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The following organizations are seeking volunteers to help better our community:

Advocacy Outreach
Contact: Beth Rollingson @ 512-281-4180

Bastrop County Food Pantry
Contact: Tresha Silva @ 512-303-0033

Blue Santa
Elgin Police Department @ 512-285-5757

Church on the Street/God’s Closet
Contact: Greg Silkenson @ 512-281-5300

Combined Community Action – Meals on Wheels
Contact: Kelly Franke @ 979-540-2980

Community Cupboard
Contact: Dick Miller @ 512-281-9491

Companion Connection
Contact: Ellette Vinyard @ 512-285-5620

Down Home Ranch
Cortney Ferris, Development Director @ 512-856-0128

Drive a Senior (formerly Elgin Caregivers)
Contact: Erin Heine @ 512-281-6065

Elgin Art & Artisans Showcase
Contact: Barry Perez @ 512-281-2004

Elgin Arts Association
Contact: Claudia Smity @ 512-797-3138

Elgin Evening Lions Club
Contact: Thrift Store @ 512-285-5525

Elgin Extension Club
Contact: Claudia Murphy @ 512.281.2747

Elgin Garden Club
Contact: Bonnie Groves @ 512-281-9551

Elgin Independent School District (EISD) & EISD Foundation
Contact: Nancy Collins @ 512-281-9731

Elgin Main Street Board
Contact: 512-281-5724

Elgin Pregnancy Care Center
Sue Rogers @512-285-9955

Elgin Public Library
Contact: Sandy Ott @ 512-281-5678

Elgin Youth Sports Associations

Family Crisis Center
Contact: Bernie Jackson @ 512-321-7760 (office)

First Baptist Church Food Pantry
Contact: Toni Medina @ 512-661-8685

Friends of the Elgin Library
Contact: Patsy Hoffman @ 512-281-3628

Friends of the Elgin Parks
Contact: Martha Cox @ 512-497-0255

Greater Elgin Chamber of Commerce
Contact: Gena Carter @ 512-285-4515

Hogeye Festival
Contact: 512-281-5724

Horse Boy Foundation
Contact: Jenny Lockwood @ 512-686-6202

Kiwanis Club
Contact: Chris Cannon @ 512.217.1283

Lion’s Club Thrift Store
Contact Store @ 512-285-5525

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
Contact: 512-285-6190

SCARE for a CURE www.scareforacure.org Contact: volunteer@scareforacure.org

Contact: Community Development City of Elgin @ 512-229-3213

Community Clean Up Days
Contact: Community Development City of Elgin @ 512-229-3213

We are located in Manor at 14219 Littig Rd, Manor, TX 78653. We are a 501c3 completely volunteer run organization that has made over $200K in donations to the Breast Cancer Resource Center in the past 10 years and over $4k to local Manor charities since we moved to Manor 4yrs ago.

St. Vincent de Paul
Contact: Kevin or Letha Wiley @ 512-285-3882

Western Days Festival
Contact: Gena Carter @ 512-281-5724

To add your organization to this list at no charge, call 512-285-3333 or email elgincourier@elgincourier.com.

Friday 09/21/2018
Students to launch satellite at NASA Research Center
Posted: September 21, 2018

The McDade ISD NASA class taught by Carolin Mitchell has built a satellite for launch with assistance from Quad-M Inc. Engineering and Manufacturing Services of McDade. The device is scheduled to launch in Nov. 2018 from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. 

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, September 21, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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State Farm opens new digs
Posted: September 21, 2018

With a ribbon on Thursday, September 14, Mayor Chris Cannon, Elgin Chamber of Commerce president Gena Carter (left) and many more community members welcome State Farm insurance agent Brad Carter (center right) and employees Shelby Ormsby (center) and Rebecca Diaz (right) to Carter’s new office location on downtown Main Street at 14 N. Main Street, Suite A.

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, September 21, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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John Wesley Smith, Jr. of Elgin receives degree
Posted: September 21, 2018

On Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, John Wesley Smith, Jr., a 2015 alumnus of Elgin Independent School District, marched across the stage of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas to receive his bachelor’s degree in human sciences.  

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, September 21, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Elgin Tractor Supply showcases homemade, homegrown goods
Posted: September 21, 2018

The Elgin Tractor Supply store will host a community Farmers Market on Sat., Sept. 22. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., local farmers, crafters and artisans will be onsite selling homemade and homegrown goods at the store located at 18517 E. US Hwy. 290.

