Sheriff departments receive portable defibrillators from grant funds

[JUNE 1, 2001]  New portable defibrillators are being distributed to sheriff departments in the 45th District. The defibrillators were purchased with Illinois FIRST program funding secured by Sen. Bob Madigan and Reps. John Turner and Keith Sommer. Sen. Bob Madigan was on hand for the presentation at 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 1, at the Logan County Safety Complex, 911 Pekin St.

Defibrillators are being distributed to Logan, Mason, DeWitt, Woodford and Tazewell counties.


The sheriff departments were awarded grants by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs to purchase the defibrillators. The grant amount and number of units are:

  • Logan County, $19,200, six units
  • Mason County, $12,800, four units
  • DeWitt County, $16,000, five units
  • Woodford County, $16,000, five units
  • Tazewell County, $38,400, 12 units

The portable defibrillators can be assigned to patrol officers who will be instructed in their use. The purpose is to have the devices ready during emergency situations when a person’s heart may stop. The defibrillators can be used to start the heart again and save lives.

[News release]

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Lincoln Daily

Viewing habits of Lincoln
cable subscribers surveyed

[JUNE 1, 2001]  The following report states the results of a cable survey taken within the city of Lincoln in April. The questionnaire was in two parts. The first section asked which cable television stations individuals deem to be their favorites. The second part asked which specific programs the Insight Cable subscribers view as their favorites.

In order to make the survey manageable and of a length that would cause more complete replies, only principal cable stations were included on the survey and not newer entries or standard broadcast stations.

The programs chosen also were limited to a small group to ensure response. The programs were selected either to encompass the entire age demographic of viewers or as a station's leading program or as a program broadcast at the same time when Linc-On TV was airing their own programs.

The surveys were left at area locations and were filled out with no assistance from local Channel 15 staff members.

The options available to a viewer were "never watch," "seldom watch," "watch frequently" or "watch all the time." The judgment of whether a show or station is popular was then based on only the "watch frequently" or "watch all the time" responses being compared to the total response for that question. In some cases where a question was left blank, the response was considered a "no response" and was not counted either way. This was to allow the parts of the survey that were answered to be part of this report. In all, 143 surveys were returned.


Results of the first section of the survey are charted below.


Cable station viewership in order of popularity

Ch. #

Channel name
























Animal Planet






Linc-On TV












Fox News 


C Span



[to top of second column in this article]

Carrying only 16 hours of airtime per week compared to 168 by the other networks, Channel 15 was pleasantly surprised to find themselves in the middle of the station choices, with a response indicating that more than 40 percent of the local cable audience watches frequently or all the time. This percentage represents approximately 2,400 homes and 5,000 to 7,000 viewers.

How Channel 15 reached this plateau can be seen from the following chart of favorite programs.

Cable station shows in order of  popularity





Who Wants to be a Millionaire



Special Events 






Fak's Machine 



Law & Order 






West Wing 






Railer Sports 



The 70's Show 






The Simpsons 



The O'Reilly Factor 


It is apparent from the survey that Channel 15 more than holds up its share in the local area viewership. Although this is the first written survey taken by this station, two previous verbal interviews with 50 or more cable subscribers carried a 44 percent viewership rating.


It is also apparent that when Channel 15 is broadcasting programs, a great deal more area viewers are tuned to that station than to almost any other prime-time cable program running against it.

[Mike Fak]

City won’t join county computer hookup

[MAY 31, 2001]  The city of Lincoln will not join the computer network that will link five Logan County buildings by fiber-optic cable, the city’s public grounds and buildings committee decided Tuesday night.

The committee held a special meeting to debate the county’s proposal to hook up to the new communications system, which would join the city to the courthouse, the courthouse annex, the safety complex, the highway department and the health department for a one-time fee of $16,347.17.

"I’ve looked this over in a number of ways, and the numbers just don’t work out in the city’s favor," committee chairman Patrick Madigan said. "I don’t really see the need for it, and we don’t have the money right now."

"My personal opinion is we don’t need it," City Clerk Juanita Josserand agreed. She said that the city police department already has information sharing with the county and that City Hall does not need the kind of instant communication the network would offer.

She also noted that former Mayor Joan Ritter had had Internet access, which came out of the mayoral budget, and that present Mayor Beth Davis could have the same service at an inexpensive monthly fee.


Alderman Steve Fuhrer said he felt the offer to the city should have been made on a different basis. Rather than paying one-sixth of the cost, as the county suggested, the city should have been charged by the lineal foot for the fiber-optic cable, as the cable is going right by City Hall.

