Part 2

Experts lend experience and vision to Logan County Regional Planning Commission

[JAN. 29, 2002]  The two men in charge of planning and zoning for Logan County began their jobs on the same day, share an office and have both served on the county board. Phil Mahler works full time as director of the Logan County Regional Planning Commission, while Walter D. "Bud" Miller has a part-time position as zoning enforcement officer. But the two must work together for Mahler to achieve the three goals he has set.

[Click here for Part 1, posted Jan. 28]

Mahler also serves as an ex officio member of the Economic Development Council. He said he works closely with EDC Director Mark Smith, who has experience as zoning officer of DeWitt County. As Mahler defines it, Smith’s job is to attract business to the county; Mahler’s is to have the zoning prepared properly and a plan set for new growth in both business and housing.

[Bud Miller (left) and Phil Mahler;
photo by Lynn Shearer Spellman]

Mahler’s office serves as a collection point for various types of information that citizens and public bodies may need. He receives census information on the county and the country as a whole. He also has maps depicting the 100-year flood plain, the location of former and current mines and the county enterprise zone.

Flood plain information is used in issuing building permits because no permanent structure can be built on the flood plain.


Similarly, anyone obtaining a building permit within the enterprise zone for construction that will create new jobs receives a certificate to avoid sales tax on building materials bought within the zone. In addition, property taxes levied by five bodies are abated for qualifying enterprise zone structures. The five taxing bodies are Lincoln Elementary School District 27, High School District 404, the city of Lincoln, Logan County and the park district. For qualifying structures, property taxes levied by these bodies are abated 100 percent in the first five years and 50 percent in years six to 10.

Locations of the seven former mines are important to people considering buying mine subsidence insurance. As a former insurance agent, Mahler recommends that anyone living in a mined area or within a few blocks of one buy subsidence insurance. He said the vein was generally 5½ feet thick and 280 to 300 feet beneath the surface. Although neither Mahler nor Miller knows of any case of significant mine subsidence in the county, it has occurred in nearby areas and could here.

Mahler’s office also administers CDAP grants. These grants loan $10,000 per employee at 4 percent interest to companies hiring 51 percent or more people of low to moderate income. State monies for the loans come through the city of Lincoln. The regional planning office receives updated figures defining low to moderate income for various size families. At present, the cap is an annual income of $29,700 for a single person or $33,900 for a family of two.



[to top of second column in this article]

Miller is responsible for assigning all 911 addresses in unincorporated areas in the county and in a few incorporated areas as well. The 911 address is issued along with the building permit, and CILCO and GTE will not hook up to a building without one. In the county, street addresses denote east-west roads, avenues are north-south roads, and a few boulevards run diagonally.

Mahler’s and Miller’s desks sit side by side on the second floor of the Logan County Highway Department building at 529 S. McLean. Miller works 9-12 and 1-4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mahler’s hours are 8:30-12 and 1-4:30 daily.

Mahler graduated from Murray State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with minors in physics and military science. He served two years in Germany in the 32nd Army Air Defense Command and 28 years as a district agent for Prudential Insurance. Mahler was elected to the county board in 1994 and served until July 1, 2001, when he resigned to accept his current position. Bob Menzies preceded him as director of the Regional Planning Commission.

Mahler’s wife, Linda, is principal of Carroll Catholic School. They have three daughters: Erica (wife of Brad) Boss, an accountant in Fort Campbell, Ken.; Annie (wife of Bob) Evers, a special education teacher at Lincoln Community High School; and Emily, a sophomore marketing major at Eastern Illinois University.



Miller also officially began work on July 1, 2001, although he had been zoning enforcement officer on a temporary basis since the preceding May. He followed Harold Jouett in the position. Miller is a retired state parole officer. He served as East Lincoln Township supervisor for 18 years and on the county board for almost six.

Miller’s wife is the former Sue Ellen Franklin. His son Mike (husband of Jean Ann) Miller works for Roger Webster Construction, and his daughter Beth (wife of Darwin) Hoffert for Insight Communications. His two stepsons live in Arkansas; Sam Franklin is a buyer for Wal-Mart and D.J. Franklin is a police officer.

[Lynn Shearer Spellman]

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Today’s history

Compiled by Dave Francis

Tuesday, Jan. 29

The 29th day of the year


"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." — Thomas Paine

"For the salvation of his soul the Muslim digs a well. It would be a fine thing if each of us were to leave behind a school, or a well, or something of the sort, so that life would not pass by and retreat into eternity without a trace." — Anton Chekhov

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." — Robert Frost


1737 — Thomas Paine, political essayist ("Common Sense," "The Age of Reason")

1756 — Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, governor of Virginia (R) and general

1843 — William McKinley, Niles, Ohio, (R) 25th president (1897-1901)

1860 — Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Tagarov, Russia, playwright ("The Cherry Orchard")