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, September 21, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Thursday 09/20/2018
Would the real Mrs. Miller please stand up?
Posted: September 20, 2018

After the Chamber awards luncheon September 6, I left a message for Dick Miller to ask if I could interview him about his designation of “Most Worth Citizen of the Year.” As I left for lunch, I saw him strolling down the sidewalk in my direction.

Posted in Lifestyles, Opinion on Thursday, September 20, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Wednesday 09/19/2018
The story of John Hill Westbrook
Posted: September 19, 2018

On September 10, 1966, John Hill Westbrook of Elgin became the first African American to play varsity football in the Southwest Conference. He made his debut before a national television audience and in front of a capacity crowd that had filled Baylor Stadium.Westbrook was sent into the game during the fourth quarter and immediately sliced through the Syracuse defense for a nine-yard gain. When the play-by-play announcer gave the name of his hometown, never had I felt prouder to be from Elgin.

John Westbrook was born in Groesbeck, Texas in 1947. His father was a Baptist minister who moved his family several times during John’s childhood. In 1959, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Elgin had its pulpit open, which resulted in the family making its final move. It was in Elgin where John would grow into manhood, and for the rest of his life, he always referred to Elgin as home.

John was raised in a religious environment and entered the ministry at an early age.When he was 15, John delivered his first sermon before an overflow crowd at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. That same year, Westbrook became an ordained minister and even preached his first funeral.

In 1962, John Woods became head coach at Washington High and Westbrook became a welcomed addition to his backfield. According to Coach Woods, “John was one of the best running backs.”

John began to focus on his future. He revealed his interest in attending Baylor Uni- versity and perhaps playing football. He was encouraged to drop by the Baylor football office and talk with the BU coaches. Several years later, head coach John Bridgers spoke of this initial encounter, “John came by to see us before his senior season in high school. He said he wanted to come to Baylor and play football. We didn’t pay much attention to him. We didn’t even go down to Elgin to see him play.”

It was a shame no scout was ever dispatched, because during his senior year John enjoyed another stellar season. By then it had become a chore for defensive players to bring him down.

Standing 6’ 1” and weighing slightly under 200 pounds, with near sprinter speed, he was equally adept at running inside or out. The 35 touchdowns he scored over a three-year high school career was a testimony to his ability to keep the chains moving and find the end zone.

Still unsure if he would be accepted at Baylor, Westbrook returned to Waco and asked why no scout had come to see him play. By now Coach Jack Thomas was beginning to admire the young man’s determination. The Baylor coaches were aware SMU had recently signed Beaumont’s Jerry LeVias, making him the first African American to receive a conference scholarship. Coach Thomas called the Washington High School office in Elgin to check on John’s character and academic qualifications. Come what may, he was going to Baylor.

The Southwest Conference came into existence in 1915 and crowned its first champion in football the very same year. For a half century, despite all the bowl victories, consensus all-Americans, and Heisman Trophy winners, the history of the conference was some- what tainted because black athletes had been excluded from participating.

During the summer of 1965, two young men des- tined to remove the stain of segregation from the conference packed their bags to leave for their respective college campuses. Heading for Dallas and Southern Methodist University was Beaumont’s Jerry LeVias. He was a highly skilled half back who had received scholarship offers from nearly 100 schools. In Elgin, John Westbrook said goodbye to family and friends and began the 115-mile drive to Waco and Baylor University.

Westbrook played less than three minutes his freshman year. In the season finale, he was sent into the game and upon reaching the huddle, time expired. Afterward, in the dressing room, he was approached by one of the assistants, Coach Corley. “Big’un,’ the coach said in an emotional manner. “Don’t quit.We should have played you more.Come spring training, I want you to get out there and give it all you got.”

Going into spring training, John knew those 20 pracices would probably make or break his athletic career. “I was hungry,” Westbrook later said. “I wanted that athletic scholarship.” The first time he touched the ball on offense, he ran for a 60-yard touchdown. When spring practice ended, Westbrook had an eye-popping average of nine yards per carry.

That fall, the Bears opening opponent was the seventh-ranked Syracuse Orangemen. Because television wanted to carry the game nationally, it was moved up a week to September 10th. This change in the schedule virtually assured Westbrook, not LeVias, would be the history maker.

By the fourth quarter, Baylor was leading 28-6 and a waiting Westbrook was finally sent into the game. As the Bears came to the line of scrimmage, everyone knew history was about to be made. The next morning in the Austin American-Statesman, Dick Collins wrote, “Baylor, always a leader in passing among Southwest Conference schools, gained another first when halfback John Hill Westbrook went into the game. He carried the ball three times, once on a double reverse, and all three plays made yardage.”

