The Graffs built the world's largest
political sign

[OCT. 26, 2000]  Logan County can now lay claim to having the world's largest political sign.

Middletown farmers Bill and Judi Graff spent all day Wednesday creating a 40-acre "Bush 2000" sign in one of their soybean fields. It took them four hours to flag out the design and three hours to chisel plow. Because of its immense size, it is difficult to make out what the sign says from the road. But the avid Republicans hope that passengers on flights from St. Louis to Chicago and Springfield to Chicago will get the message and vote for George W. Bush on Nov. 7.

[The entire Graff family helps out in the Bush Campaign effort.  From left are Isabella, Zadok, Bill, Judi and Theo Graff.]

Bill Graff and a fellow "Illinois Farmer for Bush," Pete Shynk of Peoria County, crafted the idea for the land-based sign earlier this year. "Four-foot by 5-foot political signs are really hard to come by, and there is a lot of trouble with vandalism of political signs in some areas," says Graff. "By plowing these signs along flight paths, we can reach a lot of voters and don’t have to worry about them being destroyed."


[to top of second column in this article]

Pete Shynk completed a 10-acre sign near the Peoria airport last week. Graff thinks that there might be another massive "Bush 2000" sign created somewhere in Texas this week.

The local sign, which is located on the Logan-Menard County Line blacktop southeast of Middletown, has already attracted the attention of many passersby. Mark Hayes was moving a combine today and strained to read what the letters spelled. "Do I have to rent a plane to read it or can I just ask?" joked Hayes as he jumped out of his combine to inquire further.


[It takes a plane ride to fully see this 40-acre political sign.]

The dimensions of the Logan County sign total 1,600 feet by 1,040 feet. Each of the eight letters is about the size of a city block. Bill carved the message in land that has been in his family since 1837.

[Marty Ahrends]

Ecstasy: More than a warm
and fuzzy feeling

An illegal street drug

[OCT. 26, 2000]  An educational seminar on the street drug most commonly called ecstasy was conducted Tuesday evening at the Lincoln Recreation Center. The seminar was sponsored by the Logan-Mason County Mental Health Department and the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug Task Force of the Health Communities Partnership as a part of their Red Ribbon Week.

J. Randall Webber, the director of training and publications for the Chestnut Health Systems (CHS) in Bloomington, facilitated the seminar. CHS provides behavioral health care in Illinois. Webber, a recovered drug abuser, in his own words said, "I came to tell the truth."

Today’s youth are starting to experiment with drugs at younger ages. The use of ecstasy has increased from 6 percent in 1998 to 8 percent in 1999. Youth believe it is a dangerous drug but use it anyway. He continued, "Young people don’t believe they are going to die." He said his aim was not to tell the group not to use drugs, even though he hoped they would not. Instead he wanted them to be knowledgeable about drugs and to make informed decisions about drug use.

Sixty-six percent of all street drugs are not what users thought they were buying. Street drugs are more often than not "cut" with additives that are sometimes much more dangerous than the drug itself. This is also true of people who buy ecstasy. They don’t know what they’re getting. It could be something that is as benign as flour made to look like an ecstasy pill or it could be rat poison or something worse. You can’t tell what it is by looking at it, and that is part of the problem, Webber told the crowd of participants.


In addition, it is not possible to predict the effects of a drug without first identifying the dosage. Combining drugs greatly increases the risk of physical and psychological problems, and, according to Webber, "It’s an easy way to end up dead." Of the people who die from drug use, 75 percent of the deaths are a result of simultaneously using more than one drug, including alcohol.



[to top of second column in this article]

Webber likened drug use to a rubber band. Your brain is like a rubber band. Sometimes you can stretch it and it will come back, but if it is stretched too much it may never come back. "No one takes drugs thinking that they are going to become addicted, and everyone starts the same way just by trying it. You never know when you start how things are going to turn out," he added.

