Oasis celebrates Sweet Sixteen

[MAY 4, 2001]  Music, humor and welcoming fellowship highlighted the 16th year birthday open house at the Oasis Thursday afternoon. The Oasis has been providing services, programs and activities to the citizens of Logan County since May 1985. The open house featured door prizes, entertainment, cake, cookies, coffee, punch and a sampling of services. The public had opportunity to browse leisurely through the center with numerous people on hand to greet visitors and explain displays.

[Jan Youngquist]


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Lincoln Prize-winning author to speak
at Lincoln College commencement

[MAY 4, 2001]  The 134th annual Lincoln College spring commencement will be Saturday, May 12, at 2 p.m. in Davidson-Sheffer Gymnasium. Well-known Abraham Lincoln author and history professor Dr. Allen C. Guelzo will be the commencement speaker and one of four honorary degree recipients.

Guelzo’s book "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President," which won the 2000 Lincoln Prize, looks at the outward events of Abraham Lincoln's life and compares them with his intellect and inner spiritual struggles. Guelzo is the Grace Kea Professor of American History at Eastern College in St. Davids, Penn.


[Professor Dr. Allen C. Guelzo]

Other commencement guests receiving honorary degrees will be Timberline Aviation founder Wallace E. (Pat) Carroll Jr.; the Honorable Roger W. Ferguson, vice-chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Eileen Mackevich, executive director of the Chicago Humanities Festival.


Carroll, a Lincoln College alumnus of the class of ’61, is an entrepreneur of several business ventures. He is the founder of Timberline Aviation, a full-service support company in Grand Junction, Colo., that specializes in maintenance, fuel and jet chartering.

Ferguson, nominated for the Federal Reserve by President Clinton in 1999, is part of a seven-member board whose primary responsibility is the formulation of monetary policy.

Mackevich is president and executive producer of the Chicago Humanities Festival, a celebration of classical learning, which attracts more than 40,000 people to the Chicago area.



[to top of second column in this article]

[Eileen Mackevich, Wallace E. (Pat) Carroll Jr.
and Roger W. Ferguson]

Approximately 231 students will receive Associate of Arts degrees at the Lincoln College commencement ceremony. A reception for the graduates and their families will immediately follow the ceremony.

Students from the area who are receiving degrees include the following:

Nathan Bottorff, Adrienne Harmon, Julie Hinds-Jackson and Erik Rich of Atlanta;

Rebecca Ruben of Hartsburg;

Matthew Aper, Elise Arteman, Angela Bates, Karrie Boch, Scott Bottrell, Tiffany Boward, Rebecca (Anderson) Burg, Merritt Burns, Renée Carvalho, Chris Curry, Dayne Dalpoas, Dawn Demling, Aimee Dierker, Courtney Dirks, Brittney Dobson, William Eric Ellis, Teresa Fitzpatrick, Heather Fry, Shelly Goodman, Joshua Green, John Grimes, Nathan Hilgendorf, Luke Hughes, Teri Kavelman, Betty Long, Amanda Lyon, Tina Mayer, Krissandra Newby-McCray, Charlene Robb, John Ross, Joshua Shanle, Brian Sheley, Candace Sheley, Michael Skorzak, Chelsie Slack, Brandi Slimick, Nicole Sprague, Mark Stoltzenburg, Jennifer Stout, Bridgett Thomas, Donna Turner, Chad Twente, Stephen Vinyard Jr, Rachel Washam and Zachary Winter, all of Lincoln;

Francesca Biundo and Johnny Power of Mason City;

Kari Hester of McLean;

Kimberly Johnson of Middletown;

Brooke Buckles and Katie Fritz of Mount Pulaski.

[Lincoln College news release]

Lincoln College to dedicate
Behrends Admissions Building

[MAY 4, 2001]  Lincoln College will host a dedication ceremony for the Anna K. and Bernard E. Behrends Admissions Building on Saturday, May 12, at 5 p.m.

This building was named because of the generous support of two siblings from Lincoln who are graduates of Lincoln College. Anna K. Behrends is a member of the class of 1936, and Bernard E. Behrends is a member of the class of 1948. After leaving Lincoln College, they each finished their college education at Bradley University in Peoria.

