Driving around the heart of Lincoln was like
driving around a ghost town, with empty parking spaces abundant all
around the Logan County Courthouse square. It was a weird time, and
one that most of this population had never experienced. Fact is the
last time something this dire had occurred in Logan County was in
1918-1920 during the Spanish Flu.
Throughout the month of March there were no confirmed cases of
coronavirus in Logan County. Because of this, many of our people
were quite frustrated by the orders under which they were being
forced to live. It was a difficult time for our small businesses and
our people. Parents became teachers and teachers found themselves
out of work or teaching remotely. Dining rooms became home schools
and classrooms sat dark and empty gathering dust.
The fun, traditional events that we always enjoyed such as the April
Lincoln Park District Easter Egg Hunt where canceled and many people
were feeling the sadness of isolation, even though isolation was
On April 2nd, Logan County recorded the first official case of
coronavirus. While it had been reported by many health experts that
the disease would have its greatest impact on the elderly, this
first case in Logan County was a middle age person, a female in her
LCDPH reports first case of coronavirus in Logan County
Even though there was one diagnosis in the community, coronavirus
did not spread rapidly and by the end of the month, there were still
fewer than 10 cases.
Before the end of March though, our community began to figure out
ways to cope with Covid-19 and share love to those who on a regular
day would have been enjoying special milestones or events.
On April 1st, LDN reported the first “drive-by” birthday party for
12 year old Elayna Marten of Mount Pulaski. While there was no fun
filled party with family and friends, Elayna was delighted that she
was remembered and recognized by those who were important in her
It's a real
bummer for a pre-teen when celebrating your birthday means no party,
no special time with family, and no chance to celebrate it at school
with your BFF's. So when Elayna Marten of Mount Pulaski celebrated
her 12th birthday, she wasn't expecting anything special. However,
her friends and family had a different idea. Instead of gathering
together for a party, those who know and love Elayna had a Covid-19
Birthday Parade past her house! In a bad situation, they gave Elayna
a happy memory and a birthday she will never forget. Someday, when
she is old and gray, she can tell her grandkids about the year she
had her own special birthday parade!
A drive-by surprise for local 12 year old leaves everyone smiling
Kelton Olson of Elkhart was also recognized on his ninth birthday in
a special way.
Kelton Olson of Elkhart celebrated his ninth birthday. It was
another Covid birthday with no big celebrations, no chance to enjoy
it with friends at school.
To make his day special, dear friends Rob, Alissa, Landon and Olivia
Smith put a large sign on the side of their vehicle and delivered a
special birthday wish and gift to Kelton.
Ann Olson noted, "It wasn't a parade, but he was thrilled!"
Happy belated Birthday Kelton!
Photo by Ann Olson
Another drive-by event took place on Easter weekend and friends and
family surprised Caroline Higgins. Caroline was ill and so she and
husband Mike were being extra cautious. But with Easter holding a
special place in Caroline’s heart, those who loved her wanted her to
enjoy the weekend in the best way possible.
Mike Higgins were beaming on Saturday afternoon as a parade of more
than 100 cars came into their driveway with Easter greetings for the
pair. Caroline was recently diagnosed with cancer and is at even
higher risk than most of us for contracting coronavirus. They have
been in complete isolation. Their good friends Chuck and Penny
Fricke and Ron and Deb Ackerman decided that Easter was a great time
to show some love to their friends. They put together a parade of
cars and were amazed by the huge turnout.
See more in today's edition of Lincoln Daily News
Photo by Karen Hargis
Friends show their love for Caroline Higgins with an Easter Parade
An Easter Love parade brightens the day of a sweet lady - slideshow
And, Princess Belle visited Lincoln on a special mission to calm
children during this unsettling time.
In Lincoln, Princess Belle is calming children by song - Album
At the end of March, the population of the state of Illinois was
hoping that the stay at home orders would be short lived. However,
on April first, Governor JB Prtizker announced that he would extend
the order to last throughout the month of April.
It became a time to “take heart” and try to figure out how to cope
with what was going on in our world. In that respect, there were
those who knew that a little love and kindness could go a long way.
Those people set out to show a little “heart” to all of our
afternoon, Governor JB Pritzker announced that he had extended the
Illinois Stay at Home Order to April 30th. We know that for many of
you, and us at LDN as well, that is a hard pill to swallow, but we
have a duty to support that decision.
We're giving you a little heart this morning, to help you all know
that there are a lot of us going through this and trying to take
heart and show you our love from the inside out, literally.
The center pic is super cute, good for April Fool's Day, and we hope
it makes you smile. It was submitted via our Facebook page by Angie
Brooks. Shannon Neibuhr Gonzalez provided the two flanking pictures.
We draw your attention to the large top heart in the right-hand
photo. It expresses [love] "to the world," a sentiment we hope all
Photos taken from LDN FB page
04/02 – top x 4
her daughter Izzy and Carrie's best friend Chris Parks spent the
weekend and Monday showing a little love for our downtown
businesses. The business windows not already decorated with hearts
were done by the trio to show love for our community and our small
businesses that are struggling right now. Thanks ladies for the
Photos by Lisa Ramlow
Mount Pulaski and "hang in there." Those are the messages that we
are sharing to all the community and especially to residents of the
Mount Pulaski area from residents Clair and Olivia Cyrulik. The
girls, age 10, drew the great big message on the retaining wall at
their home. Their mom Angie sent the photo to Lincoln Daily News and
we are happy to share it along with all the other HEARTwork we have
received. We've been spreading out the hearts and there are still
more to come, so stay tuned!
