Saturday, Jan. 4
Lincolnite Arrives at
First ALMH baby of 2003
4, 2003] The
first baby of 2003 was born at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital at
9:01 a.m., Friday, January 3.
Nita and Vasant Patel of Lincoln are
the proud parents of a son (who has yet to be named). Baby Patel
weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and stretched out to a length of 19 ½
inches. He was delivered by Dr. John Wahab of Family Medical
The Patels are from India and manage
the Comfort Inn in Lincoln. They are also the parents of two
daughters, Krishna, age 6, and Jasmine, age 3. Mother and baby
are planning on going home today.
The first baby received a basket of
special gifts from Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Family Maternity Suites opened in August 2001. ALMH encourages and
welcomes families to share in the wonder and excitement of
childbirth. Labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care can all
be administered inside one of the private birthing suites,
eliminating the need to move the mother to another room.
[Photo provided by ALMH]
Love's Travel Stops & Country
is coming to Williamsville, IL.
have openings for Travel Stop Management at our new location currently under
construction in Williamsville. Positions available include: Travel Stop
General Manager and Travel Stop Assistant Managers. We are looking for
career-minded people to add to our over 140 locations across the U.S. We are
opening 8-12 stores per year.
Stop by and interview with us on Monday, January 6. Interviews will be held
at the Hampton Inn, 3185 S. Dirksen Parkway, Exit 94, Springfield.
Interview times are: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (no appointment necessary).
Stop by and meet Todd Wilson, who will be conducting confidential interviews.
Please bring your resume (with work references) and a copy of your recent
paycheck stub or W-2 form from current or last employer. For early
consideration, please e-mail your resume, plus cover letter to
or fax to (405) 749-9145.
Our ideal candidates will have grocery, fast-food, convenience store, high-volume retail or travel stop experience. Ability to relocate a PLUS. We
offer a base salary up to $40K plus quarterly bonuses up to 20% of annual
salary and a competitive benefits package including health, life and
disability insurance, 401(k), paid vacation/holidays, sick pay and
relocation assistance. EOE.
Come grow with
Love's Travel Stops!
Year in review --
September and October
[JAN. 4, 2003]
[Click here for January and February news]
[Click here for March and
[Click here for May
and June news]
[Click here for
July and August news]
A petition to rezone
two lots on Fifth Street across from the new Casey's General Store
from residential to commercial use so Steven and Cynthia Goodman
could open a flower shop was rejected by the city council 6-4. Since
the petition had also been rejected by the planning commission, it
needed seven yes votes to pass. Neighbors who reside adjacent to the
property had strongly argued their opposition to the request to
rezone. Aldermen Benny Huskins, George Mitchell, Joe Stone and Dave
Armbrust voted no. The property remains residential.
The council also
voted to authorize issuing up to $620,000 in general obligation
bonds, with First Midstate as underwriters. The bonds are normally
renewed every three years, but this time, because the interest rate
is good, the renewal is for four years. The money will be used for
capital projects such as road work.
The council also
unanimously passed a zoning ordinance amendment that will allow the
Alan G. Ryle Companies to build group homes for the developmentally
disabled in areas zoned R-1. The city was facing a federal lawsuit
because it would not issue the company a building permit to put a
group home on an R-1 lot in the Stonebridge subdivision. The lawsuit
will now be dropped, a company spokesman said. However, the council
did not agree to give the new CILA a tax exemption.
Bids for work on the
upgrade to the Lincoln wastewater treatment plant came in just under
the wire in September and were submitted to the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency in time to get the $9.8 million
low-interest loan and start construction this year. The upgrade will
increase the plant's operating capacity from 3.5 million gallons per
day to 5.2 million and help it meet higher standards for ammonia
required by the IEPA. The upgrade is necessary if the IEPA is to
approve any more hookups.
The city also
approved a four-way stop at Seventh and Union streets at the request
of District 27 Superintendent Robert Kidd. The new Central School
now under construction will face Seventh Street.