Bernard E. Behrends is currently the CEO of Hartsburg State Bank in Hartsburg and has served as a Lincoln College trustee since 1992. Anna K. Behrends is retired after working 40 years as an elementary school teacher. She is a former president of the Lincoln College Alumni Association.

The Anna K. and Bernard E. Behrends Building houses admission staff offices and a phone center. The approximately 2,100-square-foot structure was built in 1998 by Roger Webster Construction of Lincoln.

[Lincoln College news release]

[Anna and Bernard Behrends]

Accused drug smuggler didn’t and
isn’t getting by in this county

[MAY 3, 2001]  Victor Caballero is probably wishing he had gone some other way on April 22.

Caballero was driving a semitrailer on Interstate 55 near Elkhart when he was pulled over near Elkhart on a routine mileage and cargo log check by State Trooper J.P.Driscoll. When it was suspected that he had altered his logbook, he was ordered to take a mandatory rest stop at the next truckers stop, which was Burwell Truck Plaza at Route 10 and I-55. During the stop Caballero’s name had turned up in a nationwide drug trafficking database. He was out on bond, accused of hauling 1,200 pounds marijuana in Oklahoma.


[Victor Caballero]

Logan County’s drug unit was called to help. Deputy Jerry Melton and drug dog She-Bear met state Trooper Driscoll and state police Sgt. Craig Rios at the truck stop. She-Bear was able to hit on the presence of drugs, and officers began making arrangements for the unloading of the truck. While temporarily out of sight of the officers, Caballero was witnessed to quickly go around to the back of the truck and roll two boxes out the back door. He then ran around, jumped back in the truck and followed Trooper Driscoll to a place where the truck could be unloaded to another truck when it arrived. Luckily there was another trucker right there who witnessed the whole thing and reported it.

[to top of second column in this article]

[She-Bear demonstrates her talent for the press. With quick deliberation she sniffs up and down the car, stopping abruptly and pawing at the car wheel well where drugs had been stashed for the demonstration.]

[Logan County Deputy Jerry Melton and She-Bear pose. Though Deputy Melton doubted she would sit for a picture, She-Bear loved the press.]

In those boxes were over 100 bags, 246 pounds of what is believed to be the purest cocaine. Test results are expected to take weeks on that many bags, but if they are as pure as thought to be, it will have a value well over $11 million and up to $55 million and may qualify as the largest downstate drug confiscation to date.


Caballero is accused of controlled-substance trafficking and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Tuesday, May 1, the 29-year-old El Paso, Texas, man pleaded innocent to both Class X drug charges before Logan County Judge David Coogan during a probable-cause hearing. He is currently being held without bond. He will come before a jury for trial in June. If convicted of both counts, he could face up to 45 years prison time, plus court costs and fines, in addition to any sentencing he receives in Oklahoma.

[Jan Youngquist]

New mayor, city treasurer
and aldermen sworn in

[MAY 2, 2001]  In a special Lincoln City Council meeting last night, Tuesday, May 1, City Attorney Jonathan Wright swore in the newly elected officials. First in line and taking up the gavel as the new head of the council was Mayor Elizabeth Davis. Mayor Davis was positioned, and Lester Plotner was then sworn in as veteran city treasurer. Juanita Josserand was not present for the evening. She will be sworn in as city clerk at the next meeting.

Following those office placements, the aldermen were sworn in as a group. All of the aldermen are returning, re-elected to their positions: Benny Huskins Sr., Ward 1 alderman; Verl A. Prather, Ward 2; David R. Armbrust, Ward 3; Glenn Shelton, Ward 4; and Michael Montcalm, Ward 5.


A motion was passed to waive the aldermen’s pay for this special meeting, with only one "no" vote voiced, by Alderman Joseph Stone. He said he thought they should be paid and that he would give his pay to a charity of Alderman Montcalm’s choice.

The council adjourned to a closed executive session to discuss department head proposals.