"We’d be supporting the cost for the five county buildings," Madigan agreed. He also said there was some debate whether fiber optic is the best system, and that wireless connection might be the way of the future. The committee agreed not to make any recommendation to the council on the matter.


[to top of second column in this article]

In other business, the council heard a petition to vacate an alley which is presently part of a trailer court and has not been used as an alley for more than 25 years. The petition from Claude Brinner asks that the 16 1/2 foot alley between Short 10th and Short 11th streets and Monroe and Adams streets be vacated.

Attorney Jonathan Wright said that in order to vacate, there must be a public hearing, a survey, an appraisal and a determination if there are any easements on the property. Mark Mathon, city engineer, said a survey has been done of the alley and surrounding lots and he is looking into the matter of utility easements.

The council also heard a report from Police Chief Rich Montcalm that the city police department is training six of its members as an emergency response team and that rifles and clothing for the team, at $1,300 per person, would come out of the department’s drug and alcohol fund. This training is a "precautionary measure," Montcalm said.

Steve Fuhrer, chairman of the finance committee, asked that approval of the salaries of two new department heads, Montcalm and Fire Chief Robert "Bucky" Washam, be put on the agenda for the June 4 meeting. The council then went into executive session to discuss the salary of Ken Ebelherr, former fire chief, who has returned to the department as a firefighter.

[Joan Crabb]


Summer concerts offer great diversity

[MAY 31, 2001]  The annual Concerts in the Park series will begin this Sunday, June 3.  All the concerts are at Latham Park, one block north of the historic courthouse square in Lincoln, and will begin at 7 p.m.  Concertgoers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy the free entertainment. 

Kicking off the season will be the sounds of Sojourn. Sojourn will present a rock-and-roll journey through the last four decades.  If you did the twist in your bobby socks, imitated John Travolta from "Saturday Night Fever" or did the moonwalk with Michael Jackson, you'll love this trip down memory lane.  Sojourn's five members are from east-central Illinois and have performed at a number of fairs and festivals, including Decatur's Summer Start over Memorial Day weekend.  Sojourn is sponsored by Logan County's classic rock local radio station, WMNW 96.3, and by Bob Neal, Edward Jones Investments.

The following four Sundays will feature the Lincoln Area Music Society and a variety of music. The June 10 concert is sponsored by friends of LAMS, June 17 by Maple Ridge Care Centre and June 24 by Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. Always popular are the patriotic features on the Sunday prior to Independence Day.  This year the date will be July 1, with sponsorship by Union Planters Bank. 


Stone County Ramblers will perform on July 8.  They are an all-acoustic string band with a repertoire of bluegrass, traditional gospel and old-time country tunes.  The group traces its roots to Jim Birkey and his two sons, Jim and Jason of Hopedale.  All three sing and play guitar.  The Birkeys were later joined by their neighbors, Darin and Barb Rexroat.  Darin plays bass and Barb provides some vocal work.  Non-Hopedale residents who have joined the aggregation include five-string banjo wizard Rance Fouts of Pekin and Lincoln resident Dan Tackett, who sings and plays guitar, fiddle and mandolin.  Fouts, incidentally, also performs with the Lincoln-based acoustic group Farmer's Daughter.  Besides performing at benefits and private parties, the Stone County Ramblers have become a monthly staple at Now & Then, a restaurant in Hopedale.  They are sponsored by Keystone Risk Management and Puritan Springs Bottled Water.

Beans and Such and Family Custom Cleaners and Laundry are sponsoring the July 15 concert.  The Nostalgics will delight the young and young at heart with music from the Roaring ’20s to the post-war ’40s. You'll be "In the Mood" after an evening of enjoyable entertainment.


Angel Spiccia and Friends will perform on July 22.  Spiccia is an accomplished vocalist and has performed several times at The Restaurant at the Depot.  Her repertoire includes jazz and standards.  The group is sponsored by Bassi Construction and The Tropics Restaurant.


[to top of second column in this article]

Paul and Win Grace will make a return appearance on July 29.  The Grace duo performed last year and were a special request of their sponsors, Prairie Years and Lincoln Public Library.  Paul and Win perform on a number of instruments as well as vocalize.  Their folk tunes tell the story and will conclude the concert season with a happy ending.