Some side effects of ecstasy use are dilated pupils, dizziness, nausea and excessive sweating due to an increased heart rate. Ecstasy users experience a rush of energy and strong and intense moods. After the intoxicating effects wear off, drowsiness follows. Webber asked, what if it wears off on your way home from a party and you’re behind the wheel of a car?


No one should take street drugs, but there are people who should be sure they never try it: nonadults, people with personal or a family history of mental illness, anyone on medication, people with medical problems or anyone experiencing a crisis or under stress. Drug use magnifies these problems.

Ecstasy, liquid ecstasy and herbal ecstasy are on the streets of central Illinois, and it doesn’t matter whether a drug is organic or synthetic — either can be deadly, Webber concluded.

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Pre-election forum set for Thursday

[OCT. 25, 2000]  A Meet the Candidates forum will be Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at Adams School, 1311 Nicholson Road in Lincoln.

Candidates for the 18th Congressional District and the Logan County Board will make position statements and answer questions.

There will representatives of groups in favor of and opposed to the District 27 referendum present to debate that issue.

Refreshments will be served.

The public is invited to attend.

The event is sponsored by the Logan County Voters Association and the Logan County Farm Bureau Women's Committee.

[Logan County Voters Association news release]

Think You're Pregnant?



(217) 735-4838

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#5 Arcade Building, Lincoln

Claire's Needleworks
and Frame Shop
"We Frame It All"
On the square
in downtown Lincoln
M-F 10-5  Sat 10-4

Family Custom Cleaners
is now open at 621 Woodlawn.

5th Street Wash House has closed and will soon reopen at the new location.

Broadway Cleaners remains open during this time.

Maxwell biographer to lecture at LC

[OCT. 25, 2000]  William Maxwell biographer Barbara Burkhardt will be the keynote speaker for the third presentation in the Ralph G. Newman Lecture Series at Lincoln College. Burkhardt’s presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, at Johnston Center for Performing Arts on the college campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Burkhardt will speak on her experiences working with a literary master and how the late Maxwell’s historical connection to Lincoln has influenced her as well as American literature. Burkhardt recently completed a book titled "William Maxwell: a Critical Biography."

[Lincoln College news release]

Oasis presentation provides
medication education

[OCT. 24, 2000]  This week is National Pharmacy Week, and the theme is "Educate Before You Medicate." That is exactly what pharmacist Jim White of Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital stressed when he visited the Oasis Senior Center this morning. White began his presentation by reminding those at the Oasis Center that the present political debate over prescription drugs is not new. The first time a prescription drug plan was proposed for legislation was around the time of Watergate. The second proposal was only four years ago.

White discussed generic drugs, natural or herbal products and drug interactions. He also answered the attendees’ questions. His general advice concerning all drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and natural herbs is (1) read labels and pay attention to all the detail and (2) ask your doctor or pharmacist any time you have questions.

In his presentation on generic drugs, White gave an overview of the process of developing a drug and making the generic equivalent. He explained that generic drugs must meet the same FDA approval as the brand-name drugs. The average brand-name drug costs a company $500 million from the time of its development until it is approved for the market. The developing company receives a 17-year patent and revenue of approximately one billion dollars a year from a successful drug. White admits that the prices are very high and asks if the company must cover all of its expenditures in the first year. He says, however, that for every drug that is so successful, the drug companies begin or fully develop drugs that are not successful.


A year or two before a drug’s patent expires, generic drug manufacturers begin developing a generic equivalent. White emphasized that the generic drug companies must submit the same documentation that the brand-name company originally submitted. This proves to the FDA that the generic drug is a genuine equivalent to the brand name. Also about this time, the brand-name company works to improve their original drug, so as to stay in competition with the generic drug.

White’s advice about generic and brand-name drugs is to know what you take, why you take it and the dosage that you take. In comparing generic and brand-name drugs, ask the pharmacist if the generic is AB rated, that is, does it receive the FDA’s highest rating of drugs. White says that most generic drugs are AB rated, but some are not.

