State Rep. Brad Hallbrook (R-Shelbyville) joined State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) in hosting students from the Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative March 29 at the capitol. The students were in Springfield as part of Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day, activities sponsored by the Electric and Telephone Cooperatives of Illinois. Eastern Illini serves Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, Champaign, Douglas and McLean County. Champaign and Douglas Counties are in the 102nd District represented by Rep. Halbrook.

In the photo in the Senate Chambers (from left to right): State Rep. Brad Halbrook; Renae Spannagel, Villa Grove; Lauren Tingley, Bismarck; Bridget McMullin, Loda; Jacob Rietz, Gilman; Claire Bossong, Watseka; Mike Wilson, EIEC; Hannah Warfel, Tuscola; Miranda Fairbanks, Sadorus; Susan Brown, EIEC; and State Sen. Chapin Rose.

For over 55 years, the electric and telephone cooperatives of Illinois have given tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to learn from today’s public officials. Each year, nearly 300 outstanding students get an up close and first hand look at democracy in action when they meet their elected representatives during Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day. Over the years, thousands of students have learned how government works and why it’s important for every citizen to get involved in it. State senators and representatives have the opportunity to inspire and encourage the leaders of tomorrow during this annual event, held in Springfield.

State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville), pictured far right, joined State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) in welcoming the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans Girls Cross Country Team March 29 to the Illinois Capitol for the team’s IHSA Class 1A Girls Cross Country State Championship.

The championship meet was held at Detweiller Park in Peoria on November 5th. This is the team’s second state title in three years and their third consecutive top three finish. The team is coached by Mr. Jason Retz and Mrs. Terri Rein. Their bus driver is Coach Jim Acklin, who is an IHSA Hall of Fame coach and coached Urbana and St. Joseph-Ogden Cross Country Teams.

Congratulations to the team members: Hanna Atwood, Senior; Cassidy Bagby, Sophomore; Hailey Birt, Freshman; Haley Griebart, Sophomore; Faith Houston, Junior; Danie Kelso, Freshman; Kassie Kelso, Sophomore; Samantha Mabry, Junior; Sally Manalo, Sophomore; Ally Monk, Freshman; Angela Palmer, Sophomore; Jillian Plotner, Freshman; Murelle Plotner, Senior; Hannah Rajilch, Senior; and Keely Smith, Senior.

Tyler Harvey (left) and Clint Robinson (right) of Moultrie County Farm Bureau
discuss projects of the Kaskaskia Watershed Association with  Rep. Halbrook.

On Monday, State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) attended the 17th Annual Kaskaskia Watershed Association (KWA) Summit at the Mariners Village Conference Center at Carlyle Lake. The KWA is a group of volunteers that works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve watershed wide issues that include five of the counties in the 102nd district (Shelby, Moultrie Macon, Douglas and Champaign Counties).

The Kaskaskia Watershed Association has been instrumental in securing a US Army Corps of Engineers ‘Handshake Partnership Program’ award of $20,000 to improve the pollinator habitat around Lake Shelbyville. This project will convert 100 acres of old field habitat choked out with invasive species into a diverse pollinator mix, vital to numerous insect species which pollinate native Illinois plants.

“I would like to thank the Moultrie County Farm Bureau members who attended and participated in a panel discussion about how framers are working with the Kaskaskia Watershed Association to improve water quality through better efficiencies in fertilizer applications and various crop planting strategies,” commented Rep. Halbrook, a member of the Counties & Townships Committee. “It was encouraging, also, to hear members of the public suggest that we should pursue private donations as matching monies for the federal dollars that are already approved and waiting to be used for the various projects as soon as there is a 50-50 match,” added Halbrook.
The Youth Police Program was developed by the Department Safety, Law & Order Committee, in conjunction with the Illinois State Police in a meeting at the State Police Academy in October of 1971. Both males and females ages 14 through 16 are eligible to participate.

The primary purpose of the Youth Police Program is to establish an inter-personal relationship between the youth of our State and Law Enforcement Officers, in order to create a better understanding of the problems and attitudes of both groups, and to develop a rapport between youth and the police.

It is our intention that the youth attending this program need not necessarily be interested in a career in Law Enforcement. In fact, we feel that those youths who do not seem to have vocational or scholastic direction may benefit the most from this program. It is really our desire to recruit the average youth representing all communities and cultural backgrounds in the State of Illinois in an effort to rekindle in our youth the fading respect for persons empowered with the responsibility of enforcing the law at all levels of government.

This goal can be better accomplished by exposing these youths to Law Enforcement with an opportunity to objectively witness the rigid training and standards set forth in law enforcement today. 

It is our desire that each participant returns to their community with a clearer understanding of the police and their problems.

Applications must be received by the American Legion Division Chairman, Delmar Buske (4th Div., 21st Dist.) at 904 N. Van Buren Street, Litchfield, IL 62056.

If you have any questions, Mr. Buske may be contacted at 217-556-9555 or by e-mail at
In light of the severe storms that came through Illinois last night, this is a reminder that we need to be prepared in case of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) encourages people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued. The month of March is designated as "Severe Weather Preparedness Month" to remind residents about the resources available in the case of an emergency.

IEMA suggests that people have storm radios on and wireless emergency alerts enabled on their smartphones in case more storms roll through.

Seek shelter immediately if a tornado warning is issued for your area. The best shelter is in a basement or cellar. If an underground shelter is not available, find an interior room or hallway on the lowest level, such as a closet, small interior hallways and bathrooms without windows.

You can download a disaster kit checklist HERE to help you and your family be better prepared.