2018 was a musical year in Galva; here are the top headlines from last year

The year of music. Those four words might best describe 2018 in Galva.

Two events built around music — the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series and the Back Road Music Festival — headlined the past year in Galva.

The Levitt AMP Galva Music Series was led by the Galva Arts Council and John Taylor. It brought more than 7,000 music fans to Galva’s Wiley Park for an eclectic mix of 10 Sunday night summer concerts.

The Back Road Music Festival, under the direction of Tyler Glaser and Nik Grafelman, celebrated year five with its largest crowd yet thanks to headliner Josh Turner and Grammy-nominated Ashley McBryde. The 2019 festival already has its headline act — Justin Moore.

Here’s a look back at the 2018 headlines from the pages of the Galva News.



The Galva Arts Council learned it was among 15 recipients of the $25,000 Levitt AMP Grant Award to help fund a 10-week summer concert series.

The Galva boys basketball team came up short in the title game of the Princeville Holiday Tournament, falling to DePue 37-32.

With the Levitt AMP Grant Award in hand, Cambridge resident John Taylor starts the process of putting together the lineup for the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series.

One team and four athletes were honored at the 16th annual Galva High School Athletic Wall of Fame ceremony. Inducted as the Class of 2018 were the 1970 football team, Tom Bulthaus, Derrick Glisan, Samantha Hainline and Megan Tarleton.

Back Road Music Festival organizers announced the brother duo of High Valley as the third act for the 2018 concert. High Valley joins Josh Turner and Chase Bryant.

The Galva Area Chamber of Commerce honored its 2018 Citizen of the Year Jordan Murray, and Friends of the Chamber Donna and Teresa Haga at its annual meeting and awards night.

The Galva School Board honored GHS’s six 2018-19 Illinois State Scholars — Mason Kaiser, Lauren Hawes, Josie Berry, Lauren Landis, Megan Nordstrom and Tanner Klein.



Galva’s new daycare center — Feltner’s Fun Center Child Care — will open its doors.

The Galva boys basketball team starts LTC Tournament play 3-0, and will battle top-seeded Annawan for a berth in the title game.

A Galva landmark — Jacobson’s Bakery — has closed its doors.

The GHS boys basketball team settled for fourth place in the LTC Tournament, closing with losses to Annawan and Mercer County.

Levitt AMP Galva Music Series organizers plan fundraisers for the summer concert series.

The GHS Scholastic Bowl team is in the midst of a successful season that includes two tournament titles.

The Galva Park District Board approved solar panels for the west side of the swimming pool to provide energy for the pool and baseball diamond lights.



The Galva City Council endorsed the half-cent sales tax for public safety in Henry County.

Annawan was the class of the field in the Class 1A Galva boys basketball regional. The top-seeded Braves rolled past Princeville 50-23 for the regional championship.

The Back Road Music Festival is complete as Ashley McBryde rounds out the four-act concert set for Aug. 11 at the Galva Park District.

The Galva Arts Council surpassed its fundraising goal and will receive the full $25,000 matching grant from the Levitt Foundation.

Ridgewood’s Carlie Barman was named to the All-Lincoln Trail Conference girls basketball first team.

Former Galva High School basketball coach Brad Hulick helped the Annawan Braves advance to the Class 1A boys state championship game in his role as assistant coach.

Cooper Hoxworth of Galva, Briar Greenman of Ridgewood and Austin Batterson of ROWVA-Williamsfield were named to the All-Lincoln Trail Conference boys basketball first team.

The fourth time was a charm for the public safety sales tax referendum as voters passed the proposal with nearly 60 percent approval.

ROWVA High School Principal Joe Peters submitted his resignation to reclassify and return to the classroom to the district’s board.

Peyton Sopiars of Galva and Grayce Spicher of Ridgewood qualify for the Illinois Prep Top Times track and field meet.

