Sewer plant upgrade will cost $10,066,207

[MAY 16, 2001]  The cost figures are in for the upgrade to Lincolnís wastewater treatment plant, and the "guaranteed project price" has been set at $10,066,207, Lincoln City Council members learned Tuesday night. Estimates of anywhere from $9 to $12 million had been made for the project.

To help pay for the upgrade, city residents and businesses will probably be seeing rate hikes in the future.

Carl Alsbach of Environmental Management Corporation, the company which manages Lincolnís sewer plant, gave the council the final figure at the May 15 work session. The upgrade is necessary to keep the city in compliance with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency standards, some of which have become more strict recently, Alsbach said.

The plant already has a waste load higher than it was designed to handle, and although it is still in compliance with IEPA standards, any emergency could result in a violation which could limit additional sewers the IEPA would permit and thus stall future growth in the city.

Alsbach explained the parts of the project already completed and the steps that must be taken in order to get funding to move ahead.

The design of the plant was approved by IEPA just in time to apply for funding this year, Alsbach told the council. Delay in the approval occurred because a month after the public hearing, at which no complaints were made, the IEPA did receive a letter of complaint about sludge handling. The city also had to work out an agreement with the Lincoln and Logan Correctional Centers. This put the project about three months behind schedule, he said.

 

Preliminary engineering has been completed, and copies of the preliminary plan were given to Alderman William Melton, who is head of the Sewage Treatment Plant, Drainage and Sewers Committee. The design is now 30 percent complete, Alsbach said.

Funding for the upgrade will come from an IEPA low-interest loan, as well as from sewer reserve funds, rate increases and, if possible, grants from other state agencies. The IEPA interest rate is currently 2.905 percent, but Alsbach said the agency will announce new rates in July, which will probably be higher, so the city should try to get loan approval quickly. Projects to be funded this year will be announced in July, and funding will be available in October. Alsbach said he thought Lincoln still has a good chance of getting funded this year.

Total annual payments on the 20-year loan would be $667,153, according to the EMC projection, but some of that will be paid by the Lincoln and Logan Correctional Centers, which have no sewage treatment facilities of their own and use the cityís facility. Their portion of the cost has been set at 22.41 percent ($2,255,857, or $149,509 per year), Alsbach said, leaving an annual balance of $517,644 for the city.

[to top of second column in this article]

He recommended a rate increase of 40 percent for residential users and 60 percent for commercial users. This would come to $1.86 per month for residential users and about $33.78 per month for commercial users. At present the 6,260 residential users pay a flat fee of $11 per month, while the fees for the 526 commercial users vary. Alsbach noted that these are "not absolute numbers."

Melton said the sewer committee would need to have a work session before deciding on any rate increases.

Alsbach also told the council that the EMC had reduced the cost of the entire project by $1,545,947 by eliminating unnecessary equipment, substituting lower-cost alternatives, using plant personnel for some needed work, altering the scope of the project and working with suppliers.

One cost savings came from eliminating the work needed on the South Plant lift station and force main, set at $482,964, from the main construction project. Alsbach said this project can be done separately by plant employees and manager Grant Eaton, with the help of Mark Mathon, city engineer, for fewer dollars than it could be done as part of the current project. Several other small lift stations were removed from the project.

Another change was the addition of a belt press for sludge handling, a mechanical operation which squeezes out water and reduces the overall volume of solid waste to be treated. Use of a belt press is recommended by the IEPA, and it will also eliminate the use of the lagoon for sludge storage, Alsbach said. Use of the lagoon has been a concern of some residents because of possible odor problems.

Two of the plastic domes to be put over sludge beds have also been eliminated, Alsbach said, because the IEPA gave us "no credit" for using the domes. Two domes will remain in the plan. They will allow sludge to dry out more quickly in winter or during rainy weather.

 

Changes in the plan also include an additional $153,523 for engineering scope changes because of IEPA changes and reviews, Alsbach said.

In answer to questions from aldermen, Alsbach assured the council, "We took a lot of pains not to make choices that would lower long-term longevity of the plant or its efficiency."

He urged the council to move ahead quickly with approval of the preliminary design, the overall project approach and the changes in the plan, so that the city could stay on track with the funding and the project design and get the final design out for bids. Date set for completion of the project is April 2003.

