Around The County

slideshow penguinThere were over 1,150 entries who were on the lookout for Piper the Penguin as he hid from one sneaky spot to another daily in the park for Christmas in Carlyle. Three winners were randomly selected and they were, from left, Jayli Sparks, Annabelle Howard and Angeleen Wesselmann.     The Carlyle City Council approved at their Monday night meeting to follow Illinois Municipal League (IML) regulations to have all listed cannabis operations as a special use.
    The council had already approved an ordinance agreement establishing a 3 percent tax rate (the maximum allowed) for a Municipal Cannabis Retailers' Occupation Tax within the city. 
    The Zoning Board approved at their last meeting to allow for cannabis dispensaries zoned as a special use in a B-1 (Community Business), B-2 (Highway Business) or I-1 (Industrial) district, and prohibit other business types, such as a craft grower, cultivation center, or transporting organization. 
    However, Alderman (and mayor pro-tem) Kent Newkirk said at the Jan. 13 meeting that they shouldn't limit themselves on the other business-practices for cannabis operations.
    "Why should we limit ourselves?" Newkirk said. "I think we need to be open to all of it. I doubt if we ever even get a dispensary, but if it were to happen, we want to be ready."
    Alderman John Hodapp agreed and said that while he was against recreational marijuana use, he believes that facilities who want to grow their own would benefit both the Electric and Water departments.

HillMaddilyn Hill, 8, teaches big sister Hannah Hill a few dance steps during Sunday’s open house for the elder Hill, at Traditions Portrait Design Studio in Carlyle. (Photo by Bryan Hunt)    The smell of fair foods — cotton candy, mini corn dogs, sauced meatballs — wafted through Traditions Portrait Design Studio in Carlyle on Sunday.
    In the middle of all the hubbub, a statuesque young woman soaked in all the attention, greeting family and friends and grabbing a snack here and there.
    The focus of the day was Hannah Hill of Sandoval, the reigning Clinton County Fair queen.
    Hill is set to depart home this Wednesday to participate in the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant, Thursday through Sunday at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield.
    Sunday's informal, open house-style gathering was held at the Fairfax Street business owned by Lori Jansen, who is the Clinton County Fair Queen pageant director. 
    Jansen is aided by assistant director Sharilyn Muench and stage director Karen Gregov.
    The preliminary competition in Springfield will consist of interview and speech skills, evening gown and swimwear events.
    The new Illinois County Fair queen will be crowned at the culmination of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention on Sunday evening, Jan. 19.
    Asked if she'd had a chance to talk with past Clinton County Fair queens about what to expect in Springfield, Hill said, "I feel like we've all worked really hard together, getting me prepared for state and just giving me an  idea of what to expect."
    Hill said she appreciates all the help she's received from those who have gone before her.
    So what advice will Hill be taking on her journey?
    She said she's been told to have fun. 
    "They said it is the best weekend that I would never want to do again," Hill said with a laugh.
    Hill said she's going to go with an open mind and "have a lot of fun."
    She and the other contestants will start practice Thursday at 1 p.m., and Friday she has her event interview. They start at 8:30 a.m. and contestants will finish around 6 p.m.

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Carlyle Lake Levels

Lake levels

 Fri., Jan. 10
445.21 
 Sun., Jan. 12 448.53 
 Tues., Jan. 14 452.11 

Precipitation

precipitation

 January 8 .00"
 January 9 .00"
 January 10 1.07"
 January 11 3.44"
 January 12 .22"/.04" snow
 January 13 .00"
 January 14 .00"