Tuesday, Dec. 31


Snow and freezing rain potential increases
for Wednesday night and Thursday

(Posted Tuesday afternoon)

[DEC. 31, 2002]  A storm system currently over the central Rockies is expected to take shape across the southern Plains late Wednesday and push toward the Midwest Wednesday night and Thursday. The forecast is for snow, sleet and freezing rain to break out to the east of the storm Wednesday night, shift into Illinois overnight Wednesday and continue into Thursday. Current indications suggest the potential for a heavy snow band to form across parts of north central Missouri and track into central Illinois by Thursday morning. In addition, sleet and freezing rain will be possible over east central and southeastern Illinois during the same time frame. This will create hazardous driving conditions.

There is a winter storm watch late Wednesday night and Thursday for Lincoln and Logan County. The winter storm watch also covers Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fulton, Jasper, Knox, Lawrence, Macon, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Peoria, Piatt, Richland, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Tazewell, Vermilion and Woodford counties, including the cities of Beardstown, Bloomington, Canton, Champaign, Charleston, Clinton, Danville, Decatur, Effingham, Eureka, Flora, Galesburg, Havana, Jacksonville, Lacon, Lawrenceville, Lewistown, Marshall, Mason City, Mattoon, Monticello, Newton, Olney, Paris, Pekin, Peoria, Rantoul, Robinson, Rushville, Shelbyville, Springfield, Sullivan, Taylorville, Toledo, Tuscola, Virginia and Winchester.


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A significant winter storm will move out of the southern Plains late Wednesday night into Thursday and produce a band of snow, sleet and freezing rain over parts of central Illinois. Most of the precipitation should hold off until late Wednesday night, with the threat for any heavy accumulations of snow or ice during the day Thursday.

A winter storm watch is issued when severe winter weather is possible but not imminent. At the time there is a potential for significant snow and ice accumulations. Future driving and walking conditions may become hazardous, so it is important to monitor the latest forecasts.

[Weather alert issued 4 p.m. Tuesday]

An inspiration

[DEC. 31, 2002]  Fact: We're entering a new year. We all know what that means. It's time to evaluate our lives. Time reflect on what we have done and what we still want to do. The following story is of someone who has never stopped working toward her dream. She gets a little closer every day.

Hopefully Liz Skelton's determination will influence you. The Lincoln native is a classic example of the famous saying, "What the mind of man can perceive, he can achieve."

October 2002

The voice on the other end of the phone is chipper, sweet and thoughtful. When asked if she might be able to take time from her busy college schedule for an interview, she doesn't hesitate to say yes, she can do that. Six days later the 21-year-old Eureka College coed sits on her bed like a normal college student telling her story. Despite all outward appearances Skelton is not your typical college student.

[Photos by Jan Youngquist]
[Liz Skelton in her dorm room]

When it first began

How many 5-year-olds do you know who say what they are going to do as an adult and are still committed to doing that thing as they enter young adulthood? Unless they grew up in a family of strong vocational tradition like farming or doctoring, it is not the typical outcome. Liz Skelton was only 5 when she announced before her entire family, including her grandparents, that she was going to be a teacher.

The first setback

However, not long after first grade began she was identified as EMH, educably mentally handicapped. Testing revealed that she read backward and she was weak in mathematics.

She entered the School District 27 specialized program that offered an individualized plan that would help her through grade and junior high school. During those years she kept up with her class.

Skelton praises all her teachers from grade and junior high schools. She was in Washington Monroe for first grade. She recalls Mrs. (Jan) Davis from Adams for second and third grades. "Loved her, she's an awesome person," Skelton said. And at Central she had Mrs. (Charlise) Leesman for fourth through sixth grades. The teachers collaborated on her progression.

Skelton credits another teacher who stood out with the inspiration she carries today. At Lincoln Junior High she met Mrs. (Melinda) Mayfield. "She brightens up a room when she walks in. Radiance comes from her," Skelton says, "Mrs. Mayfield told me to go for what I wanted. I have always remembered that."

Mayfield responded, "You don't know the little things that you do that can influence another person's life. It's neat but scary."


Liz stood out in her memory as well. "She was a fun student to have, an encouragement to me and her peers," Mayfield said. "One day she came to school with an outfit like mine and said, ‘Mrs. Mayfield, like my outfit?' and we laughed."

