Two-step plan suggested
for sewer rate increase

[OCT. 10, 2001]  The sewer rate increase that Lincoln needs in order to get a loan to upgrade its wastewater plant could be put in place in two steps, according to Joseph Miller, general manager of the Environmental Management Corporation, which operates Lincoln’s sewer facility.

Miller spoke to the City Council Tuesday evening, reminding them again that unless they move quickly to approve the increase, they will not be eligible to get funding for the project in January.

The upgrade is necessary, officials say, because the existing plant has reached capacity, and violations would mean the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency could refuse to approve any new sewer hookups, thus stopping growth in the city.

To emphasize how much the upgrade is needed, Grant Eaton, sewer plant manager, said the plant had its first ammonia violation last week.

"If we had a new plant, I would have been able to handle that extra load (of ammonia)," he said. "Now we have a violation on the books, and we are on a tightrope to make sure we don’t violate again."

However, he said, the IEPA said the Lincoln plant "responded well" to the ammonia overload.


The rate increase is the same as the one presented to the council in September except that is in two tiers, Miller said. The interim increase would go into effect in January of 2002, and the "worst case scenario" final increase would become effective 18 months later.

This would allow users a little more time to prepare for the rate increases, he said, and if the city did get additional funding, might lower the worst-case projected increases.

The "worst case scenario" means that the city has no other sources of funding and must foot the entire $9.8 million bill for the sewer upgrade. However, Eaton said he is still trying to get a $400,000 state grant and he is also hoping for funding help through an Illinois FIRST grant. He urged council members and citizens to contact state officials to push for an Illinois FIRST grant.

Under the two-step plan, rates for Lincoln residents would be raised from $11 monthly to $14 monthly for the first step and then to $16.39 monthly under the worst-case scenario 18 months later.


Residential rates for those living outside the city limits would go from $12 to $17.52 a month, then up to $22.31.

Rates for commercial, industrial and institutional users would also rise, under a complicated formula which lowers the fixed monthly charge but increases fees for actual use.

For example, fixed rates for commercial users inside the city limits would drop from $5.45 to a final or a worst-case $2.22 per month, but the volume charge would increase from $0.86 per 100 cubic feet to a final $1.55 per cubic foot. Surcharges would also go up, from $.13 per pound for BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) to a final $.51 per pound, and the present $.12 per pound TSS (total suspended solids) to a final $.30 per pound. Commercial users outside the city limits would pay even higher rates.


[to top of second column in this article]

Charges for industrial and institutional users such as the Lincoln and Logan Correctional Centers would also rise according to volume and to BOD and TSS readings.

According to a chart presented to the council in September which gave examples of increases in the various categories, fees for Logan Correctional Center, an institutional user, would rise from $11,550.37 per month to a final $26,772.74. Fees for Eaton Corporation/Cutler Hammer, an industrial user, would rise from $3,060.25 to $6,955.09 monthly, and fees for McDonald’s, a commercial user, would go from $123.90 to $216.21 per month.

The substantial fee increases are necessary, Alderman Bill Melton pointed out, because the city didn’t raise rates regularly as time went along.

Eaton said there was a slight increase in rates four years ago because of the west-side sewer project, but before that there had been no raise for about 12 years.

The rate increase ordinance will be on the agenda at the next regular council meeting on Oct. 15.


City won’t pursue purchasing
water company

The council also decided not to pursue any plan to purchase the Illinois American Water Company, which is being sold to a German firm.

Bill Bates, the city attorney, said a 1970 agreement gives the city the right of first refusal in case the company is sold. However, Illinois American has informed the city they believe the city waived that right back in the early ’70s when Commonwealth Edison sold the company.

Bates said that to try to pursue the city’s right to buy the company, he would have to lodge a complaint with the Illinois Commerce Commission and attend hearings in Springfield, which would be an extra cost to the city. Alderman Michael Montcalm said that regardless of the amount it would cost to find out if the city does have a right to purchase the water franchise, the city doesn’t have the money to buy it.

The consensus of the council was not to pursue the matter any further.

[Joan Crabb]

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Clinton nuclear power plant
safety measures in place

[OCT. 10, 2001]  Rep. Jonathan Wright, R-Hartsburg, and Sen. Claude Stone, R-Morton, met today with officials from Exelon Generation and AmerGen regarding the Clinton nuclear power plant. Rep. Wright and Sen. Stone were assured that the nuclear power facility is taking appropriate security measures in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"Obviously, the facility will not and should not disclose all the specific details regarding security measures at the facility," Wright said. "But Senator Stone and I were given adequate information to indicate that measures are in place to safeguard the facility."

