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For April fools

Spatula factory to come to Lincoln

By Mike Fak

[MARCH 31, 2001]  Lincoln will have a new factory in just a few months, according to T.E. Flon, regional industrial commissioner. The factory, to be situated in the old Stetson building, will produce hundreds of varieties of spatulas for both domestic and foreign markets. Flon stated that the factory, headed by the conglomerate F.L.I.P., will begin to scrape up employees to man the equipment almost immediately. The number of permanent employees is not yet determined, since spatula use and thus sales are, of course, seasonal.

A F.L.I.P. spokesperson stated that the employees will all be required to join the Kitchen Utensil Makers of America Union in the event they are hired. Wages will run from $7 per hour up to $45 per hour, depending on how many spatulas an employee can turn out in a given shift.

The move to a central Illinois location was deemed an important part of the industryís new marketing strategy. "Too many Midwesterners are using spoons, forks and even knives to lift their meals from pans. There is a huge potential market of spatula buyers in this region if we can offer a diverse and inexpensive means to remove foods from pans," stated Flon.

Groundbreaking on the factory could begin this April Foolsí Day or perhaps next year on April 1, whichever day comes on a weekend after a Thursday.

[Mike Fak]


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Let me say this about that

By Mike Fak

[MARCH 31, 2001]  Illinois legislators are debating a bill to extend their terms. Currently a member of the House has only two years between elections, while a member of the Senate serves a four-year term. The concept is to increase the longevity of state officeholders to help check the need of legislators to continually gather funds to run their re-election campaigns. The hope, an altruistic one, is that fewer campaigns mean less money is required from special interests to retain office. I like the idea and I donít.

The concept of a state rep serving only a two-year term has always seemed bizarre to me ó especially in a day and age when campaigns often take on impetus more than a year in advance of an election. Our representatives, in effect, have to continually be aware and make decisions based on a forthcoming election, and that is not a good thing for either the representatives or the voters. I agree: Letís make their terms four years.

I disagree that state senators should be elected for six years. Just imagine how many disenchanted New York Staters there are concerning Hillary Rodham Clinton being their U.S. senator for six years. The lady just showed how little she cares about taxpayer dollars by spending half a million a year on an office suite; if she moved just four blocks away, it would cost under $200,000 for a comparably sized office. New Yorkers having to wait six years to tell her what they think of her extravagance is just too long, even for the screwy New Yorkers who voted her into office.


We are fortunate to be represented by Bob Madigan in our district, but to believe fellow Illinoisans in other districts who find out their senators didnít deserve their vote and have to wait to remedy an honest mistake, six years is too long for some to need to bear. In my humble opinion four years for the Senate and the House is just fine, thank you.

While we are on the subject of state officials, kudos to John Turner. Turner came in second to last in office spending by a state representative, which means he lost the race but the taxpayers of central Illinois won. Sen. Madigan didnít do quite as well but is so far below the expenditures of many of the Senate spendthrifts that a thank you to him is also in order.



[to top of second column in this commentary]

If we build it, they will come. That at least is the hope of New Holland residents Rod and Pam White. Rod White, a 20-year member of the Logon County Board, has purchased the bankrupt property formerly called the East Park subdivision. White is currently sending feelers out to the ordinance committee, planning committee and city council to see if an agreement can be reached so that the potential to build upward of 50 affordable homes and housing units in the plot of land can be profitable. The original plan to develop the site met with resistance and ultimately failed due to lack of funding. White, an experienced county board member and financially stable area resident, could be just the person to turn a previous wing-and-a-prayer dream into a financially sound and solid enterprise. The effect of new home building and the trickle-down effect it has on the entire community give cause to root for the Whites making this a go. Letís hope everyone who needs to endorse their endeavor gives them all the support and assistance they can.

Did anyone besides myself notice the incongruities of Gov. Ryanís statements last week? On the 18th of March Ryan hinted that "Illinois First" wouldnít be enough to repair or replace the entire deteriorating infrastructure in our state. In effect the governor hinted an "Illinois Second," replete with new taxes, would be needed to fund all the "critical" needs of his constituents who wouldnít receive any of the $12 billion in First funds. Then on March 21st, Ryan issued a press release noting that $75,000 in "Illinois First" funds was being earmarked to fund a downstate bass fishing tournament. I wonder how "critical" that is to Illinois residents. Maybe our governor should be subject to re-election every two years.

[Mike Fak]

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Just inside the ALMH front door

Jim White, R.Ph.