Mayfield continued, "She is the type of person that if you said she couldn't do it, she'd prove you wrong." It fit a poster Mayfield remembers having up on the wall.

Your I will

is more important

than your IQ

"Liz appears vulnerable, gullible and easygoing. You might think you could pull something over on her. But there is a lot of depth there," she said.

Mayfield says that when she looks at a special education student, she looks at what they are good at. "If I'm not good at mathematics, why would I go into math? To some degree we all have disabilities," she says.

She cited as an example, "I know a man who is head of a corporation who cannot read. He knows how to put people in his life to deal with it. We just have to learn to get around our disabilities."


Her foundational strength

Skelton says of herself, "I do what I can set my mind to. I have my father's will, which is, ‘Go for it. Don't give up on it, whatever that is.'"

She said that one summer when her father was putting up a dog pen. He was having a lot of trouble with it. He wanted to give up. But he didn't.

She and her father talked about her determination and using the dog pen experience as an example. She remembers telling him, "I learned from the best."

Little did she know then how important her tenacity to see a thing through would be in her future.

High school

It was a downfall from her goals when Skelton reached high school. She was set up with an individualized education plan, an IEPA, her freshman year in high school that did not fit her intentions. The LCHS special education coordinator, Mr. Ross, placed her in life skills courses rather than college prep classes. He made the recommendations based on her testing, academic history and what he thought best for her. She took classes such as food and nutrition and child development rather than economics.

Skelton said that during a first-semester meeting with her and her mom, Ross told them that said she wouldn't get through high school. Her mother let him know that her daughter had been planning to go to college since the age of 5.

While Skelton graduated with her high school class, she didn't go on to college the very next fall. She missed the college registration date by a few days and took the semester off.

Life blows

When Skelton's mother was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease she was given six months to live. Skelton was so devastated she stopped going to church. It's now been 3½ years, her mother is still alive, and Skelton just went back to church.


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She sadly remembers the day late in fall following her graduation. She was with her brother at a madrigal dinner practice. She strongly sensed it as the ambulance and rescue vehicles went flying by, sirens screaming. They were going for her father. He had had an epileptic seizure while driving. Her grandmother was a passenger in the truck. Both were gone forever that day.

Moving on to the big test

The next January Skelton began the ultimate test of her dream. With a 13 on her ACT exam she entered Lincoln College as a full-time student. She was earnestly striving to get on track again.

The LC tutors assisted her just as teachers had in the grade and junior high schools. Of Mr. Bob Turley, mathematics teacher and tutor, Skelton says, "[He was] God-sent." She gives high praises to Mr. (Lyle) Read and Mrs. (Marjorie) Hamilton and Mrs. (Jean) Hall. Of the latter she says, "I really miss her when I go to write papers."

Hamilton said that Skelton was a delight to work with. "Elizabeth impressed me with her optimism. She's such a happy person. She loved school and worked hard," she said. She even began helping another student in the tutoring center who needed help.

Hamilton said, "Her personality is so well suited to working with children." She will make a great teacher.


More than academics

While at Lincoln College Skelton worked on the student senate-sponsored winter semiformal. She was an active member of the LC Choir under Bill Buffington and took voice lessons with Linda Buffington.

The choir had fall, winter and spring performances that required lots of practice and memorization. Mr. Buffington said she was a delightful, diligent and congenial worker.

Mrs. Buffington commented that, unlike her other students, Skelton had had very little training when she came in. But she improved dramatically. While she "started with three strikes against her," Buffington says, "any university or college would be glad to get her now."

She was easy to work with and eager to please, Buffington said. "I could have her do something, she'd try it, find it worked and stuck to it," she said. She was first to memorize the new songs each semester. "If praised she tried all the harder."

"She showed stick-to-it courage even though she was so scared she was moved to tears," Buffington said. It was during one such performance that the fullness of her talent came to light. During a solo of the piece "Think of Me," the instrumental tape cut out. Liz went on "and finished perfectly on pitch." Buffington said. "She won a respect from other music students."

Buffington said Skelton was a lovable and delightful student. She'd say to me, "Oh, Miss B, thank you for believing in me."

Mr. and Mrs. Miley both had Skelton in art classes. Karen Miley said she remembers Skelton as a hard worker who put in a lot of time, stuck with it and produced a lot of paintings. It was in her 3-D acrylic class that Skelton created the impressionist piece with ladder-back chairs surrounded by flowers.