[Jan Youngquist]



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Elkhart prepares for Chautauqua guests

[MAY 2, 2001]  Step back in time Saturday when you step into Elkhart. The time will be 1830 and Abraham Lincoln will usher in the day, leading the Illinois 7th Cavalry. Fun and educational historical re-enactments, entertainment and activities will take place all day long.

Elkhart Chautauqua on historic Elkhart Hill begins at 10 a.m.

Things not to miss:

Get there for the rousing start

The grand parade at 10:05 a.m. will feature 10 pipers and drummers from St. Andrews Society. (This same group is featured at the Highland games at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on May 19.) A stirring sight will be Abraham Lincoln riding in with the parade, escorted by the Illinois 7th Cavalry.

A team of the always-showy black Percheron draft horses will pull a large wagon loaded with "personalities" such as past Gov. Richard Oglesby. In additional horse-drawn vehicles, there will be historic people like Miss Jessie Gillett, Princess White Blossom and her Indian paint horse, sidesaddle experts Kathy and Caroyln Firch, and many more.

Who could want for anything more?

Food will be a tasty feature during the day, with the American Legion selling rib-eye steak and pork-chop sandwiches. The high school alumni will be offering ice cream, a bake sale, muffins and scones in the morning, and milk and cookies in the afternoon. Additional food will be offered by the Firehouse 1 concession stand.

Lots of interactive, fun events all day

There will be lots of ongoing demonstrations and historical interpretations, children’s games and programs, a petting zoo and more. Click here for the day’s program.


[to top of second column in this article]

What if it rains?

Short of a gully-washer, everyone should be able to stay relatively dry. Many of the activities are sheltered. There will be lots of shelters and places to step in out of the rain.

Small admission fee

A nominal admission fee will be charged for this fund-raising event. Fees are as follows: $3 for adults; $2 for youth 12-18, senior citizens and students; $1 for children 5 to 12 years old; and free if under 5. A special family rate of $5 encourages families to come. Admission is free for anyone who comes dressed in 1800s style and for any musicians.

The Chautauqua benefits not only the Elkhart Historical Society but also the St. John the Baptist Chapel, as well as the American Legion.

Getting there

This event is handicapped accessible. Trams will carry people from the parking area to the footpath which leads to the 1800s and a spectacular day to spend with the family.


Elkhart Chautauqua program and participants


10:05 — Grand parade and welcome

10:15 — Possum Hollow Pickers and Elkhart Christian Church youth group perform the Virginia reel

10:45 — Historical portraits (five minutes each): Capt. Bogardus, Miss Jessie Gillett, Martin Gehr and Princess White Blossom

11:00 — Sheep/milking goats

11:15 — Elkhart Grade School presents "Peek into the Past"

11:30 — What children did in Lincoln's day, presented by Nancy Torgerson

12:15 — Duck herding

12:30 — "Abraham Lincoln My Friend and Mentor," by Gov. Oglesby

12:45 — Sidesaddle demonstration

1:00 — Looking for Lincoln look-alike contest

1:45 — Historic Morgan horse demonstration

2:00 — Abraham Lincoln telling stories, presented by Fritz Klein

2:15 — Cavalry demonstration

2:30 — Farmers Daughter bluegrass music

3:15 — Jam session with Farmers Daughter, fiddlers and Possum Hollow Pickers

4:00 — Taps, with bugler John Sutton, Joyce Anderson and American Legion Honor Guard

A quilt show and tours of St. John The Baptist Chapel are at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. In addition there’s a special opportunity to stump the organist with your favorite old hymn; if she knows your hymn, you owe her $1.

St. John The Baptist Chapel

St. John The Baptist Chapel was built in 1890 in memory of John Dean Gillett by his wife, Lemira. The original cost was $10,000. Each of the children donated $1,000, and Lemira donated the balance. The Culver Stone Company constructed the chapel using Whitney marble and Bedford limestone.

The largest event ever held at the chapel was the funeral of Gov. Richard Oglesby, in 1899. Over 4,000 people attended, including many government officials, both past and current governors, as well as Robert Todd Lincoln.

The chapel is still privately owned by Gillett family descendents and is available for weddings, funerals and baptisms upon request.

