The Journal’s headlines and highlights of 2020 Part 2

File Photo: Rachel Ray Tuscola’s Tommy K Martin VFW Post 10009 led the fourth of July parade to the Douglas County Courthouse.

File Photo: Kendra Hennis
The almost-finished mural at the Douglas County Museum. It is a beautiful and welcome addition to Tuscola. The mural features special items to represent each town in Douglas County. The artists are in the works of creating an interactive way to talk about the significance of each aspect of the mural.

File Photo
Douglas County Clerk Judi Pollock and staff of the Douglas County Clerk’s Office following election night. Douglas County saw a record turnout of 73.65 percent of voters at this year’s election.

File Photo: Rachel Ray
Sean Conner of the VFW, Mayor Dan Kleiss, Carmen Morgan, Miss Tuscola Kali Pierce, Little Miss Tuscola Avery Cleland, and Junior Miss Tuscola Kate Foltz at the ribbon cutting of the Tuscola Serves signs. The ribbon cutting and dedication of the signs was the last stop in Tuscola’s Veterans Day activities.

File Photo: Tony Hooker
Junior Miss Villa Grove Addisyn Wilson (left), Miss Villa Grove Ava Vollmer (right) and Little Miss Villa Grove Addysyn Wilson (front) at the Villa Grove Christmas Tree Lighting Festival.

File Photo: Rachel Ray
Santa visited Tuscola with the help of the Tuscola Fire Department on December 5 to bring Christmas cheer to the town.

By Kendra Hennis
Continued from last week we have The Journal’s headlines and highlights of 2020. Thank you to all of our readers for your support, and we are excited to bring you the news in 2021!

July
Superintendent Norm Tracy was thanked by the Villa Grove Board of Education for his help with the district before his retirement. 

Villa Grove city council celebrates former Villa Grove Police Chief Dennis Gire’s 30 years of service. 

The City of Tuscola announced their virtual Sparks in the Park events including a virtual 5k, scavenger hunt, and bingo. 

Bob Rea assumes duties as new Chief of Police in Villa Grove. 

Tuscola’s city council moves forward with the Ervin Park Improvement Project. 

Carol Munson, new Villa Grove Superintendent, talked with reporter Tony Hooker about the upcoming school year. 

Phyllis Truitt resigned from the Tuscola City Council after 28 years of service. 

August 
IHSA and IESA vote to give fall sports a chance with limited contact days and more regulations. 

Tuscola City Council appoints Juanita Brace to Ward 1 vacancy. 

Villa Grove’s Reagan Cheely prepares for fall softball at Parkland College. 

Tuscola Warriors fall 2020 cross country season was off and running. 

The former Dixie Cream Donuts building collapsed while the Salmon Family was working on repairs. 

Tuscola’s Athletic Director Ryan Hornaday was honored as one of the best with the Illinois Athletic Director Association Class 1A/2A Division 5 director of the year for the 2019/2020 school year. 

Tuscola Warrior golfers set to tee up for fall season dispute COVID-19.

Coach Gerard welcomes record numbers to 2020 Villa Grove golf squad.

Villa Grove cross country has large numbers and lofty goals for fall season. 

Rally Point Fitness prepared for opening in Tuscola in early September. 

Backstage Boogie comes back to life August 29 at Cast Iron Pub in downtown Tuscola. 

September 
Help-A-Child helps Tuscola families for fifteen years. 

Tuscola GSA, Rally Point Fitness, and Cast Iron Pub held a Suicide Awarness benefit, with proceeds going to RISE Behavioral Health in Tuscola. 

The Warriors cross country team was strong at the Cow Chip Classic. 

Tuscola city council voted to pay off the Motor Fuel Tax bond two years early. 

Tuscola Warriors boys golf team celebrates seniors Corey Dunn and Brayden Boyer at this season’s senior night match. 

Tuscola Mayor Dan Kleiss presented Brian Moody with a plaque as he celebrated his 15 years of service as the Chamber and Economic Development director. 

Members of the Tuscola Women’s Club gave out “free advice” outside McDonalds. 