The Concerts in the Park series is coordinated by Main Street Lincoln and the Lincoln Area Music Society.  In addition to the individual concert sponsors, patrons supporting the season include J.M. Abbott and Associates, Bassi Construction, Century Dental Center, CILCO, The Courier, Graue Inc., David and Mary Lanterman, and Pacesetter Financial Group.  In-kind services are provided by Lincoln Music Center and the Logan County Board.


[Main Street Lincoln news release]

Police investigate baby’s death

[MAY 31, 2001]  Police are investigating the death of a Lincoln baby. Eleven-month-old Daneysia Williams of 1202 N. Kankakee St. was taken to Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital by her parents at 4 p.m. Sunday. She was pronounced dead by Logan County Coroner Chuck Fricke at 4:33 p.m. Fricke says an inquest will be held as is required by law in the death of any child younger than 2 years of age.

Lincoln Police Department Detective John Bunner is handling the investigation. An autopsy has been performed.

The case was further complicated when a neighbor called police about an apparent burglary taking place at the baby’s home while the parents were at the hospital with her. Police caught the suspect at 5 p.m. at the home. A 23-year-old male from the 100 block of Omaha Street was arrested on charges of criminal trespassing, possession of an unknown amount of marijuana, possession of less than 30 grams cocaine and obstructing a police officer. He was scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on burglary charges Thursday morning.

Logan County State’s Attorney Tim Huyett is following the situation, but could only say it is suspicious.

[Jan Youngquist]



Update (2:30 p.m. Wednesday)

Work postponed

Due to forecast of rain Thursday and Friday, work will be rescheduled next week. CILCO will notify each customer of the date and time.

CILCO schedules power outage Thursday morning

[MAY 30, 2001]  CILCO customers south of Lincoln will experience a planned electric outage on Thursday, May 31, beginning at 6:30 a.m. until approximately noon. CILCO must perform maintenance replacing a pole.

CILCO regrets any inconvenience experienced by this necessary electric outage.

The 51 CILCO customers affected by this outage are located on Broadwell Drive, Lake Street, State Street, 1000th Avenue, 1056th Avenue, 1200th Street, 1350th Street, 1010th Avenue, 1025th Avenue, 1400th Street and 1450th Street.

In case of rain, the outage will be postponed until Friday, June 1, at the same time.

[CILCO news release]

Our staff offers more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Greyhound Lube

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No Appointments Necessary


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Lincoln Daily

Council debates East Park agreement

[MAY 30, 2001]  The proposed East Park subdivision moved one small step closer to becoming a reality Tuesday evening after another meeting with developer Rodney White of New Holland and the Lincoln City Council’s committee on streets and alleys.

The committee, headed by Alderman George Mitchell, agreed to put a motion on the agenda of the council’s June 4 voting session to disconnect the 14.66 acres owned by White and his wife. This is part of a plan to give White the commitment he wants that the city will upgrade Sherman Street, which fronts the 16 homes he is planning as a first step in the development.

The disconnection would be quickly followed by a reannexation, including an agreement that within some period of time, possibly five years, the city will upgrade Sherman Street, completely at the city’s expense. Cost is estimated at about $230,000.


This maneuvering is necessary because in most cases the city cannot enter into a binding agreement on plans that call for appropriation of funds for more than one year at a time. However, an annexation agreement is an exception to that rule and can allow an agreement extending for a number of years.

White wants to be assured the street will be upgraded when the development is completed, but he does not want the work done until most of the 16 lots have been sold. The extended time frame will allow him to put in sewer, water and utility connections without having to tear up an already improved street.

Because White does not want his property disconnected from the city unless it will be reannexed, City Attorney Jonathan Wright will draw up a draft of the proposed annexation agreement so that aldermen will have a chance to study it before voting to disconnect.


Wright reminded the council that if such an agreement is approved, the city will be obligated to upgrade the street in the specified time frame.

Alderman Bill Melton expressed some concerns about the disconnection and reannexation strategy. "If we do this, I can see other cases coming up for whatever reasons," he said. "It seems to me we are trying to find our way around an ordinance or law. Why can’t we just say ‘We’ll put Sherman Street on the list?’"


"It can be put on the list [for streets to be upgraded], but it won’t be binding," Wright told him.

Melton did agree to put the motion to disconnect on the agenda for the June 4 meeting.



[to top of second column in this article]

Another aspect of the new subdivision debated by the committee was a detention pond and its maintenance. The pond, which would run along the Illinois Central Railroad track, is designed to detain water for several hours after a heavy rain, such as a 50- to 100-year rain. It allows the storm water to be released slowly so it does not overwhelm the sewer system.

