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Illinois FIRST funds come to Lincoln

[JAN. 2, 2002]  SPRINGFIELD — Gov. George H. Ryan announced today that he is releasing $1.22 million in Illinois FIRST funding for projects in central Illinois, including $1 million to Lincoln College, a private, not-for-profit, coeducational, residential junior college in Lincoln, to construct a facility to be called the "Lincoln Center."

The facility will house an athletic and convocation center and a greatly expanded Lincoln College Museum. The new facility will offer increased opportunities for regional and sectional tournaments and other competitions and will quadruple the available museum display space. A donation of $4,850,000 is being contributed from individuals, foundations and corporations.

Other Illinois FIRST grants announced by Ryan:

•  $150,000 to Farmer City to construct a new storm sewer. This project was initiated by State Sen. Claude "Bud" Stone, R-Morton.

•  $50,000 to the Rochester Unit School District 3A for tennis court lighting and a press box and bleachers for the soccer fields at the Rochester Sports Complex. $50,000 is being contributed from the Rochester Youth Athletic Association and Rochester Athletic Booster Club. This project was initiated by state Sen. Larry K. Bomke, R-Springfield.


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•  $20,000 to Cazenovia Township to purchase a road maintenance vehicle. The township is contributing $25,000. This project was initiated by Stone.

Illinois FIRST funds are not part of the state budget’s General Revenue Fund. Recently, lagging tax collections brought on by a slowdown in the national economy and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 have forced the governor to order spending cuts in the General Revenue Fund that amount to less than 2 percent of total spending. Illinois FIRST monies are derived from separate accounts in the state budget — the Road Fund and the Fund for Illinois Future — as well as through the sale of state bonds.

[News release]


Changes for our local screens

Community television goes not-for-profit

[DEC. 31, 2001]  At close of day today a Lincoln business will end its 2½-year venture. Surprisingly, this is not a bad news. How can we say this? Because as of tomorrow Linc-On TV will hereafter be known as Log-On Productions, Inc., a not-for-profit agency. The new entity’s primary functions parallel the current purposes: to create and produce community-interest television programming. The company will continue broadcasting locally over cable Channel 15, which is owned by Insight Communications.

"We’re one of very few communities of our size that has a local daily print paper, a local daily Internet paper, a local radio station and local community TV," according to Mike Fak, company spokesperson for Log-On. The new status "should allow us the time to produce documentaries with a local interest for our viewers," explains Fak. "In the last two years we have learned a great deal about what this community enjoys and what it has an interest in. We just hope to get enough funding to cover the events and activities."


As a not-for-profit corporation, Log-On Productions will be able to receive tax-deductible donations and apply for grants that will help them expand some of the valuable community services they already perform. They intend to seek state and federal funding in the way of grants, but don’t feel they can depend on these sources. The company estimates that their income will break at about 35 percent from area businesses; 20 percent from individuals; 15 percent from sales, videos, DVDs, etc.; and 30 percent corporate support.

The three principal employees of the production corporation, Tim Rogers, Jim Ash and Mike Fak, have over 50 years of audiovisual, news reporting and communications experience. Jim and Tim began Linc-On when the local radio station, WPRC, closed. At that time we had no more local news being broadcast. Local noted newspaper columnist Mike joined the pair later. With his usual positive candor he says, "I’m looking forward to doing both voice and visual. I think that’s the cat’s keister."

While each of the men brings his own talents and expertise, they’ll all tell you every bit of it is a collaborative effort. Somehow they all just do what they do and every job gets done well. In their most distinguishing roles Ash is writer, on-camera narrator, producer and handles new development. Technology supervisor Tim Rogers spends his time behind the scenes and camera and brainstorming. He’s known as "the savant idea man," with ideas popping out of him at just the right time. He conducts filming, editing and production. Fak lends face, voice and character in addition to production and promotion for the company.

Community TV

There is very little original programming being done at the local level in our nation. Only 15 percent of the country has community TV; of that, 7 percent is in California, with Ohio and New York providing most of the rest. "Mostly it is news and not so much the local news at that," states Fak. The whole field of community TV is only 20 years old. "We’re going to try to take a leap in community communications. We will see how far we will go," he says.

Linc-On recently received a county award from the Logan County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency/911/Local Emergency Planning Committee. The award was in recognition for excellent coverage and the quality of their productions of the "Patriotic Expression" gatherings at the Logan County Courthouse.

The new company is looking forward to doing much more of just that sort of community documentation and involvement. Ash explained, "We’re hoping to be able to produce a lot of local programs like documentaries and biographies. We’d like to be able to help the schools out as well. We’re thinking of ourselves like a learning tool. We can teach the kids how to do it and let them do their own shows. We’ll let them handle it, and we’ll just give them some guidance."

The company will also be producing some commercials and video presentations. They are particularly interested in working for other not-for-profits to help out them by offering lower cost. The local blood bank is on their production docket.

