Still WatersBird’s-Eye View,  the em spaceWhere They Stand,
  By the NumbersHow We Stack UpWhat’s Up With That?

Commentaries posted do not necessarily represent the opinion of LDN.  Any opinions expressed are those of the writers.

2001 reveals strength and
solidarity in Logan County

By Mike Fak

[DEC. 31, 2001]  And so it is that another year has passed. I have always been amazed how a bad day can seem to last forever, yet the year, like an early snow on a warm fall day, can disappear from our lives so quickly.

Again, as always with any year, we have had our moments. Logan County had its share of good and bad, fair and biased. Like all Americans throughout this land we have again fought for our individuality, all the while hoping to be one with each other. For some of us the ledger of life remained balanced, while others found good fortune offsetting those among us who saw better moments, better years in their life’s journeys.

As a nation, we have seen the darkest days in our country enfold before our eyes, yet have gained a sense of pride in our collective humanity and compassion that we long ago forgot ourselves capable of expressing. For just a moment in this country’s life, we realized that beliefs and faith in our system and ourselves could bridge the gaps of political parties, of regions and ethnicity.

On a local level, we found that we could come together as a community to try to save an institution that for 124 years was taken for granted by so many of us.

As with all years there were many stories that are now marked by the scale we call 2001. Each day 33,000 new chapters were added to the lives of those who have chosen to call this community our home. For many of us the stories of 9-11 and LDC took pre-eminence over all the other innumerable moments that created our personal histories.

The World Trade Center attack has to be the lead story in our community this year, even to those of us who were 1,500 miles away from the disaster. The effects, the concept that foreign invaders could take away from us what we had honestly earned and strived for, carried beyond the borders of a city called New York.

At the "Public Expression of Patriotism," perhaps 1,500 of us gathered on the courthouse square to tell ourselves as well as the world that all the protections we have in this great country, although often taken for granted, are not and have never been taken lightly. With dollars and tears and prayers, this community said for all who would listen that we are our brother’s keepers.



[to top of second column in this commentary]

In the days that followed, the concern about whether it is appropriate to burn an American flag was replaced with the issues of where can I purchase one and what is the appropriate way to display Old Glory. The difficult-to-sing "Star-Spangled Banner" was replaced at events throughout the nation with "God Bless America," as those who wish to keep God and country separate stayed their lips as we reassembled our country’s spirit. How many of us sang that song these past few months as we never did before. How many of us wiped the mistiness from our eyes as, gathered with others, we found ourselves feeling special because we help make up the collective called America.

The plight of the Lincoln Developmental Center galvanized this community like no other issue I can recall. Employees, ridiculed and assaulted with lies and half-truths concerning their actions toward their wards, looked to all of us for strength and support. That is what we gave and continue to give. None of us went to purchase assault rifles or formed militias. We didn’t attempt to commandeer an airplane or blow up a building that houses our detractors. As Americans we used the promises of the Constitution to express our opinions. We used the freedoms of speech and assembly to give voice to our words. We used the right to petition and addressed our grievances through thousands of letters to those in power who needed the gentle reminder that they are where they are only by our graces. We learned that in a community that seems to be able to divide on issues as seemingly obvious as whether gold has more worth than manure, that we could in fact come together.

In the year 2001, Logan County learned what Thomas Carlyle knew 150 years ago: "In the midst of my winter, I finally realized there was in me an invincible summer." All of us have an invincible summer. The year 2001 was necessary to make us realize that. How unfortunate that this knowledge had to be purchased as it was.

[Mike Fak]


Reply to Fak (not for publication):

Response to Fak’s commentary: 

A peek back at one of LDN's reader submissions reveals a rather poignant prediction for the year 2001 Prediction for 2001 by Maxine Seggelke

[DEC. 29, 2001]  On Dec. 30, 2000, Lincoln Daily News printed this poem written and submitted by Maxine Seggelke. Her poetic predictions were in response to an invitation to readers for New Year thoughts.

Freezing cold this day

In the month of December;

I predict that this summer

You'll scarcely remember!

We tend to adapt

To situations and weather;

I predict that we'll make it

If we all stick together.