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office congratulated Sargeant Wes Fleener for 29 years of service before recent retirement from the DCSO.

Villa Grove board of education voted to return to a five day in-person school week and debuted the new building. 

October 
“Paint-by-number” mural coming soon to Douglas County Museum. 

Lady Warriors golfers Marley Good and Makenna Fiscus moved to the 2020 cross country sectionals. 

Villa Grove Boy Scout Leader Larry Vandeveer recognized for years of service to the organization. 

Mayor Dan Kleiss proclaimed Nov. 1 as National Family Literacy Day at the Tuscola city council meeting. 

Villa Grove Junior High cross country runners Kurt Zimmerman, Lukas Shadwick, Jackson Gilles and Chase White  finished in the top 20 at the IESA sectional meet. 

Seconds count as Warriors secure hardware at Central Illinois Conference. Senior Laney Cummings finished in sixth and Freshman Josiah Hortin finished in third place. 

Tuscola board of education approves a clean audit report. 

TCHS senior cross country runners Laney Cummings, Clayton Hausmann, Brynn Tabeling, James Boyd, Hannah Hornaday, Aiden Beachy, Sam Simpson, and Kenzi Heckler were celebrated during senior night. 

November 
The City of Tuscola held a Drive-BOO Halloween celebration at Ervin Park that families could come through and recieve candy. 

The Camargo Township District Library held a Halloween scavenger hunt for residents to enjoy. 

Illinois’ Region 6 moves to new resurgence mitigations, including the closing of indoor dining and bars. 

Tuscola’s basketball season in limbo following IHSA meeting and new resurgence mitigations. 

Hannah Hornaday and Ava Cothron chosen as recipients of the SAR/DAR Good Citizens Award. 

Strong finish at cross country sectionals by Tuscola’s Josiah Hortin. Hortin finished the meet in 13th place with a time of 16 minutes and 31 seconds. 

At the TCHS golf awards night, Makenna Fiscus received the MVP award, Marley Good received the Warrior Spirit award and Zoey Thomason was named Most Improved. 

During the TCHS golf awards night, Nate Thomason was awarded the MVP and Most Improved Awards and Braden Boyer was given the Warrior Spirit award.

Douglas County sees record turnout of 73 percent of voters at this year’s general election.

Tuscola celebrated Veterans this year with a ceremony and parade down Main Street as well as the dedication of the Tuscola Serves signs. 

During the Tuscola High School cross country awards night winners included Hannah Hornaday with Warrior Spirit, Laney Cummings as MVP, and Reggan Smith who was awarded Most Promising. 

At the Tuscola High School cross country awards night winners included Aiden Beachy with Warrior Spirit and Josiah Hortin with MVP and the Greg Weaver Memorial Award. 

Love’s Travel Stop had their ribbon cutting at their Tuscola location on November 20. 

Douglas County Board President Don Munson presented a plaque to board member Tom Glenn and his wife Laraine for his fourteen years of service to the board. 

December 
The Villa Grove Christmas Tree Lighting Festival drew a small crown to downtown Villa Grove. 

This year’s Best in Show winners at the Douglas County Museum included Hazel Cordes, Alex Clark, Callie Parr, and Karina Warfel. 

Tuscola kicks off Christmas with events including a walk down Candy Cane Lane courtesy of Downtown Design Studio, a virtual 5k, a Storybook Stroll, a live nativity scene, and visits from Santa with the help of the Tuscola Fire Department. 

Newly sworn in Douglas County officials included Circuit Clerk Nathan Burton, Coroner Heather Skinner, and board members Philip Morris, Richard Hein, and Gary Luth.

Julie Mills bids farewell to the office of Douglas County Circuit Clerk. 

With the help of Villa Grove Fire and Rescue, Santa Claus visited all of the parks in Villa Grove on December 19. 

Douglas County Sheriff Josh Blackwell announces June resignation. 

Villa Grove senior Kyleigh Block signed to continue her basketball career with Illinois Central College. 

The Douglas County Health Department announced the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines underway in Douglas County. 

This year’s Letters to Santa section featured students from North Ward and Villa Grove Elementary School as well as shout outs from community businesses.

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