1874 — John David Rockefeller Jr., Cleveland, Ohio, philanthropist

1880 — W.C. Fields [William Claude Dukenfield], Philadelphia, actor ("The Bank Dick")

1908 — Adam Clayton Powell, representative, D-N.Y. (1945-70)

1954 — Oprah Winfrey, Mississippi, actress and TV host ("The Color Purple," "Oprah")

1960 — Gregory Efthimos Louganis, San Diego, Calif., diver (Olympic gold, 1984, ’88)


[to top of second column in this section]


1613 — Galileo observes Neptune but fails to recognize what he sees

1676 — Fjodor Aleksejevitsj becomes czar of Russia

1696 — Ivan V, co-tsar of Russia (1682-89), dies

1837 — Aleksandr Pushkin, poet and novelist ("The Golden Cockeral"), killed in a duel

1839 — Charles Darwin marries Emma Wedgwood

1845 — Edgar Allen Poe’s "The Raven" first published (New York City)

1919 — Secretary of state proclaims 18th amendment (Prohibition)

1920 — Walt Disney starts first job as an artist: $40 week with KC Slide Co.

1936 — First players elected to Baseball Hall of Fame: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson

1956 — H[enry] L[ouis] Mencken, US essayist and critic ("Smart Set"), dies at 75

1963 — Robert Lee Frost, U.S. poet, (New Hampshire, four Pulitzers), dies at 88


Part 1

Mahler plans to review
county zoning ordinance

[JAN. 28, 2002]  The two men in charge of planning and zoning for Logan County began their jobs on the same day, share an office and have both served on the county board. Phil Mahler works full time as director of the Logan County Regional Planning Commission, while Walter D. "Bud" Miller has a part-time position as zoning enforcement officer. But the two must work together for Mahler to achieve the three goals he has set.

Mahler’s first goal is to clean up the county by removing junk vehicles and mobile homes. Miller is one of several officials charged with enforcing the various nuisance ordinances, which include junk cars. He said he works closely with the Logan County Health Department and county deputies on enforcement.

Mahler’s other two goals both involve zoning. He wants to revisit the country homes issue and to tighten up the way the county zoning ordinance deals with manufactured homes.

Currently, the ordinance allows a one-acre lot to be separated from a farm and rezoned from agricultural to country homes use, provided it has 100 feet of frontage on county, township or state roads. Two recent cases have come before the regional planning commission, the Logan County Zoning Board of Appeals and the Logan County Board, where each case was approved after vigorous discussion.

Perhaps as a result of the two cases, Mahler and Miller said they have recently had a rush of interest in country homes zoning. One day they had so many phone calls they needed to eat out of the office to have an uninterrupted lunch break.

Mahler is forming a committee to review the 31-year-old county zoning ordinance. In effect since Jan. 1, 1971, it has had only "two or three small revisions, nothing real big," according to Miller. Miller sat on the county board when the original zoning ordinance was passed. He was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1969 and served until December 1974, by which time the group had become the county board to comply with the one-man, one-vote ruling. Miller will serve on Mahler’s committee.




[to top of second column in this article]

Other members so far include county engineer Tom Hickman, Director of Economic Development Mark Smith, county board members Dave Hepler and Terry Werth, Health Department director Lloyd Evans and environmental health director Kathy Waldo, Lincoln City Safety Inspector Les Last, Atlanta Mayor Bill Martin, Logan County Farm Bureau board president Kent Paulus, Farm Bureau manager Jim Drew, East Lincoln Township road commissioner Dale Steffens, 30-year planning commission member Delmar Veech, and Henry Spellman, owner of Tremont Park. Mahler invited any county resident interested in joining the committee to phone him at 732-8835 or 737-9765.

Mahler said he hopes to incorporate in county zoning a concept he sees in Lincoln: placing industrial zones behind commercial ones. "It’s dumb to have a housing addition right across the street from industrial," he said. He emphasized, however, that any changes must first pass the committee and then be approved by the county board.

Another issue to be addressed in the zoning review is what the ordinance terms a "mobile home." The more current terms "manufactured home" and "modular home" will need to be defined and their use regulated.

The city of Lincoln’s comprehensive land use plan is quite recent, having been updated in 2000, but Mahler wants to update it again at the next planning commission meeting. Part of his job is to serve as executive secretary of the 17-member commission.

Another part is to be zoning officer for Atlanta and Elkhart. Recently Elkhart Mayor Dayle Eldredge asked him to prepare a fee structure proposal for building permits for large installations. If the current fee of $1 per $1,000 were applied to the planned $140 million Corn Belt Energy plant, the cost would be prohibitive.

(To be continued)

[Lynn Shearer Spellman]

[Click here for Part 2]

Today’s history

Compiled by Dave Francis

Monday, Jan. 28

The 28th day of the year


"Bums are the well-to-do of this day. They didn’t have as far to fall." — Jackson Pollock

"Pastime with good company

I love and shall, until I die.

