Accused drug smuggler didn’t and
isn’t getting by in this county

[MAY 3, 2001]  Victor Caballero is probably wishing he had gone some other way on April 22.

Caballero was driving a semitrailer on Interstate 55 near Elkhart when he was pulled over near Elkhart on a routine mileage and cargo log check by State Trooper J.P.Driscoll. When it was suspected that he had altered his logbook, he was ordered to take a mandatory rest stop at the next truckers stop, which was Burwell Truck Plaza at Route 10 and I-55. During the stop Caballero’s name had turned up in a nationwide drug trafficking database. He was out on bond, accused of hauling 1,200 pounds marijuana in Oklahoma.


[Victor Caballero]

Logan County’s drug unit was called to help. Deputy Jerry Melton and drug dog She-Bear met state Trooper Driscoll and state police Sgt. Craig Rios at the truck stop. She-Bear was able to hit on the presence of drugs, and officers began making arrangements for the unloading of the truck. While temporarily out of sight of the officers, Caballero was witnessed to quickly go around to the back of the truck and roll two boxes out the back door. He then ran around, jumped back in the truck and followed Trooper Driscoll to a place where the truck could be unloaded to another truck when it arrived. Luckily there was another trucker right there who witnessed the whole thing and reported it.

[to top of second column in this article]

[She-Bear demonstrates her talent for the press. With quick deliberation she sniffs up and down the car, stopping abruptly and pawing at the car wheel well where drugs had been stashed for the demonstration.]

[Logan County Deputy Jerry Melton and She-Bear pose. Though Deputy Melton doubted she would sit for a picture, She-Bear loved the press.]

In those boxes were over 100 bags, 246 pounds of what is believed to be the purest cocaine. Test results are expected to take weeks on that many bags, but if they are as pure as thought to be, it will have a value well over $11 million and up to $55 million and may qualify as the largest downstate drug confiscation to date.


Caballero is accused of controlled-substance trafficking and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Tuesday, May 1, the 29-year-old El Paso, Texas, man pleaded innocent to both Class X drug charges before Logan County Judge David Coogan during a probable-cause hearing. He is currently being held without bond. He will come before a jury for trial in June. If convicted of both counts, he could face up to 45 years prison time, plus court costs and fines, in addition to any sentencing he receives in Oklahoma.

[Jan Youngquist]

New mayor, city treasurer
and aldermen sworn in

[MAY 2, 2001]  In a special Lincoln City Council meeting last night, Tuesday, May 1, City Attorney Jonathan Wright swore in the newly elected officials. First in line and taking up the gavel as the new head of the council was Mayor Elizabeth Davis. Mayor Davis was positioned, and Lester Plotner was then sworn in as veteran city treasurer. Juanita Josserand was not present for the evening. She will be sworn in as city clerk at the next meeting.

Following those office placements, the aldermen were sworn in as a group. All of the aldermen are returning, re-elected to their positions: Benny Huskins Sr., Ward 1 alderman; Verl A. Prather, Ward 2; David R. Armbrust, Ward 3; Glenn Shelton, Ward 4; and Michael Montcalm, Ward 5.


A motion was passed to waive the aldermen’s pay for this special meeting, with only one "no" vote voiced, by Alderman Joseph Stone. He said he thought they should be paid and that he would give his pay to a charity of Alderman Montcalm’s choice.

The council adjourned to a closed executive session to discuss department head proposals.

[Jan Youngquist]



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Elkhart prepares for Chautauqua guests

[MAY 2, 2001]  Step back in time Saturday when you step into Elkhart. The time will be 1830 and Abraham Lincoln will usher in the day, leading the Illinois 7th Cavalry. Fun and educational historical re-enactments, entertainment and activities will take place all day long.

Elkhart Chautauqua on historic Elkhart Hill begins at 10 a.m.

Things not to miss:

Get there for the rousing start

The grand parade at 10:05 a.m. will feature 10 pipers and drummers from St. Andrews Society. (This same group is featured at the Highland games at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on May 19.) A stirring sight will be Abraham Lincoln riding in with the parade, escorted by the Illinois 7th Cavalry.