[Skelton's beautiful painting hangs in her room.]

If you lay the painting down the chairs actually appear to stand out from the canvas.

In the spring of 2002 Skelton graduated from Lincoln College with her first college degree. Skelton's college life at Lincoln was rich and full of accomplishments.

Continuing her quest

Skelton chose Eureka College to continue her schooling as an education major. Life at Eureka is no less filled with activities. She has continued with her music and is busy with CAB, the campus activities board. She's also taking yearbook pictures, has pledged a singing fraternity and studies are going well.

She loves going weekly to Davenport Grade School to do clinical teaching with first graders. She works with them on their reading and writing.

Working by a plan

Skelton plans to get her bachelor of science degree and then go to work. She plans to go on to ISU to do master's work, and then she intends to get her teaching certificate in special education.


Work is not all there is in life

While at Lincoln College Skelton met her fiancé, Eric Alfredson. He was also in special ed, "so we connect on certain levels that others wouldn't," she says. "He's a nice guy and a true gentleman. I love him to death."

Alfredson is a business administration major at Jacksonville College. The couple intends to wait until they have both finished school and have been working a year before marrying. They are planning to wed on June 6, 2006.

Her message to others concerning education

"If in special education or not, keep going; it is very beneficial. Don't just drop out and say ‘I'm done.' That's how I got to where I am. I never gave up on going to college."

While Skelton has not yet met her goal of becoming a teacher, she has already done much more than some others have said she would do. She is a model for what vision and persistence can do.

How focused are you on your dreams? So focused that if the musical accompaniment cuts off you will still carry on and finish on perfect pitch? That's what it takes.

Happy New Year!

[Jan Youngquist]

Year-end wrap-up

[DEC. 31, 2002] 

[Click here for January and February news]


Battle over LDC closing continues

In mid-March, AFSCME officials charged that the death of three medically fragile LDC residents may have been caused by the Department of Human Services moving them from the cottage that had been their home. Coty Cottage had been set up for the care of the physically fragile, but patients there were moved to another cottage that lacked appropriate facilities, an AFSCME spokesman said. The moves were part of the downsizing of LDC ordered by Gov. Ryan. State officials later denied that the transfer of residents had anything to do with the three deaths.

At the end of the month, Associate Circuit Judge Donald Behle ruled that the state could not move any more residents from LDC without a permit from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. The ruling came as the result of a lawsuit filed by parents of an LDC resident, state Sen. Larry Bomke, AFSCME Council 31 and Don Todd, president of AFSCME Local 425.

Later in March state Reps. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsythe, and Jonathan Wright, R-Hartsburg, filed an amendment that would keep Lincoln Developmental Center operating with 240 residents and 480 employees. "It will be an uphill fight. I don't want to lead you on, but it's the right thing to do and it's the fair thing to do," Mitchell said. The proposed amendment would increase the funding proposed for LDC in the 2003 fiscal year from $11,028,400 to $27,816,000. Gov. George Ryan, citing abuse and neglect at the 125-year-old facility, in February of this year ordered LDC downsized from a high of nearly 400 residents to 100, and from a high of about 700 employees to 210.


City faces budget crunch

The city of Lincoln's finance chairman, Steve Fuhrer, told the council that the city must cut almost $1 million from next year's budget to make expenditures balance its estimated revenues. In March the city was also asked to come up with $1.1 million as its share of the $3.5 million cost of a proposed industrial and commercial park on 63.5 acres north of the city near the I-55 interchange. The city's share would go to run a sewer line out to the property and for other sewer improvements, according to Mark Smith, economic development director. Smith said prospects who are looking for manufacturing and distribution sites do not want to locate on the west side, where utilities are more easily available, because of incompatible land use. He said that because there are homes, churches and retail establishments on the west side, prospects who want to build these facilities are concerned about objections from neighbors.

Early in March, a privately operated company, the Alan G. Ryle Company of Champaign, asked the city of Lincoln to grant it a zoning change to allow a Community Integrated Living Arrangement home in an R-1 neighborhood. The company announced plans to build homes for 64 of the residents that Gov. Ryan proposed to move out of the Lincoln Developmental Center by the end of June. The city does not allow group homes areas zoned R-1, but the attorney for the company said the city's ordinance is illegal and violates the federal Fair Housing Act as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act. At a later meeting, however, city attorney Bill Bates said that whether the city's housing ordinance was illegal was still in question. 