Grudge who list, but none deny!

So God be pleased, thus live will I."

— Henry VIII


1457 — Henry VII, Pembroke Castle, first Tudor king of England (1485-1509)

1775 — Peter the Great, Russia

1825 — George Edward Pickett, major general (Confederate Army)

1909 — Lionel KP "Buster" Crabb, British diver (World War II, George Medal)

1912 — Jackson Pollock, Cody, Wyo., expressionist painter ("Lavender Mist")

1936 — Alan Alda [Alphonso D’Abruzzo], New York City, actor (Hawkeye Pierce in "M*A*S*H")


?? — Charlemagne, German emperor and Roman emperor (800-814), dies at 71

1099 — First Crusaders begin siege of Hosn-el-Akrad, Syria

1495 — Pope gives his son Cesare Borgia as hostage to Charles VIII of France

1547 — 9-year-old Edward VI succeeds Henry VIII as king of England

1547 — Henry VIII, king of England (1509-47), dies at 55

[to top of second column in this section]

1595 — Francis Drake, English pirate (Porto Bello, West Indies), dies at 50

1725 — Peter I "the Great" Romanov, czar of Russia, dies at 52

1807 — London’s Pall Mall is first street lit by gaslight

1829 — William Burke, murderer and body snatcher, executed in Edinburgh

1858 — John Brown organized raid on Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry

1878 — Yale Daily News published; first college daily newspaper

1939 — William Butler Yeats, Irish poet (Nobel), dies in France at 73

1980 — Jimmy Durante, New York City, comedian ("Jimmy Durante Show"), dies at 86

1986 — Christa McAuliffe, astronaut, dies in Challenger disaster

1986 — Ellison S. Onizuka, Hawaii, USAF, Mir astronaut, dies in Challenger disaster

1986 — Francis R. Scobee, Washington, USAF, astronaut, dies in Challenger disaster

1986 — Judith Arlene Resnik, Akron, Ohio, astronaut, dies in Challenger disaster

1986 — Michael J. Smith, Beaufort, N.C., USN commander, astronaut, dies in Challenger disaster

1986 — Ronald E. McNair, Lake City, S.C., astronaut, dies in Challenger disaster

Gov. Ryan returns to Cuba
on humanitarian mission

Leads pharmaceutical firms for potential humanitarian medical trade

[JAN. 26, 2002]  HAVANA, Cuba — Gov. George Ryan arrived in Havana, Cuba, on Thursday to meet with Illinois pharmaceutical firms willing to sell medicines and medical supplies that are badly needed in the wake of last November’s hurricane.

"By reaching out to our neighbors, we are further extending a bridge of understanding and goodwill," said Gov. Ryan. "We’re exploring a market for Illinois businesses and farmers with a neighbor, just 90 miles from U.S. shores. The people of Illinois are ready, willing and able to provide help to the people of Cuba in their time of need."

The governor and Mrs. Ryan were greeted at the Havana airport by Cuban officials. Later, the governor and representatives from the Illinois businesses met with officials from the Cuban Ministries of Public Health and Foreign Affairs and MediCuba, the purchasing arm of the Ministry of Public Health.

"In the two years since I first brought a delegation of Illinois government and business leaders here, we have worked together to solve problems that face all of us and have established strong relationships that I know will endure for years to come. And just as we have made headway in the sale of food products to Cuba, now we must make the same headway in the humanitarian sale of other products," Gov. Ryan said.

The firms meeting with the governor and Cuban officials included Ferris Manufacturing, of Burr Ridge; Medline, Mundelein; DMS Pharmaceutical, Park Ridge; JLR International, Chicago; and 21st Century Healthcare, Woodridge.

The Illinois Trade Office contacted the state’s pharmaceutical firms last month, after the Cuban Interest Section in Washington asked for assistance. The request was in response to depleted medical supplies due to the devastating hurricane.


[to top of second column in this article]

While in Cuba, Gov. Ryan was to address the International Congress on Diagnostic Imaging on Friday at the invitation of Dr. Robert Brossard, chair of medical imaging at the Methodist Hospital of Chicago and a participant in the congress.

Also on Friday, the governor expected to tour the National Oncology and Radiology Institute and present donations from the Illinois companies to the Cuban people. Mrs. Ryan planned to present teddy bears to the children in the hospital wards. The donations include medical supplies sought after by the Cuban government such as blood pressure kits, surgical instruments, wound dressings, thermometers and stethoscopes.

Gov. Ryan and the Illinois business delegation traveled to Cuba under the humanitarian license of the New York-based organization "Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba." The group is scheduled to return on Saturday, Jan. 26.

In December, Gov. Ryan joined agribusiness firm Archer Daniels Midland in sending the first grain shipment to Cuba since 1962. That shipment was also a response to Cuba’s needs after Hurricane Michelle.