A team of the always-showy black Percheron draft horses will pull a large wagon loaded with "personalities" such as past Gov. Richard Oglesby. In additional horse-drawn vehicles, there will be historic people like Miss Jessie Gillett, Princess White Blossom and her Indian paint horse, sidesaddle experts Kathy and Caroyln Firch, and many more.

Who could want for anything more?

Food will be a tasty feature during the day, with the American Legion selling rib-eye steak and pork-chop sandwiches. The high school alumni will be offering ice cream, a bake sale, muffins and scones in the morning, and milk and cookies in the afternoon. Additional food will be offered by the Firehouse 1 concession stand.

Lots of interactive, fun events all day

There will be lots of ongoing demonstrations and historical interpretations, children’s games and programs, a petting zoo and more. Click here for the day’s program.


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What if it rains?

Short of a gully-washer, everyone should be able to stay relatively dry. Many of the activities are sheltered. There will be lots of shelters and places to step in out of the rain.

Small admission fee

A nominal admission fee will be charged for this fund-raising event. Fees are as follows: $3 for adults; $2 for youth 12-18, senior citizens and students; $1 for children 5 to 12 years old; and free if under 5. A special family rate of $5 encourages families to come. Admission is free for anyone who comes dressed in 1800s style and for any musicians.

The Chautauqua benefits not only the Elkhart Historical Society but also the St. John the Baptist Chapel, as well as the American Legion.

Getting there

This event is handicapped accessible. Trams will carry people from the parking area to the footpath which leads to the 1800s and a spectacular day to spend with the family.


Elkhart Chautauqua program and participants


10:05 — Grand parade and welcome

10:15 — Possum Hollow Pickers and Elkhart Christian Church youth group perform the Virginia reel

10:45 — Historical portraits (five minutes each): Capt. Bogardus, Miss Jessie Gillett, Martin Gehr and Princess White Blossom

11:00 — Sheep/milking goats

11:15 — Elkhart Grade School presents "Peek into the Past"

11:30 — What children did in Lincoln's day, presented by Nancy Torgerson

12:15 — Duck herding

12:30 — "Abraham Lincoln My Friend and Mentor," by Gov. Oglesby

12:45 — Sidesaddle demonstration

1:00 — Looking for Lincoln look-alike contest

1:45 — Historic Morgan horse demonstration

2:00 — Abraham Lincoln telling stories, presented by Fritz Klein

2:15 — Cavalry demonstration

2:30 — Farmers Daughter bluegrass music

3:15 — Jam session with Farmers Daughter, fiddlers and Possum Hollow Pickers

4:00 — Taps, with bugler John Sutton, Joyce Anderson and American Legion Honor Guard

A quilt show and tours of St. John The Baptist Chapel are at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. In addition there’s a special opportunity to stump the organist with your favorite old hymn; if she knows your hymn, you owe her $1.

St. John The Baptist Chapel

St. John The Baptist Chapel was built in 1890 in memory of John Dean Gillett by his wife, Lemira. The original cost was $10,000. Each of the children donated $1,000, and Lemira donated the balance. The Culver Stone Company constructed the chapel using Whitney marble and Bedford limestone.

The largest event ever held at the chapel was the funeral of Gov. Richard Oglesby, in 1899. Over 4,000 people attended, including many government officials, both past and current governors, as well as Robert Todd Lincoln.

The chapel is still privately owned by Gillett family descendents and is available for weddings, funerals and baptisms upon request.

The chapel participates in two annual events with The Elkhart Historical Society: the Chautauqua and the Christmas candlelight concert, scheduled for Dec. 8 this year. Both events benefit the Elkhart Historical Society and the St. John The Baptist Chapel.