After he became the first black athlete to play in a Southwest Conference football game, John began to gain a measure of notoriety. For three years, Westbrook led the Baylor Bears in yards gained per carry. He never fumbled.

After leaving Baylor, John worked for The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, South- west Missouri State University, The Southern Baptist Convention, and Florida State University. In 1974, he returned to Texas, becoming pastor of the True Vine Baptist Church in Tyler.

On July 20, 1977, he announced his intentions to run for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Texas. On Election Day, John astounded political experts by getting 23 percent of the vote and finished second in the four-man race. Over 277,000 Texans had voted for him.

In 1979, Westbrook became pastor of the historic Antioch Baptist Church, located in downtown Houston. But although his ministry was flourishing, Westbrook’s health was deteriorating. On the evening of Dec. 10, 1983, Westbrook, complaining he could not breathe, collapsed at his home. According to the Harris County Medical Examiner’s office, massive blood clots in his lungs were the cause of his death.He was 35 years old.

Westbrook’s funeral was moved from Antioch to the larger Mt. Sinai Baptist Church to accommodate the multitude of mourners. Among the many who gave moving tributes was the governor of Texas, Mark White.

Posted in Lifestyles, Sports on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Tuesday 09/18/2018
Local film studio hosts stunt workshop
Posted: September 18, 2018

An adventurous group of people ranging from local actors to rock climbers gathered to learn from an experienced stunt rigging specialist at New Republic Studios. Over the span of about six hours, participants went from learning about the physics behind stunts to flying around a giant soundstage suspended by wires.

Posted in Lifestyles, County state on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 3:00 pm. Comments (0)

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Cattlemen get ready
Updated: September 18, 2018 - 1:50 pm

CATTLEMEN FOR CANCER RESEARCH (CCR) workers are busy getting together items for the CCR Charitable Silent Auction to be held Saturday, October 20, at the Hills Prairie Livestock Auction, 1177 State Hwy. 304, Bastrop. The Silent Auction will close at 1:30 p.m. Pictured are (l-r) Dr. Chris Abee, director of the Michale E.Keeling Center; Sylvia Hudson, Oscar Dube (seated), Silent Auction co-chairman Linda Wilkins and Loretta Dube.  Oscar Dube is seated on a fantastic leather vibrating recliner donated by the Austin Leather Gallery, which is valued at $1,999.00. Others pictured are holding some of the donated silent auction items. Sylvia Hudson said to call her at 512-281-4233 for additional information and she will be happy to pick up your donation. See more information about other Auction activities in next week's Courier!

Posted in Lifestyles on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 1:48 pm. Updated: 1:50 pm. Comments (0)

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Friday 09/14/2018
Congratulations and Happy 103rd Birthday to Mrs. Sedalia Simmons
Posted: September 14, 2018

Sedalia Simmons has lived in Elgin for 80 years and is the oldest African American in the City of Elgin. Her special day was celebrated at the Elgin Nursing and Rehab Center on Friday, Aug. 31, with family and friends in attendance. Music was provided by Mr. Davenport. Some of us even tried to dance and sing. 

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, September 14, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Thursday 09/13/2018
Free Friday Night Street dance will get the music started early for Hogeye Festival weekend
Posted: September 13, 2018

Kenny Orts and No Chance will play from 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Oct. 26 on Depot Street. The carnival will be open and vendors at the dance will include Daniel’s Burgers, Lone Star Kettle Corn, Pecos Pete’s Natural Tea and Sodas, and the VFW Post 6115 with a variety of beer, soda and water.

Posted in Lifestyles on Thursday, September 13, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Owl Wine Bar and Home Goods Store wins window contest
Posted: September 13, 2018

The Elgin Main Street program announced the winner of the wildcat pride window decorating contest. The Owl Wine Bar and Home Goods Store was recognized as the winner homecoming weekend.  The Elgin Main Street Program staff held the contest to support Elgin ISD as the school year starts and to celebrate homecoming week.  Purple and white wild cat Elgin Texas flags flew from the light poles for the EISD homecoming community parade and pep rally and added to the spirited atmosphere. Enjoy the windows on your next stroll through downtown!

Posted in Lifestyles on Thursday, September 13, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Friday 09/07/2018
Upcoming gala supports ranch work for adults with disabilities
Posted: September 07, 2018

More than 30 Ranchers wake up each morning on the 410-acre Down Home Ranch and immediately get to work collecting eggs, tending to livestock, working in the greenhouses and performing just about everything typical of a working ranch in rural Central Texas.