In October of 1999, Gov. Ryan was the first U.S. governor to lead a humanitarian mission to Cuba in nearly 40 years. The trip was an effort to build a bridge of good will with the people of Cuba and to offer humanitarian aid and cultural exchanges.

Since 1962, the U.S. government has had an economic embargo against Cuba under the regime of Fidel Castro. The sale of American medicines to Cuba was always exempted. In 2000, President Clinton signed into law a congressional package that allowed for cash transactions for U.S. agricultural products.

[News release]

Today’s history

Compiled by Dave Francis

Saturday, Jan. 26

The 26th day of the year


"They died hard, those savage men — like wounded wolves at bay. They were filthy, and they were lousy, and they stunk. And I loved them." — Douglas MacArthur

"You can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time." — Abraham Lincoln


1715 — Claude Helvetius, Paris, France, philosopher

1786 — Benjamin Robert Haydon, Plymouth, painter ("Waiting for The Times")

1819 — Abner Doubleday, Union major general and inventor (baseball) [or June 26]

1880 — Douglas MacArthur, Little Rock, Ark., general (World War II)

1925 — Paul Newman, Cleve, racer, popcorn mogul, actor ("Hud," "Hombre," "The Hustler")

1933 — Angela Davis, black revolutionary

1935 — Bob Uecker, Milwaukee, Wis., catcher and actor ("Mr. Belvedere")

1961 — Wayne Gretzky, Brantford, Ontario, NHL great scorer


1784 — Ben Franklin expresses unhappiness over eagle as America’s symbol

1795 — Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, composer, dies at 62

1837 — Michigan admitted as 26th U.S. state

1838 — Tennessee becomes first state to prohibit alcohol

1862 — Lincoln issues General War Order 1, calling for a Union offensive; McClellan ignores order

1893 — Abner Doubleday, credited with inventing baseball, dies on 74th birthday

1913 — Jim Thorpe relinquishes his 1912 Olympic medals for being a professional.

1940 — Nazis forbid Polish Jews to travel on trains

1942 — First U.S. forces in Europe during World War II go ashore in Northern Ireland

1942 — Italian supreme command demands dismissal of German marshal Rommel

1945 — Soviet forces reach Auschwitz concentration camp

1954 — Ground breaking begins on Disneyland

1962 — Charles "Lucky" Luciano, New York City Mafia gangster, dies at 65

1973 — Edward G. Robinson [Goldenberg], actor ("Little Caesar"), dies at 79

1983 — Paul "Bear" Bryant, college football coach (Alabama), dies at 69



[to top of second column in this section]

Sunday, Jan. 27

The 27th day of the year


"A politician will do anything to keep his job — even become a patriot." — William Randolph Hearst

"Abandon all hope, you who enter here!" — Dante Aligheri


1756 — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austria, musical prodigy and composer

1832 — Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], author ("Alice in Wonderland")

1834 — Dmitri Mendeleev, chemist (invented periodic table of the elements)

1850 — Samuel Gompers, Dutch-American, first president of American Federation of Labor

1900 — Hyman G. Rickover, U.S. admiral (father of modern nuclear navy)

1901 — Art Rooney, NFL team owner (Pittsburgh Steelers)

1908 — William Randolph Hearst Jr., newspaper publisher (Hearst Publishing)

1948 — Mikhail Baryshnikov, Riga, Latvia, ballet dancer ("That’s Dancing")


1302 — Dante becomes a Florentine political exile

1671 — Pirate Henry Morgen lands at Panama City

1710 — Czar Peter the Great sets first Russian state budget

1851 — John James Audubon, conservationist (Audubon Society), dies at 65

1901 — Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer ("Rigoletto," "La Traviata," "Aida"), dies at 87

1918 — "Tarzan of the Apes," first Tarzan film, premieres at Broadway Theater

1924 — Lenin placed in mausoleum in Red Square

1926 — First public demonstration of television

1927 — Harlem Globetrotters play their first game

1944 — Leningrad liberated from Germany in 880 days with 600,000 killed

1967 — Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, astronaut, dies at 40 in Apollo I fire

1969 — 14 spies hung in Baghdad

1969 — Nine Jews publicly executed in Damascus, Syria

1973 — UCLA’s basketball team wins 61st consecutive game (NCAA record)

1973 — United States and Vietnam sign cease-fire, ending longest U.S. war and military draft

1986 — L. Ron Hubbard, novelist and founder of Church of Scientology, dies at 74

1993 — Andre "the Giant" Roussimoff, WWF wrestler, dies of heart attack at 49

Afternoon assailant shocks Lincoln

[JAN. 25, 2002]  Lincoln City Police are investigating a midafternoon shooting. Roy Malone, 38, of 703 N. Madison was doing laundry at the rear of his residence when he heard a knock at his back door. Malone opened his door and a man described as a tall white male wearing a black winter coat with fur around the hood aimed a small caliber handgun at him. Malone attempted to flee back into the house and turned to avoid the shooting when the man shot him in the abdomen. The assailant then fled. Malone immediately called 911 from inside his house at 3:31 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24.