We all came through counting

The chad and each dimple;

I predict the coming year


Should be pretty simple.

The gas may go up

And the Market come down;

But we'll weather it all —

Come through safe and soun'.

We're Americans, you know,

And we are God's own creation;

I predict we'll be proud

Of our country — OUR NATION!

—Maxine Seggelke

A new request to you the reader:

Reflect on the year past or your hopes for the year ahead

[DEC. 29, 2001]  What a year! We no longer think much about the presidential election mess that promises to stain the American electoral system for years to come. We weren’t thinking about our favorite pastimes or much of anything except family and country, and about how much we all need one another, once Sept. 11 came to pass. 

Yet time has passed and significant events have marked the days of our lives. We have had plenty of other good times and achievements as well as struggles to be remembered from the past year. As the start of a new calendar year, now is a good time to reflect on the year 2001 and project on the days to come in 2002.


If you would like to set forth your thoughts, raise a challenge, or simply reflect on these 365 days past send your thoughts to LDN will publish select entries with names (or without at your request.)


Person of the Year 

(or the bypassing of Osama bin Laden by Time magazine)

[DEC. 28, 2001]  Congratulations to Time Magazine for honoring New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on its cover this week. Unquestionably, the mayor deserves the highest praise for shouldering the greatest tragedy in the history of our country and New York, New York with compassion, dedication and crisis management skills that may never be eclipsed.

But Time’s cover should say “Hero of the Year” rather than “Person of the Year.” By its own definition, Time’s annual “Person of the Year” is the person who most affected events for the year, for better or worse. And, as ghastly as it is to acknowledge it, the unquestionable person of the year by that criterion is Osama bin  Laden. It is clear that our society was changed forever on Sept. 11, and that the agent of change was the leader of Al Qaeda. He changed the way we look at airline travel. He changed the way we look at our own level of vulnerability. He masterminded an attack which will go down in history for not only its death toll but its evil brilliance. It was so effective that it surprised even him, as we learned in the video recently released by the U.S. government.

Time’s previous people of the year have included Adolf Hitler and Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, so there is precedent for bitter enemies of the United States to be judged as the person who most affected events that year.

While few would argue that bin Laden is the individual who truly shaped this past year, there are few who are taking Time magazine to task for bypassing the native Saudi whose exact whereabouts are still unknown -- as usual. Rarely, if ever, has American popular opinion been as united. When President Bush said bin Laden was “wanted, dead or alive,” the pacifists and human rights advocates who normally would decry such a stance through press conferences and photo ops were scarce. They knew that the nation could not stomach any sort of mercy or favor being shown to bin Laden.

Time Magazine knew the same when it decided to bypass him. Its editors and management correctly concluded that attempting to sell magazines featuring the man who masterminded the murder of over 3,200 people as its person of the year would be folly. They correctly judged that our collective anger is so passionate, we don’t have the ability or will to give bin Laden any sort of recognition other than that as mass murderer and public enemy number one.


[to top of second column in this article]

Almost everyone’s knee-jerk reaction to hearing that someone has been named a person of the year is that he or she did something worthy of honor. When Bill Clinton was named Time’s person of the year, even in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and fallout, there was enough public support remaining for Clinton that public reaction wasn’t universally negative. Enough of Clinton’s policies were the agents of positive change that Time could make a reasonable argument that he was worthy.

Time correctly judged that that would not be the case this time, and also correctly judged that it could not submit a murderer of thousands as its person of the year without permanently damaging the publication’s credibility in the eyes of a focused public. Had Time’s editors tried to argue that bin Laden meets their criteria, they would have been absolutely right, and they would have been the target of scorn and derision from now until the end of time. They made the right call.

[Tom Mitsoff, longtime daily newspaper editor and syndicated columnist]



Site selection in the 21st century

[DEC. 27, 2001]  In late October the Economic Development Council made public its recommendation to locate a fully improved commerce park in Lincoln. Their proposal has become the topic of mostly well-grounded, healthy discussion. There is also some misguided and/or confusing dialogue taking place. Both are part of the discussion and decision making process. Eventually, one side will prevail.