Primary brings high voter turnout

Interest was high for the March 19 primary, bringing a high voter turnout of 40.24 percent. Of those, 83 percent took Republican ballots and 17 percent took Democratic ballots. Republicans Sally Litterly and Mary E. Bruns were unopposed in their races for county clerk and recorder and for county treasurer. Steven G. Nichols won the nomination for sheriff over three other Republican candidates, Robert J. Brandt, James J. Pinney and Henry Bartmann. Nichols will face Democrat Anthony "Tony" Soloman in November. Jean R. Anderson defeated Robert P. Turk as Republican candidate for regional superintendent of schools for Logan, Mason and Menard counties.

For the first time in many years, voters chose members of the Logan County Board from districts rather than at large. In District 1, Republicans Lloyd Hellman and Charles E. Ruben were unopposed. In District 2, Republicans Robert D. Farmer and Richard E. "Dick" Logan defeated incumbent Roger W. Bock and Scott E. Doerr. In District 3, Republicans Gloria Luster and John L. Stewart defeated Tom Cash. They will face Democrat Harold G. Dingman in November. In District 4, Republicans David R. Hepler and Terry "TW" Werth defeated Julia Pegram Gerardot and Stephan A. Mesner. In District 5, incumbent Dale A. Voyles and newcomer Patrick O'Neill defeated incumbents Clifford "Sonny" Sullivan and Jim Griffin. In District 6, Republicans Paul Gleason and William (Mitch) Brown defeated Veronica Board Hasprey.

In state races, Republican senatorial candidate Jim Durkin defeated John Cox and James D. Oberweis and will face incumbent Democrat Richard J. Durbin in the fall. Gubernatorial candidate Jim Ryan defeated Republican challengers Corinne Wood and Patrick J. O'Malley. Democrat Rod R. Blagojevich defeated Paul. G. Vallas and Roland W. Burris. In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican Carl Hawkinson defeated Jack J. McInerney, Charles G. Owens and William A. O'Connor. Democrat Pat Quinn defeated F. Michael Kelleher and Joyce W. Washington.

In the race for attorney general, Republican Joe Birkett defeated Bob Coleman, and Democrat Lisa Madigan defeated John Schmidt. Secretary of state candidates Kris O'Rourke Cohn, Republican, and incumbent Jesse White, Democrat, were unopposed, as were comptroller candidates Thomas J. Ramsdell, Republican, and Daniel W. Hynes, Democrat, and treasurer candidates Judy Baar Topinka, Republican, and Thomas J. Dart, Democrat.

This year poll watchers who congregated at the courthouse watched the returns on a computer monitor instead of the traditional blackboard


County revenues down

Logan County revenues from sales and income taxes for the first three months of the fiscal year are down, and expenses exceed income by 2.79 percent. Finance committee spokesman Roger Bock said revenues from the income tax and from 1 percent and 0.25 percent sales taxes are $65,000 below where they ought to be at the end of the first quarter. Not all revenue sources are down, and interest income is holding steady. However, he said, sales tax is a better indicator of overall trends than other revenue sources like inheritance tax because it is less susceptible to fluctuation. If the present trend continues, Bock projected a year-end revenue deficit in the neighborhood of $250,000.

New rules and regulations for Logan County Airport were discussed by the county board and will be reviewed by State's Attorney Tim Huyett. Existing regulations were passed in 1985, 1980 or even earlier and do not address many current needs, according to airport and farm committee chair Roger Bock, who researched the changes. Dale Voyles, chair of the insurance and legislative committee, said it seems prudent to renew the county's health insurance coverage with Health Alliance of Champaign despite a 23 percent increase in premium. He said the main reason for the increase is that claims have exceeded the premium by more than $200,000 during the seven months the policy has been in effect. Three significant claims have produced this shortfall.

Other March news

The Logan County Arts Association board, with Marshall Jacobs as board president, adopted a membership schedule ranging from $30 for individuals to $350 for corporate sponsorships. The association plans to have its first official membership drive during October 2002. The basic membership level costs $30 for an individual or $50 for a couple and includes a membership newsletter or mailings.