All nuclear power plants are heavily regulated as to all aspects of the facility — including safety. Even before Sept. 11, these types of facilities have had significant security measures in place. The Clinton plant is simply adding to those measures.

[News release]

Understanding Muslims

Authority on Islam speaks at local forum

[OCT. 9, 2001]  Monday evening, Oct. 8, in the chapel on campus, Lincoln Christian College and Seminary hosted a forum on Islam. The forum presentation by Dr. Robert Douglas was entitled "Islam, Muslims, and America: A Christian Missionary’s Perspective." Douglas is the professor of intercultural studies at Lincoln Christian Seminary and an internationally recognized authority on Islam.

Dr. Keith Ray, president of the college and seminary, welcomed the audience and gave a brief introduction of the speaker and topic. Speaking for the school, he said, "It is our hope that through this conversation that Dr. Douglas will be able to inform you about the basic tenants of [the Islamic] religion, some aspects of that world view and bring you to a greater understanding about what is happening in our world." It was his wish that the forum would do three things in the audience’s lives: "To help you think more clearly about the world in which we live … [To help] all of us to engage a greater zeal for the truth of God … That you would sense in your own lives a greater calling in the affairs of God’s mission on this earth."

The outline of the evening was simple. After the introduction, Douglas gave a short speech introducing the audience to the religion of Islam and the varying beliefs among Muslims. Then there was about an hour of question and answer, followed by a closing prayer by the LCCS president.

Douglas began his speech by breaking through some misconceptions and prejudices held by many Americans. He said that in many people’s minds, all Arabs are Muslims and all Muslims are Arabs. This, however, is incorrect. He said that one-fifth of the world’s people are Muslims, and that this one-fifth is comprised of over 700 different ethnic and language groups. In fact, only one-fifth of all Muslims are Arabic.


But even beyond that, he said, many people think that not only do people believe that Muslim=Arab, but they believe that Muslim=Arab=Terrorist. He cited the television show "West Wing" in comparing this equation to Christian=White=Ku Klux Klan, a shockingly effective analogy.

From there, he explained how there are great differences, not only in the ethnic background of Muslims, but in the beliefs and practices. The spectrum ranges from orthodox or fundamental to progressive, and even within each label there are wide differences. His main point, which was driven home by the end of his speech, was that we, as people and as a nation, cannot allow ourselves to fall into bigotry or prejudice. Not every Muslim believes that Islam condones acts such as the ones committed on Sept. 11.


[to top of second column in this article]

After this, the floor was opened for questions. Eleven questions were posed by various people, from LDN’s own photographer Bob Frank to Pastor Mark Carnahan of Zion Lutheran Church. Some of these questions and answers are below.

Is there anything in the Qur’an that would support the terrorists’ actions?

Douglas answered, "From the terrorists’ perspective, yes." He then went on to explain the term Jihad, which essentially means "struggle." There are two forms, "Greater Jihad" and "Lesser Jihad." Greater Jihad is both the striving within yourself to be what God wants you to be and the struggle in action and speech to spread Islam. Lesser Jihad is striving in terms of warfare.

Is there an order in the Qur’an to kill all Christians?

Again, Douglas answered that some would say yes. He cited some verses in the Qur’an that say not to befriend a Jew or Christian, or say that Muslims must "fight against polytheists and destroy them." According to the Muslim view of polytheism, which is that you associate any "partner" with God, Christians are polytheistic, because of the belief of Jesus as God’s son.

Is there a reward, such as immediately going to paradise, for dying in the Jihad the way the terrorists did?

Douglas said that the reason the terrorists did what they did was because they were people "who believed that they were doing the will of God." The specific will of God was that they were attacking the nation that they saw to be corrupting the world and keeping society from being how God wants it.

Where did the Qur’an come from and what is the Muslim view of the Bible?

The Qur’an was compiled of the speeches given to Mohammed by God. It is the unquestionable truth to the Muslims. The Bible is true only "to the extent that the Bible and the Qur’an match."

Do Muslims know that they are saved the way Christians do when they’re born again?

"No." Douglas quoted a Muslim acquaintance as saying, "You cannot know until the time. We cannot know how God will judge." God could always change his mind.

[Gina Sennett]

America strikes back

As promised, the United States led an attack on Afghanistan. The attack began Sunday, Oct. 8. American and British military forces made 30 hits on air defenses, military airfields and terrorist training camps, destroying aircraft and radar systems. The strike was made targeting only terrorists.

More than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East have pledged their cooperation and support the U.S. initiative.

Online news links









Saudi Arabia 


[to top of second column in this section]



New York

Stars and Stripes
(serving the U.S. military community) 

Washington, D.C.



