Fire claims life

[MAY 9, 2001]  Lincoln police and firefighters responded to an alarm sent out at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon at Friendship Manor, 925 Primm Road.

Officers arriving first tried to enter a room on the fourth floor and were unable to do so due to the heat and thick, dark brown smoke that came rolling out when they opened the door.

Firefighters arrived virtually on the heels of the officers and went in to extinguish the flames. As firefighters subdued the fire, Sgt. Thomas Roland and Officer Timothy Butterfield went door-to-door and floor-to-floor alerting residents. Off-duty officers Charles Gunning and Robert Rawlins also joined Roland and Butterfield in the evacuation efforts.

Areas of the building had heavy smoke filling the hallways, creating anxiety and stress for residents trying to navigate their way out. With the elevator out of use, they were forced to take the stairs. A number of residents were assisted and carried out by the policemen and firefighters.

The fire apparently began in the living room of an apartment occupied by 87-year-old Ray Money. He was found in the living room and did not survive.

[to top of second column in this article]

Logan County Paramedics and ESDA also responded to the incident. They were on hand as mutual aid assistance ready to treat residents or emergency personal as needed. They assisted two patients who were having breathing difficulties probably related to smoke inhalation.

ESDA manned the MC13 (mobile command center), organizing and ready to assist with other duties as deemed necessary.

Lincoln Fire Inspector Jim Davis and Lincoln Detective John Bunner were at the scene again this morning and will continue investigation into the cause of the fire.

[Jan Youngquist]


[Ray Money obituary]

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County airport management, income
and golf course possibilities discussed

[MAY 9, 2001]  The lack of a manager for the Logan County Airport was the main topic of discussion at the county board’s Airport and Farm Committee meeting Monday night.

Initially, the committee planned to again advertise for bids for a fixed-base operator on a one-year contract, with a possible extension to a five-year contract, and would place notices in area newspapers as well as aeronautic trade publications for greater exposure.

Sam Evans, a former airport manager, told the committee that he would operate the airport on a monthly basis, taking care of mowing and pumping of fuel for $600 per month and the use of the mechanics hanger.

In light of this arrangement, which would give the committee more time to develop specific contract language, committee members asked Roger Bock, chairman, to delay putting the bids in this month and to meet with Tim Huyett, state’s attorney, to determine Evans’ status as a county employee or contractual employee and also to determine contract wording when bids are advertised.

The committee plans to meet in a special session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at the courthouse prior to a general working session scheduled for 7 p.m.


Committee members also learned from Rod White that there is a possibility the 3.75 acres of farm ground at the airport may qualify for a program from the federal government that would pay $175 to $200 an acre for 15 years to restore the ground to its original condition.

"The soil has to test out to a certain grade and any changes to the ground such as tile installation has to be restored in order to qualify," White said.

Without checking the area, it wasn’t certain if any changes had been made, but White didn’t feel that this was a problem.

The program is provided by the Farm Services Administration, formerly the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Act (ASCA), and is managed by the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).



[to top of second column in this article]

If the acreage is accepted into the program, the payback will be nearly twice the amount as when the ground was cash rented for farming.

Past plans to build a golf course on county property again surfaced when Bock asked the committee how they wanted to proceed now that the information they requested on various feasibility studies has been received.

"We appropriated $9,000 to make a study, and we need to proceed," Bock said.

Board member Doug Dutz had a copy of the study Mount Pulaski made when they were exploring the possibility of a community golf course. The measure later failed voter approval in a referendum.

"Even though it was made in 1992," Dutz said, "it gives us some of the same guidelines we’ll have to follow if it’s decided that we explore this possibility."

Dutz said that one of the areas to consider is the management of a golf course if one would be built.

"We have to decide if the county would take over immediate management of the course," he said, "or lease it to a management firm for operation for a specified time, before we decide to manage it or continue a lease arrangement," he added.

Due to prior commitments, it was decided that both Bock and Dutz will meet the last week of the month to arrange the material and report back to the committee.

[Fuzz Werth]


Council OKs new city police, fire chiefs; other department heads stay

[MAY 8, 2001]  The city of Lincoln got a new police chief and a new fire chief Monday evening when the council approved Mayor Beth Davis’ appointments. Richard Montcalm, a 12-year police department member who has served as community police officer, and Robert "Bucky" Washam, a firefighter for 26 years, were named to the posts.

Staying on are Jonathan Wright as city attorney; Les Last, building and zoning officer; and Donnie Osborne, street superintendent. Stepping down after four-year terms are former fire chief Ken Ebelherr and former police chief Richard Ludolph.