A house fire claimed the life of a Mount Pulaski resident in the early morning of Thursday, March 7. Brad S. Follis, 29, of 504 1842nd Ave., Mount Pulaski, was pronounced dead at 1:17 a.m. by Logan County Coroner Chuck Fricke. Follis' mother, Nancy Monroe, awoke to the fire in the house and tried to put it out. She was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, where she was treated and released.

Clinton Lake was reopened after being closed to the public. Exelon owns the lake and the adjacent nuclear power plant and closed the lake in September, citing safety and security concerns following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Daniel J. Logan, 16, of Lincoln was pronounced dead at 9:44 p.m. Saturday, March 30, after the car he was driving failed to negotiate a curve on Route 121-Limit Street. The car was traveling southbound when it moved into the northbound lane and off the road into a ditch. The car overturned and the driver was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no other passengers in the car. The accident occurred just south of Keokuk Street at 8:56 p.m. Daniel Logan is the son of the local county board chairman, Dick Logan.


Lincoln's Stephanie Reichle led the Lady Redbirds to a 70-67 victory over the visiting Indiana State Sycamores, tallying nine points and leading the team in rebounds with six. She also had three assists and three steals while foul trouble limited her to 27 minutes of action. She recently had knee surgery but said she is now 100 percent and has all her old hustle back.

On March 3, another Lincolnite, Brian Cook, along with Frank Williams, led the Fighting Illini to a last-minute win over Minnesota. The Illini were down by nine points with just over three minutes to play. Then Frank Williams stripped the ball away and Cory Bradford drilled one of his five 3-pointers. Illinois was down by only one with 6.9 seconds to play when Williams sent off a high-arching banker that floated softly through the twine. His shot launched a wild celebration throughout the state. Cook did all he could to set up the celebration by registering a double-double, tallying 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Indiana's Jared Jeffries was chosen as the Big Ten Player of the Year in voting by both the coaches and media. University of Illinois junior Frank Williams was honored as Big Ten Player of the Year for 2001 and received first-team honors this year. Lincoln's Brian Cook, also a junior at Illinois, was one of five players named to the second team.

The Lincoln Railers were defeated by Springfield Lanphier in IHSA sectionals at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield. However, two Railers, Brock Werner and Cliff Carnahan, advanced in the IHSA 3-point shootout in Springfield and now move on to the state tournament in Peoria.


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LDC story continues

Eighteen Illinois legislators, most of whom were members of the committee that heard testimony about closing or downsizing Lincoln Developmental Center, have sent a letter to Gov. George Ryan asking him not to downsize the institution until the "unanswered questions" about the moves have been resolved. The letter noted that family members of residents remain supportive of LDC and wish their loved ones to stay there.

As part of a series of staff cutbacks aimed at downsizing the facility, 19 Lincoln Developmental Center employees left as of Tuesday, April 16, to take positions in other state-operated centers for the developmentally disabled. These were the first of 60 employees who chose to accept transfers to other locations rather than be laid off by the Department of Human Services, according to Dan Senters, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union that represents most LDC staff members. The employees went to the Fox Developmental Center in Dwight, the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee and the Jacksonville facility.

Although the injunction by Logan County Circuit Judge Donald Behle has put a hold on moving out residents, AFSCME members are concerned that the state will continue staff layoffs and residents will not be properly cared for. Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, an LDC supporter, said it would be "devastating" to lay off the 128 employees scheduled to leave on April 30. A spokesman for the DHS said employees who are needed will not be laid off. Senters said later in the month that only 35 of the 128 scheduled to leave would be laid off, but he also said the state is laying off people who are needed, and many of the current employees have been mandated to work double shifts almost daily.

An amendment filed in the House to provide funding to keep LDC at 240 residents failed to get out of the rules committee. The bill was sponsored by state Reps. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsythe, and Jonathan Wright, R-Hartsburg.

City continues with budget cutting

In an effort to cut about $1 million from next year's budget, the Lincoln City Council decided it must pass the fire hydrant service fees back to water company customers. The move will save the city about $212,000 yearly and will add about $5 to city residents' bimonthly water bills.

To keep the budget deficit down, the budget committee will move money out of set-aside funds for the west-side fire station, the fund that pays death benefits for city fire or police employees, and the working cash fund. The committee has already imposed a wage freeze for all department heads and a hiring freeze for all departments. According to finance chairman Steve Fuhrer, the city has already spent $285,000 more than it is bringing in this year. He said he hoped the city could avoid layoffs of employees to keep the budget in balance. The city will still have a deficit of about $270,000, he said.