County board news
In spite of concerns
of nearby residents, the Logan County Board granted a request by
Bradley Lee Luckhart to rezone 13.452 acres on 840th Avenue, in the
north half of Section 28, West Lincoln Township, from agricultural
to country homes use. Nearby resident Mike Leslie objected because
he believed that building more homes in the area might cause a water
shortage. He said Luckhart had originally planned only five-acre
lots in his subdivision, but with a possible 15 new residents
digging wells, area homeowners could end up hauling in water. Four
of the 13 board members voted against the zoning change: Clifford
Sullivan, Roger Bock, Lloyd Hellman and Rodney White. White has
previously objected in principle to the country home zoning, which
is less strict than R-1 zoning, and has said the board should rework
its 30-year-old zoning ordinances. Board president Dick Logan also
said the zoning ordinances need to be reviewed, but he added that
Luckhart has met all the requirements specified in the ordinance as
it presently stands.
In other business,
finance chairman Rodney White reported that the county will be
looking at a deficit budget next year, and the deficit for the
current year will probably be even greater than anticipated. For
fiscal 2002, which ends Nov. 30, auditor Gary Hetherington
anticipates expenses will be $400,000 more than revenue, instead of
the $300,000 predicted. The fiscal 2003 budget looks even worse,
with expenses of $700,000 over revenue. The problem, which is
nationwide, is decreasing revenue. Low interest rates cut revenue
from investments, and lower sales cut tax revenues. "All revenues
are down, across the board. There is no bright spot to look for. The
only way to significantly increase revenue is to increase tax
levies," White said. The county does not levy the maximum amount it
could by law for the general fund.
White said requests
from various departments for money from the general fund are up for
fiscal 2003. Last year's funding totaled $4,701,200, and this year's
requests are $4,779,800 -- $78,600 more. The finance committee has
been trying to whittle the budget deficit for 2003. They agreed to
present a 0.5 percent increase in the hotel/motel tax to the full
board in October. By law proceeds must be spent on tourism. If the
board passes the 0.5 percent increase, the levy is expected to raise
about $10,667 new dollars. This represents an 11 percent increase
from the current $96,000 in annual proceeds. Though raising the
hotel/motel tax rate would bring new money to the county, it would
not affect the critical general fund, which is used to run most
county business. Its principal sources of revenue are sales and
property taxes, interest income, and fees levied by county offices.
Volunteers turned out
to help install the first batch of playground equipment for Scully
Park in downtown Lincoln Saturday morning. The equipment includes a
fire station with a plaque commemorating the victims and rescue
workers of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A new swing set
will also be installed. Equipment for the second phase will be
purchased later this fall. Local businesses, clubs and individuals
have been very generous in contributing to this project, noted Dick
Logan, who is a member of the playground committee and chairs the
county board's committee on buildings and grounds.
School and college news
A record number of
students have enrolled for fall classes at Lincoln College -- almost
800 full-time and part-time students at the Lincoln campus. The
figures show an enrollment increase of 10 percent over last year,
and the number of students living on campus is up by 19 percent
compared with last year's figures. Lincoln College President Jack
Nutt says the growth reflects the college's personal approach to
helping students work toward an associate degree.
Sept. 11 remembered
High School students did not forget Sept. 11, 2001. At a moving and
inspiring assembly, the beginning and advanced choirs, the LCHS
band, the speech classes of Ms. Carrie Schreiber, and members of the
student council helped retell the story and reaffirm the students'
faith in a united America. Lincoln firefighters, paramedics and
police officers also held a memorial observance to honor the fallen,
as did many schools and other Logan County communities.
Other September news
At the 32nd annual
Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Contest and Crafts Festival
Sept. 14 and 15, visitors experienced old-time entertainment and
crafts on the Logan County Fairgrounds. The Indian village and 1800s
settler encampment peacefully coexisted, displaying authentic
crafts, cooking foods and mingling. Visitors could stop and try
their hands at crafts such as dipping candles. Steam engines drove
small carts about the grounds, whistling to each other. Antique
tractors and antique cars sat on display. Larry Hill and his
partner, Marty Yount of Missouri, came in first in several events,
including the team split. Hill has been participating in the contest
for 17 years. His family participates too. His two sons won second
in the team split. This is one contest in which Missouri dominates
Illinois, by far.
A street dance on
Sept. 21 was the first of a series of fund-raisers for the
sesquicentennial celebration next August. McLean Street in front of
the courthouse was blocked off and stages set at either end of the
block. Bands provided six hours of dance music.
The body of
18-year-old Brian Bobb of Lincoln was found in Kickapoo Creek Park
at approximately 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27. He was found in a remote
area on the north perimeter of the park. Logan County Coroner Chuck
Fricke pronounced him dead at the scene at 9:34 a.m. An autopsy was
performed Saturday morning at Memorial Medical Center in
Springfield. The forensic pathologist determined the cause of death
was due to blood loss causing an air embolism in the lung due to
neck trauma. The incident is being treated as a homicide.
