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Marseilles council hears tourism, city identity suggestions

Not-for-profit Here and Again provides council food for thought

By Charlie Ellerbrock

A group of women standing in front of a presentation

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December 21, 2023 at 2:34 am CST

If you theme it, they will come.

The Marseilles City Council on Wednesday heard a presentation from the non-profit group Here and Again Inc. and received plenty of suggestions, examples and food for thought in regard to helping create the city’s identity and to make it a tourism destination.

Here and Again founder Katie Troccoli and director DeAnna Carlson provided a power point presentation that highlighted things done in other communities to help them attract tourists, businesses and jobs to their cities and their regions and suggestions of how Marseilles could do the same

In it, they drew attention to the city’s assets, such as access to Interstate 80, the downtown business district, the lock and dam, Illini State Park, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Illinois River access and the Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall. It also touched on the amenities available and strong community organizations.

They also cited the need for a central theme around which to build an identity. Carlson cited several examples of what she called “big art,” first showing photos of murals that have enhanced the attraction of storefronts in Streator, Lincoln and other communities.

That moved into even bigger art on grain silos around the state, including the corn mural that painted on the grain elevator bin in Mendota. Others depicted a patriotic theme with the Statue of Liberty and Abraham Lincoln, while others showed an Indian chief and even a droid from “Star Wars,” leading to a chat about a potential outer space theme.

Carlson added being so close to the intersection of Interstates 80 and 39 brings 1.4 million people to the area and that the proximity to Starved Rock means access to 2.2 million people annually.

In all, it provided the commissioners with quite a bit to mull over in the coming months.

“I liked it. I saw the presentation for the first time like we all did and I was impressed,” said Marseilles Mayor Jim Hollenbeck. “I think we need to develop a long-term plan, lay out the guidelines and work towards it. I also like the idea of a theme. As we’ve been known as ‘A City of Remembrance,’ I like the patriotic theme idea.

“There were some very good thoughts and ideas and it’s something we can work towards, knowing there are grants available. Now it’s up to the council to kick those ideas around and decide what direction to go.”

Hollenbeck, who also noted the city has already taken several steps toward improving facades in the downtown area, added the Middle East Conflicts Memorial wall has been somewhat under utilized as an attraction.

“We do need tourism. We do need to market the Middle East Conflicts memorial better. There are a lot of people who just don’t know it’s there,” Hollenbeck said. “Part of my plan for that is to reach out to the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars magazines to try and get some articles and pictures of the wall displayed regionally, if not nationally … In my opinion, that would be a very good place to start.”

Oct 31, 2023

When we read together, we broaden our imaginations and understanding of our world, our neighbors, and ourselves. Join a book group and read alongside other NEA Big Read groups across Illinois and the nation.


Illinois Humanities is proud to partner with the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest to present this year’s statewide book group series, The NEA Big Read: Reconsidering the American Dream. Free book groups and events will be centered around two books: Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh, and Infinite Country by Patricia Engel. Receive these titles for free by signing up with Here And Again Inc 501c3 – WRWO 94.5 FM Ottawa Community Radio.

Contact DeAnna Carlson 815-488-6611 or Katie Troccoli 815-228-2058

January 5, 2017

January 1, 2017
Looking for Radio Show Hosts 

Here and Again Inc have been working hard this year building WRWO 94.5 FMLP - Ottawa’s Community Radio Station and are nearing completion. The radio station will be housed in Wallace Hall. There are many people who share our vision and who have expressed an interest in a radio show of their own. They are now at the point where they are selecting content for the radio station and are looking for individuals who would like to contribute ideas. All interested parties should send a short 10-20-minute demo to in MP3 format by the 20th of January 2017 and a description of the type of show that you are interested in making and the frequency of original material that you are considering contributing i.e. 5 days per week, once per month or occasionally. Regular shows more than once per week please include in writing two weeks worth of general show ideas. Also, if you have more than one idea for a show please submit a demo for each regular show idea. If you need technical help you can e-mail the address above. A short list of demos will be made by the end of January and they will contact those individuals for a full show recording and possible interview. Any questions please send a face book message or email.

Oct 14, 2014
The FCC License has been approved
for a Community Radio Station for Ottawa IL

Official Mailing Address: Audio Division Media Bureau Permit File Number: Call Sign: Facility ID: This permit expires 3:00 a.m. local time, 18 months after the grant date specified above. Grant Date: October 14, 2014 Subject to the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, subsequent acts and treaties, and all regulations heretofore or hereafter made by this Commission, and further subject to the conditions set forth in this permit, the permittee is hereby authorized to construct the radio transmitting apparatus herein described. Installation and adjustment of equipment not specifically set forth herein shall be made only in accordance with representations contained in the permittee's application for construction permit except for such modifications as are presently permitted, without application, by the Commission's Rules. See Section 73.875. Equipment and program tests shall be conducted only pursuant to Sections 73.1610 and 73.1620 of the Commission's Rules. IL61350 IL-OTTAWAStation Location: Frequency (MHz): 94.5 Channel: 233 Name of Permittee: HERE AND AGAIN Class: LP100 Hours of Operation: Unlimited United States of America FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION LOW POWER FM BROADCAST STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT FCC Form 351A October 21, 1985 Page 1 of 2 NEW Callsign: Permit No.: BNPL-20131025AAL Special operating conditions or restrictions: 1 The permittee/licensee in coordination with other users of the site must reduce power or cease operation as necessary to protect persons having access to the site, tower or antenna from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in excess of FCC guidelines. Transmitter: Type Certified. See Sections 73.1660, 73.1665 and 73.1670 of the Commission's Rules. Antenna type: Non-Directional Transmitter output power: As required to operate within authorized range of effective radiated power. Antenna Coordinates: deg min 53 sec 4120North Latitude: West Longitude: 50 min 28 sec 88 deg Maximum Effective radiated power in the Horizontal Plane (watts): Minimum Effective radiated power in the Horizontal Plane (watts): 12 159 -22 Height of radiation center above ground (Meters): Height of radiation center above mean sea level (Meters): Height of radiation center above average terrain (Meters): Overall height of antenna structure above ground: 13 Meters Obstruction marking and lighting specifications for antenna structure: It is to be expressly understood that the issuance of these specifications is in no way to be considered as precluding additional or modified marking or lighting as may hereafter be required under the provisions of Section 303(q) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. None Required Antenna structure registration number: Not Required 100 50 *** END OF AUTHORIZATION *** FCC Form 351A