Around The Town

Morgan County Garden Club Flower Show to take place Sept. 8 in Jacksonville:
The Morgan County Garden Club invites everyone to a judged Flower Show on Friday, Sept. 8 at Lincoln Land Community College in Jacksonville. This free event will be open to the public from 12:30 to 7 p.m.

Any amateur gardener may enter individual horticulture specimens. These will be divided into classes of annuals, herbs, hostas, roses, perennials, branches, house plants and combination plantings. These horticulture specimens must have been grown by the exhibitor and except for those in pots must be displayed in a clear glass or plastic container. Accredited judges from the Garden Clubs of Illinois, Inc. will judge the entries. 

Garden Club members will create floral arrangements based on the theme of the show, “Petals on Parade.” Educational displays and photography will also be exhibited.

A complete listing of the classes and rules is available at the Jacksonville Public Library and the Morgan County Extension Office. Exhibits will be accepted at LLCC between 7:30 and 9:45 a.m. on the day of the show. LLCC is located at 32 N. Central Park Plz. in downtown Jacksonville.

MCS Community Services announces the start of the LIHEAP Energy Assistance Program:
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is available for income qualified households beginning October 2, 2023.

MCS Community Services, as administrator of the Energy Assistance Program in Morgan, Cass and Scott counties, is pleased to announce that funds are available to assist income-eligible households with their natural gas, propane and/or electric bills and furnace assistance for inoperable heating systems.

The program will begin October 2, 2023 for seniors (60+), the disabled and families with children under the age of six years.

Beginning November 2, 2023, households that are disconnected from their utilities, have a disconnection notice or have less than 25% in their propane tank can start applying for assistance.

Al other income eligible households can start applying December 1, 2023.

The application end date is now changing to August 15 instead of May 31. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis through August 15, 2024, or until funding is exhausted. Households that receive a one-time benefit may return during this period for a Reconnection Assistance benefit.

Additionally, a homeowner whose existing heating system is not operational or has been red-

tagged as hazardous may apply for Furnace Assistance during their priority group period. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis, as funding permits.

Households must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level to receive a benefit from the LIHEAP Program. The 30-day income guidelines for LIHEAP are based on Federal Poverty Guidelines, State Median Income and the number of persons living in the household. The guidelines are as follows: 1-$2,430; 2-$3,2887; 3-$4,143; 4-$5,000. Larger households should call the office for current guidelines or go to

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time benefits to income eligible homeowners and renters to help with energy bills and for reconnection of energy service. Propane customers who are part of the priority group are encouraged to apply when the program opens in October. Propane prices typically increase during the winter months so by applying early propane customers will see their LIHEAP benefit go further.

Applications can be taken in-person at locations in Jacksonville, Beardstown and Winchester, by appointment only. Applications can also be taken over-the-phone, by appointment only, with documentation to be sent into MCS Community Services by using the office drop box, emailing, faxing or regular mail delivery. Details will be given out during the phone application.

To submit an application, you MUST submit ALL documentation required:

1. Proof of gross income from all household members for the prior 30-day period

beginning with the date of application.

2. Proof of Social Security numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

(ITIN) for all household members. Individuals without an SSN or ITIN can still apply and MCS Community Services will advise accordingly.

3. A copy of current gas, electric, and/or propane bills issued within the last 30 days.

4. All household members over the age of 18 claiming zero income are required to provide proof of how they are surviving, such as: proof of job search, denial or appeal of disability claim, denial of unemployment, written proof of help from family, application for or receipt of DHS services (SNAP, TANF, medical card, etc.), proof of enrollment in school, etc.

5. A copy of rental agreement (if renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact.

6. Other documents may be needed based on your household situation. If you have questions regarding this, please call our office.

Based on program guidelines applications may be denied due to program ineligibility, lack of documentation or lack of funding availability.

Please call MCS Community Services at 217-243-9404 or 1-888-288-4413, beginning October 2, 2023, for outreach locations and schedules, and for information on what documents are needed to apply and different ways to submit your documentation.

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