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Recalling the ashes of New York

A Lincoln family views the terror

[OCT. 8, 2001]  Pastor Mark Carnahan is the minister of Zion Lutheran Church in Lincoln. Preston Carnahan, his son, has been the subject of previous LDN news articles and is now attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy, located in Long Island, N.Y. Pastor Carnahan and his wife, Maggy, visited Preston for the annual Parents Weekend at the academy. They arrived on Thursday, Sept. 6, five days before the attack.

"We looked the part of the tourists," said Carnahan, smiling at his wife sitting next to him in a sizable church office offset to his own. The room itself was lit somewhat low, giving it a sullen atmosphere at almost 8 o’clock at night, which would not only set the tone for the conversation, but also match it, in regard to the difficult subject matter.

"On Saturday, Sept. 8, we took the subway into the basement of the Trade Center," he said, also noting the many men and women they rode alongside of that day and on Monday who undoubtedly worked there — none of them the wiser as to what was on its way.

"You just took it for granted," Maggy began, in describing the twin towers before the tragic fall. "Just these beautiful, fantastic buildings that dwarfed the city. They were just so imposing, and yet you just took for granted that they were even there."

The Carnahans had visited New York on previous occasions and describe the misconception most have toward the city as humorous. "I love New York," Maggy continued. "The people there are so friendly, I always look forward to going." Surprisingly her attitude remains so optimistic, considering the events of this past trip.

Ready to return home after a successful visit, Carnahan recalls Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, in LaGuardia Airport:


"I was waiting in line to check my luggage before boarding (on American Airlines), when an employee came out and said there weren’t going to be any more flights that day," Carnahan began. "I looked at the airline employee, looked outside, then back at him and said, ‘Looks like a nice day to fly to me.’"

Eventually everyone in the airport was told to vacate the premises. "They told us we had to go," he continued. "I looked around and said, ‘Go where?’ And then he just told us, "Go!"

Once outside, the Carnahans and all the other airport evacuees began to grasp the severity of the situation, as they gathered to watch a massive fire in the sky.

Hearts pounding and fears rising with the smoke, Maggy recalls that leaden moment when she realized and said, "Wait a minute... One of the towers is gone."

Pastor Carnahan explained how another employee then came outside shouting, "You need to go! Everybody! The FBI is evacuating the area, everybody needs to go!"

Perhaps more shocked than confused, Carnahan asked yet again, "Go where?" There they were met with an answer of the inevitable... "Just go!"

With that, Pastor Carnahan, his wife and all other would-be travelers of the air became wanderers on foot. With literally nowhere to go but the interstate and no sight to focus on but a "giant in flames," they began walking. "We were like refugees," said Carnahan. "For awhile, that’s what we were."


Maggy noted how amazingly calm everybody seemed to be. As they walked, a small rental van pulled alongside, which they were the first to board. They described the van ride as quiet, nobody really saying anything, just watching. Watching as a city before them was falling apart and as the lone tower left standing was beginning to fall.

The van pulled over. Quiet. No words. Jaws and hearts alike instantly dropped. Carnahan and his wife looked out over the city toward the giant cloud pounding out of the crumbling shrine.

"Thirty seconds to a minute passed after it fell before anyone made a sound," said Carnahan quietly.

Then the driver, a native New Yorker, stood by the door and asked aloud the very thing that each and every one who witnessed it was thinking: "Did I just see what I thought I saw?"


[to top of second column in this article]

Delayed a few days in the city

"I paddled until I was paddled out," Carnahan said reflectively, recalling his need to clear his mind later that night. Out in the water, kayaking with God, he tried not to think about the terror. He tried not to think about what he was forced to see that day, or what, within the course of retaliation, he may be forced to see in the coming months. He tried not to think about the cots he and his wife had slept on just a few nights before, for an event as innocent as Parents Weekend, that were now being shipped across the harbor, being used to hold dead bodies as part of a makeshift morgue, if need be.

Sitting back home

Safe here in the office, recalling those moments and the days that followed, Carnahan tried not to think and he tried not to cry.

He battled a new set of tears while relaying the trip home, where they encountered an all-but-abandoned truck stop in Pennsylvania. Abandoned because of the owner’s skin color… brown. Sadly he recalled how they witnessed the truck stop owner being harassed.

Rubbing the sleeping head of his young son on his wife’s lap steadied his emotions as he continued, explaining his family’s rocky mental state. "I just zone out. It’s like slow motion. I’ll be driving, and it’s like I’m in another zone, like I’m not a part of normal things," says Carnahan.