In an article in Area Development magazine Scott McAfee, community affairs coordinator for Westerville, Ohio, points out that community vision doesn't mean much if the community isn't willing to provide the resources necessary to make it happen.

He suggests that it is very shortsighted for government to say that financial incentives alone should be enough help for developers and potential business partners. He adds that if local government wants developers to invest in the community, then local government has to step to the plate and provide the infrastructure immediately, before any development takes place.

Transportation is almost always the critical component in siting decisions. Transportation routes have always attracted business. Are the routes serving our site(s) in good condition? Are they adequate for future growth?

Housing, education, municipal services, health care, recreational and shopping opportunities, technology, government attitude and local business climate are obviously important to businesses in varying degrees.

A business's exposure to its current and potential customer base is a direct result of location. What is the best location for the most business types? After looking at the various locations in and around Lincoln, using the best available information, listening to advice from other communities who have actually done similar projects, asking advice of site location consultants and paying attention to which location actual prospects preferred, the EDC believes that the north site, the one they are recommending, is the best site.

Is the site the only one for business?  Of course not.  Is it the better site having taken into account all of the variables? The EDC feels it is. Join in the conversation and discussion. Let me know your opinions. After all, in many ways, we are talking about the future of Lincoln and Logan County.


Distribution as an example

"100 Most Logistic Friendly Cities" -Expansion Management, September 2001

# 16 - Chicago

# 19 - St. Louis

# 23 - Indianapolis

# 30 - Quad Cities

#42 - Peoria/Pekin

#44 - Champaign/Urbana

#69 - Rockford

#74 - Bloomington/Normal

#80 - Springfield


And notice where Lincoln and Logan County are in relation to these communities.


[to top of second column in this article]

Real estate activity

October 2001:

Residential Properties Sold = 36

Average Selling Price: $ 69,247

Median Selling Price: $ 64,950

Total Market Value: $2,492,900

Range: $ 7, 100 to $ 170,000

Source: Paula Kirby, Logan County Board of Realtors

NOTE: This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Logan County Board of REALTORS or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the Board nor its MLS guarantees or is any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Board or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

Number of permits issued and estimated cost of construction, by jurisdictions


October 2000:       33 permits at $457,370

October 2001:       52 permits at $513,076

Source: Les Last, City of Lincoln

Logan County

October 2000:       7 permits at $135,910

October 2001:       9 permits at $451,000



October 2000:       0 permits at $ -0-

October 2001:       2 permits at $110,000

Source:  Phil Mahler, Logan County RPC

 County labor facts

Unemployment rates

County Oct. Sept. Aug.
2001 2001 2001 One Year Ago
LOGAN 2.8% 3.0% 3.4% 2.8%
Christian 4.1% 4.1% 4.3% 4.6%
DeWitt 4.3% 4.9% 5.2% 6.1%
McLean 1.8% 2.0% 2.3% 2.0%
Macon 5.3% 5.2% 5.9% 4.1%
Mason 5.4% 5.9% 7.0% 5.1%
Menard 3.4% 3.5% 3.4% 3.2%
Peoria 4.5% 4.6% 4.7% 4.1%
Sangamon 3.4% 3.5% 3.7% 3.1%
Tazewell 3.8% 3.9% 4.3% 3.1%
STATE 5.0% 5.2% 5.5% 3.9%

[Mark Smith, Economic Development Director]

Bird’s-Eye View

This is the em space, a staff writer’s section with observations about life experiences in Logan County and elsewhere. Enjoy your visit.

— Mary Krallmann

Excerpts from Decembers past

December is a special time for letters — both the traditional letters accompanying Christmas cards and the notes of thanks our parents teach us to send after we open the gifts.

I recently came into possession of a set of letters saved for me by an elderly aunt, so I can share with you some selections from our December correspondence over the years.

= = = = = =

Handwritten on lined paper shortly before my 10th Christmas

From Route 1, Staplehurst, Neb.

Dear Uncle Ed and Aunt Marion,

Thank you very much for the story "The Other Wise Man." I like it very much. ...