Although the council approved Davis’ choice of fire chief unanimously, three "no" votes were cast for the change in police chief after a strong plea by Alderman George Mitchell to retain Ludolph.


[City Attorney Jonathan Wright swears in Juanita Josserand (right), returning city clerk, as the new mayor, Beth Davis (center), looks on.]

[New and returning department heads were sworn in at the May 7 regular meeting of the Lincoln City Council. Left to right, they are Richard Montcalm, new police chief; Robert "Bucky" Washam, new fire chief; Les Last, returning building and zoning officer; Donnie Osborne, returning street superintendent; and Jonathan Wright, returning city attorney.]

Citing Ludolph’s accomplishments during his four-year term, Mitchell urged the council to support "an outstanding chief who is deserving of another term." He pointed out that Ludolph had expanded the DARE anti-drug program from sixth grade to high school freshmen; assigned officers to become familiar with each city school; chaired the CAPSTONE project; saved the department $225,000 by remodeling the old safety complex instead of building a new one; and brought in $34,000 in drug forfeiture funds, which, along with a grant from the Department of Justice, paid for cell phones and for computers to be installed in squad cars.

"One thing really troubles me," Mitchell concluded, "the character besmirching of an unsigned vote of no confidence." This document he referred to, stating complaints against Ludolph, came from the police union and was sent to all aldermen and to Mayor Davis. No signatures were on the document. Mitchell said the no-confidence vote came "out of the blue," as no grievances had been filed against Ludolph regarding the charges in the document.

Mitchell also said he had had phone calls and letters from citizens supporting Ludolph for another term.

Voting "no" along with Mitchell for the appointment of a new police chief were Joseph Stone and newly seated alderman David Armbrust.

Before the vote, Wright announced to the council and the audience that he had researched an issue that had been raised, whether Alderman Michael Montcalm, brother of newly appointed police chief Richard Montcalm, could vote on that appointment. Wright said he could find no law that said the vote would be a conflict of interest.


Ebelherr, who came from the ranks of the fire department, told the Lincoln Daily News that he would stay with the fire department as a firefighter. In a short address to the council, he noted that his appointment had been "controversial four years ago," but thanked the council for their support and respect and the former mayor, Joan Ritter, for appointing him.

He said he was "proud to be a member of the Lincoln Fire Department" and urged the department to continue to work together. "No one person can accomplish what we can accomplish together," he said.

Ludolph, who had served 22 years with the probation office and the sheriff’s office before taking the appointment as police chief four years ago, is not a regular member of the city’s police department and will not stay on the force. He said he hoped to remain in Lincoln, but that will depend on what employment he finds.

Mayor Davis also released a revised list of city council committee assignments. Each committee has one alderman from each ward.


[to top of second column in this article]

Chairing the Finance, Policy and Procedures Committee is Steve Fuhrer, with William Melton vice chair and Benny Huskins Jr., Michael  Montcalm and George Mitchell members. This committee was formerly chaired by Joe Stone.

The Fire, Water and ESDA Committee has Huskins as chair, Verl Prather as vice chair, and Melton, Stone, and David Armbrust as members. Last term’s chairman was Gerald Dehner, retired alderman and judge.

Chairing the Grounds, Buildings and Local Improvements Committee for another term is Michael Madigan, with Glenn Shelton vice chair and Fuhrer, Prather and Stone members. Shelton is chairman of the Insurance Committee, with Stone vice chair and Montcalm, Armbrust and Fuhrer members. Chair last term was retired alderman Steve Mesner.

The Ordinance and Zoning Committee will be chaired by Montcalm, with Madigan vice chair and Fuhrer, Huskins and Armbrust as members. Shelton was the former chair.


[Verl Prather, new Ward 2 alderman.]

[David Armbrust, new Ward 3 alderman.]

Police Committee chair is Prather, with Armbrust vice chair, and Stone, Madigan and Mitchell as members. Montcalm was chair of this committee last term. Prather is also chairing the Sanitation Committee, with Fuhrer vice chair and Mitchell, Shelton and Montcalm members. Huskins chaired this committee last term. Stone had been appointed to chair the committee for the new term but has resigned.

Melton is again chair of the Sewerage Treatment Plant, Sewers and Drainage Committee, with Montcalm vice chair and Madigan, Prather and Huskins members. Sidewalks, Forestry and Lighting Committee will be chaired by Armbrust, with Mitchell vice chair and Prather, Stone and Shelton members. Fuhrer was the former chair. Mitchell remains chairman of the Streets and Alleys Committee, with Huskins vice chair and Shelton, Melton and Madigan on the committee.