Word has gotten out about a high-profile project. A one-hour documentary on both Central and Lincoln Junior High School is in the planning. It will celebrate the history of the buildings and the people who have passed through their hallways. It is expected to take a couple of months in production. Both of the school principals, District 27 Superintendent Robert Kidd and teachers are said to be excited and pleased to see this done. The extent to which it will be produced is based on some funding. "It has $2,500 starting base," Fak stated. "It will be done no matter what, but more funding will increase the quality."

With lots of experience on their side, the new company is hoping to upgrade their equipment soon. It will enable them to produce higher-quality productions. At the top of their list, Fak says, "We would like to have a more sophisticated camera than the one that we have. There is equipment out there that will enable us to do a much better job. The camera we are looking at has audiovisual dubbing with more diversification capabilities. Added equipment that will enhance quality of what we’re going to air."

Forthcoming projects

A documentary currently being worked on using financial support from their present advertising base is "1000 Miles From Home." It explores the personal and financial repercussions to our Midwestern culture from the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Exploring personal feelings, the effect on local factory orders, a renewal of patriotism and concern for personal safety are just a few of the topics that will be touched on in this one-hour story.



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Another planned documentary is "Inside The Dome, The Story Of Logan County’s Courthouse." It explores the building of the structure and tells its history to present day. It will also explore the basement and take the viewers up inside the huge dome amidst the staging and gangplanks where technicians work to keep the four, 10-foot tall clocks in working order.

Another special program is "Forty Acres and A Mule." This one-hour report will explore the small family farm in Logan County. It will discuss commodity prices, grain production and the struggles smaller farm owners are facing in this day and age of mega-farms.

There are also hopes to embark on an ambitious four-hour mini series: "The History Of Logan County." Using archival photographs, local personalities for voices, it will bring a greater understanding of the heritage of our area.

Shows that found a success and will be carried over:

• Local news — A 15-minute nightly feature.

• "The Fak’s Machine" — A one and a half-hour live call-in show to discuss community issues.

• LCHS sports — Lincoln High School football games, Lincoln High School boys and girls basketball games.

• "Around The Town" — A show that highlights events and milestones in the viewing area.

• "Coaches Corner" — Interviews and discussion with area coaches with different sports backgrounds.

• "The Chamber Report" — Show hosted by the Lincoln/Logan Chamber of Commerce to promote business and tourism events.

• Special events — Includes such programs as live election night coverage, Meet the Candidates, Logan County Fair, Art and Balloon Fest, tribute to the victims of the WTC disaster, the Christmas parade, and many more special events endemic to the viewing area.

• "Home and Garden Show" — An hourly, once-a-month show hosted by a local greenhouse operator with tips as well as advice available for call-ins.

• Religious services — The company currently has three local churches televising services on weekends and has invited all denominations to become involved in this program

• "Community Message Board" — A rotating message system that promotes all charitable and special events in the viewing area.

Programs intended to be developed and air with available funding include:

• "Under 21" — A show completely developed and controlled by the youth of this community under the guidance of school faculty. Promotes an audiovisual curriculum as well as a journalism class to help the community’s youth produce other programs, including coverage of minor sports and academics that currently receive little notoriety.

• Special classes in augmentation with the area colleges, televising classroom courses that are taken at home for residents of any age.

• "Issues in Our Town" — A show that will give a half hour to each side of a key issue facing the community. It was experimented with in a program dealing with a school referendum and allowing all five mayoral candidates in the past election to have an opportunity to convey their message.

• "The Oasis Report" — A monthly program developed by the Lincoln Senior Citizen Center to keep local seniors abreast of news that is important to them.

• "Looking At The News" — A program allowing local newspaper personnel to discuss community stories and how they were covered. The critique will include both newspapers, the general media, as well as the programs on our own Channel 15.

• "The Sports Reporters" — A half-hour, once-a-week show featuring area sports personalities discussing area athletics.

• "The Farm Report" — A half-hour-per-week program hosted by the local Extension service to discuss issues and news important to area farmers.

• "Milestones" — A half-hour, every-other-week show that focuses on major milestones in the lives of viewers and their organizations.

• "The People Speak" — A taped half-hour show for which all viewers are invited to create a five-minute segment on issues they wish to discuss on access television.

There are many more plans on the back burner for other series. The goal of Log-On Productions is to create a morning-to-late-evening television station that will produce and broadcast programs that are of local interest to the Lincoln and Logan County viewing audience.

Log-On is in need of researchers. Volunteers can work from home if they have a computer and Internet connection. Log-On will soon open an office at 5 Arcade, across from Guzzardo’s. They continue to receive mail at:

Log-On Productions Inc.

1102 Keokuk St.

Lincoln, IL 62656

[Jan Youngquist]


Local Internet provider offers
optional filtering services

[DEC. 29, 2001]  To celebrate their fifth year in the Internet business, the folks at CCAonline, the only remaining local Internet provider, will offer two new optional online services for their users to opt into.