White told the council that the maintenance of the pond, mostly mowing, would be up to the area homeowners. He suggested that a covenant should be drawn up to say that a homeowners association be formed and after 50 percent of the lots were sold, that group would be responsible for the maintenance of the pond.

Homeowners should know when they purchase the lots that they will have the cost of maintaining the pond "down the road," he said. He also said he was not aware of other detention ponds in Lincoln but would go to other subdivisions to see what kind of maintenance is needed.

White describes his proposed subdivision as "a community project." He has agreed to donate one lot to the Lincolnland Technical Education Center, which gives high school students experience in the building trades program. He will also allow Lincoln Christian College to run a water line through his property at no cost. Another lot will be left empty so that a street can be built if further development occurs on the property. White said if that happens he will develop the street and bring it up to city specifications before dedicating it to the city. The original plat of the area, drawn up by former developer Steve Boch, called for 57 homes. White has emphasized that at this time he is only considering developing the 16 lots facing Sherman Street.

He has also emphasized that he wants to make lots available for $10,000 so that homes can be built for as little as $80,000, giving the city much-needed low-cost housing. He would like to make the lots available to local builders and would urge them to buy from local contractors. He said he did not plan to develop the entire 16 homes but might build one or two.

"I want to do this right. I want to make sure this works," he told the council. "I’m going to be around here, and I don’t have an unlisted telephone number."

[Joan Crabb]

Dave Hawkinson announces for Rep. run

[MAY 29, 2001]  In what is shaping up as an interesting race to fill the state representative’s slot in the 90th House District being vacated by John Turner, another candidate has announced his intentions to the six county chairpersons charged with making the selection to fill Turner's remaining term. Longtime Lincoln and McLean County resident Dave Hawkinson wants to be chosen to complete the term and to be the candidate of choice at the next election.

Hawkinson's extensive experiences as chamber of commerce and economic development director in both Logan and McLean counties is the background he brings to the contest.

"As I look at Lincoln today, I see projects such as the enterprise zone, the tourism bureau and the Certified Cities designation that were created during my time at the chamber. Working with community, business and political leaders, we accomplished a great deal during my tenure," Hawkinson noted.


He also worked with state agencies to land Lincoln's second correctional facility, which benefits the community through stable employment.

In McLean County, Hawkinson was the executive director for the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development of the Bloomington-Normal Area. He served for nearly a decade in a community that is the envy of others for its growth, prosperity and high employment.

During the past 30 years of his career, Hawkinson has had contact with hundreds of businesses and thousands of individuals throughout central Illinois. He serves on numerous boards and committees and has had many opportunities to represent his communities and the state of Illinois throughout the United States and in many foreign countries. He has previously been selected by his peers on the Illinois Development Council as the Economic Developer of the Year.

"Now is an opportune time to offer my talents, strengths and experiences to the citizens of central Illinois," he said. "I bring three decades of experiences, personal-professional contacts and a unique knowledge of how to accomplish tasks through networking with the people who get things done."

Hawkinson is also well-known for his work with the Central Illinois Corridor Council and his numerous presentations to social and civic organizations. He is the father of three grown daughters, husband of Kathy for 32 years, and enjoys distance running, helping his wife with her many projects, and volunteer service to charities.

Hawkinson resides in rural Lincoln and is employed by Corn Belt Energy of Bloomington.



•  Born in Chicago, raised in Elmhurst

•  Graduated York Community High School


•  Graduated Illinois State University, BA/MA

•  Additional post-college studies in chamber and economic development programs of studies

Work experience

•  Special education teacher, LeRoy Middle School

•  Principal, LeRoy Middle School

•  Principal, Barrington Middle School

•  Dean of Students, Lincoln College

•  Development Officer, Lincoln College

•  Director, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

•  Executive Director, Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development of the Bloomington-Normal Area

•  Currently employed as Director, Marketing and Public Affairs, Corn Belt Energy Corporation, Bloomington


[to top of second column in this article]

