritton. The first half would end with an attempted field goal by El Paso which fell short. 7-6, Titans.      El Paso started the 3rd quarter with control of the ball. On the first play of their drive the snap went wide, resulting in a 20-yard loss for the Titans. This drive ended in a punt; however, the next Titan possession would put another 7 points on the board for a score of 14-6.       For the start of the 4th quarter, the Chiefs take possession. Despite a valiant effort, they couldn’t get past the Titan defense. The Chiefs last possession was an attempted rally that yielded 3 excellent passes, but the Chiefs were stopped about 40 yards short of the goal line. El Paso would then take a knee to run out the clock.

Top Story  |  September 12, 2021
Fire At The Roadhouse

Fire At The Roadhouse

In the early morning hours of Sunday September 5th, a structure fire occurred at The River Roadhouse, 30573 IL-9 in Mackinaw. According to Training Officer Roger Benhoff, of the Mackinaw Fire Department, firefighters reacted to the initial alarm at approximately 4:37 A.M. and 13 firefighters were soon on the scene. Before long, the decision was made to also bring in units from both Tremont and Minier Fire Departments for extra assistance. Working under clear conditions, firefighters battled the blaze for about 4 hours before being able to extinguish the flames, with no injuries reported.      Referring to an Illinois State report that The Mail has yet to obtain, Training Officer Roger Benhoff reported that the fire is believed to have started in the southwest corner of the building as a result of a faulty electrical box. When asked about the damage that occurred to the interior of the building, Roger responded “Gutted. I believe it will be a total loss.” A dollar estimate of damage is not immediately available.       The Mail has reached out to the owners of The River Roadhouse and the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Neither were available for comment at  time of publication.  

Local News  |  September 12, 2021
Music at the Vineyard

Music at the Vineyard

On Saturday September 13, The Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting “Backseat Radio” from 7:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. $5 per person cover, 12 and under are free. Bring a lawn chair!

Local News  |  September 12, 2021
Paintball Golf

Paintball Golf

Thursday September 16, at 6:00 P.M., head on down to Pub 52 for Paintball Golf. Make your way around the course and enjoy drinks after!

Local News  |  September 12, 2021
Women's Bible Study

Women's Bible Study

Tuesday September 14, The New Castle Bible Church will be having a Women’s Bible Study from 6:45 P.M. to 8:15 P.M. Focus will be on the book of Acts

Spotlight  |  September 12, 2021
Pub 52

Pub 52

Born from a need for paintball, Pub 52 has had a wild evolution. Explaining this evolution, owner Larry Morgan, took me on a quick tour of the property. We started on the paintball course, where he showed me a couple “Holes” for his next idea: paintball golf. Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like, and it looks just as hard. Next, he took me to the side of his building and pointed out his plans to expand the cement landing for more outdoor space. Larry also quickly told me about other ideas he has tried in the past: miniature golf and batting cages. Shrugging with a bit of a smile, Larry says “Some ideas work out, others don’t”.

High School Sports  |  September 12, 2021
Dee-Mack Friday Night Football

Dee-Mack Friday Night Football

Football fans couldn’t have asked for a better evening to watch a football game. Pork chops were on the grill as fans filed into the stadium. After a brief opening ceremony that included the Mackinaw JFL football teams, it was game time.

Local News  |  September 5, 2021
Burt Mercier Memorial Claybird Classic

Burt Mercier Memorial Claybird Classic

The Burt Mercier Memorial Claybird Classic is being held at the Oakridge Sportsmans Club on Thursday September 23 from 12:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. This event will feature 10 shooting stations and all proceeds will go to the Burt Mercer Endowment Fund at Easter Seals Timber Pointe Center.

Local News  |  September 5, 2021
Newcomers Breakfast

Newcomers Breakfast

Sunday September 12 from 9:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. The New Castle Bible Church is hosting a Newcomers Breakfast. 

Community Spotlight  |  September 5, 2021
Piper Evelsizer

Piper Evelsizer

Numbers are hard to come by, but there are an estimated 70 million stray cats in America. The Chicagoland area, alone, is estimated to have 200,000 strays. As one could guess, very few of these cats are spayed/neutered. The good news is that there is a local group working to bring those local numbers down by housing these strays until they can find their “forever homes”. This week, I sat down with a member of that group, TLC Fosters, to get the full scoop.

Local News  |  September 5, 2021
Vineyard Brings ZA FUNK

Vineyard Brings ZA FUNK

On Saturday September 11 from 7 to 11 P.M. Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting the band ZA FUNK. $5 per person, 12 and under are free. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Local News  |  August 29, 2021
Congregational Meeting

Congregational Meeting

New Castle Bible Church, located at 17931 Dee Mac Rd, is holding a Congregational Meeting on Sunday August 29 at 6:00 P.M. The event may be attended on-line or in person. Childcare will not be available.

Local News  |  August 29, 2021
Grape Stomp Festival

Grape Stomp Festival

Sunday September 5th, Mackinaw Valley Vineyard will be hosting their annual Grape Stomp and Harvest Festival from 12:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. Come enter the Lucy Look-a-Like contest at 3:30 P.M. for the chance at winning a $50 for the Best Lucy!

Local News  |  August 29, 2021
K & R Country at Pub 52

K & R Country at Pub 52

On Saturday September 4th, K&R Country will be playing at Pub 52 in Mackinaw. No cover charge, 21 and over only.

Local News  |  August 29, 2021
Masterpiece Painting Class

Masterpiece Painting Class

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is hosting a Masterpiece Painting Class on Sunday August 29th from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. This event is open to everyone and tickets can be found at merlotandmasterpiece.com

Community Spotlight  |  August 29, 2021
Pastor Shelly Forrest

Pastor Shelly Forrest

Born in Owatonna MN, Shelly Forrest knew from a young age that the ministry was her calling. Speaking of her childhood, Shelly describes brownie scouts, piano lessons, singing in both high school and church choir, as well as her summer trips to church camp. As a senior in high school, Shelly was invited to a denomination-wide retreat put on by the Methodist Church meant to encourage those who were exploring the call to ministry. By the end of the weekend, she was sure that is exactly what she wanted to do.

Spotlight  |  August 29, 2021
Mackinaw IGA

Mackinaw IGA

At the corner of N. Main and Fast Ave. sits a pillar of the Mackinaw community - a building in which every resident of Mackinaw has visited, most on a weekly basis. Honestly, it would be tough to overstate the relationship Mackinaw IGA has with the community. If it’s possible for a small-town grocery store to transcend into something much more, Mackinaw IGA has surely reached that status. 

Spotlight  |  August 22, 2021
The Tea Room at the Depot

The Tea Room at the Depot

At the edge of Mackinaw sits an interesting piece of central Illinois history. Known as “The Tea Room” today, this old train station was once a stop on a trolley line that existed between Champaign and St. Louis. In 1978, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Despite this designation, The Depot sat empty for 40 years until an experienced business woman with a vision stepped in. Enter: Beth Wiegand.

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