The chapel participates in two annual events with The Elkhart Historical Society: the Chautauqua and the Christmas candlelight concert, scheduled for Dec. 8 this year. Both events benefit the Elkhart Historical Society and the St. John The Baptist Chapel.


[to top of second column in this section]

All-day demonstrations

Blacksmith — Ken Engel

Herbalist — Karen Lowrey

Bobbin lace — Nancy Rollings Saul 

Buckskinner — Glen Sherman

Spinning — Linda Nelson 

Nathan's Apiary (bee keeping) — Nathan Sasse

Quilting — Quilting Guild of Logan County

Smocking — Sue Bidwell

Counted cross-stitch — Evelyn Begolka

Professor Phineas Fairhead — R. L. Slider

Wool, duck and sheep dog demonstration — Tim and Jackie Curts 

Miss Jessie Gillett — Jorie Latham

Princess White Blossom — Lynn Bock on Dancing Mist

Erastus Wright — David Preston

Martin Gehr — Roger Dennison

Captain A.H. Bogardus — Robert McCue

Illinois 7th Cavalry, Major Karl Luthin

Carolyn and Kathy Firch — sidesaddle demonstration

Historic Morgan — Mississippi Valley Morgan

Feed Corral Percherons — Dean Lars and Pat Sawyer

Dioramas and postersElkhart Grade School

Petting zoo and milking goats — Rhonda Daniels and the Rochester 4-H


President Lincoln — Fritz Klein

Gov. Richard Oglesby — Richard Torgerson*

Emma Gillett Oglesby — Linda Arends*

Miss Jessie Gillett — Jorie Latham

Lemira Gillett — Susan Keays Green

Martin Gehr — Roger Dennison, with site assistant Leighann Dennison

Captain A.H. Bogardus — Robert McCue, with site assistant Charles McCue

St. Andrews Pipes & Drums (also appearing on May 19 at the Highland Games at the state fairgrounds)

Erastus Wright — David Preston

Cavalry — Illinois 7th Cavalry

Professor Phineas Fairhead, phrenologist — R.L. Slider

Horse and wagon — Feed Corral Percherons

Photo carriage — provided by John Gehlbach

*Courtesy of Oglesby's Mansion, Decatur


The Elkhart Historical Society thanks the many volunteers without whose help the Chautauqua would be impossible.

Main Street Lincoln announces plans
for Historic Preservation Week

[MAY 1, 2001]  Citizens in Lincoln will join thousands of individuals around the country as part of the National Trust’s Historic Preservation Week celebration. Local events are sponsored by Main Street Lincoln, The Blue Dog Inn, Beans and Such, and Mayor-elect Beth Davis. "Restore, Renew, Rediscover" is the theme of the week, with events scheduled May 13-19.

Downtown will be dressed for the week in its best historical finery, with many businesses including a historical display in their windows. Residents will have the opportunity to learn about the diversity in our community. Groups represented include Lincoln Developmental Center, Heritage in Flight Museum, Railsplitters, Lincoln Christian College, Elkhart Historical Society, Lincoln Woman’s Club, Logan County Genealogical and Historical Society, and Lincoln College.


The public is invited to attend a special presentation in the Pegram Room of Lincoln Public Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 15. David Blanchette, public information officer for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, will give a presentation on plans for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The presidential library is scheduled to open in October 2002, and the museum is to be completed in late 2003. At a cost of $115 million and an estimated annual attendance of half a million people, the complex is sure to have an impact on our community.

New this year is the Main Street Antiques Roadshow, a takeoff on the popular public television production. The Roadshow will be from 5:30 to 8:30 on Thursday, May 17, at 616 Broadway, the former antique mall. Appraisals are available for $5 per item or set in a number of divisions including toys and dolls, fine antiques, jewelry, clocks and watches, crystal and china, coins, cards and other collectibles, books, and general antiques. Residents are encouraged to not only open their china cabinets but also scour their attics and bring their most unusual items to the Roadshow.


"This is everyone’s chance to learn more about their personal treasures," said Main Street Program Manager Wendy Bell, "and who knows, they may find out they’re sitting on a gold mine."