"I don’t think I’ve ever had nightmares before," added Maggy, adjusting her son, "but I’m having them now."

Arriving safely back in Lincoln — by car, not plane — the Carnahans say they are struck with a deep sense of guilt for leaving that world behind, for returning to normalcy while others maintain the horror.


Though while still there they stood in line to give blood and stood aside the city to pray, back here they fight to scatter the ashes of terror — the pictures their minds have brought back with them. Fighting, however, with undoubtedly the best weapon Carnahan knows to arm himself with: a resounding faith. "God is in control," the pastor said firmly. "God is good, and He is in control. I just trust God. He is the only answer for my fears."

It’s a faith that will serve the Carnahan family well as they continue to seek out a life as they knew it, a life that may not return, given Carnahans’ stolid summary about this ordeal and each vivid memory therein: "It’s not a matter of reliving it... because we’re still living in it."

The Carnahans have a daughter and son-in-law stationed in Hawaii. As of now they are uncertain where they will be assigned or what that assignment will be. They are parents to a young toddler girl. ... Her power of attorney papers are currently en route to Lincoln.

[Colin Bird]


Fire Prevention Week: Oct. 7-13

[OCT. 6, 2001]  In 2000, there were 9,911 residential fires, and over 100 people died as a result. Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7-13, and your state senator wants you to know how to protect your family, yourself and your property from being part of this statistic. "Knowledge is key when preventing fires and the fatalities that can result from them," says Sen. Claude Stone, R-Morton.

The following is a list of steps that will help to keep everyone out of harm’s way:

•  Install and maintain smoke detectors.

•  Sleep with bedroom doors closed. Closed doors provide protection against heat and smoke.

•  Know your exits. Choose the safest escape route, but if you must go through smoke to escape, crawl low, where the air is cleaner and cooler. Regularly practice your escape route with your family.

•  Before opening a closed exit door, feel the door and frame around it for any signs of heat.

•  If you are trapped, close the doors between you and the fire. Stuff the cracks around the door to keep smoke out. Wait at a window and signal for help.

•  Stop, drop and roll. If your clothes catch fire, don’t run!

•  Once you’re out, stay out! Do not go back into your home for any reason until it’s safe.


[to top of second column in this article]


For more information on fire safety, go to the Illinois Senate Republicans’ website,, and look under consumer information.

Communities can also receive state assistance in the area of fire prevention. To date, Illinois FIRST has funded 790 grants for fire protection buildings, vehicles and equipment. Sen. Stone and all of the Republican senators of Illinois continue to work on grants for communities in their districts to assist fire departments through the Illinois FIRST program. 

[News release]

Gov. Ryan announces School-Home Links in reading for 170 Illinois schools

[OCT. 6, 2001]  Gov. George Ryan announced that kindergarten through third-grade teachers from 170 schools across the state have just received a new tool to help their students excel in reading. Created in cooperation with Gov. Ryan's Advisory Council on Literacy and Illinois Reads, School-Home Links are activities that teachers ask families to use with their children at home to reinforce reading concepts taught in the classroom.

"With School-Home Links, we can be sure that what is taught in the classroom is being reinforced at home," Gov. Ryan said. "These activities will help children make learning a part of their lives, both in and outside of the classroom."

Each School-Home Link helps children practice skills that will better enable them to meet Illinois state learning standards in language arts. The links were originally developed by two elementary school faculties and then refined by the U.S. Department of Education in cooperation with the Boston Annenberg Challenge.

Teachers can assign the grade-appropriate School-Home Link as often as three times a week. Both parents and children are asked to work together to complete the different reading activities, which will be kept by the teacher in the student's portfolio.

The School-Home Links were aligned with the Illinois state standards by Illinois Family Education Center and the Illinois State Board of Education. The Lincoln-based Illinois Family Education center field-tested the links in 32 East St. Louis schools during the 1999-2000 school year.

"The School-Home Links provide regular communication between teachers and parents about what a child is learning, prompt parent-child interaction at home, and extend learning time to build children’s reading skills," said IFEC Executive Director Sam Redding.



[to top of second column in this article]


The School-Home Links represent an integral part of Gov. Ryan's commitment to promoting literacy. He recently created the Summer Bridges program, which provides an extended learning experience to children who are at risk of academic failure and encourages them to improve their reading skills. In 2000, 75 school districts reported that at least 60 percent of students who participated in the Summer Bridges program demonstrated an improvement in their reading ability.

In 1999 Gov. Ryan formed an Advisory Council on Literacy, which consists of 20 members representing diverse interests. The advisory council and the state’s literacy office aim to increase the number of literate adults and help all children read well by the end of third grade.