[to top of second column in this section]

All-day demonstrations

Blacksmith — Ken Engel

Herbalist — Karen Lowrey

Bobbin lace — Nancy Rollings Saul 

Buckskinner — Glen Sherman

Spinning — Linda Nelson 

Nathan's Apiary (bee keeping) — Nathan Sasse

Quilting — Quilting Guild of Logan County

Smocking — Sue Bidwell

Counted cross-stitch — Evelyn Begolka

Professor Phineas Fairhead — R. L. Slider

Wool, duck and sheep dog demonstration — Tim and Jackie Curts 

Miss Jessie Gillett — Jorie Latham

Princess White Blossom — Lynn Bock on Dancing Mist

Erastus Wright — David Preston

Martin Gehr — Roger Dennison

Captain A.H. Bogardus — Robert McCue

Illinois 7th Cavalry, Major Karl Luthin

Carolyn and Kathy Firch — sidesaddle demonstration

Historic Morgan — Mississippi Valley Morgan

Feed Corral Percherons — Dean Lars and Pat Sawyer

Dioramas and postersElkhart Grade School

Petting zoo and milking goats — Rhonda Daniels and the Rochester 4-H


President Lincoln — Fritz Klein

Gov. Richard Oglesby — Richard Torgerson*

Emma Gillett Oglesby — Linda Arends*

Miss Jessie Gillett — Jorie Latham

Lemira Gillett — Susan Keays Green

Martin Gehr — Roger Dennison, with site assistant Leighann Dennison

Captain A.H. Bogardus — Robert McCue, with site assistant Charles McCue

St. Andrews Pipes & Drums (also appearing on May 19 at the Highland Games at the state fairgrounds)

Erastus Wright — David Preston

Cavalry — Illinois 7th Cavalry

Professor Phineas Fairhead, phrenologist — R.L. Slider

Horse and wagon — Feed Corral Percherons

Photo carriage — provided by John Gehlbach

*Courtesy of Oglesby's Mansion, Decatur


The Elkhart Historical Society thanks the many volunteers without whose help the Chautauqua would be impossible.

Main Street Lincoln announces plans
for Historic Preservation Week

[MAY 1, 2001]  Citizens in Lincoln will join thousands of individuals around the country as part of the National Trust’s Historic Preservation Week celebration. Local events are sponsored by Main Street Lincoln, The Blue Dog Inn, Beans and Such, and Mayor-elect Beth Davis. "Restore, Renew, Rediscover" is the theme of the week, with events scheduled May 13-19.

Downtown will be dressed for the week in its best historical finery, with many businesses including a historical display in their windows. Residents will have the opportunity to learn about the diversity in our community. Groups represented include Lincoln Developmental Center, Heritage in Flight Museum, Railsplitters, Lincoln Christian College, Elkhart Historical Society, Lincoln Woman’s Club, Logan County Genealogical and Historical Society, and Lincoln College.


The public is invited to attend a special presentation in the Pegram Room of Lincoln Public Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 15. David Blanchette, public information officer for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, will give a presentation on plans for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The presidential library is scheduled to open in October 2002, and the museum is to be completed in late 2003. At a cost of $115 million and an estimated annual attendance of half a million people, the complex is sure to have an impact on our community.

New this year is the Main Street Antiques Roadshow, a takeoff on the popular public television production. The Roadshow will be from 5:30 to 8:30 on Thursday, May 17, at 616 Broadway, the former antique mall. Appraisals are available for $5 per item or set in a number of divisions including toys and dolls, fine antiques, jewelry, clocks and watches, crystal and china, coins, cards and other collectibles, books, and general antiques. Residents are encouraged to not only open their china cabinets but also scour their attics and bring their most unusual items to the Roadshow.


"This is everyone’s chance to learn more about their personal treasures," said Main Street Program Manager Wendy Bell, "and who knows, they may find out they’re sitting on a gold mine."

Two special events will also take place at 7:30 during the Roadshow. First, is the dedication of Gov. Richard Oglesby’s Bible, given to the Logan County Board by the Larry Steffens family. After the dedication, the Mayor’s Annual Awards for Historic Preservation will be announced. A punch-and-cookie reception served by ladies in historical costume and featuring musical entertainment by Melane Coulter will follow.


[to top of second column in this article]

Awards are available in both residential and nonresidential categories for preservation, exterior rehabilitation and sympathetic addition. Twenty-three buildings have been recognized since the awards were first given in 1993 and are permanently recorded in photographs that hang in the Lincoln City Council Chambers. Property owners also receive a framed photograph with inscribed brass plate. For more information or to make a nomination, call the Main Street Lincoln office, 732-2929.