Next, White turned to natural or herbal products. Often he hears the argument that herbs are natural products and will not harm you. His response is, "Well, arsenic is a natural product." White does not dismiss herbal products but reminds those who purchase them that they are unregulated. Herbal products may make any claims, but there is no one to research or check the claims. A retired doctor in the audience said that much of the proof for natural products is anecdotal, such as, "My uncle said …." Also, herbs are known to interact with prescription medicine, so watch for problems and talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you begin using them.



[to top of second column in this article]

White suggests and uses "The Honest Herbal" by Yarro E. Tyler of Purdue University. He says that Tyler gives an overview of many herbs and specifically states if they are known to meet their claims or if they do not work.

If you take herbs and a doctor or pharmacist asks what medicines you take, include all prescription medicines, regular over-the-counter medicines and the herbal products you take. Do not forget to list the herbs, because they do often interact with or inhibit certain drugs.

The question-and-answer time focused on vitamins. White said that taking 1200 to 1500 mg a day of calcium supplements around and after menopause is generally a good idea, but always weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor. He admits that this and other supplements may be expensive, but preventative measures almost always save money and pain down the road.

White has seen the medical community swing from negating the usefulness of vitamins to overemphasizing the use of vitamins. Now the medical community has taken a moderate position. He believes that multivitamins are sufficient unless you have a specific deficiency. He recommends a product with vitamins and minerals that is produced by a brand name. Again, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first. White is reserving judgment on the multivitamin-herbal supplement mixes. He sees the companies combining two popular markets into one, but he does not believe that he has enough information yet to make a decision.


At the meeting, White handed out brief articles listing what he believed to be good advice for anyone taking medication. The information originally came from the September/October 2000 issue of Illinois Pharmacist. Please take the time to read those recommendations below.

Click here for "Tips for choosing a pharmacist."

Click here for "Safety tips from your pharmacist."

[Jean Ann Carnley]

Tips for choosing a pharmacist

[OCT. 24, 2000]  When choosing a pharmacist, many people simply look for a pharmacy that is convenient, either close to home or work. But location is only one of the things to consider in choosing a pharmacist who is the right match for you and your family.

Your pharmacist should be someone you know and trust. You should give as much consideration to choosing your pharmacist as you do to choosing a doctor. Pharmacists are health-care professionals specializing in medicines and their appropriate use. Because of this, your pharmacist plays an important role in your personal health care.

To help you select the one that is right for you, consider the following tips:

Review your options.

Stop by several pharmacies and speak with the pharmacist. Ask about the services offered, their expertise in disease management and any special needs you may have.


Consider your entire family’s pharmacy needs.

Often a pharmacist may help you with special circumstances, such as when you are taking care of an elderly relative. If you have aging parents that live nearby, you might ask, for example, if it is possible to deliver prescriptions to their home and send the bill to you.


[to top of second column in this article]

Ask about payment options.

Will the pharmacy accept your insurance coverage? Does the pharmacy accept your credit cards? Is it possible to set up an account?

Access the level of personal service.

How accessible is the pharmacist? Is he or she easy to talk to and willing to hear your concerns? During what hours is the pharmacist available to answer your questions?

It is important to choose one pharmacist with whom you can establish an ongoing relationship. Also, by choosing one pharmacy, a complete record of the medicines you take is in one place, making them easier to coordinate and manage. Your pharmacist can alert you to possible drug interactions, particularly if you take a number of different medications; help you track refills on important prescriptions; and provide necessary detail on short notice.

[from the September/October 2000
issue of Illinois Pharmacist]

Safety tips from your pharmacist

[OCT. 24, 2000]  The American Pharmaceutical Association, representing the nation’s pharmacists, suggests the following guidelines to prevent medicine mix-ups:

  • Be sure that your name is on every container of medication. If the drug is for a child, be sure that the pharmacy puts the child’s name on the label.
  • Never take a medication out of its original container to store it.
  • Highlight the patient’s name and the expiration date with a marker so that they can be easily seen. Use a different color marker for each member of the family
  • Read the entire label every time you take medication yourself or give it to a family member. 
  • Don’t take medication in the dark, and wear your glasses.