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No Appointments Necessary

A wheel that needs to be reinvented

By Mike Fak

[MARCH 28, 2001]  The interesting thing about doing a live call-in show on Channel 15 is that you never know what's going to happen. Jim Ash and I have tried to direct discussions to a specific topic, but more often than not callers set us off in a different direction. It isn't a problem. In fact your calls and your thoughts are what makes the show as successful as it is.

This past week it seems the Fak's Machine broke still newer ground in its mix of callers. On a program that can boast a frequent viewer/caller who is 8 years old and another who is 86, I thought we had seen it all. On a program that can say their viewership not only fields the common person but doctors, lawyers, mayors, sheriffs, judges and every other occupation one can imagine, Jim and I felt we had maxed out the potential demographics of our viewing audience. And then Wednesday night we got a call from the Logan County Jail. Two young men, prisoners at our jail, took turns expressing their concerns about personal issues.

The content of their statements is not important in this article, and since both young men's comments are both questionable and disputable, there is no need for redundancy. The point was, both of the prisoners were polite, carried a civil attitude in their conversation and acted in a way that was suitable for the family audience that watches our program. They followed the rules and thus were allowed to express their views.


That is the crux of our program and, in fact, all of Channel 15. We are determined to place community shows before the public that need no disclaimers before they air. We are steadfast in our belief that people will watch programs that have a sense of humor without off-color remarks. We are certain we can all communicate with each other without name-calling or using derisive adjectives or pronouns. We also understand that opinions about the issues of life are as varied as the people in this world, and we respect those opinions whether we agree with them or not. We do feel we have an obligation to all of you to report on our community's issues that are important, regardless of the fact they sometimes are disheartening or negative. We will report those stories after we are certain we have the entire story and not before.



[to top of second column in this commentary]

You will find my columns in this newspaper because the Lincoln Daily News has those same basic tenets in the way they approach the news. There are no juicy headlines in this paper. There is no content that one would construe as gossip or personal attacks. This newspaper simply tries to inform you of what is occurring in the community, and that is it. Neither Channel 15 nor the Lincoln Daily News is reinventing the wheel, but in this day and age, sometimes it seems like they have to.

It makes me shake my head some days when I visit the chat rooms. I read clandestine authors calling each other morons and idiots and jerks. For just one moment do these authors believe their ridicule will sway the other to see their point? Don't they see that their comments, in fact, have become ramblings that have no effect on causing others to see their point of view? They all might as well use an open window as a bathroom.


You see, there is a great deal of good in this community that can grow out of information and opinion expressed in a way that gives respect to the individual. We all need to get back to some of the basic values that have been swept away by the decades. The concept of news without innuendo or personality or personal attacks is as old as the medias themselves. Channel 15 and this newspaper are new to the community. In a way, however, what both are doing is as old as the hills. I hope you will join us. That wheel needs to be reinvented.

[Mike Fak]


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Welcome to the em space, a staff writer's commentary section with observations about life experiences in Logan County and beyond. 

- Mary Krallmann

A kitchen checklist

Letters in my mailbox last week included two stories with kitchen connections.

One person wrote that she noticed a cup with egg whites still standing on the kitchen table right after she'd put a cake into the oven. So she took the pan out again, scraped out the dough, put it in another mixing bowl, added the egg, mixed it again, put it into another pan and put it back in the oven. She said the cake looked OK when baked, but she did cut out a sample to taste to make sure it was all right. It was a cake she planned to serve as refreshments for a group coming to her home.

The meeting went well, and she shared the remaining pieces of cake with neighbors. Later there was a phone call from one of the women who helped eat the leftovers. She commented on "how good the cake was and that it had an especially nice texture." After they laughed about the problem with getting the batter all together, the neighbor suggested it was "a new improved method for making cake."

Another letter, from someone more likely to make bread than cake, concluded with a toothpick report.

"Was running low on toothpicks," he said, "but couldn't find them in the store. Figured they would be near the baking cups, or possibly the dental floss. No luck. Finally stumbled across them in the paper plate section!"

When I tried to think where I would look for toothpicks in the grocery stores where I shop, I wasn't sure. Then I looked in the kitchen cabinet and found a good reason why I didn't know. According to the tags on the containers, my most recent toothpick purchase, two boxes for $1, came from Wal-Mart instead.

With hundreds of the little "square-center round" sticks remaining, I won't lose sleep over where to find more when I want some.

I don't remember how long ago I bought them. The text on the boxes mentions 1887, but it says that's when someone named Charles Forster started the first wooden toothpick factory in this country.