The 2001 Historic Preservation Week poster features one of the 1994 winners, the Lincoln Public Library. The library will also grace this year’s City of Lincoln’s official Christmas ornament. The ornament is the third in the series, following the Logan County Courthouse in 1999 and Lincoln City Hall in 2000.


"This is an appropriate time to recognize the library building," said Bell, "as the Carnegie grant was given to the city 100 years ago this year." The $25,000 grant combined with property donations from Stephen Foley and Isabel Nash built the current Lincoln Public Library in 1902.


The neoclassic building, designed by architect W.A. Otis of Chicago, is made of red mottled brick with stone ornament trim and a light red tile roof. Other than routine maintenance and the addition of a basement in 1974, the library retains its original structure and a number of original furnishings. Recent restorations include the interior stained-glass dome and the mosaic tiled entry. The library has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.

For more information on Historic Preservation Week activities, contact Main Street Lincoln at (217) 732-2929. The Main Street program was developed in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to redevelop and revitalize America’s downtowns. Lincoln has been a designated Main Street community since 1994.

[Wendy Bell,
Main Street Lincoln program manager]

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Officer seriously injured

[MAY 1, 2001]  State police are investigating an accident that resulted in injuries to a 26-year-old Lincoln police officer. Officer Paul T. Adams had gone to the scene of a fuel spill on Route 10 under Interstate 55 at 1:19 a.m. Saturday. As he was leaving the scene, his vehicle was broadsided by a Logan County Paramedic Association ambulance on its way to another situation. 

Neither the ambulance driver, Danny J. Dean of New Holland, nor his partner, Penny M. Thomas of Lincoln, was injured. They assisted with rescuing Officer Adams.

Firefighters had to extricate Adams from his vehicle. Once out, he was taken to Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. From there he was transported to St. John’s in Springfield, where he was listed in serious condition. He was moved from intensive care Sunday to a private room where he continues his recovery today.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged and deemed a total loss.


Senate Week in Review

Senate issues budget ‘reality check,’ approves zero-tolerance drug measure

[APRIL 30, 2001]  A state budget "reality check" and a strong message to prison guards that illegal drug use will not be tolerated were among the measures considered by the Illinois Senate this week, according to state Sen. Bob Madigan (R-Peoria).

Senators continued to act on legislation that originated in the House of Representatives and is currently pending in Senate committees.

The Senate took an important step April 26 toward finalizing a new state budget by passing on to the House of Representatives five measures dealing with a variety of state programs and services. The session was also an opportunity for a budgetary reality check, to let lawmakers and taxpayers know about the difficult financial issues facing Illinois. In the wake of revelations about a slowing economy, lower-than-expected revenue estimates, and previous legislative commitments to education, Medicaid, senior citizens, and mental health and disability programs, the budget proposals passed by the Senate on April 26 reflect the recommendations made by the governor in February. To date, a total of nine budget bills have been approved by the Senate. So far, the Illinois House has approved additional spending of nearly $2 billion above and beyond the governor’s requested $50-billion budget.


Illinois prison guards and state police officers who test positive for drugs will be fired, under legislation agreed to by the employee labor unions and unanimously approved by the Senate on April 26. Senate Bill 1032 requires the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois State Police to have a zero-tolerance policy for drug abuse. Both agencies currently have policies in effect. The measure simply codifies the current standard. Senate Bill 1032 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

In other business, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure that would allow stalking victims and witnesses of violent crimes to receive compensation from a special state program for counseling or other such expenses related to the crimes. House Bill 2865 adds stalking and aggravated stalking to the list of crimes for which victims can receive compensation under the Crime Victims Compensation Act. It also allows a person who personally witnessed a violent crime to receive compensation under the act. That bill now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee also sent to the Senate a measure that would help working women without health insurance receive treatment for breast or cervical cancer. House Bill 25 expands Medicaid coverage, subject to federal approval, for breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment to women who have been screened by the program administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health and women whose screenings were paid at least in part by the Department of Public Health.

Other House bills approved by Senate committees and sent to the full Senate for further consideration include:

Safe haven (HB 632) Allows parents of a newborn infant to anonymously leave their child with personnel at a fire station, emergency medical facility or hospital without fear of civil or criminal liability for abandoning the infant. This is nearly the same as Senate Bill 216, which has been approved by the Senate and is moving through the House of Representatives.