Two special events will also take place at 7:30 during the Roadshow. First, is the dedication of Gov. Richard Oglesby’s Bible, given to the Logan County Board by the Larry Steffens family. After the dedication, the Mayor’s Annual Awards for Historic Preservation will be announced. A punch-and-cookie reception served by ladies in historical costume and featuring musical entertainment by Melane Coulter will follow.


[to top of second column in this article]

Awards are available in both residential and nonresidential categories for preservation, exterior rehabilitation and sympathetic addition. Twenty-three buildings have been recognized since the awards were first given in 1993 and are permanently recorded in photographs that hang in the Lincoln City Council Chambers. Property owners also receive a framed photograph with inscribed brass plate. For more information or to make a nomination, call the Main Street Lincoln office, 732-2929.

The 2001 Historic Preservation Week poster features one of the 1994 winners, the Lincoln Public Library. The library will also grace this year’s City of Lincoln’s official Christmas ornament. The ornament is the third in the series, following the Logan County Courthouse in 1999 and Lincoln City Hall in 2000.


"This is an appropriate time to recognize the library building," said Bell, "as the Carnegie grant was given to the city 100 years ago this year." The $25,000 grant combined with property donations from Stephen Foley and Isabel Nash built the current Lincoln Public Library in 1902.


The neoclassic building, designed by architect W.A. Otis of Chicago, is made of red mottled brick with stone ornament trim and a light red tile roof. Other than routine maintenance and the addition of a basement in 1974, the library retains its original structure and a number of original furnishings. Recent restorations include the interior stained-glass dome and the mosaic tiled entry. The library has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.

For more information on Historic Preservation Week activities, contact Main Street Lincoln at (217) 732-2929. The Main Street program was developed in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to redevelop and revitalize America’s downtowns. Lincoln has been a designated Main Street community since 1994.

[Wendy Bell,
Main Street Lincoln program manager]

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Officer seriously injured

[MAY 1, 2001]  State police are investigating an accident that resulted in injuries to a 26-year-old Lincoln police officer. Officer Paul T. Adams had gone to the scene of a fuel spill on Route 10 under Interstate 55 at 1:19 a.m. Saturday. As he was leaving the scene, his vehicle was broadsided by a Logan County Paramedic Association ambulance on its way to another situation. 

Neither the ambulance driver, Danny J. Dean of New Holland, nor his partner, Penny M. Thomas of Lincoln, was injured. They assisted with rescuing Officer Adams.

Firefighters had to extricate Adams from his vehicle. Once out, he was taken to Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. From there he was transported to St. John’s in Springfield, where he was listed in serious condition. He was moved from intensive care Sunday to a private room where he continues his recovery today.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged and deemed a total loss.


Senate Week in Review

Senate issues budget ‘reality check,’ approves zero-tolerance drug measure

[APRIL 30, 2001]  A state budget "reality check" and a strong message to prison guards that illegal drug use will not be tolerated were among the measures considered by the Illinois Senate this week, according to state Sen. Bob Madigan (R-Peoria).

Senators continued to act on legislation that originated in the House of Representatives and is currently pending in Senate committees.

The Senate took an important step April 26 toward finalizing a new state budget by passing on to the House of Representatives five measures dealing with a variety of state programs and services. The session was also an opportunity for a budgetary reality check, to let lawmakers and taxpayers know about the difficult financial issues facing Illinois. In the wake of revelations about a slowing economy, lower-than-expected revenue estimates, and previous legislative commitments to education, Medicaid, senior citizens, and mental health and disability programs, the budget proposals passed by the Senate on April 26 reflect the recommendations made by the governor in February. To date, a total of nine budget bills have been approved by the Senate. So far, the Illinois House has approved additional spending of nearly $2 billion above and beyond the governor’s requested $50-billion budget.