Liquor Company, new wholesale wine and liquor distributor on North
Kickapoo, expects to employ 35 or 36 people in Lincoln. These
include one temporary and three permanent office workers, five
drivers and 12 sales representatives. The Lincoln facility supplies
wine and spirits to grocery and convenience stores, package stores,
bars, and restaurants in an 80-mile-wide belt across central
The Lincoln Lady Railers volleyball squad
made short order of the Peoria Richwoods Knights last night in their
home opener. In a match that lasted barely a half an hour, LCHS
chalked up its first win of this new season by scores of 15-0, 15-9.
Not to be outdone, the junior varsity came out strong, winning their
match 15-0, 15-8. The LCHS freshmen squad also won, by scores of
15-12, 15-11. Their next game was not so easy. It was a tough,
seesaw battle where the outcome was in question to the very end. The
match time was almost two hours. The final box score for the match
looked like this: 15-6, 8-15, 16-14 in favor of LCHS over a scrappy
and talented team from Morton. The Lady Railers improve to 2-0.
County board files
next year's budget
The Logan County
Board placed on file a fiscal 2003 budget with a general fund
property tax increase of 1.6 percent and a deficit of $188,000 in
the general fund. The property tax increase, at the 1.6 percent
maximum allowed by tax caps, is expected to yield $40,000, bringing
the total general fund levy to $874,000. On a $90,000 home, that
would mean $1.68 more in property tax next year. In the draft on
file in the county clerk's office, expenditures for all funds total
$4.7 million. Revenue projected from all sources totals $4.34
night's meeting the board's finance committee had cut $300,000 from
general fund budget requests. In addition, a net of $250,500 was
shifted from other funds to the general fund. The board added
$25,000 to general fund expenditures to be used for raises for
nonunion employees. Department heads are to distribute the money at
their discretion. The cost is expected to be about $25,000 for 31
full-time and seven part-time employees.
A cut was made and
then restored for the Economic Development Council. In 2002 economic
development received $25,000 but was allocated only $12,000 this
year. Bobbi Abbott, executive director of the Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce, made an impassioned plea for more than the
$12,000. "I really do appeal to you to invest in the future of this
community," she said. "We absolutely need to increase tax-producing
revenues," such as through the commerce park backed by the EDC.
Board EDC representative Terry Werth and member Dale Voyles amended
the motion to allocate $25,000 again this year. The board voted 8-4
in favor of the amended motion. Roger Bock, Doug Dutz, Lloyd Hellman
and Rod White dissented.
[to top of second column in
In other business,
the board approved a conditional use permit enabling Leslie and
Karen Hoagland to operate their motor coach restoration business
from their home on 1200th Street in rural Lincoln. The board also
approved a subdivision plat submitted by Brad Luckhart of Lincoln.
County engineer Tom Hickman said Luckhart and his engineer have
corrected all deficiencies and complied with provisions of the
subdivision ordinance. A state hydrologist has confirmed that
sufficient water is available on the property.
The board also voted
to raise the county hotel/motel tax by 0.5 percent. The tax
increase, effective Dec. 1, is expected to raise about $10,000 in
new money. The finance committee recommends granting $4,750 to the
J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum in Atlanta to pay for renovating
and restoring a wooden boxcar and extending the railroad siding it
Lincoln city news
City council members
offered a moment of silence and a prayer for 5th Ward Alderman
Joseph Stone, who died suddenly Oct. 7.
Assistant Fire Chief
Mark Miller was named the Lincoln Fire Department's Officer of the
Year, the first time the department has presented such an award.
Miller said he was surprised to win and believed much of the credit
should go to the firefighters on his shift.
City Attorney Bill
Bates announced that the city and Firefighters Local 3092 have
reached an agreement on contracts, in negotiations that were
generally amicable. The contract includes a 9.75 percent raise over
three years. The city has also reached an agreement with its
clerical workers. Now all four unions representing city workers --
police, firefighters and street department workers
-- have approved three-year contracts.
The council also
adopted the proposal to put a referendum for a sales tax increase of
0.5 percent on the November ballot. The extra money, perhaps as much
as $550,000, will go for infrastructure, mostly road repair. Low
rates of interest and low sales tax receipts have put the city in a
budget crunch, and there is no money to restore city streets.
