Family Fun Day attracted 250-300 people

[SEPT. 11, 2000]  The Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Drug (ATOD) Task Force of the Healthy Communities Partnership hosted its first Family Fun Day on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Latham Park in Lincoln.



Approximately 250 to 300 people attended the free and substance-free event. The Lincoln Area YMCA coordinated Wacky Olympics. The Lincoln City Police Department provided hot dogs and brats. The University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Office, along with the Lincoln Parent Center and the Lincoln Public Library, had craft activities. A dunk tank, face painting, volleyball and tug-of-war rounded out the activities. Rock Steady performed from 5 to 8 p.m.

If anyone would like more information about the ATOD Task Force or the Healthy Communities Partnership, contact Dayle Eldredge at (217) 732-2161, Ext. 409.

[click here to see photos]

Family Fun Day at Latham Park
[SEPT. 8, 2000]  A Family Fun Day will take place this Saturday, Sept. 9, at Latham Park from 3 to 8 p.m. Everyone is invited to come out and have lots of fun.

  • The Lincoln Area YMCA will coordinate Wacky Olympics.
  • The Lincoln City Police Department will have the Wiener Wagon out.
  • The University of Illinois Extension office will have craft activities.
  • There will be a dunk tank, balloon animals, volleyball and tug-of-war events.
  • HYPE (Helping Youth in a Positive Environment) will be coordinating a Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest.
  • Frisbees will be given away to families until the supply is gone.

  • Rock Steady will be performing from 5 until 8 p.m.

The Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Task Force of the Healthy Communities Partnership is hosting Family Fun Day.

This event is free and substance-free for you and your family.


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Looking for Lincoln, off and running

[SEPT. 8, 2000]  Members of the community came together the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 30, to discuss successes and future plans for the newly formed Looking for Lincoln in Lincoln project, administered by Main Street Lincoln. Looking for Lincoln is the latest part of the Illinois Heritage Tourism package initiated by the state of Illinois. Thressia Usherwood of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County is the liaison from the statewide committee to activities throughout Logan County. The project is intended to boost economy by bringing tourism to Illinois communities with historical ties to Abraham Lincoln.

The local project has been broken into several committees. Each committee provided updates as follows:

Downtown Cluster Ė chaired by Larry Crisafulli

The meeting began with a review of the re-enactment of the christening of Lincoln that took place at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug, 27. Larry Crisafulli reported his satisfaction with the performance and the number of people who came out to watch it. The original christening was recounted by the Stephens boy, and included four men, the Stephens boy himself, and a group of women onlookers. Appearing in period dress, they spoke and acted out what are believed to be the very words and actions of those at the original event.


[Standing from left to right: Robert Latham (portrayed by Daris Knauer), Abraham Lincoln (Charles Ott), Virgil Hickox (Dean Tibbs), John D. Gillett (Robert Presswood), and sitting is the Stevens boy (Cary Bell) re-enacting the town's christening]


[Of particular note was the fine antique wagon that was present as part of the props, lending a genuine air of authenticity. The wagon was generously loaned for the event by John Gehlbach.]


Plans to perform future re-enactments of the christening were discussed, with an anticipated three-year buildup to our sesquicentennial in 2003. Each year it is hoped to add to and modify the activity. It will continue to take place on the original site at the Depot.

Crisafulli went on to discuss numerous other possible activities that he and his committee are considering. Some of the ideas include an interactive display for picture taking, other exhibits and developing a rustic tavern. He also expressed the hope for a tourism building that visitors could go to in the downtown area at some time in the future. All activities are intended to draw people into the downtown area to share our history and give visitors something to do.

An idea was presented to have downtown businesses host lighted window displays for the holidays using an 1853-1860s Christmas theme.

This committee will be meeting again Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. in the second floor conference room at Union Planters Bank.

Postville Cluster Ė chaired by Shirley Bartelmay

Richard Schachtsiek, site manager for the Lincoln and Mount Pulaski courthouses, reported that the Lincoln Postville Courthouse is undergoing major renovations. The siding has been removed so that new, specialized protection recommended can be installed underneath. The new windows are going in now. The building has new plumbing, wiring and heating/air-conditioning system. Schachtsiek says, "The new breed of tourist likes to be comfortable. They like to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They will be happy with the new changes."