Malone was taken to ALMH and transferred to Memorial in Springfield, where he is listed in good condition. Lincoln police provided an officer on guard to protect him.

Detective Michael Harberts is handling the investigation. Harberts had this to say this morning: "The investigation has revealed that we do not feel that there is a random shooter knocking on doors shooting people. We believe that the assailant knew the victim. We have no evidence that the victim knows the assailant. We have evidence that the assailant knew the victim."

In particular, Detective Harberts wishes to emphasize to the community, "The people in Lincoln should not be unduly alarmed that there is a mad shooter knocking on doors. That’s not happening!"

[Jan Youngquist]

Two local businesses
get bad report cards

Discipline measures enforced

[JAN. 25, 2002]  Two local restaurants will receive license suspensions from the Logan County Board of Health. Both suspensions are related to routine inspection evaluations performed by the Logan County Health Department. Neither is seen as an issue of immediate jeopardy to health. It is because they have failed to make corrections — in inspection jargon, "serious repeated violations" — that the suspensions have been called for.

Al’s Main Event and Daphne’s Family Restaurant were asked to write up their own plans of correction and submit them by the end of the day Thursday. The suspensions will begin with acceptance of those plans.

Health Department Administrator Lloyd Evans is quick to say, "We don’t want to cause damage to these businesses." Evans sees it as unfortunate that they did not make the needed corrections sooner. He said that if they had, the health board would not have to issue the suspensions.


[to top of second column in this article]

However, this action now requires that they each submit a plan of correction, and "once their plans are approved they will be ordered to close until they have successfully completed all of the items on their plan of correction, including the mandatory training/education." The training will need to be done during normal business hours. This will cause both businesses to be closed for some hours or days. How long will be determined after the plans of correction are received, approved and scheduled.

Evans says he hopes this will send a message to other businesses to work more seriously on correcting their marked violations in order that they might avoid further action.

[Jan Youngquist]

Today’s history

Compiled by Dave Francis

Friday, Jan. 25

The 25th day of the year


"When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character." — W. Somerset Maugham


1693 — Anna Ivanova Romanova, daughter of Ivan V and empress of Russia (1730-40)

1741 — Benedict Arnold, general and traitor (U.S. revolution)

1874 — [William] Somerset Maugham, Paris, novelist and poet ("Of Human Bondage")

1882 — Virginia [Adeline] Woolf, London, author ("Jacob’s Room," "To the Lighthouse")

1928 — Eduard Shevardnadze, Soviet Georgia, foreign minister of U.S.S.R. (1985-’91)

1933 — Corazon Aquino, president of Philippines (1986-’92)

1941 — Elzie "Buddy" Baker, race-car driver

1962 — Chris Chelios, Chicago, NHL defenseman (Chicago Blackhawks, Team USA)


1327 — King Edward III accedes to British throne

1533 — England’s King Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn

1721 — Czar Peter the Great ends Russian-orthodox patriarchy

1802 — Napoleon elected president of Italian (Cisalpine) Republic

1851 — Sojourner Truth addresses first Black Women’s Rights Convention



[to top of second column in this section]

1858 — Mendelssohn’s "Wedding March" first played, at wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Victoria to crown prince of Prussia

1890 — Nellie Bly beats Phileas Fogg’s time around world by eight days (72 days)

1890 — United Mine Workers of America forms

1915 — Alexander Graham Bell in New York calls Thomas Watson in San Francisco

1918 — Russia declared a republic of Soviets

1947 — Al Capone, Chicago gangster, dies of syphilis at 48

1949 — First Israeli election; Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party wins

1951 — United Nations begins counteroffensive in Korea

1961 — First live, nationally televised presidential news conference (JFK)

1971 — Charles Manson and three women followers convicted of Tate-LaBianca murders

1971 — Military coup in Uganda under Gen. Idi Amin Dada

1981 — 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived back in United States

1981 — Mao’s widow Jiang Qing sentenced to death

1990 — Ava Gardner, actress ("The Barefoot Contessa"), dies of pneumonia at 67

1991 — Brett Hull is third NHL’er to score 50 goals in fewer than 50 games (49)

Corn Belt Energy moves

[JAN. 24, 2002]  Corn Belt Energy is in its new facility, with unopened boxes in offices and cornfields to view all around. The headquarters operation of the cooperative, which provides electricity, propane and natural gas to members within an 18-county service territory, moved to the Downs Crossing subdivision in the village of Downs as of Jan. 21. This is the fourth move the cooperative has made in its 63-year history. 

The new 43,000-square-foot facility is located on approximately 12 acres at the intersection of Route 150 and Towanda Barnes Road. Approximately 65 employees staff the new headquarters building.

Corn Belt Energy Corporation agreed to sell its Morrissey Drive land and buildings in Bloomington to the Snyder Corporation for expansion of their Radisson Conference Center and Brickyard Apartments.

