Around The Town

Lake Jacksonville management makes fishing announcement:
Lake Jacksonville will open to fishing on March 9, 2022.Lake Jacksonville will open to camping April 1, 2022, at 8 a.m. and close for the season October 19, 2022, at 5 p.m.

The City of Jacksonville Clerk’s office will not be selling boat stickers. All boaters must purchase 2022 boat stickers exclusively at the concession building at Lake Jacksonville starting April 1, 2022. Daily passes are available for those who do not wish to purchase a full season pass for $11.00; 2021 seasonal boating permits are valid until April 1, 2022.

The seasonal camping lease payment deadline is April 30, 2022; $50.00 late fee will be applied until May 5, 2022. Lake management will not accept payment after May 5, 2022; lots that are not paid by the May 5 deadline will be entered into the 2022 permanent camper lottery which will be held on May 14, 2022, at 10 a.m. in the concession building.

Hours of the concession stand and shower house at Lake Jacksonville are as follows:

Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(The concession building will be closed April 17, 2022, for the Easter holiday).

If you have any questions, please contact the telephone number listed below.

Brett Gilbreth
Jacksonville Lakes Superintendent

Goodyear names 37th winner of Highway Hero Award. Illinois-based truck driver joins prestigious list of courageous award recipients after saving family from a burning vehicle:
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today announced the winner of its 2020-2021 Highway Hero Award, a program that – since 1983 – celebrates professional truck drivers who act selflessly for the good of others on the highways across North America.

Gerald “Andy” Wright of Jacksonville, a truck driver who saved the lives of motorists trapped in a burning vehicle, accepted the 37th Goodyear Highway Hero Award during a news conference today at the 2022 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) in Orlando.

“From the moment I saw the flames, all I could think about was what I could do to help those inside the car get to safety,” said Wright. “I’m honored to be given this award from Goodyear, and at the end of the day I feel very fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time to help those in need.”

Wright received a significant monetary reward and other custom prizes from Goodyear, joining a prestigious family of past program winners that span generations.

“There is no question that Andy’s actions directly saved the lives of those who were in severe danger,” said Gary Schroeder, executive director, Cooper Commercial at Goodyear. “Andy fully embodies what it means to be a hero, and today we are proud to add him to our list of courageous Goodyear Highway Hero Award winners.”

In October 2021, Goodyear commissioned a call for submissions, asking the trucking community to nominate a driver in their life who demonstrated an extraordinary act of courage on the road. After receiving dozens of inspiring story submissions, a panel of independent industry judges voted on the grand prize winner, and identified two deserving finalists with incredible stories:

  • Gerald “Andy” Wright, Highway Hero Award Recipient: While driving on Illinois Route 3, Wright encountered a vehicle that was on fire following an accident. Equipped with nothing more than a fire extinguisher and load bar, Wright sprung to action and quickly suppressed the fire as best he could until the extinguisher ran out. Wright then proceeded to break the vehicle’s sunroof and helped pull the trapped occupants out of the vehicle to safety. By the time all riders had been removed, the car was fully engulfed in fire.
  • Jami Meyers, Program Finalist: Meyers was driving on an interstate when she noticed a car in front of her swerved lanes and hit a barrier. Meyers quickly exited her truck to investigate when she noticed the vehicle was slowly moving, and the car’s driver was on the ground in front of the car. Meyers immediately entered the vehicle and put the car in reverse to ensure the man could be safely removed from the car’s path. Meyers then placed a coat on the man to keep him warm and stayed with him until emergency personnel arrived.
  • Phillip Hurte, Program Finalist: Hurte was driving through Lubbock, Texas, when he witnessed an SUV roll over. Acting quickly, Hurte immediately pressed on his brakes and pulled over to see if he could help the situation. When Hurte approached the damaged vehicle, he noticed two adults and a young child inside. Hurte proceeded to help each family member exit safely and waited with them as first responders rushed to the scene.

As program finalists, Meyers and Hurte will also receive monetary prizes from Goodyear.

To learn more about theHighway Hero Award, view exclusive content and read up aboutformerwinners,visit

Nothing Fancy Supply Co. hosts Illinois Local pop-up in Jacksonville:
Nothing Fancy Supply Co. will host the first Illinois Local pop-up of 2022 in Jacksonville at its warehouse at 205 Madison St. in Jacksonville. 

The pop-up is on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to the public. 

In addition to Nothing Fancy Supply Co. beeswax food wraps, the event will feature 13 Illinois Local member vendors. Vendors include Social Creations Co., J. A. Byrd’s Analog Implements, Honey Creek Farm, Johnny & June, Gorgie Gowns, The Find Boutique, Pasta al Dente by Keila, Homemade Passions by Bryce, Velvet & Rosemary, Flourish Flower Co., Little Lincoln’s Toy Store, Fawnberry Apothecary and The Painted Tin Bin. 

Our Town Books will be holding a story time at the pop-up at noon for children up to eight years old.

“It’s rejuvenating as a small business owner to be able to support others by hosting an event like this,” said Colleen Flinn, owner of Nothing Fancy Supply Co. 

Find out more about Nothing Fancy Supply Co. at or Illinois Local at

CEC Chapter 99 presentation on Tuesday, March 29:
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Chapter 99 proudly presents Dawn Williams speaking on the topic, “Effective Strategies for Students with Trauma History–Behavior, Academics, and Technology” on Tuesday, March 29, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Williams is known for providing a whole array of practical strategies that work and that can be used in the classroom the next day. She is a special educator at Glenwood Middle School.

PDs will be given. Parents, paraprofessionals, students and members of CEC are free; others pay a nominal fee.

To register, send an email to or visit Chapter 99’s website at for more information.  

Morgan County Garden Club presents U of I educator as speaker on March 19 meeting:
Ken Johnson, University of Illinois Horticulture Educator, will share information about jumping worms and other garden pests at the Morgan County Garden Club’s meeting on Saturday, March 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the Prairie Land Museum Building. The public is invited. 

Springfield Ballet Company to hold auditions April 9:
Springfield Ballet Company (SBC) will hold open auditions for company, apprentice, and junior company dancers for the 2022-23 season on April 9, 2022. Auditions will be held at the Hoogland Center for the Arts at 420 South 6th St., Springfield, IL 62701.

Auditions will be open to classically trained male and female dancers of all backgrounds and communities ages 11 and up.

All auditionees should be prepared to participate in a full ballet class to include barre and center exercises along with pointe work for all intermediate and advanced dancers.

Please dress in appropriate ballet attire as follows:

Females to wear black leotard, pink tights and pink ballet shoes – pointe shoes (as needed).

Males to wear white t-shirt or leotard, black tights and black ballet shoes.

All female auditionees will be expected to have their hair up in a secure and proper classical bun. Those with short hair should have it slicked back neatly and away from the face. Ponytails and other variations of hairstyles will be unacceptable.

Contact the Springfield Ballet Company for registration and audition times. All participants are required to pay an audition fee of $20 payable at registration. Cash only, please.

For any questions, contact SBC Ballet Mistress Caitlin Helton Scherer at:

The Springfield Ballet Company is a nonprofit civic ballet company dedicated to training and affording professional-quality performances for Central Illinois pre-professional dancers in an inclusive and nurturing environment while enriching the lives of residents in Springfield and surrounding communities.

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