Yesterday, Dec. 10, we had the first snowfall of the season. ... Soon the snow will be just right for making snowmen.

Sometimes I fall down in the snow. Then snow gets in my boots. This does not feel exactly pleasant but it’s a good thing to laugh about.

The name of our Christmas service is "He Came." The words "He Came" are repeated quite often in the service. The name of a song in the service is "He Came." Also, in some of the children’s parts every line starts with "He came."

= = = = = =

From one of the last letters from Uncle Ed

Dear Mary,

We think you are very wise to be taking typing for this is a skill which you certainly will find useful when you get to college.

Please keep the letters coming. We like them handwritten or produced on the typewriter and they are acceptable in English, Spanish, or German.

Uncle Ed

= = = = = =

Typed from Pomeroy, Iowa, on New Year’s Eve

Dear Uncle Ed and Aunt Marion,

Reports of the temperature reading this morning varied from 16° below to 20° below. At any rate it was cold. We made use of several of our Christmas presents in an effort to keep warm while waiting for and delivering papers.

Many thanks to you for all the Christmas gifts. The warm coat, the pretty pajamas, ... are all appreciated. "Instant Insanity" [a game] has already given us enjoyment as well as a little feeling of frustration. We were glad to receive your telephone call on Christmas Day.

= = = = = =

Handwritten on Christmas letterhead paper with a manager scene and lettering that says, "For unto us a child is born"

From San Jose, Ill.

Dear Marion,

We’ve started to make some cookies. The other day Mom was figuring out all the kinds she used to make for the choir. Also, Dad bought a big bag of nuts so we are all set. John and I were "appointed" to get a tree.

John is listening to Beethoven’s symphonies. He bought the set last Christmas for us — for him! It is Beethoven’s birthday today so I guess he’s in season. The Peanuts comic strip had some joke about the Strauss waltzes that Beethoven wrote.

Dad had a funeral to do today in Lincoln. Somebody from the nursing home had died.

It has been interesting to read some of the Christmas letters we have been getting.

I suppose John and Dad will put the new carburetor on one of these days.

= = = = = =

"In the year ending tonight, Americans sent a three-legged machine 500 million miles to Mars and a peanut farmer to the White House." [quoted from news report]

There was a record -8 reading this morning. It was -6 when I got to Lincoln.

I’ll finish this by wishing you a Happy New Year and saying "thank you" for the Christmas gifts — savings account addition, top, Crunch ’n Munch. Muchas gracias!

= = = = = =

Christmas Day

A special thank you to you for the lovely Christmas gifts. ...

We had a white Christmas, sunny but cold. The roads have been rather slick.

John has been entertaining us with plenty of Christmas music on the piano and on his computer.

= = = = = =

Are you dug out from the snowstorm yet? Lincoln had seven inches and Peoria somewhat less. Now it’s really cold, but that fresh, clean air is invigorating...

Perhaps you would enjoy an ad I hear on the radio in the morning. The business advertises snowblowers and offers a trade-in on snow shovels. The line I particularly like is, "Bring in your tired, your poor, your wretched old shovel..."

John wrote that he plans to come home Saturday unless it "blizzards." We’re looking forward to having him here. Now we just have to decide whether to assign him the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, bulletin printing or telephone answering! And here he just finished his finals and wants some vacation! Oh, he could do gift wrapping too.

Monday is a big day for Mom. ... She is to go down to physical therapy for a walking lesson or something like that. [She was recuperating from a fracture and came home from the hospital on Christmas Day.]

Fri. morning — It’s 2 below zero!

= = = = = =

Hope you are enjoying the Christmas season. You have added to our enjoyment with greetings, gifts, phone call, etc.

It seemed like we had so many gifts to open this year. … Mostly John and Dad gave each other tools. Dad bought a hot air popcorn popper. He labeled it "to the family, for Dad." We all ate some for supper.

Right now Mom and John are working on a huge crossword puzzle.

Yes, I got quite a bit of Christmas sewing done. ... The robe turned out very nice. It doesn't fit Dad though. I washed the pieces after I cut them out and the material shrank. ... Well, maybe I can try again.