The lineup has been set for the inaugural Levitt AMP Galva Music Series. The first concert will be May 27 in Wiley Park.

Shawn Kendall of Galva was among three entrepreneurs selected as grand prize winners in the 6 County Fast Pitch competition. Kendall was the winner in the Retail/Services category with his new business, Trademark Vacations.

Peyton Sopiars of Galva finishes sixth in the triple jump at the illinois Prep Top Times meet with a leap of 41-3 1/2.



Jimmy’s Pizza burned in June 2017, and owners Jim and Debbie McCormick said they will not be rebuilding in Wataga.

Casey’s in Galva is closing its doors for nearly two weeks to complete renovation work.

Galva Superintendent Doug O’Riley notified the school board of his intent to retire in October 2021. Andrew Larson was re-elected president of the board.

The Galva Fire Department honored members for their years of service, highlighted by 55 years for Sherm Raley.

The Galva City Council squashed the idea of creating a quiet zone, and voted to close just one railroad crossing at S.W. Fourth Ave.

Galva Elementary School fourth grader Ella Ingels created the winning design in the Henry County Farm Bureau Young Leaders T-shirt contest.

The Ridgewood boys and Stark County girls were champions of the Dale Collis Invitational on Galva’s new all-weather track.



Tim Wynes has been named Black Hawk College’s new president.

The Levitt AMP Galva Music Series is planning a soft open for May 19 featuring Harvest Sons and The People.

Knute Larson and Kyra Dulla were crowned 2018 Galva High School Prom king and queen.

The Galva Rotary Club recognized Galva High School’s top students at its annual Honors and Scholarship program.

Galva’s Caelin Foley won the 1600- and 3200-meter races at the Lincoln Trail Conference track and field meet.

Six students share Galva High School Class of 2018 valedictorian honors — Josie Berry, Lauren Hawes, Mason Kaiser, Tanner Klein, Lauren Landis and Megan Nordstrom.

Forty-three diplomas were presented to graduating seniors from the Galva High School Class of 2018. 

First Ward Alderman Dwren Boston resigned from the Galva City Council. Boston, who served six years as alderman, will be moving to Oak Run.

With a school-record leap of 44-4 1/4, Galva’s Peyton Sopiars won the triple jump at the Class 1A Knoxville Sectional and qualified for the state meet. Galva’s Caelin Foley advanced to state in the 1600- and 3200-meter runs.



With a leap of 45-0 3/4 in the prelims, Galva sophomore Peyton Sopiars won the Class 1A state triple jump championship.

The Giving Tree Band and John Till headline the first of 10 Levitt AMP Galva Music Series concerts in Wiley Park.

CPT Emily Zukauskas was the guest speaker at Galva’s annual Memorial Day program.

Galva’s Jerrod Cortes and Gunner Spivey were named to the All-Lincoln Trail Conference baseball first team. Also earning first team honors were Michael Hinerichsen, Cole Franks and Levi Swanson of Ridgewood.

Jeremy Payne recounts parachuting into town to help kick off the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series.

ROWVA-Williamsfield’s Tina Foglesong was named to the All-Lincoln Trail Conference softball first team.

Bishop Hill’s Honor Flight benefit was once again a rousing success. The event has raised more than $90,000 in the past nine years for the Honor Flight of the Quad Cities.

James Love, 58, of Galva, has been charged with first-degree murder following a confrontation and shooting that claimed the life of Xavier Hartman, 19, of Galva.

The Creative Commons of Bishop Hill marks its grand opening.

The Galva Freedom Fest Car Show enjoyed its new home on Front Street.

Jamie Franck of Cambridge was crowned Miss Henry County Fair.

Mitch Boston was sworn in as Galva’s new First Ward alderman, replacing his father, Dwren.

Annette Smith has been named Grand Marshal of the Galva Freedom Fest parade.

The Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps of Dubuque, Iowa, spent about 36 hours resting and rehearsing in Galva en route to its next performance.

