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Dateline Dixon: Judging begins for Dixon Business Competition

Dead trees could get an artsy facelift

Dixon’s next small business could be just a few weeks away from a public presentation.

The Dixon Business Competition has reached the judging phase; it started Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.

Seven businesses remain in the competition, which will be narrowed down for the final pitch and judging, Dixon Main Street Executive Director Josh Albrecht said.

The finalists each will make a 2-minute presentation of his or her summary business plan during a public event June 25, when the winners will be chosen.

The winners will split $10,000 in cash to get their businesses going and will get free commercial rent.

Dixon trees that are dead or dying, a result of emerald ash borer beetles, still may be an asset to Dixon, if Mayor Jim Burke’s idea takes root.

On May 30, Burke sent a letter to several Dixon organizations, including the Park District and the Dixon Tree Commission, about turning the trees into art, which is being done in Chicago.

Last week, Burke said he’d like to see some of the affected trees in Dixon transformed into art as a way to eliminate the blight of a dead tree without actually removing the tree.

Wes Morrissey, a Lee County Board member, officially kicked off his campaign for county treasurer with a dinner in Amboy Monday night.

Shaw Media covered the dinner, but what didn’t make Tuesday’s article was that Morrissey said he wants to have two debates with current Treasurer John Fritts leading up to the November election.

Morrissey suggested there be a debate in Dixon and another in Amboy.

Admission to the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, which normally costs $20, can be bought for half-price through a Groupon deal. Go to for more information.

The home now also is a Blue Star Museum, which means the nation’s service members, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families get in free Memorial Day through Labor Day, which is Sept. 1 this year.

The Reagan home is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Go to to learn more.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at or at 815-625-3600, ext. 5529. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

SVM reporter at Books on First today

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini will have "office hours" from noon to 1 p.m. today at Books on First, 202 W. First St.

Feel free to stop by and let him know what's on your mind. Is there a story in Dixon you think should be reported? Stop by to share or just to say hi.

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