For more recent history from the kitchen cabinet, there are two containers of a salt blend. They were definitely not a "two-for" deal. In fact, I bought them years apart. The older one ó the shaker with a few hardened white chunks rattling around at the bottom ó shows a 1990 copyright on the label.

At home I learned to put butter and salt on roasting ears and popcorn, but since then I haven't added much salt to anything. A quick look at the table of nutrition facts on almost any processed food confirms that plenty of sodium is in there already. On the rare occasions when I bake and the recipe mentions salt, I've substituted from the aging container of "iodized lite salt blend" and usually cut down the amount besides. A 2-ounce supply lasts a long time that way.

It must have been the making of the most recent pumpkin pie that prompted me to start on a new container.

In spite of the age difference, the paper labels on the two looked almost the same, with white lettering surrounded by brightly colored markings on a background of black. The list of ingredients showed no change. The UPC numbers matched, except that the newer bottle had one additional numeral at the end. Instead of today's standard table of nutrition information, the older product presented a chart with vertical bars comparing the amount of sodium in various salts.

The difference that caught my attention was the change in identification. The older version was called "Lite-Lite-Lite-Salt." The label on the newer container says merely "Lite Salt."

Seeking an explanation, I checked the numerical details on each label but found no significant difference. Both indicate "85% less sodium than table salt." In both cases the serving size stated is one-fourth teaspoon.

The newer container says a single serving has 85 mg of sodium, while the older, triple-lite product has slightly more, at 90 mg. Following the same pattern, the newer label reports that regular salt has 590 mg of sodium per serving, while the older figure is 595 mg.

Evidently the difference between triple-lite and lite is measured more in years than milligrams. The new, improved version adds 5 mg and cuts back on two words.

In summary, if you have baking plans, remember the whites, don't take the "lites" too seriously, and be sure to allow enough time to stumble across the toothpicks.

[Mary Krallmann]

It's Tax Time

Come see the tax professionals at

Meier Accounting

and Tax Service

Dale Meier, Enrolled Agent

519 Pulaski, Lincoln


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Where They Stand

Where They Stand is a commentary section that poses a question about a specific issue in the community. Informed individuals present their position with facts, opinions or insights on the issue. The following commentaries have been printed, unedited, in their entirety, as they were received. If you have further comment on the issue, please send an e-mail message, complete with your name, address and telephone number to

District vs. at large

April 3 ballot proposition:  "Shall Logan County be divided into districts equal in population for the purpose of electing County Board members to serve on the Logan County Board commencing in the year 2002?"



In January of this year, citizens throughout Logan County circulated petitions to place this issue on the ballot. That effort was successful with more than 10% of registered voters signing within a two-week period (2569 total/2000 needed). The referendum has been certified by the Logan County Clerk and will be on the April 3rd ballot throughout the county. The citizens were successful and will be able to voice their opinion on this matter for the first time in 30 years!

Illinois law states that every ten years each county in Illinois with a township form of government shall determine whether board members shall be elected "at large" from the county or by county board "districts".

A "YES" vote on this issue will indicate that residents of Logan County want to have their County Board members representing all areas of the county. Each district must be divided equally in population and will guarantee that all areas are represented! The present "at large" system allows for all 13 County Board members to be elected from one area, while the remainder of the county could end up with no one. In fact, the east side of our county (from Mt. Pulaski to Atlanta) does not have representation at the present time! All of the counties surrounding Logan are in districts. Menard recently changed from "at large" to "districts" with an overwhelming vote. The greater majority of counties in Illinois are in districts and have been for several years. We are not the only county with this issue on the ballot. Bureau County recently passed a referendum to go to single member districts. Champaign County has a similar question, as does Adams County.

Remember that this question asks how the make-up of the County Board should be for the next ten years. Under a district system the voter is more likely to know the person they are voting for. This is your opportunity to voice your opinion and let your county governing body know how you feel. If the referendum produces a result in FAVOR of district representation, then measures will be introduced on the floor of the Logan County Board to accomplish that goal.

óRodney J. White



(Rodney White is a member of the Logan County Board.)



Itís rather interesting and enlightening to note the places of residence of people appointed to the Logan County Board to fill terms of members who have died, moved away, or resigned.

Mr. Robert "Bud" Behrends was appointed to the Logan County Board March 18, 1975, to finish out the term of Robert E. Downing, and Lloyd Hellman was appointed November 15, 1994, to finish out Robert "Bud" Behrends term on the board. Mr. Behrends grew up in the Hartsburg area, and spent most of his life in Lincoln, and Mr. Hellman, who replaced "Bud" has spent most of his life in the rural Emden area. Mr. Downing was a rural Beason farmer.