Dad’s practicing the recorder [a gift from John to me]. He just played "Three Blind Mice."

It seemed strange to be driving through a thunderstorm on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Day (afternoon) I bicycled to New Holland [from San Jose] and back and picked up my hymn numbers while I was there. It was windy.

Well, it’s back to work tomorrow.

Happy New Year.

= = = = = =

From a handwritten note

Hi —

We have a new supply of "white stuff" on the ground here. Pretty. Supposed to be colder tonight. I tried stringing a wire out to my car to check if the heater for my engine block worked. It did! Might want to plug it in awhile tomorrow.

= = = = = =

Here am I back at home in Lincoln after a pleasant Christmas week spent enjoying the companionship of the rest of the family.

We enjoyed your phone calls as well as your gifts under the tree.

Yesterday morning John and I got down to business and ... divvied everything up … finally flipping a coin to decide who would get which little pitcher. ... Neither of us had a large serving bowl, so John took the cut glass bowl with the fruit design in the bottom, and I have the soup bowl and the ladle, as I didn’t have one of those either. Maybe now I should have the "official" Grandma’s soup recipe. We each have two chocolate pudding dishes. I have the item with the pewter lid, and John has the vinegar cruet with the glass stopper. Dad said the cruets were always out on the dining hall tables when he went to St. Paul’s College. ...

I liked all your little notes to explain what things were and what they meant to you. … Thanks for giving us a tangible bit of family history.

= = = = = =

Goodfarm Township

Dwight, Illinois

We were happy to receive your phone call last night. It was one of the pleasant traditions that we have come to anticipate….

I’d never seen a captioned TV show until Christmas Day. The first program we watched with everything hooked up was called "Newton’s Apple."

[The TV] box was about the size of the one my microwave came in, and I wondered, "Another microwave??" John had the remote control ... and other accessories ... in a number of separate packages. It was interesting and, as I said, rather overwhelming. "All this for me??"

Anyway, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! ... At the push of a button I can have company in my living room and know what they’re saying besides.

= = = = = =

Today I opened my early package and set Rudolph up on the piano. I already had a sprig of pine there, so he looks right at home amid the evergreen, as you said.

He says thank you for s ending him to his new home. He likes being farther north. He thinks the cold and snow are just right. ...

Rudolph says it is OK with him if you stay cozy inside sometimes when it is extra cold outside, but he hopes you will enjoy looking out your picture window at the snow ... and if you look closely at just the right moment, you might even see him go by.

I think he is just fantasizing, but reindeer are entitled to that now and then, especially when it’s so close to Christmas.

= = = = = =

This weekend brought us a couple of outstanding days — warm, sunny and more like October than December. I didn’t even put a jacket on to go outdoors in the afternoon.

When I got back from church, I had enough time for jogging before I left for "The Nutcracker" in Springfield. ... I wore the challis scarf you gave me and my red "Christmas dress."

My balcony seat felt way up there at first, but the view was great... They had some neat special effects, including a Christmas tree that got bigger, radio-controlled mice (I’m guessing), lots of floor-level smoke or fog to introduce the dream sequence. ... I also thought it was cute when some mice got pulled off stage by their tails.

I’m supposed to see the orthodontist at 7:30 tomorrow morning, so I’d better wind this up.

Good night.


= = = = = =

And, despite the limitations of age, the aunt who saved the letters sent a December note this year...

Thanks for pillow. Just what I needed.

Merry Christmas.



[Letter excerpts compiled by Mary Krallmann]

Where They Stand

Where They Stand is a commentary section addressing specific issues in the community. Informed individuals present their position with facts, opinions or insights on the issue. The material is posted unedited, in its entirety, as received. If you have further comment on the issue, please send an e-mail message, complete with your name, address and telephone number to

Local teacher announces her candidacy for regional superintendent of schools

By Jean Anderson, candidate

[OCT. 31, 2001]  My name is Jean Anderson and I am announcing my intent to be a Republican candidate for the office of Regional Superintendent of Schools for Logan, Mason, and Menard counties.