[New walnut siding sporting saw lap marks like the original building will replace the cedar boards on the Postville Courthouse.  The new windows are also six-pane like the original, rather than four-pane.  "We hope to be done by the end of September, but there's always a few more nails to pound," quips project supervisor Will Olson from RJS Constructors, Inc.]

This property is owned and maintained by the Illinois Preservation Society and is being included for use as part of the Looking for Lincoln project. Plans are being made for volunteers to help keep the site open more hours. Shirley Bartelmay believes they have a plan coming together in which volunteers will donate only four hours per month. Volunteer activities will include everyday maintenance and other duties.


(To top of second column in this article)


In an update from other communities Ė chaired by Gillette Ransom

It was emphasized that there continues to be a search for Abraham Lincoln information and artifacts.

Ed Busch from Middletown is coordinating themes and signs.

Local historians Paul Beaver and Paul Gleason announced that Charlotte Keys has provided some wonderful old postcards of the surrounding communities. From 1900 to 1910 there was a postcard craze. Plans are to make reprints and package them to promote all our towns. It is believed that the postcards will make wonderful tourist items. The historians also came into possession of a lovely old Broadway Street postcard, which may be remade.

Wendy Bell supplied additional discussion. Bell told of her fact-finding so far for gaining signage. She explained that the state of Illinois rules that there should be at least 200,000 visitors to a location to qualify for interstate signs. She is gathering visitor information numbers now. She also explained the current locations of signs directing traffic into the downtown area off the local highways. She made a proposed a plan of action for gaining new signs and their locations.



Thressia Usherwood announced the acceptance by the state of Illinois of the proposed design for a new exhibit. The exhibit is a storyboard which tells the story of Abraham Lincoln christening the town of Lincoln. It features a Lloyd Ostendorf print, just as all the Logan County exhibits will. Using all Ostendorfs throughout the county will provide consistency from one site to another. Ostendorf (who is now in his 80s) made prints for each town in Logan County. He is very pleased the project will be using his artwork.



Another feature of the exhibit is the watermelon imprint, which is part of all Looking for Lincoln displays statewide. It is there for kids to make etchings. The display will be located at the original site of the christening event.

When finished, the $10,000 sign will replace the one currently on the exact spot of the occurrence at the Depot. The older sign will be relocated a few feet away. The state of Illinois will split the funding of the display with a matching grant. They will pay $5,000 of the $10,000 expense.

Gleason reported that the Genealogical and Historical Society will moving to 114 N. Chicago St., across from the Depot. Papers are expected to be signed Sept. 15, and the move is expected to be completed by Oct. 1. Phyllis Bryson of Mount Pulaski said, "We've outgrown the space in the Arcade Building. We will have space for a visitor center. We have museum artifacts; we'll be able to have schoolchildren come in to learn there, and we'll have the research center there."

Upcoming events include displays by the clusters at the Harvest Fest in downtown Lincoln. Harvest Fest, on Sept. 22 and 23, will coincide with Lincoln Community High School homecoming events. There will be displays and activities at Scully Park on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you wish to become involved in any of these activities, all of the committees welcome you. It promises to be a rewarding experience, as well as providing a service to your community. Mark your calendars now for the next meeting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 27. The next meeting will take place on the second floor at the Union Planters Bank building.

To find out where cluster meetings will be or if you have any other questions, you can contact the Main Street office at 732-2929.

[Jan Youngquist]

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Bird banger alert!

[SEPT. 7, 2000]  Residents in Mayfair are seeing some action toward relief from the dirty, noisy squadrons of birds that have invaded their neighborhood. Wednesday evening police began an attack on the flocks of birds using "bird bangers." The birds come in from feeding in the fields and roost for the night in the neighborhood trees.

The bird bangers can be used to directionally scare off the birds. The goal is to send them back out into the countryside. It will take some time to shake the birds out and keep them from coming back into the neighborhood.

The loud bangs are shot off at intervals until they stay away. Chief Richard Ludolph said last night's shooting was a start in the war. The birds were very resistant and some kept coming back. The war was started to bring some immediate relief to the residents. It is unknown how many nights it will need to take place to gain control over the birds. However, there are only enough explosives to last through tonight. More have been ordered and are on their way. LDN will post the status of their arrival and the next planned shoots when that information is available.