Phone and fax numbers and the mailing address remain the same.

Corn Belt Energy Corporation CEO Jeffrey D. Reeves said, "We are very excited to move into our new facility. This location will enable our crews to be more efficient and productive."'

Special opening ceremonies and events will be on April 6, when the cooperative has the 64th annual meeting of its membership.

Corn Belt’s history

On Sept. 12, 1938, the McLean County Farm Bureau board of directors approved a Rural Electrification Administration project to bring electricity to the farmers of the area. Following numerous meetings to formulate the cooperative structure, acquire right of way, hire staff and secure a $1,164,000 REA loan to build 1,146 miles of distribution line, employees of the new Corn Belt Electric Cooperative placed the first pole on April 10, 1939, and strung the first wire on May 4.

By August of that year, the first 100 miles of line were energized northwest of Kappa, and 200 farms were electrified in McLean and Woodford counties.

As the cooperative grew, it became a key part of the Bloomington business community. The office was first at 508 N. Main St., then shifted to the old Farm Bureau Building at 1019 W. Monroe. In 1943, the co-op offices moved to 315 E. Front St. The 100-foot-tall wooden pole used to support the radio antennae is present to this day.




[to top of second column in this article]

In 1954 Corn Belt Electric moved to 1502 Morrissey Drive, where office, administration and support facilities were located until the recent move. The building of the new facility was precipitated by the Radisson Hotel purchase of the Morrissey Drive property for expansion purposes. The new headquarters at Downs Crossing is approximately 5 miles southeast of Bloomington.

Since 1938, Corn Belt has grown to provide energy products to more than 26,000 members throughout 18 central Illinois counties, using nearly 5,000 miles of line and 87 employees.

A major event in the cooperative’s history occurred Jan. 1, 1999, when Corn Belt Electric Cooperative (serving 10 counties) merged with Illinois Valley Electric Cooperative of Princeton (serving eight counties). The merger created a new organization known as Corn Belt Energy Corporation

During its 63-year history, Corn Belt’s membership base has changed dramatically from primarily farmers to an ever-increasing number of urban, suburban and commercial accounts. The cooperative retains its rural farm heritage but serves many of the new residential subdivisions and commercial zones in Bloomington-Normal as well as in other communities.

Corn Belt Energy has been a member of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce for over 60 years and is also a member of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Corn Belt Energy has been a member of Touchstone Energy®, a national branding effort, since its inception in 1998. More than 600 of the nation’s 1,000 electric cooperatives belong to Touchstone Energy®.

The cooperative is governed by 15 directors who are residential members of Corn Belt Energy.

Dave Hawkinson, a former executive director of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce, is director of marketing and public affairs.

[Corn Belt Energy news release]

Today’s history

Compiled by Dave Francis

Thursday, Jan. 24

The 24th day of the year


"Religion is the idol of the mob; it adores everything it does not understand." — Frederick the Great.

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." — Winston Churchill


1712 — Frederick II, (the Great), king of Prussia (1740-86)

1732 — Pierre de Baumarchais, France, playwright ("The Barber of Seville")

1888 — Ernst Heinrich Heinkel, German inventor (first rocket-powered aircraft)

1891 — Max Ernst, German-French surrealist painter and sculptor

1891 — Walter Model, German field marshal

1915 — Ernest Borgnine, Hamden, Conn., actor ("Ice Station Zebra," "McHale’s Navy," "Marty")

1918 — Oral Roberts, televangelist; needs $8,000,000 (Oral Roberts College)

1941 — Neil Diamond, Brooklyn, N.Y., singer and actor ("The Jazz Singer")

1943 — Sharon Tate, Dallas, Texas, actress ("Valley of the Dolls")

1949 — John Belushi, Chicago, comedian and actor ("Saturday Night Live," "Blues Brothers")

1968 — Mary Lou Retton, Fairmont, W.Va., gymnast (Olympics; gold, two silver, two bronze in 1984)


[to top of second column in this section]


?? — Caligula [G.C. Germanicus], Roman emperor (37-41), assassinated at 28

1076 — Synod of Worms: German King Henry IV fires Pope Gregory VII

1568 — In Netherlands, Duke of Alva declares William of Orange an outlaw

1679 — King Charles II disbands English Parliament

1722 — Czar Peter the Great begins civil system

1848 — James Marshall finds gold in Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, Calif.

1901 — First games played in baseball’s American League

1922 — Eskimo Pie patented by Christian K. Nelson of Iowa (not an Eskimo)

1924 — Russian city of St. Petersburg renamed Leningrad

1935 — First canned beer, "Krueger Cream Ale," is sold by Kruger Brewing Co.