Last year, Gov. Ryan launched the Illinois Reads initiative to coordinate and improve literacy policies and programs. Illinois Reads maintains a website ( that is a clearinghouse of reading and literacy resources in Illinois.

[News release]


Part 2
Logan County ready for
action if terrorist event occurs

[OCT. 5, 2001]  Even though the public may not have been aware of it, agencies all over the United States, including those in Logan County, were preparing for terrorist attacks well before the destruction of New York’s World Trade Center, and they are ready to take action if an event occurs.

[Click here for Part 1]

The approach to chemical terrorism is somewhat different from the approach to biological terrorism, Terry Storer explained. "Typically, chemical terrorism is an acute, fast-acting event, with people getting sick or injured quickly. Biological terrorism is of longer duration. We might not know about it until the population reported symptoms."

Although many people worry about chemical and biological attacks on the nation’s water system, Gary Bellafiore, operations supervisor at the Illinois American Water Company of Lincoln, says such attacks would not create nearly as much damage as people believe.

"Water companies have a lot of safeguards," he said at a recent meeting of the Logan County Local Emergency Planning Committee, an agency that works hand in hand with ESDA. "Pesticides, herbicides, metals, bacteria we look for these all the time. The water industry has been fighting this battle for 100 years. We monitor a host of chemicals on a routine basis.

"If anything foreign enters the water supply, we will notice a change immediately. Chemists are monitoring the water on a constant basis, at least every four hours around the clock, and that monitoring has been enhanced since the terrorist strike on the World Trade Center.

"It would be very difficult for an enemy to put enough biological or chemical agent in a water supply that the present treatment can’t take care of. We would catch it before there were many fatalities. To put in a sufficient amount of an agent to kill a large population, the enemy would have to back a truck up to the system and pump it in," Bellafiore said.

"The Environmental Protection Agency has a lot of standards for drinking water in this country that make it extremely safe from biological or chemical terrorism," he added. "A lot of government regulations and monitoring is required. Our water supply is safer than people think."

Debby Cook, director of nursing at the Logan County Health Department, agrees with Bellafiore that biological agents are not as easy to dispense as some people believe. Also, like ESDA, the Health Department has done a lot of work to prepare for a biological terrorism event.

"We have been looking at this issue for a long time two to three years," she said.

Like the local fire and police departments, the Health Department already has systems in place that can be used to combat a terrorist event.

"We deal with biological events every day at the Health Department chickenpox, strep throat, other communicable diseases. Although the agents we are talking about in the event of an attack are not the common things we deal with, the same systems will be utilized that are in existence now."

The Health Department also has quick access to help from state and even federal agencies, if necessary.

"One call to the Illinois Department of Public Health will activate the proper personnel," Cook said. "When we say we need help, they will give us access to the appropriate agency. They will even send people to consult with us, if necessary."

She pointed out that most biological events would be covert and that it would probably take some time for symptoms to develop.



[to top of second column in this section]

What Cook and the Health Department would like to see is a more efficient reporting system in place so the department can get immediate access to all available information.

She is starting to work on a system where schools, employers and others would report spikes of unusual illnesses to a central source. "Only if someone looks at all the information available can we figure out what’s going on. Also, it would be helpful to have a communication site, such as a website, to tell people what the facts are and what they should do.

"My true fear is that we are going to have more problems with panic or false information than with anything else," she said.

Barb Kline, director of public relations and risk management at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, says the hospital, too, has systems in place to take effect in the event of a biological terrorism incident.

"We have a response plan for citizens of Logan County that has two links," she said. "First we have an emergency response to ESDA and LEPC. They are linked to state agencies such as Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Depending on the type of event and the resources needed, our local agencies have access to outside resources.

"Second, on the medical front, we will be in touch with the Illinois Department of Public Health, which in turn is linked to federal health agencies such as the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. There are systems set up nationwide."

These health agencies, she said, could within a matter of hours send medical personnel and medical supplies from stockpiles already in place in a number of locations to respond to a local crisis.

"These things have been thought of and discussed. We are not just going to put a plan together after an attack," Kline said.

Kline is a member of a subgroup of the Logan County LEPC that has recently been evaluating how the county’s position in central Illinois, 30 miles from the state capital, might make it vulnerable to attack, as well as how an event that occurs here might affect other places in the state.

"In recent months our specific subgroup of people from the Health Department, paramedics and those trained to respond to hazardous materials incidents have been evaluating where we are vulnerable, what plans are in place and what we need to do to improve our preparedness.

"We are learning about bio-terrorism, the resources available to us and especially how terrorists, people who have no regard for life, can think," she said. "We want to be sure we are prepared."