Lincoln received a Tree City USA award from the National Arbor Day Association and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The city supplied trees to be planted at six local elementary schools in celebration of Arbor Day this year.

In April the Lincoln Police Department opened its first substation, at an office in Centennial Courts. Officer Tim Butterfield is in charge of the new facility, which will be staffed part time.


Logan County Board sees shortfall

The Logan County Board learned that its general fund decreased by $239,103 during 2001 because of overly optimistic income projections. In the first third of 2002 revenue is also below budget. Andy Lascody of Sikisch Gardner & Co. presented tentative results of his audit of county books for fiscal year 2001, ending Nov. 30. The report shows that revenues from fines, personal property replacement tax, 1 percent sales tax, state income tax and interest income were all low, totaling $328,327 short of budget expectations. Lascody attributed some of the shortfall to the weakened national economy, resulting in lower sales tax income and interest rates. The shortfall was apparently not caused by out-of-line expenditures. "All departments stayed pretty well within what they were allotted," said finance chair Rod White.

The board voted to "renew by continuance" the county health insurance policy with Health Alliance of Champaign for one year. It also voted to establish immediately a committee composed of township, city and county officials to discuss the north-side commerce park proposal, with the possibility of including other development options as well. Those options include broadening the north-side industrial park package to improve Fifth Street Road to aid development on the west side. The committee will see if there is any feasible way to combine the Fifth Street Road and north-side industrial park projects. One reason the broader package is appealing is that funds for Fifth Street Road improvement are already in the works. Widening Fifth Street Road would enhance existing property, including the already developed Lincoln Industrial Park on Fifth Street Road and the Burwell property on Route 10.

Central School construction over budget

Construction work on Lincoln Elementary School District 27's new Central School will resume on April 29, after a series of changes to bring costs into line. On that date work will begin on piping and electrical work, Bill Ahal of the S.M. Wilson firm, construction manager for the building project, told the school board. Work on the Seventh Street site stopped on April 3 while the board, architect Dave Leonatti and the Wilson firm looked for alternative systems that would bring the costs down. The halt in construction was necessary because in February, when bids were opened, the board found costs were almost $800,000 beyond the approximately $6 million budgeted to build the 47,000-square-foot elementary school.

Other April news

On April 16 the Lincoln Police Department spent five hours negotiating with a 20-year-old man threatening to commit suicide before using less than lethal force to subdue him. The man would not allow police into the residence in the 400 block of South Kickapoo. He had filled the house with natural gas and was threatening to blow himself up. The emergency response team was called out and the street was blocked off during the incident.

State Rep. Jonathan Wright, R-Hartsburg, has introduced a bill in the state legislature that any infant born alive, including those surviving an attempted abortion, would be assured proper medical care to protect and preserve their lives.

Looking for Lincoln officers announced at the group's April 17 meeting that the grant to fund the Abraham Lincoln video has been delayed but not canceled, so shooting must be postponed from early June to late summer or early fall. Paul Beaver, Logan County chair of Looking for Lincoln, said Illinois Sen. Bob Madigan and Rep. John Turner assured him in the fall of 2001 that $20,000 in state funds had been earmarked for the video project. He said the money would come from a members' initiative grant.

An1860s-style baseball game, a video of events from 1953 and national-grade entertainment -- all these are planned for the party the city of Lincoln will throw to celebrate its 150th birthday. Meeting on April 17, the sesquicentennial planning committee voted to urge the Lincoln City Council to accept the polling place building at Adams and Fifth streets for use at Postville Park for historical purposes, including the sesquicentennial.

Lincoln Community High School recently awarded diplomas to four former students, men who left school before they graduated. Today's young people might think of these four men as dropouts, but in their day they were heroes. All of them left school to enlist in the armed forces at a time when America was engaged in conflict that threatened its very existence. Two of Sunday's graduates, Robert Ball and Edgar Logan, enlisted to serve in the U.S. Navy in World War II. The other two, Richard Montcalm and Jim Pinney, signed up to serve during the Korean War a few years later.

The Relay for Life held April 19-20 raised $60,510 for the American Cancer Society. The people circling the oval track at the Recreation Center were survivors of cancer -- men and women, old and young.