Community service, associations, committee service

•  Director, United Way, Bloomington

•  Chairman, Central Illinois Corridor Council

•  Vice president, Children’s Discovery Museum

•  President, BroMenn Advisory Council

•  Co-chairman, World War II Memorial, Bloomington

•  Citizens Committee for High Speed Rail

•  Easter Seals-UCP Advisory Committee

•  Lake Bloomington Association Board

•  Elks Club, Bloomington, Lincoln

•  Illinois Development Council, past Economic Developer of the Year

•  Governor's International Trade Mission delegate and presenter

•  Illinois Wesleyan Associates

•  Illinois State University Homecoming Committee

•  Academic Development Institute Board of Directors, board member

•  Rotary Club, board member

•  Bloomington Lake Run Club, Race Director for Mitsubishi Half-Marathon Race

•  US-Midwest Japan Association, Illinois delegate

•  Bloomington Sister Cities Committee

•  Member First Baptist Church, Lincoln

•  Member Wesley United Methodist Church, Bloomington

•  Board member, Community Advocacy Network, Bloomington

•  Courier Citizen of the Month

•  Committee for the Learning Institute, Bloomington

•  Co-chairman, Lincoln/Logan County Enterprise Zone

•  Established Logan County Tourism Bureau

•  Lincoln Certified Cities designation

•  State of Illinois trade missions to Japan, Korea, Canada, China, Mexico, Germany, France and Belgium


•  Married 32 years to Kathy, third-grade teacher in Lincoln and developer of log cabin garden

•  Key interests in coal/energy technology, statewide marketing and utility deregulation

•  Completed 14 marathons, three Chicago triathlons and 10 years of running the 80-mile River to River event

•  Cutest granddaughter on the planet and the best-behaved grandson in a six-county area

[News release from Dave Hawkinson]

Memorial Day ceremony
scheduled for Lincoln

‘Remember, freedom is not free’

[MAY 26, 2001]  The Rev. James Cravens of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lincoln will be the guest speaker at the Memorial Day services at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 28, on the courthouse lawn in Lincoln.

Cravens has been a military man for many years. He serves as deputy fleet chaplain, director of reserve religious ministries, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Va.

Tom Gerdts of Lincoln Christian Church will give the invocation and benediction at the ceremony.

Tom Murray is in charge of the firing squad, and Haydn Gerdts will play "Taps." C. Wayne Schrader is the master of ceremonies. The auxiliaries will participate in the laying of the wreath.

[to top of second column in this article]

The local veterans sponsor the Memorial Day services. Ham and beans will be served at the American Legion Post 263 hall in Lincoln after the ceremony.

All the people of Lincoln and the surrounding area are encouraged to take time to honor and remember those young men and women who gave their lives so we can remain a free nation. Remember, freedom is not free.

[News release]

Memorial Day, a day to honor all
military personnel who died in service

[MAY 26, 2001]  There are two theories about the origin of Memorial Day, formerly called Decoration Day. The first people to celebrate it may have been the Southern women who spread flowers on the graves of veterans. Or the founder may have been Union Gen. John A. Logan, who decided after the Civil War that the United States needed to honor the war dead and followed through with a speech at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868. Gen. Logan was the son of Dr. John Logan, the Illinois General Assembly colleague of Abraham Lincoln after whom Logan County was named.

In 1971 Decoration Day officially became Memorial Day, and Congress declared the last Monday of May as the day to honor all military personnel who died in service to this country. Many families use the day to decorate all their graves, but officially it is devoted to those who died while in military service.


[C. Wayne Schrader is a student of the history of Memorial Day.]

According to C. Wayne Schrader, finance officer and past commander of American Legion Logan Post 263, the number of volleys, the playing of "Taps" and the timing of the ceremony are grounded in history. He said that firing squads used to be restricted to seven members, so a 21-gun salute was seven riflemen firing three volleys each. At Monday’s service the squad will probably be somewhat larger but will fire the traditional three volleys.

"Taps" was composed by Union Gen. Daniel Butterfield in 1862. His men had begun to falter, and he himself was seriously wounded. When he learned from President Lincoln that there would be no reinforcements, Butterfield sought a way to bring comfort and peace to his tired men. He hummed the sounds he wanted, and his bugler, Oliver W. Norton, wrote the seven notes on the back of an old envelope. When Norton first played the song on July 2, 1862, the effect was magical, and soon it was being heard throughout the Army of the Potomac. A few days later it was used for the first time at the funeral of a fallen soldier. In 1874 the U.S. Army officially adopted "Taps."


When the armistice ending World War I was signed, Gen John J. Pershing asked Hartley B. Edwards, an American soldier, to play a final "Taps." The hour was 11 a.m. Organizers of the Lincoln Memorial Day service try to time the program so "Taps" is played at that same hour.


[to top of second column in this article]

In anticipation of the Memorial Day service, the American Legion will distribute poppies Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26. Schrader said that all poppies are made by hospitalized veterans, who receive three cents for each poppy they make. All other money collected in Lincoln will be sent to rehabilitation units in veterans hospitals. Schrader is one of four judges of the local poppy poster contest for school-age children. The winning poster in the oldest class is sent to the national competition, where the first-place prize is a scholarship.