The attack on the World Trade Center was a shock, but not a surprise, to the world of emergency management personnel, Fulscher said.

"We are still horrified that it happened, but we knew it was coming some day. We have been more aware of the threat than the average man on the street.

"But now, the average citizen is just as aware as we in the emergency services are of the possibility of terrorism. That’s why people say America is forever changed."

[Joan Crabb]

Rep. Wright works to keep LDC open

[OCT. 4, 2001]  The Federal Department of Public Health has conducted an inspection that has found violations at the Lincoln Developmental Center in Lincoln that could lead to the facility’s decertification, taking away crucial federal funds. State Rep. Jonathan Wright said he’s committed to keeping the center open and operating.

The state has initiated the decertification process based upon alleged violations cited by the Department of Public Health. Rep. Wright, R-Hartsburg, says he is taking steps to work with the Illinois Department of Human Services to address all concerns, in order to keep Lincoln Developmental Center operating for years to come.

"Lincoln Developmental Center is a wonderful asset to the city of Lincoln and the surrounding area. It offers much needed services to people with developmental disabilities, while also providing quality employment opportunities," said Wright.

Rep. Wright has been in continued contact with key individuals within the Department of Human Services and within the office of Gov. George Ryan. "I am committed to exhausting all efforts to ensure that Lincoln Developmental Center remains a thriving facility for people with developmental disabilities," Wright said.


[to top of second column in this article]

In addition to the employment opportunities brought to the community by Lincoln Developmental Center, the facility provides excellent care for those people with developmental disabilities who are not able to function in a more informal setting, such as a residential care facility.

"I continue to receive many telephone calls from parents of residents at Lincoln Developmental Center concerned about the decertification process and how that will impact their child," Wright said. "The parents are committed to keeping the facility open based upon the excellent care their children have received over the years."

[News release]

LDC in danger of losing certification

[OCT. 4, 2001]  Federal inspection of the Lincoln Developmental Center has put the facility in jeopardy of losing its certification.

Sen. Duane Noland, R-Blue Mound, and Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, recently learned that the Lincoln Developmental Center is in danger of losing its federal certification. While minor, there were enough violations, mostly revolving around staffing and patient care programs, to bring the facility under closer inspection. It is believed that the problems began at the administrative level and filtered down.

"Lincoln Developmental Center is a facility with over 700 employees and over 370 residents. The center has a huge economic impact on central Illinois. In addition, the facility houses friends and family members of residents of central Illinois. The continual operation of this facility is a matter of great concern to me," said Sen. Noland. The center provides a vitally important service to the most vulnerable in our society.




[to top of second column in this article]

Several upper-level administrative positions have recently been changed in an attempt to enact new procedures and correct the weak areas of service. Peggy Davidsmeyer has been named the new director, replacing Gwendolyn Thornton. Davidsmeyer brings strengths of experience in the field as an assistant director at Jacksonville Developmental Center for seven years. She has worked with developmentally disabled people for 30 years.

"The Lincoln facility provides much needed services to the people of Illinois. It is a priority to keep it open and operating at full staffing levels," said Rep. Bill Mitchell

Noland and Mitchell are requesting a meeting with Secretary Baker and personnel from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Public Aid to brief them on the status of the Lincoln Developmental Center and the available corrective measures to keep the center open.

[LDN and news release]

Part 1
Logan County ready for
action if terrorist event occurs

[OCT. 4, 2001]  Even though the public may not have been aware of it, agencies all over the United States, including those in Logan County, were preparing for terrorist attacks well before the destruction of New York’s World Trade Center, and they are ready to take action if an event occurs.

"Logan County has been working on this," said Dan Fulscher, director of the Emergency Services and Disaster Agency for the county. "We recognized, and the state of Illinois recognized, that an attack was likely.

"We have been preparing very solidly for a year, with a task force that was formed in Logan County. Two weeks before the New York tragedy we had already made a request to the state of Illinois for specific equipment that would allow us to protect the citizens of Logan County better if there was a real terrorist event."

The six-year plan, which was submitted at the end of August, would provide more training and equipment for local agencies, including suits to protect fire and police personnel against chemical and biological agents, chemical detection kits, gas monitors, thermal imaging cameras, and decontamination equipment such as giant scrub brushes, cleaners and soaps to neutralize the chemicals.

The request also includes better equipment for the Logan County Health Department and for other government entities that could be involved in a terrorist attack, such as highway department personnel and emergency room workers, Fulscher said.

Terry Storer, assistant director of ESDA, said that area fire and police departments are well trained to respond to emergencies such as chemical leaks or spills, and that training would allow them to respond to a terrorist incident as well.