Health cards (HB 1901) Helps reduce the time patients spend in the waiting room while doctors and nurses verify the coverage, co-payment amount and other necessary information. Requires health insurance providers to issue standardized health care benefit cards to its customers with the following information: processor control number (if required for claims adjudication), group number, card issuer identifier, cardholder ID number and cardholder name.

Helping Paws (HB 41) Creates a program allowing Department of Corrections inmates to train dogs to assist individuals with physical disabilities.

Nursing scholarships (HB 2436) Addresses the impending nurse shortage by removing the limitation on the number of nursing scholarships awarded each year from the Illinois Nursing Education Scholarship Program.


[to top of second column in this article]

State soil (HB 605) Designates drummer silty clay loam as the official state soil. Drummer silty clay loam is found on 1.5 million acres of Illinois land and in 42 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

MTBE ban (HB 171) Bans the sale and production of the environmentally harmful fuel additive MTBE.

Bills that have been previously approved by the Senate and were passed by the House this week include:

Referee battery (SB 50) Sets a minimum fine for persons convicted of battering a sports official at or near an athletic facility where the sports official was officiating. The fine for the first violation is $1,000, and $2,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

Health care grants (SB 149) Expands health-care options to improve access in medically under-served areas through a community health center expansion program.

Meningitis information (SB 168) Requires state universities to educate freshmen, transfer students and parents about meningitis. Also, makes vaccines available through university health services.

Aggravated battery (SB 175) Triggers aggravated battery penalties (Class 3 felony) for battery near a domestic violence shelter.

Child protection (SB 187) Notifies day-care facilities and schools, including colleges, within 24 hours if an order of protection is issued for any student.


Vocational centers (SB 330) Allows area vocational centers to apply for certain State Board of Education grants.

Expelled students (SB 376) Requires expelled or suspended students to complete their suspension before being admitted into another school district. Provides for enrollment in alternative education.

Hearsay exemption (SB 464) Gives senior citizens their day in court even if they are incapable of testifying by allowing hearsay testimony if the elderly crime victim is mentally or physically incapable of testifying.

Sparklers (SB 523) Allows municipalities to prohibit the sale and use of sparklers on public property.

Business retention (SB 603) Establishes an administrative policy of recouping state aid for job creation when the businesses receiving those grants leave Illinois.

Mercury (SB 683) Requires public utilities to inform homeowners when they work on equipment containing mercury on their property.

Senior grants (SB 816) — Creates a grant program to help seniors and disabled individuals live at home.

Military honors funerals (SB 876) Allows the Illinois National Guard to perform military honors ceremonies at funerals when the federal government cannot.

School attendance (SB 1026) Charges anyone who threatens, menaces or intimidates nonpublic school students from attending school with a Class A misdemeanor (up to one year behind bars). Public school students already have this protection.

STD testing for attackers (SB 1049) Provides victims of sexual assault with information about their attackers’ HIV and STD status.

Concealed videotaping (SB 1297) Prohibits the use of a concealed camera to videotape or record a person for purposes of viewing the body or undergarments of the person.

[News release]

Outgoing city officials honored

[APRIL 27, 2001]  At Thursday night’s council meeting, Lincoln Mayor Joan Ritter and two outgoing aldermen were honored for their service to the city. The meeting was the last at which Ritter will preside before the newly elected mayor, Elizabeth Davis, is sworn in May 1.

Alderman William Melton presented the plaque to Ritter, Lincoln’s 39th mayor, citing her "dedication, diligence, integrity and enthusiasm" during the 20 years she has been a city official.

Ritter has served as an alderman since 1981. In 1997 she was elected mayor, defeating incumbent John Guzzardo.


[Lincoln Mayor Joan Ritter]

Melton noted that both he and Ritter have served the city for 20 years and said Ritter had contributed to the betterment and growth of the community. "A lot of positive things are happening in the city, and you should be proud," he told her as he presented her with the plaque.

He commended her for seeing beyond political parties and looking at a person’s personal merit, not a party affiliation. Melton is the only Democrat on the council, and Ritter appointed him mayor pro tem, to serve when she was unable to be present, for the past year.