A few days before Memorial Day Greg Fitzpatrick leads a crew who place flags on the graves of all former American Legion members buried near Lincoln. About 900 flags are placed.


Schrader himself has spoken at Memorial Day programs and often uses the poem "Freedom Is Not Free," written by Cadet Maj. Kelly Strong, a Homestead, Fla., high school student and member of Air Force Junior ROTC. Schrader quotes the title to emphasize the cost in human life of the democratic institutions citizens sometimes take for granted. Memorial Day is the time set aside to remember the sacrifice of so many lives in war.

Veterans Day, celebrated Nov. 11, differs from Memorial Day in that it honors all veterans, living and dead, whereas Memorial Day honors only the dead.

Schrader hopes for a good attendance at this year’s service. He also wishes that every veteran would join a veterans organization. He points out that all were founded to help veterans and that the organizations have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on hospitals and assistance to families.

[Lynn Spellman]

Senate Week in Review

Illinois Senate agrees on new districts

[MAY 26, 2001]  A historic agreement on a congressional map and the establishment of task forces to study Illinois election procedures and the expansion of the state’s KidCare program highlight Senate action this week, according to Sen. Bob Madigan, R-Lincoln.

The new map, which eliminates one district as dictated by the 2000 census figures, marks an agreement by congressional map negotiators. This historic bipartisan agreement means the state will not have to argue in the courts, as in previous decades. The proposed maps (HB 2917) are now pending approval in the House of Representatives.

Senate Resolution 153, adopted by the Senate Executive Committee, creates the Senate Task Force on Integrity in Voting. The task force will examine the state’s voting process and election technology in the light of last year’s events in the Florida election.

Senate Resolution 152 proposes an examination of the state’s KidCare program before the program is expanded to include families.

The Senate also approved two economic development measures, which will now return to the House of Representatives for further approval:

McCormick Place (HB 263) — Allows expansion of the state’s premier convention and exposition center and creates a fund for statewide economic development purposes.

Boeing (HB 1655) — Authorizes a $64.1 million ($41.1 million state assistance, $23 million Chicago assistance) in economic incentives to the Boeing Corporation as they prepare to move their headquarters to Chicago, a move which is projected to bring 500 jobs and $4.3 billion in revenues to Illinois over the next 20 years.

The following measures were approved by both chambers and currently await consideration by the governor:


Abandoned babies (SB 216/HB 632) — Allows parents of newborn infants to leave their baby at a safe haven (church, hospital, fire station, etc.) for purposes of adoption without any civil or criminal repercussions.

Child support (SB 950) — Publishes a list naming 200 child-support deadbeats who owe $5,000 or more in back support. (SB 993) — Notifies parents who are 30 days late (or more) on child-support payments that simple interest will accrue at the rate of 9 percent.

Unattended children (SB 28) — Sets penalties for adults who leave young children unattended in a motor vehicle.

Tobacco (HB 2254) — Creates a unique driver’s license format for those younger than age 19 to prevent underage purchase of tobacco.

Alcohol delivery (HB 1000) — Requires delivery people to get the signature of someone at least 21 years old when delivering alcohol.


Sweepstakes fraud (SB 797) — Protects consumers from sweepstakes fraud by requiring mailings to state clearly that no purchase is necessary, disclose all information and award the prize within 30 days.

Restricted call registry (HB 176) — Creates the statewide Restricted Call Registry for consumers who do not want to be called by telemarketing sales companies.

Halal food (SB 750) — Makes it a Class B misdemeanor to misrepresent food as being halal, food that is prepared under the strict compliance with laws and customs of the Islamic religion.


Pupillometers (SB 1517) — Creates a pilot program using Pupillometers for drug tests of prison inmates with drug and alcohol abuse problems.

FOID cards (SB 1065) — Provides more oversight for the FOID card application process, tightens the FOID card felony exemption, creates a new offense for anyone falsifying a FOID card application, uses driver’s license photos to confirm identities and cracks down on repeat FOID card offenders. (HB 1942) — Sets Class 2 felony penalties for any person who forges or materially alters or counterfeits a FOID card or possesses a card that has been forged, altered or counterfeited.

Project Exile (HB 231) — Encourages the federal prosecution of anyone who illegally uses firearms in crimes against others.

Seized property (SB 1098) — Requires law enforcement agencies to return vehicles or vehicle parts that were seized for evidence in the same condition they were at the time they were seized, unless criminal charges are pending or stolen parts have been removed.