The plan was put on the agenda for the councilís next regular meeting, May 21.

[Joan Crabb]

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Logan County Board report

Evans hired for airport work;
Internet services approved

[MAY 16, 2001]  The Logan County Airport is again operational. At their meeting Tuesday night, the Logan County Board voted to give a monthly contract on an interim basis to Sam Evans to provide services until bids can be received for the position of fixed-base operator.

Evans, a former airport manager, is to keep the grass landing strip mowed, as well as other areas of the grounds, and to provide fueling services. He will work four half days a week and be paid $600 a month and the use of the maintenance hanger.

The action comes following a two-week period that left the airport without an FBO after the one valid bid for the position was withdrawn when language problems surfaced at the April meeting of the board.

In other board activity, a 10-0 vote ensured the installation of an Internet system for five county buildings, with the opportunity for the city of Lincoln to tie into the proposed system.

Figures presented to the board by the Logan County Technology Committee, established by board chairman Dick Logan, indicate that the entire system will cost approximately $102,000, with total contributions from departments and other users at $52,847, leaving a $49,235 balance to be paid from the general fund.

[to top of second column in this article]

State and federal mandates are putting more pressure on local communities to tie into the Internet system in order to process health programs and payments, to take advantage of training opportunities, and to update and maintain vital statistics records, to name a few of the uses available.

Logan established the committee to investigate the need of such services and also to prevent duplication of services when different departments and offices phase into the Internet services system.

Wayne Albertsí request to rezone 3.4 acres in rural Atlanta from agriculture to B2 commercial failed by an 8-3 vote. Instead, the board asked Alberts to resubmit his request to the zoning office, asking for a variance in the current regulations, which would allow Alberts to relocate his landscaping business to that location.

[Fuzz Werth]


Indian Maiden statue to depart Lincoln

[MAY 15, 2001]  Burnetta "Bernie" DePuy will have a belated birthday present this year.  She'll turn 80 on Tuesday, May 15.  One day later, on Wednesday May 16, a project she's been associated with for more than a decade will take a giant step and leave town.  It's not often you celebrate something you love leaving, but in this case it's a move in the right direction. 

The Indian Maiden statue currently located near the center sidewalk on the west side of the Logan County Courthouse has been in disrepair for a number of years.  Specifically, she has lost her hand and the water jug it held. There has also been some general wear from nearly a century of existence.

The statue was a gift "of the people, by the people, for the people" conceived by the Lincoln Woman's Club in 1906.  At the time, anything put on the courthouse lawn had to be both beautiful and educational.  The club and the artist, Charles Mulligan, agreed upon the Indian Maiden design. The 7-foot, 2,000-pound statue was displayed that year at the Illinois State Fair.

Mulligan is also associated with such works as the massive "Law and Knowledge" and "Justice and Power" that stand outside the Supreme Court building in Springfield, as well as the Illinois Memorial at Vicksburg.  He is best known for his creations "Lincoln the Rail-Splitter" and "Miner and Child" for the Chicago Park District.

The statue in Lincoln was originally a fountain, with water passing through a coil of pipe flowing from a vase in the woman's hand.  The water fell into a basin and then ran through the base to fill two hollows used for dogs and cats to drink from.  Although no one remembers exactly when the fountain was shut off, it is certain that the statue has been missing her hand for more than 50 years. 

 

DePuy is a member of the Lincoln Woman's Club and serves as chairman of the community improvement project.  As chairman, she has the opportunity to choose which project the club undertakes.  She felt the statue was a fitting choice, and the club looked for the Indian Maiden's hand but with no luck.  When Lincoln was designated a Main Street community in 1994, Kate Orr from the Design Committee approached DePuy about the statue.  DePuy joined the Design Committee, and Main Street Lincoln adopted the project to restore the maiden.

Unfortunately, the project has had more twists than the road the statue will follow on Wednesday.  With the original hand and water jug long gone, a photograph had to be found to use as a basis for restoration.  No one seemed to have such a picture.  Finally, in 1996, Bart Ryckbosch, an archivist for the Art Institute of Chicago, located a picture of the statue in a 1908 edition of Park and Cemetery Magazine. 

