Thursday, March 20

The commencement of
military action in Iraq

[MARCH 20, 2003]  WASHINGTON -- Congressman Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, chairman of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement regarding commencement of military action in Iraq.

"As military action is under way in Iraq, my prayers are with the brave men and women of the American armed forces and the millions of innocent Iraqi citizens who will soon be free from the despotic reign of Saddam Hussein. It is my sincere hope that this military action will be swift, the loss of life will be minimal and the Iraqi people will soon live in a land of freedom and liberty.

"For 12 years the world community has called upon Saddam Hussein to abandon his efforts to amass terrible weapons. For 12 years the world community has called upon Saddam Hussein to abide by the mores of a civilized and just society. And for 12 years the world community has watched as Saddam Hussein has ignored these calls, plunging Iraq deeper into his perverted world of torture, oppression, tyranny and fear.

"The decision to defy or to abide by the will of the world community was Saddam Hussein's to make and his alone. He has chosen to thumb his nose at the nations of the world. He deceived weapons inspectors. He refused to disclose what has been asked of him. He has harbored terrorists. The time has come for the world to stop watching Hussein. Instead, it is now time to take action and remove this menace before he once again acts against other nations.



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"Make no mistake, the world is united against Saddam Hussein. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, adopted more than four months ago, unanimously called upon Iraq to completely disarm or 'face serious consequences.' Since 1991, the U.N. Security Council has passed 17 resolutions calling on Iraq to disarm. While nations may disagree over the methods to disarm Hussein, all nations share the resolve to disarm him.

"Sept. 11, 2001, put the citizens of the United States on notice that this is not our parents' world. We must no longer view the international community in the terms of the Cold War or post-World War II arrangement. The threats that we face today are rogue nations, terrorists and terrible weapons falling into the wrong hands. As we have witnessed, our enemies lurk in the shadows and could carry out a terrible strike on our own soil at any time. If we do not act now to address the threats to our nation, our children will ask why we did not act to prevent future terrorist acts after experiencing the horrors of terrorism so dramatically."

[News release]

Moving plans occupy District 27 board

[MARCH 20, 2003]  At a brief, routine meeting Wednesday, members of the District 27 Board of Education began making plans for the two big moves that are coming up during the summer vacation.

When the 2003-2004 school year starts, students from Central School will be attending classes in the new elementary school building, which is rapidly taking shape behind the old one.

Students in the current junior high building will then move into Central School while the junior high is demolished and a new one is built on the site. Finally, the old Central School will be taken down.

Before all this can happen, work must be completed on the new school and the floors must be sealed, a process that might take several weeks.

Board president Bruce Carmitchel said he was confident the new Central will be done about the time the school year ends. Rich Spahn of the S.M. Wilson company, which is project manager for Central School, reported that work is going along well. Classrooms have 75 percent of the drywall up, and masonry work is under way. Work is also moving along on the mechanical room where the heating and air conditioning equipment will be.

District Superintendent Robert Kidd said now that the design of the school is becoming evident and bricks are going up, many people have complimented the district on the appearance of the building.


Residents who live along Seventh Street, which the new school faces, have requested that contractors working at the site clean up the mud on the street periodically, Carmitchel said. Spahn said because there is no room to maneuver on the site, equipment is in and out of the street often.

Bill Ahal of the Wilson firm said bids for demolition of both schools will be coming in April 10. Board members are eager to know the exact cost of the demolition so they can get firm figures for the total cost of the project, which has gone about $3 million over budget. The board is considering issuing $2.9 million in alternative bonds, which are paid out of district income and will not be an extra cost to taxpayers.


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Bids are also being prepared for furniture for the new Central School, Spahn said. Architect Dave Leonatti said he is completing the drawings for the new junior high school.

As part of the planning for the move, Carmitchel appointed board members Lenny Janet and Jim Wilmert to a committee to identify and salvage items of historic interest from both schools, such as the plaque in the junior high honoring war veterans.

Kidd said he would like to save the stone plaque above the main door of the junior high school if it is not too costly.

He also said he would look into costs of moving the garage at the junior high school to the Adams School site. The garage is used for storage.

After a brief executive session the board rehired six second-year teachers, 10 third-year teachers, four fourth-year teachers and six teachers on a tenure year contract for the 2003-2004 school year. All teachers in the district were rehired, Carmitchel said.

The next meeting of the District 27 board will be on April 8 to canvas the results of the April 1 election. Two incumbents are on the ballot to fill the three four-year terms that are vacant. They are Joe Brewer of 340 Eighth St. and Lenny Janet of 1322 Pulaski St.

Board member Shelly Allen did not file to run for another term, leaving a vacancy on the ballot. However, Kathy Papesch of 1727 Tremont St. has filed to run as a write-in candidate.

[Joan Crabb]

Articles from the past week


  • Continued eye on Iraq
    (See LDN's links to news elsewhere, such as 'Showdown: Iraq')

  • County passes health insurance, delays ephedra vote

  • Eagle continues open for business


  • President addresses the nation regarding Iraqi regime (White House transcript)

  • Lincoln passes new ephedra ordinance

  • Two arrested in connection with area burglaries  (Law & Courts)


  • Practical emergency preparations for you and your family

  • Proposed law reduces appeals by dangerous sex offenders  (Law & Courts)

  • Blagojevich promotes plan to revitalize state's coal industry, create jobs


  • Lincoln earns community policing award

  • Girl Scout Week celebrates the fun, friendship and power of girls together  (Community)

  • Illinois to lead business development through entrepreneurship centers

  • New Department of Corrections head resigns position


  • Six arrested for dealing crack cocaine
    (posted Friday afternoon on Law & Courts)

  • County poised to spend 15 percent more for employee insurance

  • Lincoln and Logan County bucking the trends
    Economic growth slow but steady


  • Mount Pulaski man charged with murder in baby's death  (Law & Courts)

  • District 27 faces tough funding choices

  • Blagojevich outlines bold agenda to bring change, move the state forward

  • Bomke responds to State of State: Funding reforms needed first

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