Videotaped testimony (SB 401) — Allows videotaped testimony of a mentally disabled victim who is not institutionalized to be admitted into evidence in the same manner that testimony of an institutionalized victim or the testimony of a child victim can be admitted into evidence.

DUI fines (SB 64) — Increases the fine DUI offenders pay to trauma centers from $25 to $100 for a first offense and $200 for a subsequent offense. Creates an additional $5 fine to benefit research on spinal cord injury paralysis.

Gang crime (HB 1812) — Strengthens penalties for street gang members who violate laws against murder, assault and battery.

Aggravated DUI (SB 2290) — Allows for extended term sentencing on all aggravated DUI convictions rather than just those resulting in great bodily harm or permanent disability.

Crime victims (HB 2865) — Adds stalking and aggravated stalking to the list of crimes for which victims can be compensated through the Crime Victims Compensation Act. (HB 863) — Allows the court to accept a victim impact statement from family members of the victim.

Aggravated Arson (HB 2295) — Expands aggravated arson to include damage to a house trailer, watercraft, motor vehicle or railroad car.

Multiple felonies (HB 2300) — Allows out-of-state convictions to count in determining sentencing.

[to top of second column in this article]


School budgets (SB 898) — Requires school districts with websites to post their current annual budget, itemized by receipts and expenditures.

Education license plates (SB 1521) — Creates education license plates with funds benefiting scholarships for teachers. Illinois school children will design the special plates in a statewide contest.

College savings (SB 902) — Creates a state income tax deduction for contributions to Bright Start, the treasurer’s college savings plan on which earnings are already tax deferred.

Abuse (HB 3055) — Includes in a child’s permanent school record information about investigations of suspected abuse and neglect.

MAP grants (SB 406) — Increases the maximum Monetary Award Program grants for undergraduate students.

Alcohol and school (HB 445) — Prohibits the consumption of alcohol on public school property.

Safe to Learn (HB 678) — Extends the Safe to Learn Program in Illinois schools to July 1, 2005, a three-year extension.

Teachers (HB 1048) — Requires Internet posting of unfilled teaching positions in Illinois.

Tax equivalent grants (SB 326) — Allows school districts (except Chicago) to receive tax-equivalent grants if a United States military installation or base is located in its boundaries and children from the base attend schools in the district.


Emergency notice (HB 1694) — Allows public safety agencies to utilize unlisted numbers in emergency situations, such as snow emergencies, for reverse 911 calls.

Miami lawsuit (HB 1623) — Extends the legal defense fund to assist landowners in the Miami Nation lawsuit through FY 2002.

Energy efficiency (SB 606) — Offers low-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements in governmental, commercial and certain multi-family buildings.

Small business (SB 1522) — Make plain-language descriptions of laws or administrative rules affecting small businesses available on the Internet.


Vaccinations (SB 1305) — Does not allow officials to decide that a child is neglected or abused for the sole reason that the child’s parents or guardians did not vaccinate the child.

Insurance discrimination (SB 869) — Prohibits unfair discrimination based upon race, color, religion or national origin by life, accident and health insurance policies.

Genetic testing (SB 42) — Prohibits insurance companies from using genetic testing information in connection with accident and health insurance policies.

Infectious diseases (SB 382) — Notifies firefighters and emergency medical technicians, as well as other medical professionals, when they have treated a patient with a communicable or infectious disease.

Insurance (SB 935) — Requires insurance companies to notify their health insurance customers of changes in lists containing information about the prices of approved medications.

DNR (HB 2276) — Requires a uniform do-not-resuscitate order form for use by physicians.

Nursing scholarships (HB 2436) — Increases the number of scholarships available for nurses who plan to practice in Illinois.

Fetus burial (HB 382) — Allows parents to bury or cremate a child miscarried after less than 20 weeks of gestation.


Car keys (SB 115) — Car dealers may not issue replacement keys for a vehicle without making a copy of the person’s driver’s license and keeping it on file.

Disabled parking (HB 846) — Limits who can receive disabled parking permits and makes it illegal to park in access areas to disabled parking spaces.

The Senate also acted on a number of resolutions including:

After-school programs (SR 70) — Asks the State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Human Services to convene and co-chair a task force to promote quality after-school programs for school-age children.

Casinos (SR 88) — Objects to the construction of large casinos along the Illinois border, specifically in Wisconsin, and urges the Bureau of Indian Affairs to halt construction of such casinos until the citizens of Illinois have a chance to voice their concerns.