Council tables rezoning
of Woodlawn property

[SEPT. 7, 2000]  A motion to rezone the property owned by Glenn and Marilyn Buelter at 416 and 422 Woodlawn Road from residential to commercial was tabled at Tuesday nightís City Council meeting by a one-vote margin. Mayor Joan Ritter cast the deciding vote to table, saying she would like to get the prospective developer to answer the concerns of residents of the area before a final vote is taken.

The rezoning would permit the construction of a 6,080-square-foot auto parts store with 27 parking spaces on the road between Krogerís and Palmer Avenue. The developer of the property has asked that his identity remain confidential.

Residents who have spoken against the rezoning say there is already traffic congestion on Woodlawn and another commercial establishment will be a safety hazard and devalue their property.

Perry Harris, who lives at Fourth and Pine, not near the area, spoke in favor of rezoning, saying encouraging business is good for the community.


Gary Johnston, who lives at Woodlawn and Palmer, said that expanding commercial zoning into residential areas "doesnít make sense."

Realtor Dan Bock cited many areas once zoned residential that are now successful commercial enterprises. He said people living in the 416-422 Woodlawn area told him they would not want to buy new houses on Woodlawn because of the traffic congestion.

Alderman Benny Huskins said he thought there was "a lot more available property" on Woodlawn Road that could be used for business. Alderman Patrick Madigan said infringing on residentsí quality of life was a more important concern than building a new business.

Alderman Steve Fuhrer said although he did not like the secrecy about the identity of the developer, he would vote yes because he believes the best use of the Kroger block is commercial. However, he would like to see some type of easement so the new business and the Kroger store could use the same access.

Alderman Glenn Shelton said he wanted to encourage business and the area would look "a whole lot better" with the auto parts business than it does now. "No one wants to put a house there because of the traffic," he said.


(To top of second column in this article)

"I wish we could make it safer," Alderman Michael Montcalm told the council. "I think it could be developed so everyone would be happy."

City Attorney Jonathan Wright reminded the council that the plan commission rejected the request, and therefore the council would have to pass it by a two-thirds margin. He also pointed out that if the council denies the rezoning, the owners cannot petition for another zoning change for one year.

Voting against tabling the motion were Aldermen Huskins, Madigan, Montcalm, Stephen Mesner and William Melton. Aldermen Shelton, Fuhrer, Gerald Dehner, George Mitchell and Joseph Stone voted to table.

The council also passed resolutions of gratitude and appreciation for retiring

Fire Department employees Captain Terry Lessen, who has served 20 years and six months and Assistant Chief Don Buss, who has served 31 years and 9 months.


Mayor Ritter announced the appointment of two new planning commissioners: Mike Miller, to replace Alderman Shelton, and Bob Wood, to replace Tom Bevard.

Prior to the meeting, the finance committee discussed increasing salaries for the mayor, the city clerk and the city treasurer for the first time since 1989. The recommendation sent to the ordinance committee asks that the mayorís salary be increased from $10,000 to $12,000, the treasurerís pay from $3,000 to $5,000, and the city clerkís starting salary from $32,000 to $37,000. The clerk is the only full-time position.

Aldermen agreed not to recommend raising their own pay, which is $75 for a regular meeting, $50 for a work session and $25 for special committee meetings, not to exceed $300 per year for special meetings.

"I think the token amount we get is fine," Alderman Montcalm said. "This is true community service to me. We are not in it for the money."

[Joan Crabb]

Unlawful possession
with intent to deliver

[SEPT. 7, 2000]  It started in January, eight long months ago. The watch, the build, the wait ó there were reports, investigations, contacts and resources set up. He gathered evidence; then day by day they watched, waited until there was enough evidence and the time was right. Then they made their move. Such is the standard scenario for any good drug sting. At the end of August, Lincoln Police Department and Logan County Sheriffís Department snagged three people on drug charges. The arrests were made on warrants stating unlawful possession with intent to deliver. Out of the four warrants issued, three were brought in. The one not brought in has moved out of state.

A task force provided the information leading to the arrests. The task force is a Central Illinois Enforcement Group made up of 12 officers from city or county agencies of seven central Illinois counties. It was formed in 1990 as a division of District 9, Illinois State Police.