The emphasis on appointments was the type of person needed to effectively function on the board; not where they resided. A Beason resident (Mr. Downing) was replaced by a Hartsburg/Lincoln resident (Mr. Behrends), who was replaced by Mr. Hellman, an Emden resident.

The above appointments donít look like "district" representation. It looks like desire on the part of the replacements and their ability to effectively function on the Logan County Board.

Mark H. Werth resigned from the board December 31, 1988. L. Buckles was appointed to replace Mr. Werth, February 20, 1989. Both were from rural areas -- Mr. Werth, rural area north of Mt. Pulaski, and Mr. Buckles, rural area south of Mt. Pulaski.

Mr. Earl Madigan, who lived southeast of Lincoln, was replaced by Dwight Zimmerman, who farmed for years just east of San Jose and later lived in Lincoln. That certainly wasnít a "district" appointment. That was an appointment based on the desire of the person to serve and his ability to serve.

Mr. Edward L. Spellman, resigned from the board March 18, 1976, and Mr. Don Smith was appointed to take his place. both came from Lincoln, Both were successful business people and served well on the board.

Mr. Robert Welch died in office November 18, 1998. He was a resident of rural Beason. Mr. Roger Bock of rural Williamsville was appointed to replace him. Again, not a "district" appointment, but one based on desire and ability.

To my knowledge, no proponent of the district plan for electing members of the Logan County Board has ever submitted a plan, so my question is: If the at large system of electing county board members is not flawed, why fix it?

If the system is working well and the members are getting the work of county government done, why change?

Will a district election plan, which apparently is only floating around in the minds of a few people and has not been committed to paper, better serve all the people of all the county?? I think not!!!

óDick Hurley


(Dick Hurley is a former member of the Logan County Board.)

2201 Woodlawn Rd. in Lincoln
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By the Numbers

Motor fuel taxes paid in August 2000

Local figures are as follows:

Logan County = $44,078.23

(Counties receive an allocation on the basis of motor vehicle registration fees, with the exception of Cook County, which has a percentage allocation set by law.)

Townships and road districts = $90,973.85

(Townships and road districts are allocated an amount computed on the basis of mileage in their jurisdiction.)

City of Lincoln = $38,003.84

(Cities receive an allocation based on population.)

[Source: Economic Development report]

Population estimates in Logan County
30,798 Total population, 1990
15,380 Rural population - 49.9%, 1990
15,418 Urban population - 50.1%, 1990
2,875 Projected births, 1990-1998
2,736 Projected deaths, 1990-1998
3,143 Persons below poverty level - 11.8 %
258 Average marriages per year
135 Average deaths per year

Alexis Asher

Logan County high schools: 1960-2000
1962 Middletown High School consolidated with New Holland
1972 Atlanta High School became part of Olympia School District
1975 Elkhart High School consolidated with Mount Pulaski
1977 San Jose High School consolidated with Illini Central (Mason City)
1979 Latham High School became Warrensburg-Latham
1988 New Holland-Middletown High School consolidated with Lincoln Community High School
1994 Beason High School consolidated with Lincoln Community High School

Alexis Asher

Lincoln High School history


Lincoln School District


School buildings in 1859


"Grammar school" in 1859


High school teacher, Mr. January, in 1859


Central School opened


High school building started


High school dedicated, Jan. 5


Cost of new high school


Election authorized community high school District #404


Dedication of new Lincoln Community High School, 1000 Primm Road, in auditorium, on Nov. 9

Alexis Asher

Lincoln/Logan County numbers
5 Wards in Lincoln
17 Townships in Logan County
29 Officers in Lincoln City Police Department
20 Officers in Logan County Police Department
22 Firemen in the Lincoln City Fire Department
16 Rural Fire Departments in County
13 Members of Logan County Board
10 Members of Lincoln City Council
3 Colleges in Lincoln
44,850 Volumes in Lincoln Public Library
40,000 Volumes in Lincoln College Library
126,000 Volumes in Lincoln Christian College Library

How We Stack Up

This feature of the Lincoln Daily News compares Lincoln and Logan County to similar cities and counties on a variety of issues in a succinct manner, using charts and graphs for illustration.

Racial makeup of selected Illinois counties


What's Up With That?


When you look around, you will probably find something interesting to look at here in Logan County.
For instance, sitting just north of Lincoln near I-55, this trailer home looks a little odd up on stilts.  But if you look closely, it makes perfect sense, as it stands above the expanding waters of the nearby barrow-pit pond.  

 Innovation is alive and well here in Logan County.


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