Glenn Brunk Stationers of Springfield announced plans to open a store at 511 Broadway about June 1. The company, run by the Stanfield family who bought it from the founder's widow in 1997, specializes in personal service to the point of delivering a single item. Lately Lincoln has been without an office supply store for the first time in 60 years. Staples and BAT (formerly Lincoln Office Supply) had both closed.

The Senior Citizens of Logan County hosted an open house at The Oasis from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 9, to celebrate 17 years of service. The public was invited to visit the senior center at 501 Pulaski in Lincoln.


Sports news

According to the ISU football office, Lincoln's Andy King has signed a free-agent contract with the St. Louis Rams. This news makes King potentially the second player from Lincoln to play in the NFL in the last decade, joining offensive lineman Tony Semple of the Detroit Lions. According to an ISU source, the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears had both shown considerable interest in acquiring King's services, so it was pretty surprising to see him end up with the Rams.

The Railer baseball club seems to be turning things around of late. Although their record is not what they'd like it to be, they're showing signs of life. Andy Knopp and Derek Schrader have been hitting some bombs, and Lincoln's pitching seems to be coming along just a bit. While a brutal early schedule might not have aided the Railers to a quick start, it may have toughened their resolve and made them a better team in the long run.

The Lady Railers also are not sporting the kind of overall record that sends shivers down their opponents' spines, but they were 2-2 in the conference the last time we got a report. The loss of JoBeth Borowiak could've been killer. Instead, the girls have marched on. It will be interesting to see how both of these teams fare in the weeks ahead.

(To be continued)

[Joan Crabb]

Bloomington, Ill.—Sam Leman, Chrysler, Jeep, Mazda, and Auto Stop

The largest program car dealer in downstate Illinois just announced plans to have one of the largest 4-day events held in Bloomington.  This event will take place on Jan. 2, 3, 4 and 6.  According to Rick Pontnack, general sales manager, outstanding new sales in November and December have resulted in an extraordinary number of used vehicles in stock, “More now than we’ve had in months!  I have program cars, trucks and vans.  Cars starting at $995.00!  We are going to have to move a lot of used vehicles fast…or else they will go to wholesale auction.”

Rather than lose money wholesaling these vehicles, plus carrying cost, Rick decided to slash the prices on the entire inventory in an attempt to sell at least 150 vehicles in 4 days.  “I’ve been given orders to sell some cars for $995 that normally sell for $3000, just to move them.  The Average sale price will be from $1000 to $3000 less than our normal low prices.  The savings will be incredible!”  Sam Leman Chrysler, Jeep, Mazda, and Auto Stop will have all of these used vehicles on display in the heated Interstate Center in Bloomington starting on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2003.

“Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and if you sell people quality cars like we do, you get a lot of loyal repeat customers,” said Rick Pontnack, expressing Sam Leman’s philosophy.

All vehicles are subject to prior sale.  For information, call 309-662-5000.

Redesigned driver's licenses and identification cards help identify minors

[DEC. 31, 2002]  SPRINGFIELD -- Secretary of State Jesse White announced on Monday that Illinois driver's licenses and identification cards will undergo some subtle changes, due in part to a new law that takes effect Jan. 1.

Driver's licenses and identification cards issued to people under 21 will now display the date the person turns 18, in addition to the date the person turns 21, in a header above the person's photo. Both dates will appear on all cards issued until the person's 21st birthday. Currently, driver's licenses and identification cards for minors display only the date the person turns 21. The change is required by Public Act 92-0689, which takes effect Jan. 1.

"The redesigned driver's licenses and identification cards should help identify minors," said White. "The new law is designed to help law enforcement and business owners identify minors who attempt to purchase tobacco products."


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In addition, the indicator noting "SS#" has been removed from all driver's licenses and identification cards. The secretary of state's office stopped displaying Social Security numbers on driver's licenses and identification cards in December 2000. Before that, citizens had the option to have their Social Security number displayed on their driver's licenses or identification cards. The "SS#" indicator appeared in case cardholders opted to display their Social Security number. The change in policy was made to increase security for cardholders and reduce the risk of identity theft.

The changes are scheduled to begin with cards issued on Dec. 30.

Click here for a flyer detailing the license differences (in Adobe Acrobat).

[Click here to download the Adobe Acrobat reader.]

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