The inaugural Bates-King Memorial Golf Outing was a rousing success at Kewanee Dunes Golf Club. A total of 48 foursomes participated in the event to honor Carl Bates and Steve King, and to help fund a scholarship in their memory.



After a week break, the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series returns with Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas and Seasaw.

GHS graduate Kirk Stevens was among 34 individuals recognized with Honorary State FFA Degrees.

The Galva Freedom Fest committee delivered another outstanding Fourth of July celebration.

Chris Hurd and Olivia Frail were the male and female champions of the Galva Freedom Fest 5K.

James Love pleads not guilty to charges related to his alleged role in the June shooting death of Xavier Hartman.

The Galva School Board approved entering an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Galva to place a school resource officer on school district grounds.

The “well-oiled” Back Road Music Festival is ready for its fifth year with Josh Turner headlining the Aug. 11 concert in the Galva Park District.

The Galva City Council and Mayor Rich Nordstrom honored Alderman Dwren Boston for his years of service.



The Galva Fire Department will host its annual hog roast and is considering funding options for new gear.

Josh Turner took a few minutes to speak with The Galva News and preview his Aug. 11 appearance at the Back Road Music Festival. “It all boils down to the crowd each night,” Turner said. “If they are excited and into what we’re doing, that’s ideal.”

The Kris Lager Band and Calliope Musicals put the finishing touches on the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series.

The winners from the annual Galva Day golf outings were AJ Mertz, men’s Chamber of Commerce; Kevin Gorey, men’s Mayor’s Cup; Taylor Lane, women’s low gross; Megan Keilman and Sumer Stottler, women’s preferred ball champs.

The fifth Back Road Music Festival was the biggest to date as fans packed the Galva Park District to enjoy the music of Ashley McBryde, High Valley, Chase Bryant and Josh Turner.

A total of 625 diners enjoyed the Galva Fire Department’s annual hog roast, which raised $17,000 for the department.

Two men accused of attacking a man in Galva in April 2017 were sentenced to prison for attempted murder. Quenton Whiteside of Galva was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the attempted murder of Michael Palmer, and Caine Ingram was sentenced to 15 years.

Organizers of Galva’s Avenue of Flags are looking for some new volunteers to step forward.

Ralph Brown is named school resource officer for the Galva School District.

Organizers of the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series approach the Galva City Council about a permanent stage in Wiley Park.

A new Kiwanis Club is forming in Galva.



Four Galva School Board seats will be on the ballot in the April 2019 consolidated election. The seats are currently held by Mike Clucas, Jeff Hawes, Laura Heinrich and John VanDeVelde.

The Mid-County football team notched its first win of the season, a 41-20 romp over Peoria Heights-Quest Academy.

The Galva Arts Council welcomes WVIK (FM 90.3) as a partner for the 2019 summer concert series in Wiley Park.

Galva boys basketball coach Chance Jones announces 2018-19 will be his last season with the Wildcats as he’s accepted the head coaching position at Spoon River College in Canton.

In the first game at Galva High School’s football field since 2016, the Mid-County Cougars slogged to a 2-0 win over Ridgewood in the rain-soaked Lincoln Trail Conference opener.

Community State Bank in Galva announced leadership changes — Tim Nimrick, president; Luke Hawkins, chief executive officer; and Kevin Yepsen, who previously held both positions and will now focus on the bank’s holding company level.

The Walldogs put the finishing touches on Galva’s new downtown mural, “The Most Amazing Harvest.”

The Mid-County football team improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the Lincoln Trail Conference with a 35-6 win over United.



Raige Ballard and Ashley Withrow were crowned king and queen of Galva High School’s 2018 Homecoming.

Thomas Bumann of Ridgewood and Elizabeth Whitford of Mid-County repeated as Lincoln Trail Conference golf champions. Mid-County’s Tristan Rogers and Rian Mott earned All-LTC honors with top-10 finishes.