1965 — Winston Churchill, prime minister of Britain (C) (1940-45, ’51-’55), dies at 90

1975 — Larry Fine, actor ("Three Stooges"), dies at 72

1988 — Charles Glenn King, biochemist (discovered vitamin C), dies at 91

1989 — Ted Bundy, serial killer of up to 100 women, executed in Florida at 42

1993 — Thurgood Marshall, first black Supreme Court justice (1967-91), dies at 84

Council continues financial support
for Main Street Lincoln

[JAN. 23, 2002]  With one no vote, the Lincoln City Council voted Tuesday to continue its financial support of $1,250 per month for Main Street Lincoln, even though the organization is currently without a director.

The only opposition came from Alderman Joe Stone, who said he believed the funds budgeted for Main Street were exclusively for administrative salaries. Wendy Bell, former director of Main Street Lincoln and its only employee, resigned as of Jan. 1 to take a position with the state of Illinois Main Street program.

Jan Schumacher, president of the organization’s board, came before the council last week to ask that it continue some financial help until the organization is able to hire another full-time director. She said the organization needs to hire a part-time office worker until a new director is in place and also still has rent and other expenses to pay. She also said Main Street hopes to have the new director sometime in March.

Schumacher was advised to bring a list of expenses to the council, and at Tuesday’s board meeting she distributed a document showing expenses of $65 a week for a clerical worker, $750 for newspaper advertisements for a new director, $250 monthly rent, and copying and postage expenses of $100 a month.

Alderman Steve Fuhrer spoke in favor of continuing the financial support. "I have a problem thinking of this as just an administrative salary for Wendy," he said. "I thought we were giving money to Main Street for the Main Street program. I think we need to keep helping them out. They’ve done a lot for this community."

Alderman Glenn Shelton also spoke up in support. "I don’t want to see $1,250 a month create a division between Main Street and the city. We’ve already budgeted the money. They have done a great job." The city has $15,000 in the budget this year for Main Street Lincoln, to be paid in monthly installments.

Alderman Michael Montcalm moved that the council make the $1,250 February payment and the vote was taken. Voting in favor were Montcalm, Shelton, David Armbrust, Fuhrer, Benny Huskins, Verl Prather and Bill Melton. Pat Madigan was absent, and George Mitchell was serving as mayor pro tem in Beth Davis’ absence.

Another motion, this one to buy a new squad car for the Police Department, also passed with one no vote. Police Chief Rich Montcalm asked last week that the council purchase a second new vehicle this year, to replace one that was totaled in an accident, even though there is not enough money budgeted for a new vehicle.

Cost of the new squad car will be about $23,000, and $7,000 of that will have to come from the appropriations item in the budget.


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Verl Prather, head of the police committee, moved to go ahead with the purchase, but Fuhrer objected.

"In the crunch we have this year, we should try to keep within the budget," he said. He suggested that the Police Department "count the car we already bought to replace the wrecked vehicle" as this year’s new squad car and save the $15,973 in the budget for next year’s new squad car.

Prather reminded him that at one time the Police Department replaced two cars per year, but in the past few years has replaced only one car because of a tighter budget.

"If we don’t replace them, we get shoddy vehicles," he said.

Fuhrer’s was the only no vote on this issue.

Still another single no vote came on adoption of a policy for drug and alcohol abuse testing for employees driving street department vehicles. The issue in dispute is a "zero tolerance" policy that calls for an employee to be fired if he or she tests positive for drug or alcohol abuse. Bill Melton, head of the street department, had lobbied for a less restrictive policy under which a first-time offender could keep the job by enrolling in a rehabilitation program.

Melton said he would vote yes because he knew the department was late in putting such a policy in place. Though Melton voted yes, Prather cast a no vote.

In other business, the council agreed to table a discussion of the city’s participation in the Route 66 Association’s activities on June 15 and 16 until Mayor Davis returns.

The council also agreed to sign a letter to be sent to Gov. George Ryan, asking that the governor consider helping the city fund its $10 million sewer plant upgrade with an Illinois FIRST grant. According to the letter, the cost of the upgrade will bring users a 49.3 percent increase, which will be put into place in two steps. The first increase went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, and the second will be put in place when the work on the plant is completed.

"This is a heavy burden on our citizens," the letter reads. It also noted that the city has "deep concern about the possible downsizing or closing of Lincoln Developmental Center," which is also a user of the sewage treatment plant.

[Joan Crabb]

Mayor Davis recovering well from surgery

[JAN. 23, 2002]  Lincoln Mayor Elizabeth Davis is recovering well from gall bladder surgery and is expected be home today, Jan. 23, according to Deputy City Clerk Melanie Riggs. The surgery was done at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

[Joan Crabb]

Today’s history

Compiled by Dave Francis

Wednesday, Jan. 23

The 23rd day of the year


"There are two levers for moving men — interest and fear." — Napoleon Bonaparte

"Wars have never hurt anybody except the people who die." — Salvador Dali


1582 — John Barclay, Scottish satirist and Latin poet ("Argenis")

1730 — Joseph Hewes, U.S. merchant (Declaration of Independence signer)

1898 — Randolph Scott, actor ("The Last of the Mohicans," "Western Union")

1898 — Sergei Eisenstein, Russia, director ("Battleship Potemkin") [NS]

1914 — Napoleon L. Bonaparte, French pretender to the throne

1963 — Hakeem Olajuwon, NBA center (Houston Rockets)


?? — Start of Islamic calendar

1556 — Most deadly earthquake kills 830,000 in Shensi Province, China



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1789 — Georgetown, first U.S. Catholic college, founded

1800 — Edward Rutledge, U.S. attorney (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at 50

1812 — 7.8 earthquake shakes New Madrid, Mo.

