Around the Town

Jacksonville Lions Club holds school supply drive benefiting the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation:
One weekend of the drive has already taken place; however, those wishing to purchase supplies for donation can still do so at the Jacksonville Walmart on Friday, Aug. 4 and Saturday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. either day. Members of the Jacksonville Lions Club will be set up with a tent outside an entrance to collect supplies.

The drive will benefit local students within Jacksonville School District #117. The Lions Club sponsored the school supply drive as a way to support Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation and the district.

Routt Catholic names new development/enrollment director: The Routt Catholic High School Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Bre Linstromberg Copper of Jacksonville as the school’s director of development and enrollment. Linstromberg Copper officially steps into the role Aug. 1.

Former director of development and enrollment Colleen Doyle announced in June that she had accepted a position as regional director of development at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Doyle served in her role at Routt for five years.

“As a direct result of Colleen’s work, Routt Catholic High School is more visible and active in our Central Illinois communities than ever before, and she’s established and nurtured deep connections with current Routt families and friends, alumni, and potential Routt students and supporters,” said Linstromberg Copper. “I look forward to continuing the momentum Colleen has created and building on that excitement about all that Routt has to offer.”

Linstromberg Copper, 42, is a MacMurray College graduate and most recently served as a media relations consultant for Memorial Health based at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital. She worked for a combined decade in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier newsroom. She and her husband, Steve, have one son, Walter, who is a rising senior at Routt.

“We are delighted to welcome Bre, who brings to the job not only her skills and experience in public relations and communications, but a dedication to our local communities,” said Sean Evans, president of the RCHS board of directors. “The development and enrollment director is key to Routt’s success as we live our mission to provide each of our students with a high-quality education based in faith and service.”

The 2023-2024 school year at Routt begins Aug. 17, and the school is still accepting new students. For more information about Routt Catholic High School and how to enroll a student, visit or call 217-243-8563.

Historic Springfield law firm launches satellite office in Jacksonville:
Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C. has announced the opening of a new office in Jacksonville at 102 N. Westgate Ave., Suite B. Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C. is a full-service law firm with eight attorneys, three of counsel, and a team of experienced staff.

The firm believes that the expansion aligns perfectly with its objective of servicing new and existing clients. The decision to expand into Morgan County aligns perfectly with the firm’s mission – for over 100 years – to provide excellent legal services to new and existing clients throughout Central Illinois.

The new Jacksonville office will be the firm’s third location following the opening of its Hillsboro office in 2016.

The office will be staffed primarily by Attorney Samantha Bobor. Ms. Bobor joined the firm in 2020 after spending over three years in private practice in Jacksonville. Ms. Bobor practices in the areas of general litigation, as well as in education, labor and employment, and local government law. In addition to Ms. Bobor’s practice, clients will be able to take advantage of the full-service ability of the firm as a whole. She explained, “Through our Jacksonville office, residents of Morgan County and the surrounding areas will have access to every attorney of our firm handling a broad spectrum of legal issues. The firm takes a team approach to a client-centered experience. Because we approach legal issues as a team, a client who retains one of our attorneys actually retains all of our attorneys, having at their disposal all of the expertise and resources that the entire firm can bring to bear upon their legal problem.”

Not only does the firm’s legal team offer decades of collective legal experience, but their attorneys are backed by the highest levels of professional recognition. Many of the firm’s attorneys have received the prestigious “AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, named to Illinois

“Super Lawyers”®, and included in “Leading Lawyers Network” publications. The firm counts among its former members and associates a United States Senator from Illinois, congressmen, judges, and other prominent governmental, community, and business leaders. Additionally, the firm is a member of SCG Legal, an invitation-only group of over 145 preeminent independent law firms.

More information about the firm can be found at

AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Member firms practice independently and are not in a relationship for the joint practice of law.

2023 Lake Jacksonville Archery Deer and Duck Blind Drawings:
The 2023 Lake Jacksonville waterfowl blind drawing will be held Wednesday, Aug. 16, in the Nichols Park Pavilion. Doors will open at 5 p.m., with the draw starting at 6 p.m.

This draw is for 13 waterfowl blinds and is a two-year allocation. Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age, show proof of a valid driver’s license or state of Illinois I.D., reside within the city limits of Jacksonville, and possess a 2022 or 2023 hunting license with Federal and State Duck Stamps. The fee for the allocation is $200 per year per blind site.

The 2023 Lake Jacksonville archery deer site drawing will also be held Wednesday, Aug. 16, in the Nichols Park Pavilion. Doors will open at 5 p.m., with the draw taking place at 6:30 p.m.

The draw is for 21 deer site locations and is a two-year allocation. Applicants must show proof of a valid driver’s license or state of Illinois I.D., a 2022 or 2023 hunting license with habitat stamp, reside in Morgan County, and be a minimum of 18 years of age to enter the lottery. The fee for the two-year allocation is $50 per year per site.

If applicants have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call Jacksonville Lakes Superintendent at 217-479-4644.

Pizza Records announces another outdoor event
— local record store will be hosting music and vendors at the first ever Pizzastock: Jacksonville record store owners, Devin and Heather Smock, announce another outdoor festival at their 326 W. State St. location. On Saturday, Aug. 5, Pizza Records will host the first ever Pizzastock at their location in the Gillham House. This outdoor festival will include everything from tie-dye to locally made cookies to cigar box guitar vendors, along with six different bands. Our very own Jeff Newman will kick off the event at 10 a.m., followed by California Jeff at noon. The talented Judy McNutt will hit the stage at 1 p.m., with singer/songwriter Emily Perkins following at 3 p.m. Saving Leviathan is set to perform at 4 p.m., and Not Petty will round things out with a three-hour set starting at 6 that evening. Shopping will also be available inside Gillham House during the festival. This is an all-ages, free event.