Davis also named representatives to various city and county committees and commissions. As mayor she is a representative to all committees and commissions. In addition, she named Shelton representative to the Healthy Community Partnership committee; Armbrust to the Lincoln/Logan Chamber of Commerce; Prather to the Lincoln Planning Commission; Melton to the Looking for Lincoln program; Mitchell to Main Street Lincoln; Melton to Lincoln Historic Preservation Committee; Stone and Melton to the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities, Seniors, Veterans and Youth; Huskins to the Logan County Board; and Fuhrer to the Logan County Tourism Board.

Huskins was named a voting member of the Joint Solid Waste Management Commission; Montcalm a voting member of the Logan County Planning and Zoning Commission; Mitchell a representative to the Abraham Lincoln Statue Committee, if such a committee is established; Prather to the Lincoln Historical Committee; and Fuhrer, Melton, Madigan and Prather to the City of Lincoln Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee.

[Joan Crabb]

Three-car accident west of
Lincoln claims two lives

[MAY 8, 2001]  State police are investigating an accident that occurred on Route 10 west of Lincoln at 1:50 p.m. Monday. 

William Robert Hazard, 71, of Mason City was driving a ’96 Buick Park Avenue, heading east into Lincoln. About one-fourth mile west of Interstate 55, his vehicle crossed the median, striking the front fender on the driver's side of a westbound 2000 Toyota Echo driven by Linda Rose Coffey, 54, of Bend, Ore. Hazard’s vehicle continued on along the driver’s side of Coffey’s vehicle. According to the state police report, Coffey’s vehicle then collided with the front driver’s side of the vehicle immediately in back of her, a ’94 Plymouth Voyager driven by M. Ann Hewitt, 49, of Broadwell.

Hazard was declared dead at the scene by Logan County Coroner Chuck Fricke.

Coffey also died from injuries in the accident and was declared dead at the scene. A passenger in Coffey’s vehicle, her daughter Julie L. Stotts, 28, of Sisters, Ore., was taken to Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released.


[to top of second column in this article]

Hewitt was taken to St. John’s, Springfield, where she is listed in critical condition.

Coffey and Stotts were in Lincoln because of the funeral last week of Mrs. Coffey’s father.

All family members have been notified.

[Jan Youngquist]

[Linda Coffey obituary]

[William Hazard obituary]

Exchange of letters between MP city council, Regional Planning Commission

[MAY 7, 2001]  The Logan County Board Regional Planning Commission received the following letter from the Mount Pulaski City Council:

Dear Mr. Robert Menzies,

At the April 24th Mt. Pulaski City Council meeting it was decided not to renew our commitment to the Regional Planning Commission for 2001. The council does not perceive any benefit to our continued participation.

We may elect to renew our participation in future years; however, at this time we are respectfully withdrawing our support.


William C. Glaze


The letter was discussed at the next Logan County Regional Planning Commission meeting. It was noted that this was the first indication of this action. It was noted that under current county board ordinance, Mayor Glaze remains a voting member of the RPC even if Mount Pulaski withdraws its support. The commission did not object to the withdrawal and decided to send a response letter to the Mount Pulaski City Council encouraging their continued participation. It is as follows:


[to top of second column in this article]

Dear Mayor Glaze,

Your letter of 4/26/01 electing "not to renew our commitment to the Regional Planning Commission for 2001" was received and read at the meeting of the RPC last night. At the request of that body I am respectfully asking the Mount Pulaski City Council to reconsider this step.

Your letter provides as the reason for this action that the council does not perceive any benefit to our continued participation." This statement concerns me because as a result of action by and through the RPC the South part of Logan County is enjoying an unprecedented level of new growth.

Those of us serving on the RPC have as our overriding objective the economic and quality of life improvement for every person in Logan County. I believe this can best be achieved by the various elected and appointed officials working together to secure a collective good unobtainable by singular activity.

Please accept our invitation to express your concerns, thoughts and suggestions at our scheduled meetings. We value your input and the participation of Mt. Pulaski and encourage you to continue to provide representation for your constituents on and through the Regional Planning Commission.


David R. Helper

Chairman, Regional Planning Commission

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]


Celebrating 16 years of service, the Oasis senior center in Lincoln packed the house for an afternoon of fun and entertainment. Friends were delighted when a couple of special guests dropped by for the event. Founding board member Harold Boyer and former director Jane Mikelson look through a scrapbook of great memories.

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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]

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