The next turn of events was a problem in locating the Tennessee pink marble used to create the statue.  The quarry was out of business, and the project was therefore put on hold.  In August of 1997, Orr found an article in Stone World Magazine announcing that Tennessee Marble Company had reopened its quarry of Tennessee pink, and the stone would be available in the next few months.  The impetus for this was the Grand Central Terminal renovation in New York.  They were building a stairway to match the original, which was also made of Tennessee pink.

Finding funding for the project and an artist to do the job became a top priority.  Nita Sunderland from Washington (Ill.) saw an article in the newspaper and contacted the Main Street Office.  Sunderland was well-qualified as a sculptor; therefore, Main Street investigated a SOS or Save our Sculpture grant through the Smithsonian Institution.  However, in order to qualify, the artist had to be one of 12 nationwide, and only one statue per year per state would be chosen.  Main Street then began to seek private funds and worked on a contract with the Logan County Board.  The legalities took some time, and when a contract was finally written, Sunderland no longer wanted the job.  

 

[to top of second column in this article]

At this point, it seemed the Indian Maiden statue would never leave town.  Wendy Bell, program manager for Main Street Lincoln, suggested they contact Michael Dunbar at the Illinois Capitol Development Board.  Dunbar, a sculptor himself, oversees all artwork owned, purchased or restored by the state.  Dunbar recommended David Seagraves of Elizabeth, and Design Committee Chairman Larry Steffens contacted him. Seagraves visited Lincoln to inspect the statue about three weeks ago and has agreed to do the work.

Seagravesí resume is lengthy.  He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Washington University School of Fine Arts in St. Louis and completed his masterís in fine arts at California College of Arts and Design in Oakland.  He moved to rural Elizabeth in 1973 and opened his own shop in 1977.  He specializes in carved furniture, architectural carvings and sculptures.  His first major statue commission, which he received in 1981, was for a 3-foot figure of Mary and Anne for St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Morrison.  Many of his commissions have been for churches in Illinois and Iowa and have included works in basswood, walnut, mahogany, limestone, marble and bronze.  In the mid-í80s, he re-carved parts of the stairway at the Springfield train depot, then owned by the Scully family.  Several of his later works have been awarded first and third place in the International Woodcarver's Congress, the largest and most prestigious show in the United States.  Through the Capital Development Board he has created works for Highland Community College in Freeport, the University of Illinois at Chicago and 12 of the Illinois National Guard Armories. 

Seagraves will be back in Lincoln on Wednesday, and the work to remove the statue will begin about 1 p.m.  The statue will be taken to his studio in Elizabeth for restoration and then returned to Lincoln in October.  The maiden will have a new home then, on the south side of the courthouse, in her own brick courtyard.  The memorial bricks are part of the fund-raising program for the project and are available through Main Street Lincoln for $25 each.  Those who donate $100 will be included on a bronze plaque that tells the story of the statue.  $500 donations will be noted on benches for the area.  The project cost is $10,000 and is being raised through private donations.  To make your donation, contact the Main Street Lincoln office at 732-2929. 

 

Part of DePuy's duties as the project chairman for the Woman's Club is to make reports to both the district and state organizations.  She has chronicled the projectís many steps, both forward and backward, and now plans to write the final chapter shortly after Oct. 26.  That is the day the statue will be rededicated, 95 years to the day from when it was originally given.  The Woman's Club organization has been so impressed with DePuy's efforts that they have asked her to write an article on the project, to be included in both the Illinois and National General Federation of Women's Club magazines.

When contacted, the octogenarian stated, "When the statue leaves it will be the best birthday present I could possibly have, even if it is a day late."  Ironically, Wednesday is the birthday of the artist, David Seagraves. Maybe they can blow out the candles on the cake together.

[Main Street Lincoln news release]


Candidates seek appointment
to 90th District House seat

[MAY 14, 2001]  Several candidates are vying for the appointment to the 90th District Illinois House seat that will be vacated when Rep. John Turner (R-Atlanta) becomes an Appellate Court judge. His statehouse position becomes vacant May 25, when he takes his seat on the 4th District Appellate Court.

Two candidates have announced to the Lincoln Daily News that they are in the running: Logan County Circuit Court Clerk Carla Bender of Lincoln and Joe Alexander of Clinton, former aide to U.S. Rep. Tom Ewing. Others may still come forward to seek the appointment, which will run until Turnerís term is up in January of 2003.

