Mary Hotlen, a Rockford writer and poet, was honored at the Illinois State Library in Springfield by Secretary of State Jesse White. Hotlen won third place in the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition, a statewide program to promote creative writing and for discovering and recognizing new literary talent in Illinois. Her award-winning poem, “year of psalms,” can be read and heard at the Illinois’ Poet Laureate’s Web site at www.poetlaureate.il.gov. … Boy Scout Troup 187 of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of Byron conducted a Court of Honor for Dallin Robertson and Stephen Denton. Robertson and Denton performed a skill presentation on tying the square knot, clove hitch, timber hitch and the bowline. Scoutmaster Kelly Robertson presented both with Merit Badges at Camp Bradley, Idaho. Robertson earned three Merit Badges at the Stake Merit Badge Roundup and six Merit Badges at Camp Little Lemhi in Idaho. Robertson presented his mother, Sonya Robertson, with a “Star” pin acknowledging her support in his achieving the new rank. … Nine students from Keith Country Day School were recently named Illinois State Scholars. Those who were recognized for their outstanding academic achievement were Lamise Al-Basha, Farzeen Harunani, Sarah Ikenberry, Anne Jaconette, Jessica Ross, Katie Schulz, Dan Stephenson, Samantha Stephenson and Hyun Yi.
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From the Dec. 23-29, 2009 issue