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Oh, so close: Ford County Chronicle co-publisher talks about Division C sweepstakes battle


Ford County Chronicle Co-Publishers Will Brumleve, right, and Andrew Rosten pose with some of the 29 awards they collected in the Illinois Press Association’s annual Excellence in News Contest on Thursday, June 6, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Bloomington. The Chronicle was the runner-up for the Will Loomis Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the best large nondaily newspaper in Illinois. (Photo by Dan Brumleve/Ford County Chronicle)


Co-publisher, Ford County Chronicle

Editor's Note: This story is being republished by the Illinois Press Association with the Ford County Chronicle's consent. It was initially published in the Chronicle in its June 12 edition.

As I sat at one of a couple of dozen round tables in a banquet room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Bloomington on Thursday near the end of the Illinois Press Association’s annual Excellence in News Contest awards banquet, my attention was not so much on the dozens of awards that the Ford County Chronicle had just collected — 29 in all — as it was on the awards that another weekly newspaper in the affluent western Chicago suburb of Hinsdale had just won — also 29 in all.

In moments, the tie was to be broken.

By my count, The Hinsdalean — a weekly vying for a third straight sweepstakes trophy in Division C, the contest’s highest circulation division for nondaily newspapers, and its fifth consecutive sweepstakes trophy overall — was tied with the Chronicle on the number of awards won but was leading, just barely, on total points scored based on award placement. The Chronicle still had one more chance to win, though, by placing high in the “general excellence” category, whose first-, second-, third and fourth-place winners were announced last.

Fingers were crossed as I sat there with Co-Publisher and Sports Editor Andrew Rosten and Chronicle co-founder Dan Brumleve, my older brother, alongside some of my award-winning onetime News-Gazette colleagues, like News Editor Jeff D’Alessio and Sports Editor Matt Daniels.

Surprisingly, though, neither the Chronicle nor The Hinsdalean even placed in the general excellence category — one of 37 categories in the contest — which left the Chronicle with a runner-up finish for the coveted Will Loomis Memorial Trophy, which recognizes the best large nondaily paper in Illinois.



Ford County Chronicle Co-Publishers Will Brumleve, left, and Andrew Rosten, right, join Brumleve’s brother Dan, the Chronicle’s co-founder, in posing for a selfie on Thursday, June 6, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Bloomington prior to collecting 29 awards in the Illinois Press Association’s annual Excellence in News Contest. (Photo by Will Brumleve/Ford County Chronicle)


It was truly a battle — one that I fully expected, too. I actually was hoping for such a challenge when Andrew and I decided to compete in the contest’s highest circulation division for weeklies earlier this year, despite the Chronicle having a circulation of only 1,700 with both print and online subscribers included. In the two years prior, the Chronicle had won Division A (for nondailies with circulations of 1,000 and under) in its first year of eligibility to enter the contest and then Division B (for those with circulations ranging from 1,001 to 2,500). With a chance to win Divisions A, B and C over three consecutive years — on our first try each time, no less — I saw this as a golden opportunity that would have been lost if not pursued.

There will be another opportunity, of course, in 2025, when judges from another state still to be determined will get the chance to decide who is the best of the press in Illinois, based on work published in 2024. Members of the Minnesota Press Association judged the entries in this year’s contest, which was for work published in 2023.

In this year’s contest, 21 awards went to myself — with one of those shared with correspondent Diane Johnson — while Andrew won eight. Sometimes, 29 awards is enough to win a sweepstakes trophy — as it was this year for The Hinsdalean — but we knew going in that it might also not be enough.

I thought it might take upwards of 30 awards to win. After all, The Hinsdalean had won 37 awards last year to easily breeze to victory over 14 other large weeklies scoring points in the contest. The Chronicle had surpassed 30 awards in each of the previous two years, too, having won 32 awards to win Division B in 2023 and 39 awards to win Division A in 2022.

The Illinois Press Association notifies its award winners in advance, informing them of which entries placed in which categories, but the IPA does not unveil any award placements or the winners of its general excellence award or sweepstakes trophies until the banquet occurs. Often, the contest has already been decided in some circulation divisions well before the banquet is over, as some papers dominate their divisions early and never relinquish command. That was definitely not the case Thursday for the Chronicle, though, as an early lead turned into a back-and-forth battle that ultimately saw the Chronicle fall just short of a win.

