U.S. under terrorist attack
How is Logan County affected?

[SEPT. 11, 2001]  The terrorist attacks that have destroyed New York’s World Trade Center buildings and part of the Pentagon, shut down air traffic in the United States and Canada, closed trading on Wall Street, and brought military bases throughout the country on high alert are being monitored closely here in Logan County.

"There are no reports in central Illinois of any terrorist acts," Dan Fulscher, Emergency Services and Disaster Agency director, told the Lincoln Daily News at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Fulscher had just been in contact with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Operations Center in Springfield.

However, ESDA’s Crisis Management Center in the Safety Complex was open, and the staff, along with fire and police officials, was in "a heightened state of awareness," according to ESDA’s Assistant Director Terry Storer.

"All agencies are aware of what is going on right now, and we are keeping our eyes wide open," Fulscher said. He said the IEMA would be keeping the Logan County agency posted on any new developments.

Although the Illinois Statehouse was closed and legislators sent home as a precautionary measure, public buildings in Lincoln, City Hall and the Logan County Courthouse, remained open.

"It’s obvious that we are very vulnerable to terrorism," Fulscher said. "This event today may change the perception of the man on the street, but agencies like ESDA, fire and police departments, EMS, the health department, and others have been working very hard to prepare for such an emergency.

"Now when we talk about being prepared for terrorist attacks, people will understand better what we’ve been working toward," he added

He said the local ESDA has put in requests for state funding for specialized terrorism equipment and training for the next three years, and that he now intends to ask for funding for the next six years.

The Logan County ESDA has been working hard for the past year, especially the past summer, to prepare an emergency terrorism task force. "Most task forces in the state of Illinois have been working hard to prepare for such an event," he added.

"People here in Logan County want to send their deepest sympathies to victims, their families and the emergency workers involved in this terrible event," he said.

[Joan Crabb]

Chamber of Commerce Week

Local organization has contributed to community since 1913

[SEPT. 10, 2001]  Gov. George Ryan has proclaimed Sept. 9-15 as Chamber of Commerce Week in Illinois. The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce has joined the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce in celebrating this special recognition of the contributions chambers of commerce make to American civic and economic life.

Chambers of commerce have contributed to the civic and economic life in Illinois for 163 years. The chamber in Lincoln was incorporated in 1913 as The Lincoln Commercial Club. The purpose of the club was "to procure factories and manufacturers, public improvement, celebrations, and benefit."

 In 1922, the name of the organization was changed to Chamber of Commerce of Lincoln Illinois, under the presidency of William Hodnett. In 1970, the name was changed to Greater Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce, with Jack Hodgson as president of the board and Charles Isley as executive director.


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The current name of the local chamber, Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce, was approved in 1987, when Dave Hawkinson was executive director. The name change reflected the mission to represent the total business community in Logan County, and that mission remains in effect today.

 "Our board of directors represents small and mid-size private business, manufacturing, agriculture, education, finance, tourism, not-for-profit and real estate. And we have representation from the two larger commerce communities of Mount Pulaski and Atlanta," reports Bobbi Abbott, executive director. "We are proud of the diversity of our board and the chamber’s many positive contributions to this community."

[News release]

Schrader donates rare handkerchief
to American Legion museum

[SEPT. 6, 2001]  A silk handkerchief given as a souvenir of the Paris caucus that created the American Legion in 1919 is finding its way home to the Legion headquarters museum, thanks to C. Wayne Schrader of Lincoln.

The memento is so rare that Joe Hobish, librarian and museum curator for the American Legion national headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind., did not know until last year that such an item ever existed. At last year’s convention, Schrader mentioned he had one, and Hobish said he had never heard of it. Later, after checking with another convention attendee, he returned to say, "You’re right."


The portion of the handkerchief that survives has eight flags or pennants embroidered on a piece of white silk about 5 inches square. The flags, including American, French and British, are deeply notched on the right border. Only one edge of the handkerchief remains, but all the embroidery is intact. The words "Souvenir de Paris" appear below the flags.