[to top of second column in this article]

Plaques were also awarded to Stephen Mesner and Judge Gerald Dehner, retiring aldermen. Mesner has been an alderman from Ward 2 for eight years. He ran for mayor this year but was defeated in the February primary. Dehner was appointed in December of 1998 to fill an unexpired term as Ward 3 alderman but did not choose to run for a full term. Mesner and Dehner were not present to receive their plaques.

Ritter said she had hoped Davis would be at the meeting so she could present her with the gavel, symbol of the mayor’s office. However, Davis did not attend Thursday’s meeting.

Ritter said she plans to remain active in the community. She did not announce any specific future plans other than a possible vacation trip but said she was "not going to disappear from the scene."

[Joan Crabb]

Council approves ‘bare-bones budget’

[APRIL 27, 2001]  A "bare-bones budget" for the fiscal year from May 1, 2001, to April 30, 2002, got final approval from the Lincoln City Council at a special adjourned meeting Thursday evening. That description came from Alderman Joseph Stone, chairman of the council’s finance committee.

Totaling $9,450,865 after transfers, the budget is down from last year’s figure of $9,703,624 because of a projected $300,000 to $400,000 decrease in revenues, according to Mayor Joan Ritter. Drops are predicted in funds from state sales taxes, state income taxes, motor fuel tax funds and interest on investments. "The whole gamut is down," she said.

"This year we shouldn’t have any unnecessary capital expenditures. We will be lucky to make the payroll with this budget," added Juanita Josserand, city clerk.

The city will start the fiscal year with a balance of $900,000 in the general fund and is projected to end with a balance of $363,686. Cuts in the budget included the street rehabilitation project on Elm Street between Fifth and Kickapoo, about $330,000, and the west-side fire station, $50,000.

In other business, the council accepted a bid from Graue Motors, Lincoln, for a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck for the streets and alleys department. The $33,362 bid was $3,100 higher than the state bid from a dealer in Taylorville for a 2001 Dodge truck. The council had originally set aside $35,000 for the purchase of the vehicle.

Chris Graue, who attended the meeting, told the council that the 2001 Chevy model was no longer available, but the 2002 model had higher towing and weight ratings and more horsepower and torque. Graue also noted that the city would have the advantage of local maintenance and equipment installation, and he pointed out that Graue Motors contributes $133,000 in state sales taxes to the city and to Logan County.



[to top of second column in this article]

Alderman George Mitchell, chairman of the streets and alleys committee, said he had always believed in buying locally whenever possible. However, he said since the city was not going to take the low state bid, he thought it would be fair to let the other two auto dealers in the city have another chance to bid on the truck.

Mayor Ritter pointed out that when the original bid was let the two other dealers did not submit bids, and she thought there would be nothing unfair about accepting the Graue bid. The council agreed to accept Graue’s bid and will formally ratify it at the next regular meeting May 7.

The council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, May 1, to swear in the new mayor, Elizabeth "Beth" Davis, along with City Clerk Juanita Josserand, City Treasurer Lester D. Plotner and the five aldermen elected April 3: Benny Huskins Sr., Ward 1; Verl A. Prather, Ward 2; David R. Armbrust, Ward 3; Glenn Shelton, Ward 4; and Michael Montcalm, Ward 5. Armbrust is new to the council; Prather was formerly an alderman from another ward but has since moved to Ward 2.

[Joan Crabb]

East-side subdivision, sidewalks
and curbs, and fiscal year budget discussed at council meeting

[APRIL 26, 2001]  Rodney White stood before the Lincoln City Council to discuss more about his plans for developing an east-side subdivision. The subdivision has the potential to develop into 57 units eventually and will be located east of Keokuk Street on Sherman. White is planning to develop only about one-third of the area, 16 lots, at this time.

After reviewing White’s proposal, which was presented to the council last month, City Attorney Jonathan Wright said the city had four stipulations. They need to know White’s intentions for the remainder of the expansion. There are concerns for sewer overload. They need to see a letter of credit from White to be sure he can follow through with his plans before the city commits the necessary funds and time for their portion of the development. And lastly, the city’s committee on streets and alleys will need to meet to evaluate needs and costs for street and curb upgrades.