1813 — George Clymer, U.S. merchant (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at 73

1864 — Michele Puccini, composer, dies at 50

1962 — Bob Feller and Jackie Robinson elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

1962 — British spy Kim Philby defects to U.S.S.R.

1968 — Spy ship USS Pueblo and 83-man crew seized in Sea of Japan by North Korea

1973 — President Nixon announces an accord has been reached to end Vietnam War

1977 — Bernard "Toots" Shor, barkeeper, dies at 73

1989 — Salvador Dali, surrealist painter, dies in Spain at 84

Military addresses sought

It is a year like no other. Since Sept. 11 we are a changed nation. Individually, our daily sensitivity toward whom and what we have in our lives has been heightened. We are more conscious and appreciative, first about those we love and see everyday. Next, we have a newfound appreciation for those who risk their lives every day as rescue workers and protectors of life and property in our communities. We also now think more about our military men and women who are committed to serve and protect our country. Many are away engaged in battle, some are in waiting to go, all are ready to lay their lives on the line in defense of our freedom.

Lincoln Daily News is seeking the names and addresses, including e-mail addresses, of friends and relatives who are serving in the armed forces. They need not be from here in Logan County. If you know someone serving, please send the information to A complete list will be made available and kept updated through the site so we might all hold them in our thoughts, prayers and well wishes.

[Click here for names available now.]

Name of person in military:

Branch of service:

Current location of service:

Postal address:

E-mail address:

Relationship to LDN reader sending information (optional):


Are we prepared for terrorism
in Logan County?

It’s on the radio, TV, in all the media. You hear it in the office, on the street and maybe at home — threats of terrorism. America is on high alert. Here in central Illinois, away from any supposed practical target areas, perhaps we feel a little less threatened, but we are still concerned. So how concerned should we be, and how prepared are we for the types of situations that could occur?

Whether the threat is domestic or foreign, violent, biological or chemical, our public health and rescue agencies have been preparing to respond to the situations. Lincoln Daily News has been at meetings where all the agencies gather together as the Logan County Emergency Planning Committee to strategize for just such a time. Our reports have not even provided every detail that every agency has reported; i.e., a number of representatives from differing agencies such as the health and fire departments, CILCO and ESDA went to a bioterrorism and hazmat (hazardous materials) seminar this past August.

Here are some of the articles that LDN has posted pre- and post-Tuesday, Sept. 11. Hopefully you will see in them that WE ARE WELL PREPARED. At least as much as any area can be. Every agency has been planning, training, submitting for grants to buy equipment long before Sept. 11. We can be thankful for all of the dedicated, insightful leaders we have in this community.


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America strikes back

As promised, the United States led an attack on Afghanistan. The attack began Sunday, Oct. 7. 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

Other countries









Saudi Arabia 


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United States


New York

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

Washington, D.C.


More newspaper links 


Voter registration for disabled

March 19 general primary election notice to the elderly and people with disabilities

[JAN. 15, 2002]  Citizens who are not registered to vote and cannot leave their home, hospital, nursing home or other institution because of a permanent physical disability can arrange for voter registration by contacting a deputy registrar or the county clerk’s office.

Voter registration will close on Feb. 19 for the March 19 general primary election.

If you are physically able, you may register to vote by going to the county clerk’s office, Room 20 in the Logan County Courthouse, 601 Broadway in Lincoln. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will need to show two forms of identification, one with your current address on it.

For people with physical disabilities and the elderly, election judges will be available at the polling place on election day to assist voters when a friend or relative is unable to help. Handicapped-voter booths will be available for your convenience. Physically impaired or elderly persons may be eligible to vote absentee. Please contact the Logan County clerk’s office for information.

For any information concerning voter registration or voting for the elderly or disabled, please call the Logan County clerk’s office at (217) 732-4148.

[Sally J. Litterly, Logan County clerk]

Time to register to vote

[JAN. 3, 2002]  Are you registered to vote?

The March 19 primary is rapidly approaching. The close of registration is Feb. 19. If you have moved, or if you have married and changed your name, it is necessary that you change your voter registration with our office in order to cast your vote in the election.

If you have questions about your voting eligibility, please contact our office at (217) 732-4148.

[Sally J. Litterly, Logan County clerk]

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