The appointment to the Illinois House seat will be filled by a candidate chosen by the Republican county chairmen in each of the counties of the 90th District. The district includes all of Logan County, all of Mason County, all of DeWitt County, a small part of Tazewell County (including the towns of Armington, Minier and Hopedale), a small part of McLean County (including the towns of McLean, Danvers and Heyworth) and a very small part of Piatt County.

 

After Turner takes his Appellate Court seat on May 25, the county chairmen have, by law, 30 days to choose his successor to the Illinois House of Representatives. Each county chairmanís vote is weighted based on the population of the county that lies in the 90th District.

Carla Bender

Bender is serving her third term as clerk of the Circuit Court of Logan County, having been elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1996 and 2000. From 1990 to 1992 she served in the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, Illinois Supreme Court, as a field coordinator for the probation division. From 1985 to 1989 she was a court services officer in the Logan County Court Services Department.

She was a full-time instructor at Dwight Correctional Center for Women in 1983-84. In 1985-87 and again in 1991-93 she was an instructor on the Lincoln College faculty.

 


[Carla Bender]

Since 1993 she has served as campaign chairman for Turner in his bids for the Illinois House seat, and she was Logan County liaison for Jim Edgarís successful gubernatorial campaigns in 1990 and 1994. Among her many professional and community posts, she is first vice president and president-elect of the Illinois Association of Circuit Court Clerks, a member of the executive board of the Illinois Association of Elected County Officials, a past president of the board of Lincoln Area YMCA and a member of the board of directors since 1994, and was a Lincoln Excellence in Public Service Series Fellowship winner in 1996. She is also a certified fitness professional and fitness instructor for the Lincoln Park District.

She is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Lincoln, and she and her husband, David Bender, have a son, 5, and a daughter, 3. She holds a bachelorís degree in legal studies from the University of Illinois at Springfield and an associateís degree from Lincoln College.

"I have been a public servant for my entire professional career," Bender told the Lincoln Daily News. "I have a good understanding and knowledge of the district, and I believe I know the peopleís needs and concerns.

"Our district is rural, and agriculture is a primary area of importance. I have been involved with a lot of federal mandates and changes, and I believe that the best service is local service. I believe in local control and think people who earned the money should be in charge and able to spend it, rather than the government choosing where that money should go, such as to excessive taxation."

 

 

[to top of second column in this article]

Although she enjoys her job as clerk of the Circuit Court and is "challenged by it every day," she said she would accept the appointment to the Illinois House seat if it is offered. "This is an opportunity, and I am most certainly going where it leads me.

"I hope the people of the 90th District are represented well, and I am honored to be considered for that position."

Joe Alexander

Joe Alexander of Clinton is also seeking the appointment to the 90th District House seat and was in Lincoln recently talking to Lincoln Daily News about his qualifications.

He believes the five years he served as an aide to recently retired U.S. Rep. Tom Ewing of Pontiac give him a good background in public service, and his position with a financial investment company in Bloomington-Normal gives him insight into the needs of the private sector.

 


[Joe Alexander]

"I believe I gained invaluable experience regarding public service and legislative issues working for Rep. Ewing," he said. "But now I earn my paycheck in the private sector, so I would make sure government doesnít enact legislation that is too intrusive or harmful to small business, so that people can stay employed and our communities can grow."

Alexander was born in Decatur but graduated from the Clinton public school system. He is also a graduate of the University of Illinois, with a bachelorís degree in history. At the U of I he earned five varsity letters in cross country in the menís track-and-field program.

He is married to the former Carrie Goodrum of Springfield and has a son, age 2, and another son expected in July. He is a member of Rotary, has been active with the Boys and Girls Club of DeWitt County, is a volunteer at the YMCA program in Clinton, and president of the Illinois Striders, a booster club for the U of I track-and-field program.

As a state legislator, Alexander said he would make agriculture his No. 1 issue. "There have been low commodity prices for a number of years. We need to look at new markets for corn and soybeans and other agricultural products.

 

"The Illinois River is a water highway to get our agricultural products to market. We need to update our locks and dams. Some of them were built in the 1920s and 1930s. They have served us well, but here we are in the 21st century, and we need to improve them," he said.