Mostly, "we work street level to mid narcotics," explains the undercover officer, who must remain anonymous. "It depends on the sources, but we prefer to target cocaine and meth; thereís more jail time on cocaine."

Setting up for a sting takes lots of time, resources, and interdepartmental and external cooperation. You can lose a few leads when you donít act faster, as people often travel back and forth to bordering counties, but the wait generally pays off.


The agent in Lincoln, who began his position in 1997, has seen 50 cases, with only two no-convictions. There were 12 caught last summer. A year and a half ago they were able to uncover a conspiracy involving eight people. It resulted in the interception of 20 pounds of cocaine and 40 pounds of marijuana coming down from Chicago.


(To top of second column in this article)

Statistics like these are the result of diligent case buildup and a supportive legal system. "We work to build a good case that will lead to a conviction," the task force officer says.

"When we have a good case built, we can go to the stateís attorney, get grand jury indictments, and then warrants are issued. Then we can go pick them up. We are lucky to have great judges and stateís attorney," praises the officer. "As a result, Logan County sentencing is one of the strongest in the area."

It is good to know we have a system that seems to be working for our protection.

[Jan Youngquist]


Committee mulls city
liquor code revision

[SEPT. 7, 2000]  Work continued on amending and updating Lincolnís liquor code at a meeting of the City Councilís ordinance and zoning committee Wednesday evening. At least two more meetings will be needed before public hearings can be scheduled, according to ordinance committee chairman Glenn Shelton.

Until the entire liquor code is revised, the meetings are not open for public discussion, but after the rough draft is completed, public hearings will be scheduled and comment from the public invited, Shelton said. He said he especially wants comments from current liquor license holders. Target date for the public hearings is October.

Much of the work on the liquor ordinance is "housekeeping," according to City Attorney Jonathan Wright, updating the city code to make it conform to state liquor statutes. The committee is studying the liquor codes of two other Illinois municipalities, St. Charles and Galena.


Liquor license provisions have been the subject of controversy between the city and Eckertís/Steffens Inc., which operates Eckertís Fine Dining and the adjoining Grapes and Grounds shop. Eckertís/Steffens Inc. holds a Class C liquor license for the restaurant, which the owners believe also allows them to sell wine in the Grapes and Grounds shop. The city contends that the firm needs a second license to sell the package liquor. Eckertís/Steffens Inc. filed a lawsuit against Mayor Joan Ritter, who is also liquor commissioner, but recently dropped the suit.

One revision to the city code up for discussion Wednesday was tavern licenses. At present the city has only one type, which requires that 50 percent of liquor sales must be consumed on the premises. The revision suggested would be a Tavern 1 license which would only allow consumption of liquor on the premises, and a Tavern 2 license which would also allow the sale of package liquor. Neither license would hinge on the sale of food.

Club licenses also came up for discussion, with Wright noting that to qualify as a club, the organization had to have been in existence for six months and maintained rooms or premises. A club can sell liquor anywhere on its premises as long as its premises are described legally in the application, Wright said.


(To top of second column in this article)

Also proposed was an extra license to allow live entertainment in an establishment selling liquor. Wright said this would permit the city to pull the entertainment license without closing the entire establishment if the entertainment, such as bathing suit contests or lingerie showings, became a problem.

The question of whether to prohibit a restaurant that does not sell alcohol from allowing customers to bring in their own beverages, which is not addressed by the current code, also came up for discussion.

"It has been brought up to the liquor commissioner that in all fairness to establishments that do have a liquor license, restaurants which do not have a license should not allow people to bring in their own liquor," Mayor Ritter told the committee.

"Itís been done without a problem, but some people complain," Alderman Fuhrer noted.

Alderman Patrick Madigan said he did not have a problem with allowing liquor to be brought in if the establishment monitors the situation and is properly insured.

Wright reminded the committee that they may establish as many classifications of liquor licenses as they wish, as long as they are not inconsistent with the state liquor code. He pointed out that the city can make its liquor code more restrictive than state statutes, but not less. "If the state code says you canít sell liquor within 100 feet of a church, you can make that 150 feet, but you canít make it 25 feet."


The next discussion of the liquor code is scheduled for Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at the council chamber.

[Joan Crabb]