White responded saying that he only intends to focus on getting the 16 lots prepared right now, adding that he does not intend to be the builder on any of these lots unless it becomes necessary. He said Lincoln Christian College and Seminary has approached him about running their soon-to-be-needed additional sewer line through his easement area. He has committed to them that they may, and he will absorb the costs for running that portion of sewer line for them, thereby reducing their costs significantly.

There was some discussion indicating that it is believed that the current retention pond may be large enough to allow for this addition. Concern for adequate sewer line capacity remains a concern, and further investigation will be made by the city.

The streets and alleys committee will assess the streets and curbs on this section of Sherman Street and consider the improvement requests made by White for widening and adding curbs in the next three to five years.

Two other petitioners came before the council at Tuesday night’s planning meeting. Roger Michalsen, vice president of the St. John church council, came seeking approval for the development of a parking lot. The neighborhood received letters about the proposed change and replied with acceptance, with only one letter not returned. No one objected at the scheduled public hearing at which the city planning committee approved the request. The Eighth Street property is the first house past Central School and sits adjacent to another church lot. The church has received first bid rights from the current owner.

The other petitioner was Dr. Karen Dzekunskas, requesting special use of property at 105 Peoria St. Dzekunskas, who currently has her practice at the Professional Park, would like to relocate her office with two treatment rooms to the Peoria Street location, where they will also have their family residency. Parking was the only concern for the request and should not be a problem, as she sees patients during normal working hours only 28 hours per week.

The petitions from both Dzekunskas and St. John church met with approval from the council and will come to a vote May 7.

The council heard numerous written petitions presented by Alderman George Mitchell for sidewalks, curbs and decorative-functional hitching posts.

A request was made for a new walkway with a brick look replacing the walk on Sangamon between Broadway and Pulaski streets. Donnie Osborne stated that most of the streets downtown have been there since the ’70s. A complete replacement was not approved as the costs would be excessive. It was pointed out that there has been a budget of only $18,000 for all of the downtown area sidewalks and curbs.


[to top of second column in this article]

The curb at 109 Pulaski St. will be viewed and assessed by the streets superintendent. It was recommended to fill the walk area with dirt and seed it.

A request was formally made to place decorative as well as functional (to assist elderly) hitching posts at 121, 131 Sangamon St. The request has been placed on the next agenda with intent to ratify at the next meeting.

A letter of appreciation to the city and the streets and alleys committee was read. The message from Zion Lutheran School first-grade teacher Joanne Stamm was accompanied by 18 letters from her first-grade class about their recent tree planting and celebration.

A letter was received from the West Lincoln road commissioner asking for $18,000 to help with repairs needed on Connolley Road. Traffic in one direction was rerouted off Illinois Route 10 near Wal-Mart when a force-main break necessitated digging all along the route. Illinois Department of Transportation made the decision sending all traffic coming into the city down the weight-posted road at winter’s end. The city will look into the situation, including checking for insurance coverage. Roger Eaton is handling the matter.

Wrapping up the evening, Alderman Joe Stone gave the finance committee policy and procedure report. He said that after much effort the committee has figures that they were satisfied to deliver the council as a whole.

They worked to cut a budget that will show a positive balance of $33,000 for the year 2003. This was achieved by making the difficult decision to entirely cut the already halved Elm Street project ($330,000) and the west-side fire station ($50,000).

This bare-bones budget permits the city to end the fiscal year with a positive balance and allows a $363,000 bank balance for the end of next fiscal year. Going into this new fiscal year, there will be a total of $900,000.

"With lots of sewer work and road rehab," Stone went on to say, they looked at costs, benefits, and salaries closely. "[It was a] diligent effort and it wasn’t an easy job," he emphasized.

Mayor Joan Ritter interjected the information that revenues for the city are down by $379,380. "This is not just happening to Lincoln. It is happening to other communities like us also," she pointed out.

Insurance was $243,169. The premium went up by 26 percent overall. Workman’s comp, which is factored into that figure, went up by 47 percent. This figure is $20,000 lower than the 1998 figure.