Posted in Lifestyles, Bastrop, County state on Friday, September 7, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Herron Cemetery is restored
Posted: September 07, 2018

Clayton Dube, the 16-year-old son of Clint and Tammy Dube of McDade, is a member of the Boy Scouts of America and he had a very exciting day when friends gathered recently to see his Eagle Scout project completed. Clayton and his family spent 400 hours restoring the John Harvey Herron Cemetery, which began 162 years ago. He planned the layout, got the needed funds, learned how to clean tombstones, learned about masonry, building a cedar split rail fence and metal welding. It is a wonderful job well done.

Posted in Lifestyles, County state on Friday, September 7, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Battle of Main Street
Posted: September 07, 2018

Mayor Chris Cannon presents a check to Elgin Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) on behalf of Cannon Insurance Services and Rainey Real Estate for funds raised through the “Battle of Main Street” event in July at Shop, Sip & Stroll.Back, left to right: James Bridgewater, Donnie Cannon, Carl Jones (VFW Members)Front, left to right: Teresa Owens (VFW Member), Lauren Cannon, Chuck Swain (VFW Commander), Robin Swain (VFW Auxiliary President) and Chris Cannon.

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, September 7, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Wednesday 09/05/2018
Elgin Stories: It Wasn’t Their Fault After All!
Posted: September 05, 2018

In the fall of 1974, the Elgin Wildcat football team was enjoying as best a season as possible. Elgin was sitting in District 23AA which was considered to be the strongest AA district of the state. Both Caldwell and Hearn were in our district and both were neck and neck for the district championship as well as favored to place high in post-season contests.

Posted in Lifestyles, Sports on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Tuesday 09/04/2018
Hogeye preparations underway
Posted: September 04, 2018

“Hogunteers” are working hard to make another fabulous Hogeye weekend happen in our community! 

Posted in Lifestyles on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 3:00 pm. Comments (0)

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Friday 08/31/2018
Elgin American Legion honors veterans
Posted: August 31, 2018

On Saturday, Nov. 3, Elgin’s veterans will be honored with a parade down Main Street, complete with the Elgin Wildcats Cheerleaders, Golden Girls and Elgin High School Marching Band. Commander John Quagliani of the Elgin American Legion has been hard at work organizing the event. Fort Hood is sending their honor guard, marching band and a horse detachment. There will be military vehicles as well from nearby Camp Swift.

Posted in Lifestyles, News on Friday, August 31, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Evangelical Free Church Cemeteries Association supports rural cemeteries
Posted: August 31, 2018

In the middle of a cornfield, on an acre of land on Manda Road off of FM 1100, sits a collection of around 50 gravestones, some dating back as far as 1903.

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, August 31, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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There’s no place like home
Posted: August 31, 2018

Home is where the heart is, and Elgin has been home to many. It has been proved that people often want to return to the place of their childhood. They remember loving parents, caring teachers, childhood friends and values learned. Eric Carlson has gained educational honors, participated in United States and NATO military tasks, satisfied a lifelong desire and exhibited his natural leadership as he served as the mayor of Elgin for 12 years. From his birthplace in the Lund community, through living in many places around the world, Eric is back at home on Main Street in Elgin.   

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, August 31, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Friday 08/17/2018
EHS grads take 'class cruise'
Posted: August 17, 2018

A group of Elgin High School graduates from the 1980s went on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico this summer and took along their hometown newspaper with them. Pictured with the Courier are, left to right, front row: TJ Lopez Ferguson, Susan Lopez Ferguson, Charlie Anderson, Crystal Morris, back row: Marissa Hardeman and Mary Penson. 

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, August 17, 2018 2:00 pm. Comments (0)

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Thursday 08/16/2018
Baron de Bastrop was not a dirty rotten scoundrel!
Posted: August 16, 2018

His name was Felipe Enrique Neri, the Baron de Bastrop; namesake of Bastrop County along with the cities of Bastrop, Texas, and Bastrop, Louisiana. The unsung founding father who had such an enormous impact on early Texas history that without his ingenuous skills, the Texas we know today probably wouldn't exist.

Posted in Lifestyles, Bastrop on Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:00 am. Comments (0)

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Friday 08/10/2018
The Taco Stop: a family-values success story
Posted: August 10, 2018

You’ve passed this place a million times: the brightly-painted, 100 square-foot hole in the wall with long lines out front between 6 a.m. and noon. Big trucks wait in a mute single-file tableau along the south shoulder almost to the large animal clinic. Four-wheelers of all descriptions cluster helter-skelter around the eatery like a barnyard full of chickens competing to scratch up whatever morsels the earth will yield.