"My understanding," Schrader said, based on Hobish’s source, "is that it was only handed to people who asked for one." Schrader, who is finance officer of Post 263 in Lincoln, received the handkerchief from Thomas Kerrick at a birthday party given for him at the Legion building on Aug. 13, 1982. Kerrick, the owner of a monument company in Lincoln at that time, presented the handkerchief in a simple envelope. Schrader covered and framed it to protect the delicate fabric.

Labels mounted with the handkerchief read: "The American Legion was born March 15-17, 1919, at a caucus of the First American Expeditionary Force in Paris, France. This silk handkerchief was a souvenir of this Paris caucus in which the American Legion received its name." Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and Gen. Pershing were among the 2,500 who attended the caucus in the Cirque de Paris, according to "The American Legion: An Official History, 1919-1989," by Thomas A. Rumer. Roosevelt also opened a second caucus in St. Louis six weeks later that continued the process of organizing.

Schrader said of the souvenir, "That is the oldest thing you could have from the American Legion. You couldn’t have anything older."


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He does not know how Kerrick obtained the handkerchief. Since 1982 it has had an honored place in Schrader’s extensive personal museum of American Legion artifacts. He plans to give it away now so it can reach a larger audience. "I think it belongs to the Legion as a whole more than to me," he said. "I want to let other people see part of American Legion history. It seems as though (up to) now almost nobody even knows it existed."

Schrader and his wife, Marlene, 4th Division president of the American Legion Auxiliary, left Aug. 21 for the annual Legion convention, held in San Antonio this year. Following through on a promise made last year, Schrader planned to present the handkerchief to Hobish, who would probably give it to the national adjutant. Whether an official announcement would be made at the convention he did not know.


The Schraders planned to arrive early for the meeting of the National Resolution Committee. Wayne Schrader is vice chairman of the committee but was to conduct the meeting because of a serious accident to the wife of the chairman, retired Judge Whit Lafon, uncle of Al Gore. The committee was to assign approximately 200 resolutions to other committees that immediately consider them for possible presentation to the convention.

The Schraders have been attending national Legion conventions since the one in Cincinnati in 1986. They said delegates usually number 3,000 to 4,000, and total attendance may exceed 5,000. At the six-day convention, three organizations — the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion — come together under the theme "We are family."

C. Wayne Schrader actually wrote this theme. He has a pocket protector on which it was printed in 1985, but he says his authorship is not widely known because he did not publicly take credit for it.

[Lynn Spellman]

City water treatment plant
receives safety award

[SEPT. 6, 2001]  Grant Eaton from Environmental Management Corporation announced that the city of Lincoln has been bestowed with the honor of the George W. Burke Safety Award in regard to its water treatment program and procedures. "It is truly an honor, as there is only one city in the state of Illinois selected to receive this award each year," said Eaton.

The award comes after a lengthy process that started with an application. Then came inspections. Three people inspected the entire plant. The Illinois Water Environment Association inspects all the EMC plants operated Illinois and Indiana yearly.

The following letter was read at the city council meeting Tuesday evening:

On behalf of the Illinois Water Environment Association and as the Chair of the I.W.E.A. Safety Committee, I wish to thank you for your application for the George W. Burke Safety Award.

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that your facility has been selected as this year’s recipient of the George W. Burke Award. The committee congratulates the collective efforts of all individuals involved in your safety programs. Your current safety manuals and operating procedures are comprehensive and consolidated to meet the specific needs of your facility.


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The Burke Award will be presented to your representatives at the award banquet of the Illinois Water Environment Association Annual Conference in March of 2002. The George W. Burke Award is presented to publicly acknowledge and recognize facilities that demonstrate continued efforts to a safe working environment. We congratulate you and wish that your safety goals continue upward.


