Tri-County AmeriCorps winds down
old year, gears up for the next

[JULY 31, 2001]  Logan County AmeriCorps supervisor Shawn Marie Sillings has announced that Team 2000-2001 is coming to an end Aug. 31. Most of their final two weeks will be spent mentoring, tutoring and assisting camps. AmeriCorps is currently accepting applications and going through the interview process for next yearís teams, and teams are filling up fast.

Tri-County AmeriCorps is a program that hires 20 members per year. Members are basically volunteers for the community. Each volunteer is involved with various activities of his or her interest. The program focuses on serving people. "I enjoy giving back what people have given me when I was growing up," says volunteer Anthony Varnado.

An AmeriCorps volunteer may be involved in any number of activities: mentoring, advocacy, in-school assisting, turoring, adult literacy, chaperoning dances, teen outreach or even adopting a grandparent, and the list goes on. Another volunteer, Cathy Overbey states, "This job has changed my career focus. I believe being involved with helping others is what is important in life."


The goal of each team member is to reach 1,700 hours worth of community involvement for the year. During the year, a member will be considered a "compensated volunteer" and will receive:

1. $9,300 as a living allowance, which is broken into bi-weekly payments.

2. Medical insurance.

3. Child care if income-eligible.

4. An education award of $4,725 to pay for past student loans or future educational or vocational endeavors at accredited institutions, after successful completion of 1,700 hours.



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Logan County AmeriCorps is part of Tri-County AmeriCorps. Tri-County is made up of Logan County AmeriCorps, Mason County AmeriCorps and Menard County AmeriCorps. The director of all three sites is Rory Stoller.

The next team will begin Sept. 17 and continue their commitment through Aug. 31, 2002. New members, as well as activities, will be announced in September.

If you are interested in becoming an AmeriCorps member or would like more information, contact Shawn Marie Sillings, 319 W. Kickapoo St., Lincoln, Il. 62656; phone 735-4985.

[News release; ed. LDN]

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Oklahoma tour group visits Postville

[JULY 31, 2001]  Wednesday, June 6, was a big day for Postville Courthouse. Kincaid Motor Coach Tours brought about 50 seniors to tour the courthouse that day. The group also stopped to visit the Lincoln College Museum on a weeklong bus trip from Oklahoma to Chicago and back.

Senior tour groups are getting to be more and more popular. Thressia Usherwood, Logan County Tourism director, has been working hard with organizers of tour groups to encourage visitors to stop and stay in Logan County. She was responsible for the stop here by the Oklahoma group and is working to get more groups to come.


The next big events at Postville Courthouse are during the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival. The Lincoln Trail Porsche Club Charity Car Show will be on Saturday, Aug. 25, and the 1800s Craft Fair on Sunday, Aug. 26.

The Porsche show hosted by the Lincoln Trail Porsche Club will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25. This is the third time the club has hosted a car show at Postville. On display will be nearly two dozen Porsches, from the early 536 through the 914 and 944 to current Boxter and 996. Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis will present award plaques at 3:15 p.m. that day. Money raised during the event goes toward purchasing and planting new native trees in the courthouse yard.


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Sunday, Aug. 26, will be totally different, with the 1800s Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At this popular event, historic artisans and craftsmen will demonstrate a variety of skills, including broom making, flax to linen, blacksmithing, bobbin lace making and several new activities.

As in the past there will be music and refreshments available both days. Everyone is encouraged to stop by Postville Courthouse during the balloon festival weekend to admire the Porsches on Saturday and the period craftsmen on Sunday.


A total of 141 people visited the Postville Courthouse during June. The courthouse volunteers listed below worked 115 hours that month: S. Bartelmay, I. Curtis, B. DePuy, D. Freeman, I. Handlin, R. Hoppin, C. and R. Hurley, C. Kelley, C. Klink, N. Kleinman, K. Leesman, B. Marvel, R. Meyer, M. Ott, W. Post, G. and J. Semple, M. Smith, L. Snyder, R. Sullivan, G. Wibben.

[R. Schachtsiek]

Lincoln Library District eligible for computer grant from Gates foundation

[JULY 28, 2001]  The Lincoln Public Library District might soon be receiving a computer grant from the wealthiest couple in the world. According to library director Richard Sumrall, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationís U.S. Library Program has determined that the Lincoln Public Library District is eligible to receive a grant as part of a program to place computers, Internet access and other digital information in public libraries throughout Illinois.

"Itís not every day that you learn you might be getting a generous grant from two people who are as well known as Bill and Melinda Gates, so naturally we are thrilled to learn our library is eligible for this important program," said Sumrall.

"More importantly, this grant would allow our library to provide computer access to low-income citizens who might otherwise not have access to such equipment. Local citizens will be able to send e-mail, get on the Internet, and use the computer for other educational and entertainment purposes. Not everyone can afford a computer, but with this grant we can ensure that anyone in Lincoln who wants to access a computer can have such an opportunity."

Sumrall said that Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and his staff at the Illinois State Library in Springfield have been working for more than two years to bring the Gates Library Initiative to Illinois public libraries. Under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationís U.S. Library Program, funding is specifically targeted to libraries serving low-income communities where the need for access to computers and technology is greatest.



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"Weíve been told the Gates foundation will mail an application to us at the end of August. If all goes as we hope and our application is approved, we could have our computer and other equipment as early as next March. The Gates foundation even sends staff to Illinois to train us on how to use the computers," Sumrall explained.

" The Lincoln Public Library District is very excited to be a part of this innovative program. Bill and Melinda Gates are to be commended for seeking to bridge the so-called Ďdigital divideí and ensuring that all of the citizens of Lincoln have access to computers, the Internet and other digital information."

[Lincoln Public Library news release]


Logan County Board sets budget review

The Logan County Board will start its FY 2002 budget review hearings on Friday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon. Sessions will continue Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 8 a.m. to noon; Thursday, Aug. 23, from 1 to 4 p.m.; and Friday, Aug. 24, possibly beginning at 8:30 a.m.

When all hearings are completed, the information will be assembled for analysis. After that the auditors will schedule and make a presentation to the full board.

All meetings are in the third-floor jury room at the Logan County Courthouse and are open to the public.

[News release]

Weather warning

Itís too hot!

During the summer months, heat waves can occur anywhere in Illinois and affect anyone. Young children, elderly people and people with health problems are most likely to be affected. This is a reminder to everyone.

  • Plan to check on the elderly and those with health problems at least once a day during hot weather.

  • Donít leave children in a parked car.

  • Make sure you drink plenty of liquids during hot weather.

Doing small things can make a big difference.

This public service announcement is brought to you by Lincoln Daily News and the Logan County Health Department.

[News release]

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