[to top of second column in this section]

"For us, it would be business as usual," Storer said. "If we had a terrorist attack using chemical or biological agents, it would be handled in much the same way that we would handle an industrial leak or spill.

"Emergency responders, members of the Fire Department, would be sent to the area of the attack. They would immediately treat any injuries and then would identify the chemical and make an action plan.

"Members of the Fire Department have been trained to identify chemicals and know what to do," he added. Also, they could get help from other agencies.

"The Health and Human Services Department has Metropolitan Medical Response Teams, primary response units that can move into any area that has been attacked. These teams have equipment caches with pharmaceuticals and other supplies that they can get very quickly.

"We are able to make one phone call to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and they can contact any state or federal agency that we may need, whether we have a terrorist attack or an ordinary emergency situation," Fulscher added.

(To be continued)

[Joan Crabb]


[Click here for Part 2]

Two politicians speak at LCCS banquet

[OCT. 4, 2001]  Lincoln Christian College and Seminary has just finished its 2001 Strauss Lectures, named for Dr. James Strauss, a former professor and living legend at the school. The speaker this year was Nancy Pearcey, a Christian author and intellectual historian. Part of the lectureship’s schedule was a Tuesday evening banquet in Taylor Hall on the LCCS campus. The banquet featured two prominent politicians.

Sen. Patrick O’Malley from Chicago, a Republican candidate for governor, spoke about his background and family, stating that he felt it was important for his audience to know something about him. He talked about his parents and how they raised 14 children. He talked about his wife and about their two children. He spent a long time talking about his daughter Brigid. Because of a brush with infant death syndrome, she is able to do very little for herself, but she can smile. With love in his voice, he spoke of how that smile has changed his life. He spent a little time talking about his political background and views, but he left that mainly to the flyers and mouse pads his campaign associates handed out.

[Click here for related article, "Patrick O’Malley runs for governor."]

Bill Redmond, Lincoln Christian Seminary alumnus and former congressman from the state of New Mexico, was the main speaker for the dinner. He gave a sermon on the response that Christians must take to the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks. During that sermon, he told the story of the "Star-Spangled Banner" in a way that had most of the audience truly hoping that "the flag was still there." He said that early in the history of America, the country was thought to be an experiment, unknown from day to day if it would fall. And today, it is up to God whether we rise or fall. He said, though, that we must follow the words of the Bible, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14). Redmond concluded the evening with a stirring reading of Isaiah 41.

[Gina Sennett]

Patrick O’Malley runs for governor

[OCT. 4, 2001] 

Campaign statement

By Patrick O’Malley,
candidate for Illinois governor

I come before you to share my candidacy for governor of Illinois. Today, I’m formally announcing my intention to seek that office in the March 2002 Republican Primary Election.

For almost a decade now, I’ve been honored to serve as state senator of the 18th District, in southwest Cook County. The 18th District is truly a microcosm of the state. As state senator, I regularly meet and listen to the people I represent. In recent months, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and listen to people from many other parts of the state. In the coming months, I intend to meet and listen to many more.


Patrick O'Malley

It’s hard, if not impossible, to describe the level of frustration I’ve encountered and continue to encounter. The citizens of Illinois are the true "shareholders" of state government, but these days one hears little, if any, pride of ownership.

Voters have lost confidence in both the integrity and credibility of those who seek and those who serve in public office. They look to their elected officials to say what they mean and do what they say. But, more often than not, they find that campaign promises and commitments end when terms of office begin.

To say more and more people are turning off and tuning out is an understatement. More accurately, they’re turned off and, for the most part, tuned out.

I’m running for governor because I believe I can change this. I believe I can get the citizens of Illinois to tune in and turn on. I believe that working together we can reshape the Republican Party and state government. Together, we can change politics in Illinois!

I believe I have a vision to share with those who feel their vote or their priorities no longer matter. I believe I have the ability to re-establish their confidence and engage people from all parts of Illinois to work with me for stronger families, better schools, more jobs with better wages, a healthier environment and safer neighborhoods.

I will provide leadership that all citizens of Illinois can count on. Working together, we can make things better, and in the process state government can begin to serve the many instead of the few.

In every office I’ve sought, I’ve received great support. I’d like to think this is because I’m one public official who says what I mean and consistently does what I say I’m going to.

As voters come to know me, they see this. My record as a public official and as a legislator is clear and consistent.

I’ve based my public service, as well as my professional and private life on the values learned and practiced in the homes, neighborhoods and communities of Illinois; the same values instilled in Ronald Reagan as a boy growing up in Illinois and the same values he employed to change the world. These are the values I will champion as governor of Illinois!