"Much as Rep. Ewing was, I am pro small business and would support legislation that would help make sure small businesses operate in a good environment. Education is also an important priority for me," he added.

"I am looking forward to visiting farmers, small-business owners and the people of this district."

If appointed, Alexander said he would run for a full term in November of 2002 if the 90th District remains intact during the upcoming reapportionment process.

[Joan Crabb]

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

Greyhound Lube

At the corner of Woodlawn and Business 55

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Infant Clothes

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Main Street Lincoln debuts
new partnership brochure

[MAY 14, 2001]  Main Street Lincoln recently debuted their new partnership brochure in conjunction with their current partnership campaign.  The brochure features the 600 block of Broadway Street during the í60s and specifically highlights Boss Drug Store and the Vogue Theatre.  "Our idea was to take the reader back to a time they could relate to, when downtown was bustling every day.  It's our mission to make downtown Lincoln as vibrant today as it was then," said Program Manager Wendy Bell.

The annual partnership campaign supports Main Street Lincoln's ongoing programs in the design, promotion and economic restructuring of the downtown area. Partnership is not limited to downtown businesses.   As noted in the brochure: "A vital and dynamic downtown is important to every member of our community.  We all have something to gain."

There are four basic levels, including personal or family partnerships for those without a business but who want to support the program, and business partnerships for retailers, service professionals, bankers and industries.

By increasing their donation, patrons are automatically linked to the Main Street website and are included on the Concerts in the Park poster. Benefactors receive all of the preceding, as well as sponsorship of Harvest Fest or the new children's Adventure Zone during the Art and Balloon Festival, at no additional sponsorship fee.

All donations are tax deductible.

For more information on Main Street Lincoln's partnership campaign or programs, contact the Main Street office at 732-2929.

[Main Street Lincoln news release]


Armed robbery

[MAY 14, 2001]  Police are investigating the report of an armed robbery at Centennial Courts. The incident was reported to have occurred at 3:45 Friday afternoon. A 24-year-old Lincoln man who lives there said he was putting a diaper bag in the trunk of his car while carrying a child in his arms when he was poked in the back with something. A male voice said, "Give me your wallet." He lifted his shirt, and the thief took his wallet and ran. The thief is believed to have been a white male.

[LDN]


Elkhart town meeting hears
results of community study

[MAY 12, 2001]  About 50 people attended an Elkhart town meeting Thursday night to hear the results of the MAPPING project that has identified goals and strategies for community development.

Four goals were determined and explored by task forces meeting since January under the direction of Steve Kline and Nancy Richman of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.

The largest community response was to the first goal, increasing population, presented by task force member Joe Olson in the absence of chairs Rick and Kathy Kaesebier. While the group hopes to attract new residents of all ages, it considers growth in the school-age population especially important. Those attending the meeting were generally favorable to the idea of population growth, saying it would increase the tax base and could be controlled through zoning and building permits. In response to a question of where growth might occur, Elkhart Mayor Dayle Eldredge said several lots are currently available and some property owners have expressed interest in working with a developer, but she was not free to identify specific locations. A housing fair with builders and lenders present to tell potential first-time home buyers what programs are available and what costs they might expect was one possibility presented.

 


[Elkhart Mayor Dayle Eldredge and Steve Kline, director of the MAPPING project, led the town meeting called to present project results to the public.]

The second goal, creating a task force to promote Elkhart Grade School and Mount Pulaski High School, was presented by Carol Gustafson, chair. In addition to defining strategies for involving citizens in the schools and students in the community, the group had surveyed teachers in the two schools to find areas of need. Gustafsonís report garnered applause but no further comments.

Providing a stable business environment, the third goal, was discussed by task force chair Angela Gleason. The group recommended working with existing and potential businesses, especially high-tech companies, and taking active steps to get the power plant running, finish setting up a Tax Increment Finance District, start a community-owned grocery store and set up a Route 66 development program. Her report generated one suggestion: that available downtown buildings be inventoried and possibly made more suitable for business use.

[to top of second column in this article]


[After the Elkhart town meeting, audience members discussed the issues raised.]

The final goal, creating a comprehensive plan for a sustainable community, was presented by Dayle Eldredge, the task force chair. The task force recommended seeking help in developing the plan from educational institutions, firms specializing in village planning and similar communities that have written successful plans. Again, Eldredgeís report was met with applause but no additional suggestions.