“There are three major requests that we receive from users,” says Curt Schleich, chief rechnology officer at CCAonline. “The first request is that we do something about all the unsolicited junk e-mail that people receive from sources, selling everything from financial services to pornography.” These unsolicited e-mail messages are commonly referred to as spam. The second request, according to Schleich, is to do something about all the viruses that are floating around the Internet that come down to innocent users as attachments to e-mail messages. And the third request is to provide filtered, family-friendly Internet browsing that will lessen the threat that children can browse the wrong Internet sites and see content not meant for their eyes.

The two new optional services CCAonline will offer are designed to address all three of these issues. First, users can purchase an e-mail filtering service from CCAonline that is designed to filter out all the virus-laden messages, keeping them from even coming down to the user’s computer. The service, a spam filter, will catch the unsolicited messages before they come to the user’s computer and will quarantine them. The user can go to his own private quarantine web page, view the messages that have been held, delete or read them, select individual settings for automating the processes, and not be bothered with spam messages ever again.


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The second new service that CCAonline offers is designed to filter out the selection of websites that might contain offensive or undesirable content. “Many parents of young children and teen-agers have asked us to help them supervise the content their children can get into on the Internet,” said Jim Youngquist, president of CCAonline. “This new service will help prevent them from purposefully or accidentally viewing harmful content.” The filtered service works by looking ahead for site content, and using reserved keywords, prevents the user from going to restricted sites.

Both Schleich and Youngquist mention that these two services probably will not be perfect. Spammers and those who put up pornography websites are continually trying to “market” their products and will occasionally find ways to evade detection.

Both the e-mail filter and the website browsing filter are optional services. Users who desire these services may contact CCAonline and request them for an additional monthly fee.


Workshop will tell how to research historic properties

[DEC. 20, 2001]  The Lincoln Historic Homes and Buildings Commission met in the office of Mayor Beth Davis on Dec. 17.  The commission finalized plans to host the "Follow the Information Trail" workshop in January 2002.

The workshop is designed to educate participants on information sources available for research of properties in Lincoln.  The workshop will be at the Lincoln Public Library, 725 Pekin St., from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 8 and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 15. It is free and open to the public.

For more information contact Richard Sumrall at (217) 732-8878.

The Chamber Report

Chamber calendar of events for January

All meetings are in the chamber of commerce conference room at 303 S. Kickapoo St. unless noted otherwise.

Thursday, Jan. 3, through Tuesday, Jan. 8 — Chamber Institute

Friday, Jan. 4 — Ambassadors meeting, noon

Thursday, Jan. 10 — Government/Education Committee, 7:30 a.m. at Al’s Main Event

Tuesday, Jan. 15 — Chamber Marketing Committee, 8:30 a.m. at Grapes & Grounds

Wednesday, Jan. 16 — 3rd Wednesday Morning Mixer, 7:30 a.m. at a location to be announced

Thursday, Jan. 17 — Chamber board meeting, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 18 — New members luncheon at the Depot at noon

Monday, Jan. 21 — Martin Luther King Day

Tuesday, Jan. 22 — Tourism board meeting, 5 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 31 — Technology Committee, 8 a.m.; Executive Committee, noon, Blue Dog Inn

Saturday, Feb. 2 — Chamber annual dinner (mark your calendar now!)



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The chamber of commerce is a catalyst for community progress, bringing business and professional people together to work for the common good of Lincoln and Logan County.

Bobbi Abbott, Executive Director

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce

303 S. Kickapoo St.

Lincoln, IL 62656

(217) 735-2385


Honors & Awards

Main Street Corner News

Main Street Lincoln

303 S. Kickapoo

Lincoln, IL 62656

Phone: (217) 732-2929

Fax: (217) 735-9205

E-mail: manager@mainstreetlincoln.com

Job Hunt

Lincolndailynews.com makes it easy to look for a job in the Logan County area.

Employers, you can list available jobs by e-mailing ldn@lincolndailynews.com. Each job listing costs $10 the first week, $20 for eight days to three months. There is a limit of 75 words per announcement.

How much do you want to earn? If you have a proven track record selling high-dollar proprietary equipment to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.; or, if you truly believe you have some innate sales ability; submit your resumé to see if your goal is possible with our company. Sales leads and factory support provided by Condensate Return Specialists, Inc. Fax (217) 735-3102. Visit our website www.steamloc.com.

OFFICE ASSISTANT: Area Manufacturer is growing! Need bright, self-motivated individual for Office Assistant position. Computer knowledge in Microsoft Word & Excel programs a must; attentive to detail mandatory. Competitive wage, based on experience, and benefits package offered. Send resume & information to: ATTN:  PERS1116, P.O. Box 457, Lincoln, IL  62656.

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