Illinois prison guards and state police officers who test positive for drugs will be fired, under legislation agreed to by the employee labor unions and unanimously approved by the Senate on April 26. Senate Bill 1032 requires the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois State Police to have a zero-tolerance policy for drug abuse. Both agencies currently have policies in effect. The measure simply codifies the current standard. Senate Bill 1032 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

In other business, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure that would allow stalking victims and witnesses of violent crimes to receive compensation from a special state program for counseling or other such expenses related to the crimes. House Bill 2865 adds stalking and aggravated stalking to the list of crimes for which victims can receive compensation under the Crime Victims Compensation Act. It also allows a person who personally witnessed a violent crime to receive compensation under the act. That bill now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee also sent to the Senate a measure that would help working women without health insurance receive treatment for breast or cervical cancer. House Bill 25 expands Medicaid coverage, subject to federal approval, for breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment to women who have been screened by the program administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health and women whose screenings were paid at least in part by the Department of Public Health.

Other House bills approved by Senate committees and sent to the full Senate for further consideration include:

Safe haven (HB 632) Allows parents of a newborn infant to anonymously leave their child with personnel at a fire station, emergency medical facility or hospital without fear of civil or criminal liability for abandoning the infant. This is nearly the same as Senate Bill 216, which has been approved by the Senate and is moving through the House of Representatives.


Health cards (HB 1901) Helps reduce the time patients spend in the waiting room while doctors and nurses verify the coverage, co-payment amount and other necessary information. Requires health insurance providers to issue standardized health care benefit cards to its customers with the following information: processor control number (if required for claims adjudication), group number, card issuer identifier, cardholder ID number and cardholder name.

Helping Paws (HB 41) Creates a program allowing Department of Corrections inmates to train dogs to assist individuals with physical disabilities.

Nursing scholarships (HB 2436) Addresses the impending nurse shortage by removing the limitation on the number of nursing scholarships awarded each year from the Illinois Nursing Education Scholarship Program.


[to top of second column in this article]

State soil (HB 605) Designates drummer silty clay loam as the official state soil. Drummer silty clay loam is found on 1.5 million acres of Illinois land and in 42 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

MTBE ban (HB 171) Bans the sale and production of the environmentally harmful fuel additive MTBE.

Bills that have been previously approved by the Senate and were passed by the House this week include:

Referee battery (SB 50) Sets a minimum fine for persons convicted of battering a sports official at or near an athletic facility where the sports official was officiating. The fine for the first violation is $1,000, and $2,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

Health care grants (SB 149) Expands health-care options to improve access in medically under-served areas through a community health center expansion program.

Meningitis information (SB 168) Requires state universities to educate freshmen, transfer students and parents about meningitis. Also, makes vaccines available through university health services.

Aggravated battery (SB 175) Triggers aggravated battery penalties (Class 3 felony) for battery near a domestic violence shelter.

Child protection (SB 187) Notifies day-care facilities and schools, including colleges, within 24 hours if an order of protection is issued for any student.


Vocational centers (SB 330) Allows area vocational centers to apply for certain State Board of Education grants.

Expelled students (SB 376) Requires expelled or suspended students to complete their suspension before being admitted into another school district. Provides for enrollment in alternative education.

Hearsay exemption (SB 464) Gives senior citizens their day in court even if they are incapable of testifying by allowing hearsay testimony if the elderly crime victim is mentally or physically incapable of testifying.

Sparklers (SB 523) Allows municipalities to prohibit the sale and use of sparklers on public property.

Business retention (SB 603) Establishes an administrative policy of recouping state aid for job creation when the businesses receiving those grants leave Illinois.

Mercury (SB 683) Requires public utilities to inform homeowners when they work on equipment containing mercury on their property.

Senior grants (SB 816) — Creates a grant program to help seniors and disabled individuals live at home.

Military honors funerals (SB 876) Allows the Illinois National Guard to perform military honors ceremonies at funerals when the federal government cannot.

School attendance (SB 1026) Charges anyone who threatens, menaces or intimidates nonpublic school students from attending school with a Class A misdemeanor (up to one year behind bars). Public school students already have this protection.

STD testing for attackers (SB 1049) Provides victims of sexual assault with information about their attackers’ HIV and STD status.

Concealed videotaping (SB 1297) Prohibits the use of a concealed camera to videotape or record a person for purposes of viewing the body or undergarments of the person.

[News release]

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