Shirley G. Burger

I.W.E.A. Safety Committee Co-Chair


After the above letter was read, Mayor Beth Davis offered her congratulation to Eaton. Eaton responded that this wasn’t really his award, but that it belonged to the city of Lincoln.

[Jan Youngquist]

Council approves zoning change

[SEPT. 5, 2001]  Citing that "the City Council of the City of Lincoln has determined that it is in the best interest of the City of Lincoln and the citizens of Lincoln," the council voted to change the zoning of the property that sits at 314 S. Jefferson St. from R-2 to C-2. The zoning request was initiated by Casey’s Marketing Company on July 1. The council’s vote was 8-2, with Aldermen Glenn Shelton and Michael Montcalm submitting the two "no" votes. The tally, meeting the required total of two-thirds or more of the full council, overturns the negative 6-3 recommendation made by the Lincoln Planning Commission on Aug. 16.

The following letter was received from the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois:

We, the Logan County Chapter of Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois, express our appreciation of Mayor Beth Davis; Alderman Glenn Shelton; Grant Eaton, plant manager of the sewer plant; and Donnie Osborne, superintendent of street department; for going on the wheelchair tour of the downtown area.

Since it was rather hot that day, we didn’t get the whole downtown area covered, but hope to in the near future. There are so many places we cannot get into, and it would take so little to make them accessible. We are very grateful to all those that are accessible.

Again we do say a heartfelt thank you to those that walked or rode in wheelchairs with us.


Gloria Felton, Logan County Chapter secretary of CCDI

Fern Pinkley, Logan County Chapter president of CCDI

A request for right of way or easement has been granted, with unanimous vote, to the county for their installation of a new fiber optics system. The right of way allows for the fiber optic line installation, maintenance, operation, renewal, and repairs in and under city streets.

Special-use parking was unanimously approved for Larry Steffens at 121-131 S. Sangamon St. The back one-third of the old Lincoln Hotel lot will be used for tenant and out-of-town guest parking.


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Warren Curry, owner of K&W Construction and a member of the Abraham Lincoln Statue Committee, brought a brief update to the council. He reported that everything is on schedule at this time and the committee is pleased with the progress being made. They anticipate meeting with interested parties on either the West Coast or the East Coast soon and expect to have something to present in a month or two. If all follows as scheduled, the hope at this time is to have a spring groundbreaking.

Curry stated that he hopes that the businesses and people of Lincoln will be ready to support this project and reap the potential benefits it will bring the community.

At the recommendation of Bill Bates, city attorney, the council approved a newly written ordinance that moderates appeals of Lincoln Liquor Control Commission rulings. An appeal made to the Illinois State Liquor Commission will now be based solely on the transcript of the hearing in Lincoln rather than retrying the entire case. Should an appeal be made to the state, this will save the city time and costs of a retrial.

Alderman Steve Fuhrer requested and it was granted that there be some money spent to conduct a UCC search before purchasing the leaf vac for the city. He said he would like to make sure it is free of any liens before paying for it. He said they’re pushing to sell it quickly, and "anytime that happens it makes me a little nervous."

A public hearing was set for Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. concerning a request made by Integrity Data. The downtown business is soliciting the city’s support in applying for a $100,000 community development loan.

The board adjourned to executive session to discuss possible disciplinary measures against a city police officer, Mike Buchanan. Chief Richard Montcalm was asked to participate.

[Jan Youngquist]

Atlanta death under investigation

[SEPT. 5, 2001]  Atlanta police, state police forensic investigators and Logan County State’s Attorney Tim Huyett are investigating the death of Steven D. Petersen, age 37, of Atlanta.

Petersen was found in Atlanta yesterday morning, Sept. 4. He was pronounced dead by Logan County Coroner Chuck Fricke at 9:39 a.m. His death was determined to have been from a gunshot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted. Time of death was given as between 8 and 8:30 a.m.

An autopsy and toxicology tests are being performed, and reports will be finished in about two weeks.


[Obituary: Steven Petersen]

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