Kline, who led the discussion period following each presentation, emphasized the interrelatedness of the goals. Recurrent topics included maintaining excellent schools to attract new residents, increasing the tax base, supporting existing businesses as well as attracting others compatible with the community, maintaining and improving infrastructure in the form of water, sewer and power facilities, and creating and implementing a plan to direct growth. Another overall theme of the meeting was the call for community participation in both short-term and long-term projects.

Slides for the speakers were prepared by Roger Dennison. He emphasized the vision of Elkhart agreed on by MAPPING participants: "Elkhart is a small town dedicated to preserving its rich history and natural beauty, while cultivating an atmosphere in which modern technology, business, industry and agriculture can thrive. Promoting educational excellence, the arts, family values and environmental responsibility, Elkhart welcomes visitors and residents alike, with its hometown spirit."

[Lynn Spellman]

 

[click here for earlier LDN articles on Elkhart MAPPING project]


Looking for Lincoln to open historic well

[MAY 12, 2001]  The Looking for Lincoln Committee of Logan County will open the historic well of Deskins Tavern on Monday, May 14, at approximately 1 p.m.  The well is located on city property just outside of the VFW Post at 915 Fifth St., across from the Postville Courthouse state historic site. The VFW occupies the ground where the Deskins Tavern was built in 1836.  It was the first building of any size in Postville and served the needs of the Logan County Judicial Circuit in June and November of 1839, as the Postville Courthouse was not ready for occupancy until June of 1840.  

Traveling lawyers Abraham Lincoln, John Stuart, Stephen Logan, David Davis and Judge Samuel H. Trent made the tavern their headquarters while traveling the 8th Judicial Circuit.  They routinely drank from the well, which still exists but has been closed for as long as anyone can remember, estimated at more than 75 years. 

 


[Deskins Tavern]

The Looking for Lincoln Committee is exploring the possibility of making the well usable again for visitors to Logan County.  Terry Werth, a Logan County Board member who initiated the project, feels "drinking from the same well Lincoln did" would be a big draw for tourists, especially with the building of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The first step is to open the well and measure it for a fiberglass sleeve.  This will be done on Monday by Reynolds Well Drilling from Springfield, with the assistance of the Lincolnís street department. Other steps would include draining of the well, insertion of the sleeve, time for the well to fill again and a new, approved pump.  Various sources of funding for the project are being considered, including the idea of bottling the water and selling it.

[to top of second column in this article]

Stories about Abraham Lincoln's association with Deskins Tavern and Postville abound.  Lincoln was the dominant figure at every session of the Postville courts.  He stayed at the tavern when riding the circuit.  While he and his friends were there, jokes and quips were the order of the day.  Lawyers ate and drank together when not in court against each other.  Every man knew the other, and daily contests on the circuit and in the courtroom created a spirit of comradeship. 

During a trial at Postville in 1843, Lincoln discovered that his client had deceived him and was attempting to collect for the same note twice.  When all the evidence was in, Lincoln left the courthouse.  Judge Trent sent Sheriff Deskins to find him.  The sheriff found Lincoln in the old Postville Park playing town ball with the boys.  Lincoln said to the sheriff: "Tell the judge I can't come. My hands are dirty and I want to wash them."  When Trent was notified of Lincoln's remark, it was reported that he simply said, "Honest Abe."

The local Looking for Lincoln group is administered by Main Street Lincoln in cooperation with the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau. It is part of a regional tourism program through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs meant to lengthen the stay and enhance the experiences of visitors to the area.

[News release]


Turner appointed to Appellate Court

[MAY 11, 2001]  The Supreme Court of Illinois announced Wednesday the appointment of John W. Turner of Atlanta as a judge on the Illinois Appellate Court for the 4th Judicial District. He will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Justice Rita B. Garman to the Supreme Court in February 2000.

Turner, 45, currently is an Illinois state representative for the 90th House District in central Illinois and will bring to the appellate bench not only a knowledge of the legislative and governmental process but also a broad background in criminal and civil law.

In the General Assembly, Turner serves as the spokesperson for the Judiciary Civil Law Committee. His membership on other legal-related House committees includes the Judiciary Criminal Law Committee and the Prosecutorial Misconduct Committee.