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, August 10, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Thursday 08/09/2018
Library hosts “Old Fogie” tea party
Posted: August 09, 2018

The Elgin Public Library hosted an “Old Fogie” Tea Party Friday, Aug. 3, with attendees dressed up as storybook characters. Left to right are: Cindye Ginsel as Mrs. McCarthy (Father Brown), Judith Maiewski as Miss Rumphius, Jaimie Hicks as Miss Marple (Agatha Christie), Donna Werner as Spring Moon, Bonnie Groves as Professor Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter), and Sandy Ott as Anne of Green Gables.

Posted in Lifestyles on Thursday, August 9, 2018 12:00 pm. Comments (0)

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Friday 08/03/2018
The Clever Tiger, a new art den in Elgin
Posted: August 03, 2018

There is a new artist space in town. 

Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, August 3, 2018 10:00 am. Comments (0)

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Thursday 08/02/2018
DPS reminds Texans to stay prepared as hurricane season continues
Updated: August 02, 2018 - 12:52 pm

AUSTIN – As the 2018 hurricane season continues, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Texans to evaluate their emergency plans now and monitor weather forecasts for the development of potential storms. Historically, August and September are the most active months during the Atlantic hurricane season (which began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30).

Posted in County state, Lifestyles on Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:45 pm. Updated: 12:52 pm. Comments (0)

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The DHR Memorial Garden is underway
Updated: August 02, 2018 - 9:28 am

Final phase starting later this year

Down Home Ranch officially broke ground on the DHR Memorial Garden back in January. Ranchers, staff, local press and Cornerstone members all joined together to celebrate the beginning of this monumental project.

Since then, construction of the path has continued. Landscape Architect, Braxton Tanner, successfully completed Phase I and II of construction, pouring the concrete path and mortaring the brick edging. Phase III will start later this year as the bricks are engraved and placed into the path.

The Memorial Garden will be a place of rest, repose and reflection that everyone can enjoy. Open to the public, this beautiful landscaped area includes the monogrammed brick pathway, a large shaded deck seating and a koi pond, all aimed at a providing a space that gives visitors a relaxing atmosphere to honor and remember loved ones. This long-term project has the potential to raise over $1million for the future of Down Home Ranch and we are very excited to continue this journey!

DHR invites you to join us by purchasing a brick of your own to help us complete the path. Nestled in the beautiful countryside at Down Home Ranch, your personal brick will honor or memorialize your loved one in a serene slice of heaven, all while having a huge impact on the Ranchers who call this place home.

Are you ready to become a Cornerstone member?

Click here to purchase your brick today!

Posted in County state, Lifestyles on Thursday, August 2, 2018 9:20 am. Updated: 9:28 am. Comments (0)

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Wednesday 08/01/2018
Rivera's Hair Salon offering cuts, styles
Posted: August 01, 2018

Rivera’s Hair Salon is open for business after holding a ribbon cutting on July 24. Owners Maria Rivera and husband Edwin Roman along with children, Samantha, Sophia and Kevin Roman cut the ribbon in their business, located at 706 W. 11th Street in Elgin.

Posted in Lifestyles on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 12:00 am. Comments (0)

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Red RoseFlower and Gift Shop now open
Posted: August 01, 2018

Red Rose Flower and Gift Shop held a ribbon cutting on July 24. Owners Mohammed Abusif and his wife Tammie Danielson cut the ribbon on their new business, located at 706 W. 11th Street in Elgin.

Posted in Lifestyles on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 12:00 am. Comments (0)

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Tuesday 07/31/2018
Courier Travels to Chincoteague Island
Updated: July 31, 2018 - 10:48 am

Deborah Alley, left, and Carol Von Arx brought their copy of the Elgin Courier along on their vacation to Chincoteague Island, Virginia for this year’s annual Pony Swim recently.Going on vacation? Take a copy of the Courier with you and snap a photo to be featured in an edition of the Courier! Email photos to lauren.jette@elgincourier.com.

Posted in News, Lifestyles on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 10:43 am. Updated: 10:48 am. Comments (0)

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Thursday 07/26/2018
Library to host Trailblazer science exhibit
Posted: July 26, 2018

Elgin Public Library will host a traveling science exhibit on Wednesday, Aug. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Posted in News, Lifestyles on Thursday, July 26, 2018 12:00 am. Comments (0)

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