Aldermen emphasized that the sales tax would not be imposed on food
products purchased for home use or prescription drugs and would not
be charged on the sale of motor vehicles that are licensed by the
state of Illinois.
Lincoln police chief, announced the department is using a new
program designed to help arrest more drug users and dealers. When
scheduling allows, Montcalm pulls an officer from each of the city's
four shifts and gives them flextime to work solely on drug
enforcement. So far they have made 70 traffic stops and 15 arrests.
School and college news
The backbones of
Central School's new building are going up. The structural steel
frame brought a dramatic change to the appearance of the building in
just a few days. The District 27 board saw preliminary plans for the
new junior high building at their October meeting. The plans show a
three-story academic wing on the east end, administrative and
general use areas in the center, and a gym on the west. Like Central
School, it will have a stage facing both ways between the cafeteria
and the gym. Also like Central, it will be a brick veneer building
with a pre-engineered frame.
Lincoln school district is hoping for a favorable vote on the
referendum for a tax increase that is on the ballot Nov. 5. New
Superintendent Robert Bagby said the board worked hard to cut the
budget -- cutting one administrator, leaving only one administrator
on the staff, reducing teaching staff, cutting supplies and
materials, and also cutting the music program and the reading
recovery program. If the referendum does not pass, there will be
more cuts in the spring. The referendum requests an increase in the
education fund tax rate from $1.40 to $1.90. Of that 50-cent
increase, Bagby said it is likely they will use only about 38 cents.
C-EL holds the lowest comparative school tax rate in the area. West
Lincoln-Broadwell is at $1.45, and District 27 is at $1.93.
President Jack Nutt has announced his intention to retire from the
college at the end of May 2003. President Nutt says his decision is
based on chronic health problems he's faced over the past several
years. Executive Vice President Ron Schilling will assume full
responsibility for the direction of the college. For the balance of
the current school year Dr. Nutt will continue to direct the
activities of the Advancement Office and work on special projects.
Dr. Nutt recently celebrated his 20th anniversary with the college.
Over 20 new building projects have been added under his leadership,
and Lincoln College enrollment numbers have steadily increased over
the past years.
Looking for Lincoln video completed
Shooting the Looking
for Lincoln video was wrapped up in late September and early
October. The video, which will be used to promote tourism, has been
over two years in the planning stages as promoters first sought and
then awaited funds from an Illinois Legislature Member Initiative
Grant. When the check arrived, it took only two weeks for shooting
to begin, thanks to prior selection of sites, key actors and
cinematographer Dean Williams of Springfield to direct the film.
Scenes in the video
represent documented activities of Abraham Lincoln in Logan County
and take place at either authentic sites or accessible sites that
retain the feel of the mid-1800s. In one scene Lincoln rides on
horseback over Elkhart Hill, following the old Edward's Trace. The
route was part of the 8th Judicial Circuit that Lincoln traveled.
Also authentic is the John D. Gillett house at Cornland. Lincoln
drove himself there to invite Gillett to his inauguration in
Washington, D.C., as a member of the president's honorary bodyguard.
In another shot Lincoln socializes outside Postville Courthouse.
Lincoln worked as a surveyor in Logan County, and the video scenes
show him surveying for the town of Albany and for Musick's Ferry on
Salt Creek north of Middletown. Both scenes were filmed at the
Paulus-Conrady farm, also the site of the shooting of the
christening of the city of Lincoln with the juice of a watermelon.
The video must now be cut and edited.
Local citizens fight to stop drug use
The death of
16-year-old Sean Riggins, a Railer wrestler and football player,
caused by a heart attack apparently brought on by the use of ephedra,
has sparked a campaign to find some way to control sales of the
herbal stimulant, or at least to limit its availability to young
people. On Sept. 3 Riggins died at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital
after suffering flulike symptoms. A toxicology report showed that
Sean had ingested ephedra. His father, Kevin Riggins, learned that
many high school students took over-the-counter stimulants to pump
up their energy for sports events. The stimulants are readily
available in gas stations and convenience stores for a very
attractive price -- $1.29 or even 99 cents.
The Riggins family
and Logan County Coroner Chuck Fricke were contacted by Sen. Dick
Durbin and appeared before a U.S. Senate subcommittee to testify
about the dangers of these products. Often they contain not only
ephedra but other stimulants such as caffeine. Because these
products are considered herbal supplements and not drugs, the Food
and Drug Administration has no authority to regulate them or check
on their quality.