In addition to music and shopping, there will be a drawing for a two-day pass to the Evolution Festival held at Forest Park in St Louis, a $200 value. (For a full list of the musical lineup, visit Simply come out to Pizzastock and put your name into the pickle jar. More details can be found on the Pizza Records Instagram and Facebook pages and the Pizzastock Facebook event page. 

Pizza Records has been in business since October 2022 and has been hosting music shows since January 2023. This will be their second event of this magnitude and owners Devin and Heather Smock are hoping this occasion will be bigger and better than the last. “Pizzastock, it’s like Woodstock, but not.”

Prairieland United Way announces the appointment of six new board members:
Prairieland United Way announced today the appointment of six to the board of directors. This brings the number of board members to 17.

Ryan Byers, Brian Hartsock, Lauren Hays, Erin Kleinlein, Jean Ndacyayisenga and Stephen Symons will all be joining the board to serve a three-year term.

“We are grateful to Ryan, Brian, Lauren, Erin, Jean and Stephen for volunteering to serve on Prairieland United Way’s Board of Directors,” said Karen Walker, executive director of Prairieland United Way. “Their guidance and expertise will help us in our efforts toward empowering individuals and building self-sufficiency in our community.”

Ryan Byers joined the Jacksonville law firm of Rammelkamp Bradney, P.C. as an associate attorney in 2008 and became a partner in the firm in 2014. At Rammelkamp Bradney, he focuses his practice in the area of civil litigation and is regularly interviewed by media outlets for legal commentary, including being quoted by Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report. Byers has also been honored for his legal work for persons of limited means, receiving the Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award from Land of Lincoln Legal Aid in 2016. Byers is a member of the American Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association, as well as a member and past president of the Morgan County Bar Association.

Byers has held numerous roles within Rotary, including serving as a Rotary District Governor from 2021-2022, a role in which he oversaw 48 Rotary clubs in western Illinois on behalf of Rotary International. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, where he served on the board of directors from 2010-2015, including a term as president from 2013-2014.

Additionally, he serves on the multidisciplinary team of Prairie Council on Aging and is a former member of the Jacksonville Main Street promotion committee, being named Main Street’s Volunteer of the Year in 2010. He also received the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club’s A. Wadsworth Applebee Community Service Award in 2013 and was included in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier’s first class of “20 under 40” honorees in 2010.

Brian Hartsock grew up in Bethalto and now lives in Concord. He attended Illinois College for accounting and economics. It was during his time at IC that he met his wife, Katrina; they have two children, Ava and Evan. Brian Hartsock is the treasurer for the Arenzville Burgoo, a member of the Triopia Little League Board and attends First Christian Church. Hartsock has been a compliance officer at First National Bank of Arenzville since February 2022, and prior to that was director of accounting for Passavant Hospital. Hartsock likes to golf and visit family.

Lauren Hays lives in Jacksonville with her family. She currently works at Illinois College as the director of human resources. Hays is married to Cameron, and they have two children: Aspen and Lincoln. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, reading and hiking. She has served on prior boards: Our Redeemer Daycare Center (president) and University of Illinois Psychology Alumni Board (member).

Erin Kleinlein was born in Jacksonville and grew up in South Carolina where she attended the University of South Carolina to study international business and economics. She moved back to Jacksonville in 2015 to assist in managing a family business. She loves spending time outdoors with her family and friends and volunteering with local organizations.

Jean Paul Ndacyayisenga is a 2023 graduate from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. Ndacyayisenga is an electrical and automation specialist with Nestle. He enjoys automation and outside work his interests are creative writing, art and environmental science. He believes in helping others reach their dreams. 

Stephen Symons is a commercial sales executive with the Dimond Bros Insurance Agency. Symons is active in the community and serves on the Jacksonville Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and the Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors. He also serves as chairman of the Jacksonville Public Building Commission, stewardship chairman at Central Christian Church, and is a former treasurer and longtime member of the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club.

In addition to the new members, the Prairieland United Way Board of Directors includes David Albers, Janet Chipman, Jenissa Ezard, Cindy Fairfield, Peggy Hoots, Trevor Huffman, Marcy Jones, Amy Quigg, Sherri Richardson, Lisa Stambaugh and Brooke Stewart.

About Prairieland United Way
Prairieland United Way advances the common good by focusing on protecting services vital to the immediate basic needs of the most vulnerable members of our community; while making long term investments in education, financial stability, and health, because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life.

Prairie Land Heritage Museum Institute announces scholarship winners:
Three area students — Thaddeus Bergschneider, Maggie Beddingfield and Vaeda Cox — have been named recipients of Prairie Land Heritage Museum Institute’s annual scholarship. This program enabled high school seniors to compete in an essay writing competition for a $500 scholarship. 

Bergschneider is the son of Paul and Janie Bergschneider, and is a graduate of Franklin High School. He plans to attend Purdue University with a focus on agricultural economics.

Beddingfield is the daughter of Eddie and Mandy Beddingfield, and is a graduate of Bluffs High School. She plans to attend Western Illinois University with a career focus on becoming a high school agricultural teacher.

Cox is the daughter of Jack and Gloria Cox, and is a Winchester High School graduate. She plans to attend Lincoln Land Community College with a focus on accounting/agri-accounting.

About Prairie Land Heritage Museum
Prairie Land Heritage Museum Institute is a non-profit educational organization open to people of all ages interested in preserving our heritage, antique farm machinery, farming methods of the past, steam engines, and crafts. Memberships are $10 per year, $15 for a family; due Jan. 1 every year. Join us and get involved now! Contact for more information.

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