In a battle of LTC unbeatens, state-ranked Princeville blanked Mid-County 27-0.

Community State Bank and GEN Dental Solutions are the occupants of the newly-remodeled building at 300 Main St.

The Galva and Annawan volleyball teams joined forces in “Volley For A Cure.”

Galva Beta Sigma Phi hosts its 40th annual Craft Show at Galva Junior-Senior High.

Galva Park District officials are hosting a public forum to seek input on some major repair issues facing the swimming pool. The 50-year old pool has cracks in the pipes that feed water to the pool.

Ridgewood’s Thomas Bumann finished 45th at the weather-shortened Class 1A boys state golf tournament.

Caelin Foley and the Mid-County boys cross country team captured Lincoln Trail Conference titles.

The Galva Arts Council announced it will once again pursue the Levitt Foundation grant award. 

Mayor Rich Nordstrom announces he will not seek re-election, and Alderman Rich Volkert announces his intention to run for mayor.

The Mid-County football team rallied past Mercer County 28-21 to qualify for the Class 3A playoffs.



The Galva Park District Board voted to raise the tax levy to help fund much-needed repairs to the Park District’s swimming pool. The tax levy will be returned to the previous, lower rate when the pool repairs are complete.

CPT Emily Zukauskas makes a return appearance in Galva as guest speaker at the Veterans Day program.

Mid-County cross country runners Caelin Foley and Lorin Peterson qualify for the Class 1A state meet at the Oregon Sectional.

North Boone handles Mid-County 48-7 in the opening round of the Class 3A football playoffs.

Prosecutors grant a continuance in the James Love murder trial. The case is now set to go to trial in January, 2019.

Ana Gerard is crowned Harvest Days Pageant queen.

The Kiwanis Club of Galva marked its formation with a Charter Night event.

Former Galva City Council alderman and current Galva Park Board member Doug Anderson announces his candidacy for mayor.

Mid-County defensive back Tucker Sams was named to the All-Lincoln Trail Conference football first team.

Mid-County’s Caelin Foley earned All-State honors by placing 22nd at the Class 1A state meet.

Ceremonies at Galva Junior-Senior High and Veterans Memorial Park honor area veterans.

The Enchanted Florist opens for business in Galva.

Patrick Comer opens Galva Weight Room LLC at 13 N.W. Eighth Ave.

The 1961 football team and three athletes — Larry Ericson, Joel Hagaman and Alexandra Strom — have been selected for 2019 induction into the Galva Athletic Wall of Fame.

Galva is among 25 finalists for the 2019 Levitt Foundation Grant Award of $25,000.

A visit by Santa Claus and the lighting of Veterans Memorial Park highlighted Galva’s annual Ol’ Fashion Christmas celebration.

A potent winter storm, named Bruce, drops 13 inches of snow on Galva.



Doug Anderson gets the People’s Party nomination for mayor.

Several lengthy railroad crossing blockages frustrate and inconvenience local drivers.

The Galva eighth grade girls basketball team thumped Annawan 39-24 to win the Class 8-1A Regional championship.

Justin Moore is announced as the headliner for the 2019 Back Road Music Festival set for Aug. 10 at the Galva Park District.

Jason Bates is named the 2019 Citizen of the Year by the Galva Area Chamber of Commerce. The volunteers of the Freedom Fest committee and Levitt AMP Galva Music Series are selected as Friends of the Chamber.

Galva is selected as a repeat winner in the Levitt Foundation’s $25,000 matching grant competition. The award paves the way for year two of the summer music series in Galva’s Wiley Park.

The Illinois High School Association voted to adopt district scheduling for football starting with the 2021 season.

Nutrien Ag Solutions cuts the ribbon on its new facility east of Galva on Route 34.

The Henry County Board approves the special use permit for a wind farm project that proposes 40 wind turbines in the Kewanee-Galva-Cambridge area.