I am a graduate of Lincoln College and Sangamon State University (now the University of Illinois, Springfield). I have a Masters Degree in Educational Administration and hold the Type 75 certificate, both requirements for the position of Regional Superintendent. I am currently employed by Lincoln Elementary District #27 Schools as the eighth grade Language Arts teacher at The Lincoln Junior High School, a position I have held for the past seventeen years. I also serve that school as its Discipline and Attendance Officer.

A member of the First United Methodist Church of Lincoln, I was its organist for over 22 years and currently serve on the Board of Trustees. I am chair of the Communications and Bargaining committees and treasurer of the Lincoln Elementary Education Organization, and also belong to the Illinois Education Association, the National Education Association, and the Lincoln Junior High School Parent-Teacher Organization.

The daughter of Lincoln residents Paul E. and the late Helen Musa Rankin, I have resided in Lincoln and Logan County for my entire life. My husband of thirty-two years, Mike, is a Logan County Highway Department employee. We are parents of Jonathan Anderson, Director of Instrumental Studies at The Victoria College, Victoria, Texas; and James Anderson, a kindergarten teacher at Mt. Pulaski Grade School, Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. My sister, Susan Rohrer, and her family also reside in Lincoln.

Although I am a political novice, I believe I would be an effective Regional Superintendent. For one, I am a strong written and oral communicator, due to many years of teaching and music performance. I have a working knowledge of school law and the many issues educators currently face. Having spent seventeen years in the classroom, I am very much aware of the concerns felt by today's teachers. I have received formal training in negotiations, employer/employee team building, and conflict resolution, and have served as chief negotiator for our district's bargaining team. Our last three contracts have been settled amicably, without mediation or work-stoppage. In addition, I am organized and work well both independently and in group situations.



[to top of second column in this section]

Teacher recertification is an important new issue in the education field. I am currently serving as a member of my district's Local Professional Development Committee, a group responsible for overseeing and assessing the state-required recertification requirements of our teaching staff. I received training for this position through the Springfield Regional Office of Education. Part of my duties as Regional Superintendent will be to provide local training for the teachers of Logan, Mason, and Menard counties, and assist them in the recertification process. I also plan to work with local school districts that want to become Providers, a designation that allows them to bring on-site training for their staff rather than sending them to another location for training or paying an outside group for facilitating the process.

When elected, my intention is to continue in the professional and dedicated manner of our current Regional Superintendent George Janet. Not only has his leadership been outstanding, the fact that he is a resident of this county has been a definite advantage for all Logan County citizens, and he has represented the Republican party well. I believe that it is advantageous for this tradition to continue. Therefore, I feel that my party affiliation, my residency in this county, my strong ties with area schools and school personnel, and my knowledge and dedication to current issues make me a strong contender for the position of Regional Superintendent.


Jean Anderson


By the Numbers

Population estimates in Logan County
30,798 Total population, 1990
15,380 Rural population - 49.9%, 1990
15,418 Urban population - 50.1%, 1990
2,875 Projected births, 1990-1998
2,736 Projected deaths, 1990-1998
3,143 Persons below poverty level - 11.8 %
258 Average marriages per year
135 Average deaths per year

Alexis Asher

Logan County high schools: 1960-2000
1962 Middletown High School consolidated with New Holland
1972 Atlanta High School became part of Olympia School District
1975 Elkhart High School consolidated with Mount Pulaski
1979 Latham High School became Warrensburg-Latham
1988 New Holland-Middletown High School consolidated with Lincoln Community High School
1989 San Jose High School consolidated with Illini Central (Mason City)

Alexis Asher

Lincoln High School history


Lincoln School District


School buildings in 1859


"Grammar school" in 1859


High school teacher, Mr. January, in 1859


Central School opened


High school building started


High school dedicated, Jan. 5


Cost of new high school


Election authorized community high school District #404


Dedication of new Lincoln Community High School, 1000 Primm Road, in auditorium, on Nov. 9

Alexis Asher

How We Stack Up

This feature of the Lincoln Daily News compares Lincoln and Logan County to similar cities and counties on a variety of issues in a succinct manner, using charts and graphs for illustration.

Racial makeup of selected Illinois counties


What’s Up With That?


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