[to top of second column in this article]

  • If you have stopped taking a particular medicine but have some left, check with your pharmacist or doctor. Many medications should be taken until they are all gone, and having leftovers could indicate that the medication was not taken properly.
  • Throw away any medicine that has not been used in six months.
  • Do not share medicines. Only the patient for whom it was prescribed should take medication.
  • Keep a permanent list of all medications taken by each family member.


[from the September/October 2000
issue of Illinois Pharmacist]

is the place to advertise

Call (217) 732-7443
or e-mail 



Just inside the ALMH front door

Jim White, R.Ph.

"We Answer Your Medication Questions."

Click here to visit our website

Tell a friend
Lincoln Daily

Red Ribbon Week is observed

[OCT. 23, 2000]  Red Ribbon Week was established in memory of a local narcotics officer who fell in the line of duty. It is intended to bring awareness of drug and alcohol issues, particularly targeting our youth. 

Schedule for Red Ribbon Week

Tuesday, Oct. 24

  • Grim Reaper Day at Lincoln Junior High School

  • Ecstasy Education Seminar at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Park District

Wednesday, Oct. 25

  • HYPE puppet show at Jefferson School at 1 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 26

  • HYPE balloon launch at LJHS at 2:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 27

  • HYPE car wash at Kroger, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Logan County Snowball event at Lincoln Community High School

[to top of second column in this article]

Grim Reaper Day

Every 15 minutes, a person is killed in a drinking and driving accident. Grim Reaper Day is a day to show the effects of drinking and driving on our society. HYPE members have signed up to represent a person who will be killed due to the effects of alcohol on drivers.


Every 15 minutes a HYPE member will be pulled from his/her class by the Grim Reaper. They will have their face painted white, they will dress in black or dark colored clothing and will not be allowed to speak the rest of the day. HYPE member have been told that if they are called on in class, they must participate.

Taps will be played before each class period and a list of those who "died" will be read.

[News release from Kristi Simpson,
prevention specialist]

is the place to advertise

Call (217) 732-7443
or e-mail 



Just inside the ALMH front door

Jim White, R.Ph.

"We Answer Your Medication Questions."

Click here to visit our website

Tell a friend
Lincoln Daily


Landfill to be open extended hours for leaf disposal

[OCT. 11, 2000]  Beginning Monday, Oct. 16, the Lincoln City Landfill will be open extended hours to allow residents to dispose of leaves and yard waste, according to Donnie Osborne, street superintendent. The landfill will open at 8 a.m. and remain open until 4 p.m. seven days a week, probably until mid-December, he said. Residents may bring in leaves any way they like in bags, boxes or pickup trucks but they must take the leaves out of the containers and take the containers back home with them.

Public notice

Filing dates for nomination petitions for city offices

[OCT. 10, 2000]  The office of the city clerk in Lincoln will be open for filing petitions for nomination for the Feb. 27, 2001, consolidated primary election, with petitions accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the following dates: Dec. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 18.

Petitions will be accepted for the following city offices:

  • Mayor
  • City treasurer
  • City clerk
  • Alderman Ward 1
  • Alderman Ward 2
  • Alderman Ward 3
  • Alderman Ward 4
  • Alderman Ward 5

No petitions will be accepted before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m.

[Juanita Josserand, city clerk]

Notice to absentee voters

[OCT. 9, 2000]  Registered voters expecting to be absent from the county on the Nov. 7 election day may vote in person at the Logan County Clerk’s Office, second floor, Courthouse, Room 20, Lincoln, from now until Nov. 6.

Registered voters expecting to be absent from the county on election day or those who are permanently disabled or incapacitated may now make application by mail to vote absentee. Applications will be received by the county clerk until Nov. 2. No ballots will be sent by mail after Nov. 2, as provided by law.

Sally J. Litterly

Logan County Clerk

Election Authority

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