Because we chose to compete in Division C, we automatically had to give up the Harold and Eva White Memorial Trophy that the Chronicle won last year as Division B’s top prize and had been for the past year at our downtown Paxton office.

It was admittedly a bit sad to see the trophy go and not another one come back from Bloomington last week, but our spirits are not broken. Coming so close to winning it just makes you want it more. To make sure I keep tabs on the competition — and, hey, perhaps get a great idea or two, as well — I started a subscription to The Hinsdalean this week. Hopefully, this is just the start of a friendly, annual rivalry between two of the best community newspapers in the Land of Lincoln.

I love the annual IPA contest. It’s always fun — win or lose — and this one was especially fun, even as a loser. It was fun going up against the biggest weeklies, especially having just started the Chronicle not even four years ago. The Chronicle’s first edition was published on July 1, 2020, after Andrew and I both left the now-defunct Ford County Record. While employed by the Ford County Record as news editor and sports editor, respectively, we combined efforts to win Division A twice — in 2018 and 2019.

In this year’s contest, Andrew won awards in the categories of sports section (third place), sports news (second place), sports feature (third place), online photo series/gallery (first and fourth place) and photo series (first, third and fourth place), while I placed twice for the Freedom of Information Award (second and fourth place) and won additional awards for best investigative reporting (first and third place), government beat reporting (third and fourth place), business economic reporting (first, second, third and fourth place), feature writing (first, third and fourth place), headline writing (first and third place), personality profile (fourth place), informational graphic (fourth place), single page design (first place), distinguished coverage of diversity (third place), best school board coverage (first place) and best coverage of taxation (first place shared with Johnson).

The Chronicle and The Hinsdalean were among 18 papers scoring points in Division C in this year’s contest, with the Republic Times of Waterloo winning 15 to place third and The Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest winning 10 to place fourth.

Also winning awards were the Journal News of Hillsboro with nine; the Galena Gazette with eight; the Des Plaines Journal, Cook County Chronicle, Illinois Times of Springfield and The Prairie Press with four each; the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, Austin Weekly News and Danville Commercial News with two each; and the Glenview Journal, Niles & Park Ridge Journal, Robinson Daily News and Palatine Journal & Topics with one each.

Press Releases


Contact Information:
Craig Baumberger

Fly with the 'Sky Soldiers'

Coming Aug. 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation in Creve Couer, Missouri, will bring its Bell UH-1 “Huey” and AH-1 “Cobra” helicopters to the Greenville, Illinois, Airport Airstravaganza. The public will be able to purchase rides on each of these historic warbirds. This will be a unique opportunity for people to get a close look at two of the most important aircraft utilized by the US Army during the Vietnam War and in the years following. Vietnam veterans will be able to recall their experiences when they flew, rode in, worked on, or were supported in combat by these warbirds.

The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding, restoring, and flying Army aviation aircraft from the Vietnam era up until the 1990’s. Its vision statement:

"Empowering the past to inspire the future, the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum envisions a world where the courageous legacy of Army Aviation pioneers lives on, igniting the spirit of innovation, service, and excellence in generations to come. Through dynamic preservation, immersive educational experiences, and community engagement, we honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who charted the skies before us, while fostering a deep appreciation for the evolution of flight, military service, and the critical role each has played in shaping history. Guided by our commitment to preserving heritage, educating minds, and inspiring hearts, we aim to be a beacon of excellence, enriching lives, and building a bright and patriotic future for our nation."

There are three chapters nationally with the local chapter based at Creve Couer Airport in Creve Couer, Missouri. They welcome visitors at their hangar on Thursdays and Saturdays. Membership is open to the public and not limited to veterans or pilots. 
The UH-1 was first developed by Bell Helicopter in the 1950s to fill the need for a utility helicopter for the US Army. They were manufactured in large numbers starting in the early ‘60s and played a major role in enhancing the mobility of infantry in Vietnam. Seven thousand saw action in Vietnam with an estimated three thousand destroyed. They continued to serve the Army well into the 1980s anywhere troops might be deployed. They were replaced by the Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk.