[Jan Youngquist]

Most wanted: Abe Lincoln

[APRIL 26, 2001]  The Looking for Lincoln of Logan County Committee is literally looking for Lincoln to play the part in a video currently in the planning stages. The "tryouts" will be through a look-alike contest at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, during the Elkhart Chautauqua 1800s festival.  Elkhart, located eight miles south of Lincoln off Interstate 55, was the home of Lincoln’s good friend John D. Gillett.

Have you seen either of these men?

Approximately 6-foot-4, 175-180 pounds, dark brown or black hair, 45-55 years old

Ambrotype by P. Butler, Springfield, IL

by Alexander Gardner, Washington, D.C.


Since Abraham Lincoln did not grow a beard until he left for Washington, D.C., the committee is looking for a beardless Abe to play the part in the video, as well as a bearded Abe for other events. Contest participants will be judged based on similarity in looks, as well as a portrayal of up to 60 seconds, including speech and mannerisms. Those wishing to participate may sign in beginning at 10 a.m. and should gather near the main stage by 12:30 p.m. Winners in both beardless and bearded categories will be announced the same afternoon and given $100 cash, a "Lincoln" prize package, and the opportunity to participate in the video or other future events.

The video will be produced as part of the Looking for Lincoln regional tourism project, which promotes the area’s unique historical ties to Abraham Lincoln.

As a young lawyer and surveyor, Lincoln spent many hours in Logan County, and the county seat was named in his honor long before he became famous. Lincoln was present when the first city lots were sold on Aug. 27, 1853, and was requested by promoters of the event to christen the city. Though protesting that "nothing with the name of Lincoln ever amounted to anything," he took a watermelon from a nearby pile, broke it open, squeezed some of the juice into a tin cup and poured it on the ground. Thus Lincoln, Ill., became the first city to be named for and by Abraham Lincoln.



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The Elkhart Chautauqua is an 1800s festival coordinated by the Elkhart Historical Society. It’s a chance to step back in time with numerous demonstrations including blacksmithing, quilting, horsemanship, spinning, goat milking, duck herding and the calvary. Historical portraits of key figures as well as special musical groups will be featured on the main stage.

Tours of the St. John the Baptist Chapel will be on the hour beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing through 2 p.m. The chapel was built in memory of John Dean Gillett in 1890 at a cost of $10,000. The largest event at the chapel was the funeral of Gov. Richard Oglesby in 1899, when over 4,000 people attended. Both Oglesby and Gillett are buried in the adjacent cemetery.

For further information, including special room rates for re-enactors, contact Wendy Bell at Main Street Lincoln at (217) 732-2929, Thressia Usherwood of Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau at (217) 732-8687 or Gillette Ransom for the Elkhart Historical Society at (217) 947-2238.


If you have a good recycling program, a local agency may have a grant for you

[APRIL 26, 2001]  The Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency has recently announced a monetary grant award program to encourage the creation and continuation of recycling programs within Logan County. Individuals, school groups, clubs, churches and civic organizations are eligible to apply.

 Grants will be awarded based on the merits of the proposed recycling programs. The amount of the awards will be determined by the agency board of directors, who will review the scope of the proposals, the need for funding, and quantity of materials to be recycled or reused.

"We hope the recycling grant program will assist and reward those groups who recycle municipal waste currently or who are interested in starting a program," said Kenneth Schwab, agency coordinator. Municipal waste is defined as material generated by households, such as newspapers, magazines, plastic containers, cardboard, glass containers, batteries and landscape waste.

The Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency consists of representatives from each of the municipalities in Logan County as well as a Logan County Board member who represents the unincorporated areas.


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Chairman Jim Struebing said, "The Solid Waste Agency encourages people from throughout the county to divert material from the waste stream by reducing the creation of waste, reusing items that would ordinarily be discarded and recycling products which can be remanufactured into other products. We think there is additional potential for recycling in Logan County and want to help those groups who develop a good program."

Applications for the grant awards may be obtained from Kenneth Schwab at the agency office in the courthouse, by calling the office at (217) 732-9636 or by writing to LCJSWA, P.O. Box 428, Lincoln, IL 62656. The grant program is ongoing, and applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year.

[Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency
news release]

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