When I was growing up, there was a ballplayer who liked to say, "Baseball has been very good to me." My family and I would be the first to say this nation and this state have been very good to us. We have lived the "American dream." I look upon this campaign and subsequent service as governor as the greatest opportunity the people of Illinois can give to me "to give something back."

Make no mistake; I seek the office of governor to be governor. I’m not "maneuvering" to run for another office. And my candidacy does not hinge or rely on anybody else’s candidacy or non-candidacy. I’m in this for the long haul, and as my Irish ancestors would say, I fully intend "to play all the innings out and, in the end, to carry home the prize."

Today, we’re beginning a journey of more than 400 days. I’m inviting people from all parts of Illinois to join with me. It’s time for a new beginning. Working together, we can and will make a difference!

Patrick J. O’Malley biography


Born Oct. 22, 1950, in Evergreen Park; second-oldest of 14 children; graduated from St. Walter’s Grammar School and Marist High School; earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in finance from Purdue University, a juris doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School; married to Mary Judith (Stump); residence in Palos Park; two children, Brigid and Patrick Jr.; a daughter-in-law, Elizabeth; and a granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth



[to top of second column in this article]

State Senate

Elected in 1992 to represent the 18th District; reelected in 1996 and 2000

Legislative committees

Chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee; vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee; member of the Senate Insurance and Pensions Committee; member of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Public service background

Served as a member of the board of trustees of the Palos Fire Protection District (1985-1994), serving as board president since 1987; served as elected member of the board of trustees and chairman of the Finance Committee for Moraine Valley Community College (1989-1992)

Community service

Loyola University Health System board of directors; Saint Xavier University board of trustees; United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago board of trustees; Veterans Outreach Program of Illinois (American GI Forum) board of directors; The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn board of directors; Metro Southwest Alliance board of directors (founding chairman); Illinois State Crime Commission; Misericordia; Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs; American Heart Association; American Cancer Society; Southwest Metropolitan Family Services

Honors and awards

Republican Legislator of the Year, Illinois State Crime Commission; Champion of the Southland, Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce; Putting Families First Award, Concerned Women for America of Illinois; Friend of Agriculture, Illinois Farm Bureau; Presidential Commendation (1999), Illinois State Bar Association; award from the American Association of Retired Persons’ Illinois office; Serving Illinois Families Award, Illinois Family Institute; Guardian of Small Business Award, National Federation of Independent Business; Frederick Milton Thrasher Award, National Gang Crime Research Center; Legislator of Year (1996), Suburban Area Agency on Aging; Leadership Award, Illinois Environmental Council; Environmental Service Award, American Lung Association; Golden Apple Award, Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance; Service Award, Illinois Veterans Leadership Program; Beta Gamma Sigma honor society

Legislative achievements
listed by Sen. O’Malley 

Statewide hearings on tax reform — Led the charge for the 1993-94 statewide public hearings to comprehensively study the state’s revenue system to lay the groundwork for meaningful tax reform.

1995 Chicago school reform — Sponsored the nationally acclaimed school reform legislation restructuring the bureaucracy-bound Chicago school system, thereby restoring local control and accountability.

Child support enforcement — As a leading advocate for improving the collection and enforcement of child support to keep children out of poverty, championed the new law to hold parents criminally liable for their willful failure to meet their child support obligations.

Repeal of the retail rate law — Led the fight to repeal the state subsidy program for garbage incinerator developers, saving Illinois taxpayers as much as $13 billion.

Project Exile Illinois — Authored legislation encouraging the federal prosecution of all persons who use firearms in crimes against others. With its implementation, by requiring a minimum, mandatory five-year prison sentence in a federal penitentiary, Illinois will be the toughest state in the Union in the prosecution of criminals who commit crimes with guns.

Cook County assessment reform — Sponsored numerous laws reforming the Cook County property assessment system and giving property owners more rights in appealing their property taxes.

Circuit Breaker program — Sponsored the 2001 expansion of this program, which provides pharmaceutical assistance and property grants, to benefit an additional 500,000 senior and disabled citizens.

State energy policy (SJR 34 and 35) — These resolutions frame the debate concerning the development of Illinois’ coal resources to provide reliable and affordable electricity throughout Illinois.

Railroad crossing blockages and freight train gridlock — Efforts to hold railroad companies accountable for blocked railroad crossings and related safety issues have put the spotlight on a national issue: the need to address the freight train gridlock in northeastern Illinois.

Tax relief — Sponsored the largest tax refund program in the history of the state, returning more than $250 million to payers of Illinois income tax.

[Patrick O’Malley campaign news release]


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