Kevin and Debra
Riggins believe the young people who take these drugs, like their
son, have no idea of the danger posed. They have asked stores and
gas stations in the Lincoln area to put the stimulants behind the
counter so customers will have to ask for them; they are also
requesting that local governmental agencies pass ordinances limiting
the sale of these substances. In addition, Sean Riggins' parents are
lobbying lawmakers and planning to establish a nonprofit foundation
to educate young people about the dangers of both legal and illegal
Concerned about the
growing evidence of drug and alcohol abuse by area young people,
Stacey Martin, herself a mother of teenagers, called for a community
time of prayer. An estimated 300 to 400 people answered the call and
met at Scully Park on Saturday, Oct. 7. She said the object of the
meeting was not to point the finger of blame at anyone but "to help
our children and their friends." She said the community had lost
nine young people to drugs and alcohol in the last year. Several
young people spoke about overcoming an addiction to drugs. Among
those attending were Police Chief Rich Montcalm and Mayor Beth
Other October news
As part of their
training, state and federal Emergency Management Agencies mandate
regular exercises that simulate some kind of local emergency. One of
these simulations, called a tabletop exercise, took place recently
in the lower level of the Logan County Safety Complex on Pekin
Street, where 52 emergency responders gathered, not knowing what
they would have to cope with. So, at approximately 12:45 p.m. on a
pleasant September Sunday, a 727 Air Freight jet plane with a crew
of three and 12,000 gallons of fuel on board crashed into downtown
Lincoln. Part of its cargo was liquid oxygen canisters, which would
become an accelerant for the fire. The "crash" occurred in one room,
where a large tabletop layout showed Lincoln streets and buildings
from Sangamon to Kankakee and from Pekin to Pulaski streets. In
another room, various local agencies set up an Emergency Operations
Center, where representatives of fire and rescue services, police,
health care systems, local government, and a disaster intelligence
team worked to get the on-site team the help they needed and protect
Lincoln residents. When the exercise was done, emergency responders
had learned another lesson in how to cope but were glad the disaster
was only a simulation.
An auction was
held on the now-empty campus of the Lincoln Developmental Center,
when the Illinois Department of Central Management Services
auctioned off surplus property still remaining at the institution.
No plans for the empty 80-acre campus have been announced. First the
property must be transferred to the CMS, which is expected to take
awhile. Then state agencies will be allowed to bid on it. If no
stage agency wants the property, it will be offered to local
governmental agencies; if none of them bid it will be put up for
by gasoline was blamed for two fires in the Lincoln area, one
serious. On Oct. 23 Lincoln Rural Fire Department assisted the New
Holland Fire Department with a fire at the Jessie Mosier residence.
Mosier reported that the kerosene heater exploded as he was
refueling it. He suffered burns on his hands and foot. The house was
a total loss. Just barely back from New Holland, Lincoln Rural got a
second call. The fire at the Joe Coffman residence at 714 1700th St.
was not nearly as intense as the New Holland fire. Coffman had put
it out by the time firefighters arrived. Again, a kerosene heater
was the apparent cause of the fire. Illinois Clark stations, where
the kerosene was purchased, stopped selling it at all Illinois
locations until the contaminated product could be removed.
Saturday's Harvest of Talents at Lincoln Christian Church
successfully broke past records by raising over $66,000. The
fund-raiser includes a 5K run and a craft show and auction. The
funds are donated each year to International Disaster Emergency
Services. Though fund-raising is not complete until the end of
December, the money raised brings the total donated to over $800,000
in 19 years.
A man apparently jumped from the U.S. 66
bridge over Salt Creek on Tuesday. The body of Gary R. Shull, 59, of
Lincoln, was found in the creek by a motorcyclist just after noon.
Shull had last been seen about 10:30 a.m. He was declared dead by
Logan County Deputy Coroner Warren Rogers at 1:45 p.m. Evidence and
interviews with the family led the investigators to believe that
there was no foul play involved with this incident.
Articles from the past week
Winter storm leaves central and
southeast Illinois late Thursday (posted Thursday afternoon)
Winter storm affecting central
and southeast Illinois into this evening
Year in review
-- May and June
Winter driving tips
Snow and freezing rain potential
for Wednesday night and Thursday (posted Tuesday afternoon)
Year-end wrap-up -- March and April
Redesigned driver's licenses and identification cards help identify minors
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