As a practicing attorney, Turner has experience in both prosecuting and defending criminal cases. He was a Logan County public defender and served six years as Logan County stateís attorney.

He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Illinois in Urbana and received his law degree in 1981 from DePaul University College of Law. Since his election to the Illinois House in 1994, he has been engaged in the private practice of law, covering a broad range of civil matters.

 

[to top of second column in this article]


[John W. Turner]

Turner will serve by appointment on the Appellate Court until the next general election in November 2002, and it is expected that he will be a candidate for the same appellate judgeship.

His appointment becomes effective June 1.

"Mr. Turnerís experience as stateís attorney and public defender for Logan County and his years of private practice, as well as his most recent service as a state representative, will serve him well in meeting the needs of the Appellate Court," said Justice Garman, who recommended his appointment to the full court.

Turner resides in Atlanta with his wife, Kimberly, and a son.

Justice Garman, a judge at the Circuit Court and appellate levels for more than 26 years, was appointed to the Supreme Court in February to replace Justice Benjamin K. Miller, who retired.

The 4th Judicial District is composed of 30 counties across central Illinois.

[News release from the Supreme Court of Illinois]


Logan County Board report

Board addresses airport management, auditorís report, zoning request, Internet service for county offices

[MAY 11, 2001]  The Logan County Board moved a step closer to finding a person to act as a fixed-base operator for the airport by authorizing, through a straw vote, to advertise for bids in area newspapers and a trade journal.

The airport, which has been inoperative since the previous contract expired at the end of April, ran aground when the one previous bid for the position, by Lincoln businessman Lloyd Mason, was withdrawn when contract language could not be resolved.

The board also indicated they would hire Sam Evans, a previous manager, on a monthly basis at $600 per month and the use of the mechanics hanger, which is valued at $200 per month.

Evans would work four half-days a week, and the board would hire someone to be available on weekends to pump fuel, when it is estimated that 75 percent of sales occur.

Currently fuel is not being sold until details are worked out pertaining to sales tax, liability insurance, utilities and other requirements established by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Auditor Andy Lascody presented board members with a copy of the final audit for fiscal year 2000. He told the board that they were closing with a healthy balance of $3,071,187, which he attributed to several factors.

"Fines collected increased by $94,000," he said, "as well as some projects came in under budget, which also helped contribute to the balance."

The balance was also obtained even though personal property taxes decreased from $717,000 in 1999 to $621,000 in 2000.

Rod White, chairman of the finance committee, thanked board members and also all department heads for cooperating in watching their spending.

 

[to top of second column in this article]

Wayne Alberts, from Atlanta, also requested the board approve a parcel of land from agricultural to commercial so that he could expand his landscaping business and move from his current location, which has become a residential area.

After discussion of objections, the board indicated that they would not approve the zoning change but would approve a variance if Alberts would refile with the zoning office.

Carla Bender, circuit clerk and chairman of the Logan County Technical Committee, reported to the board their findings on establishing Internet services for five county buildings and City Hall, if the offices are interested in establishing that service for their operations.

Bender told the board that the entire system, including the running of fiber-optic cable and the components necessary to make the system operational, would cost approximately $98,000, with a $524 annual connection fee.

Dick Logan, chairman of the board and co-chairman of the building and grounds committee, said that this committee would look into it and report to the board as a whole when it meets Tuesday night.

Logan established the committee and appointed Bender chairman in order to study the growing need for Internet services by a number of county offices. He asked the committee to investigate the need and how the board can keep from duplicating services.

The current proposal would have fiber optics connecting all county departments, with the hub located in the courthouse.

[Fuzz Werth]


Update on fire at Manor

[MAY 11, 2001]  According to Lincoln Detective John Bunner there are suspicions about the start of the fire that took place at Friendship Manor, 925 Primm Road, on Tuesday afternoon. The body of an 87-year-old resident was found in his fourth-floor apartment when police and firefighters arrived.

Definitive conclusions about the cause of the fire will probably take a while. It will be at least a month before test results are returned.

The investigation was enhanced today with the following information provided by Logan County Coroner Chuck Fricke. Fricke said autopsy results indicate that the man who died, died of natural causes before the fire began.

[Jan Youngquist]

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