Bell also developed the AH-1 Cobra. It was designed as an armed escort for the UH-1 transporting troops in Vietnam. It was developed around 1965 and entered service in 1967. It played an important role in protecting the lightly armed and armored UH-1s as they delivered troops, supplies and especially performed their famous Medevac role in Vietnam. The Cobra could respond quickly to suppress ground fire from the enemy. The Cobra had various armaments, most common being pod mounted rockets and nose mounted mini gun. Over a thousand were manufactured for the US Army. Three hundred were lost in combat. It was replaced by the AH-64 Apache.


Ticket prices
Huey $125
Cobra $800
To purchase advance tickets: Go to “armyav.org
For “Airstravaganza” information, call or text 618-322-3532
For questions about the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation:
Gateway (MO) – Army Aviation Heritage Foundation or call 636-362-4839
“Airstravaganza” is hosted by: EAA Chapter 1382/Greenville Pilots Association



Contact Information:
Alison Maley, government & public relations director
(217) 299-3122

Illinois Principals Association names new executive board and board members

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – The Illinois Principals Association, which serves more than 6,500 educational leaders throughout the state of Illinois, announces the following school leaders to serve as the Executive Board for the IPA, effective July 1, 2024. 

President – Cris Edwards, Richland County Elementary School, Olney 
Immediate Past-President – Dr. Paul Kelly, Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove Village   
President-Elect – Dr. Angie Codron, Normal West High School, Normal 
Treasurer – Shaun Grant, South Elementary School, Chillicothe  
Secretary – Dr. Courtney DeMent, Downers Grove North High School, Downers Grove  

Other new board members include: 

– Diversity & Equity Chairperson – Sonia Ruiz, Jane Addams Middle School, Bolingbrook 
– Dr. Jennifer McCoy, principal of Lexington High School, Lexington, as state director for the Corn Belt Region 
– Dr. Rebecca Gabrenya, principal of Marquardt Middle School, Glendale Heights, as state director for the DuPage Region 
– Mandy Hughes, principal of Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook, as state director for the North Cook Region 
– Doug Owens, principal of Tri-City Elementary School, Carterville, as state director for the Shawnee Region 
– Heather Baker, assistant principal of Northview Elementary School, Peru, as state director for the Starved Rock Region 
– Nick Stoneking, assistant principal of Edison School, Macomb, as state director for the Western Region 

For information about other board members and IPA regions, please visit www.ilprincipals.org/board and www.ilprincipals.org/regions.  

The Illinois Principals Association mission is to develop, support, and advocate for innovative educational leaders. For more information about the IPA, please visit www.ilprincipals.org





Contact Information:
Purple Wave Auction
Ph: (866)-608-9283

Purple Wave Auction announces new territory sales manager

Greg Ditch to serve Purple Wave as a territory sales manager in Northern Illinois

MANHATTAN, KANSAS (June 24, 2024) - Purple Wave Auction is pleased to announce that Greg Ditch has joined the company as a territory sales manager. Purple Wave Auction is a leader in online, no-reserve equipment auctions, serving the agriculture, construction, government, and fleet industries. The company provides opportunities for customers to buy and sell equipment with confidence.

In his role as territory sales manager, Greg will facilitate relationships with new sellers while also connecting with current sellers in his market. He will work closely with the sellers to evaluate their assets, help them through the auction process from start to finish, and share equipment with potential bidders.

Prior to Purple Wave, Greg worked for Purple Wave’s strategic partner, Copart, where he was the assistant general manager at its Chicago North yard. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the automotive and power sports industries, having held various roles, including owner, sales manager, and finance manager.

"I would like my customers to know they are more than customers; they are friends and can count on me to help them achieve their goals. Don't be afraid to call, email, or text. I am here to help solve problems and create opportunities", says Greg.

Greg Ditch

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Purple Wave Auction was founded in 2000 and has become a leader in online equipment auctions. The company provides the easiest, most straightforward way to buy and sell equipment in the marketplace. Purple Wave is committed to the core values of trust, team, care, and passion and delivers those values throughout all offered services to bidders, buyers, and sellers.



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