Flag Month (HJR 6) — Declares June 14 through July 14 as American Flag Month.

Purple Heart stamps (HJR 13) — Urges the Postal Service to issue a Purple Heart stamp, honoring those veterans who received the Purple Heart Medal of Merit.

Pearl Harbor (SJR 6) — Urges all state agencies, schools, organizations, groups and individuals to fly the United States’ flag at half-mast on Dec. 7 in honor of the men and women who died at Pearl Harbor.

Retired teachers (SJR 32) -- Addresses concerns by retired teachers throughout Illinois that a proposed 70 percent increase in health insurance premiums is too high, asking for an increase similar to previous years (approximately 6 percent) and establishing a task force to investigate the problems.

[News release]



Attorney Wright in the running
for statehouse seat

[MAY 25, 2001]  Lincoln’s city attorney, Jonathan Wright, has announced that he is a candidate for the seat in the Illinois House of Representatives being vacated by Rep. John Turner of Atlanta. Wright’s candidacy brings the number of those vying for the seat to at least seven, three of them from Lincoln.

The other Lincoln area candidates are Carla Bender, clerk of the Logan County Circuit Court and former campaign manager for Turner, and Eric Spanton, an Illinois State Police officer. Also on the list are Joe Alexander of Clinton, former aide to recently retired U.S. Rep. Tom Ewing of Pontiac; Jerry Davis, former mayor of the town of Leroy; Jered Hooker, DeWitt County Republican chairman; and Tim Siekmeyer of Mason County.

The 90th District statehouse seat will become vacant June 1, when Turner takes a seat on the Illinois Appellate Court for the 4th Judicial District.

The seat will be filled by a candidate chosen by the Republican county chairmen

in the counties of the 90th District. The district includes all of Logan, Mason and DeWitt counties, small parts of Tazewell and McLean counties, and a very small part of Piatt County. The appointment must be made by July 1.


Wright, who grew up in Carol Stream (a western suburb of Chicago), graduated from Monmouth College, Monmouth, and received his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. He practiced law in Monmouth and then worked for the attorney general’s office in Springfield.

In 1995 he began practicing law in Lincoln, then joined a Pekin law firm, but returned to full-time practice in Lincoln in 1997. He has lived in Logan County since 1994.

In April of 1998 he became city attorney for Lincoln, and he also does work as an attorney for the city of Atlanta and the village of Middletown.

He says it is a loss for the 90th District that Turner is stepping down from the house seat, but Turner’s appointment is a gain for the Appellate Court. He also believes the district is "at an advantage having so many qualified candidates turn out to fill the vacancy."

Wright says that while he doesn’t believe a person must have a law degree to be a good public official, it is an added benefit.

"There are a number of duties you take on as a state legislator, not the least of which is reading, interpreting and analyzing legislation. Not only my educational background, but my experience in court and legal work can help when legislative issues come to a vote.

"In addition, the training and experience I have had as an attorney will greatly assist me in terms of my ability to think on my feet and to communicate, not only one-on-one but also to a group."

He also thinks his legal training will help him to make difficult decisions. "It’s one thing to make a decision knowing everyone is going to support you. It’s another thing to make a decision under pressure, knowing that no matter what you decide, someone is not going to agree. Whether in municipal or private practice, I have to be in a position to make such decisions and be able to support them and argue persuasively for them. As a state legislator, it will be important at some time for me to be able to do that."

Wright believes the experience of starting and operating his own business successfully is another asset. "Most people don’t think of a law office as a business, but it is that," he explains.

An active member of the Park Meadows Baptist Church in Lincoln, where he coaches the church’s basketball team, Wright defines himself as a Christian and a family man. "I define myself by my faith in God and my Christian beliefs," he says. "That is a valuable insight on who I am and what my values are.

"The other way I would define myself is by introducing my wife and children," he adds. Wright is married to the former Melanie Usherwood and has three daughters, Kate, age 5, Alison, 3, and Melissa, 1. "My family life is important, I actively schedule time with my wife and children."

White says if he is appointed, he will seek re-election when Turner’s term expires in January of 2003, even though redistricting may change the borders of the district he would have to run in.



[to top of second column in this article]

"When I considered seeking the appointment to fill Representative Turner’s term, I tried to play out in my mind the likely scenarios, even including that this district would no longer exist and I would have to be running against an incumbent.

"If I were given the honor of being a state representative, it would be incumbent on me to run for re-election," he says.

[Joan Crabb]


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