Photo by Angie Cyrulik
How many of us
remember the Care Bears? It is so sweet and inspirational in its own
way. They were adorable little bears that children loved to cuddle,
and many kids had their favorites. Each one had a special symbol on
its tummy, and this particular bear is "Tenderheart." And he is
showing his love by pouring out a bucket of hearts all over the
Maybe this could be our best message as we approach Easter this
year. We should all show love (from a distance) to those who mean so
much to us. What better time to appreciate those who are an
important part of our lives on a daily basis?
Our hope for the best outcome of this terrible disease we are all
sheltering from, is that when it is over we will love more deeply,
share more generously, and give more of ourselves to those who are
important to us.
Photo by Lisa Ramlow
Lincoln resident gives ‘Heart” to downtown businesses
Local trio shows a little "Heart" for local businesses - slideshow
More HEARTwork from our downtown merchants - Album
CCAonline sends a message of love to all of you
A little more heart from the hearts of our community - slideshow
04/16 community x 4
Here are a few
more ‘hearts’ for our community from the hearts of the community.
The two pictures on the left were sent in by Bobby Taylor of Mount
Pulaski. Bobby is one of those rare people who is an essential
worker by default. She runs a daycare facility that would typically
be closed. However, she is still caring for the children in her
program whose parents are healthcare workers. It's kind of a
trickle-down effect, where to support those front line workers a
second line has to keep functioning as well. The week before Easter,
the children decorated the windows at Bobby's with hearts as well as
a lovely stained glass cross for Easter.
The second set of hearts (on the right) comes from Rebecca Johnson
of Lincoln. Many will remember that Rebecca worked for St. Clara's
Rehab and Senior Care as the activity director for years. She
retired last year in April.
Rebecca is known for being crafty and artistic. She said that to do
her hearts she decided to use Mother's Day and Birthday Cards she
has received from her kids and grandkids. She filled her front door
glasses with hearts and noted, "That's a lot of love" put up "in
thanksgiving to all the amazing people helping during this difficult
Photos by Bobby Taylor and Rebecca Johnson
The unusual circumstances under which all were living brought out
the creativity in some of our local residents in other ways. It was
time to think outside the box so to speak, and many of our people
became quite good at doing so.
With schools closed, even the colleges, continuing the school year
became challenging. From grade school to college, students were
expected to educate at home via internet.
College professor Ron Keller figured out how to engage the students
in his class and hold their interest during study time via video
Lincoln College Professor Ron Keller finds
online ways to bring history to life
The thought of no Easter Bunny for children in 2020 was heart
breaking for downtown owners Lisa Mestinsek (Top Hat Creamery) and
Kathie Williams (Small Town Creations). The popular ice cream shop
was permitted to be open for curbside pickup, as were all other food
The two put their heads together and hippity hop the bunny showed up
at the ice cream shop!
Easter Bunny delivers sweet treats from Top Hat Creamery - Album
While no one was supposed to socially interact with others, there
were ways in which messages of support and hope could be delivered.
Some went old school with notes and messages, many drawn with calk
a nice warm day and a great day to get outside and share some love
That is what little Zayna did with help from her grandparents Josh
McCoy and Steph Roseboom.
Zayna sent messages to all of us: "Stay Safe, Wash your hands, Be
positive, Walking is good, and God Bless USA."
She also sent a special thank you to nurses everywhere.
Our favorite is the large one she wrote on the edge of her concrete
driveway "I (heart) 6 ft. apart!"
See more in today's edition of Lincoln Daily News.
Photos by Josh McCoy
Messages on the sidewalks - Album
As the world was coming to grip with just how serious the pandemic
was, and the danger of loss of life or at least serious illness if
contracted, it was our frontline workers who were quietly doing
their jobs even though they were putting themselves in harm’s way
day in and day out.
[to top of second column]
In Logan County, there were many who understood
and appreciated this, even though the numbers locally were still
relatively small. What our police, fire, EMS, nurses and doctors
were doing to protect and help us did not go un-noticed, and some
felt the strong need to support and thank those workers.
In another community a project called Flag 2020 was
underway. At home with time to research various topics on the
internet Angie Cyrulik of Mount Pulaski discovered Flag 2020 and
knew that this was a project she could get behind and implement
She began Flag 2020 – Lincoln IL and was immediately shocked and
happily surprised by the overwhelming response. The goal was to
raise money to purchase carry out meals for local front line workers
starting with the hospitals.
The project exploded before her very eyes, and soon, she had raised
enough money to deliver meals multiple times to the hospitals as
well as many, many other frontline workers.
Cyrulik noted that this was a win-win project because all the food
was ordered from local eateries that were open for pick-up or
delivery only. The loss of dining room service was having a terrible
impact on those restaurants, and this project helped them out as
FLAG 2020 – Lincoln, IL makes a big difference for front line
workers and local restaurants
Other local groups also got involved in supporting front line
workers in different ways.
from Open Arms Christian Fellowship Church recently donated 100
cloth face masks to St. Clara's Rehab and Senior Care. With a
shortage of masks this was a valued donation the management and
staff of St. Clara's greatly appreciated
Some have suggested that perhaps when we do have to go out, that we
wear a mask. We have seen folks wearing masks locally when shopping.
If you are interested in making a mask for yourself, LDN does have a
link to two U-tube videos that will show you how. Memorial Health
Systems is also seeking donations of masks and we're confident there
are other local facilities that would benefit from them as well.
St. Clara's staff receive prayers and words of encouragement from
Safe Haven Hospice - Album
Friendship Manor Quilters make masks for our front line workers
Community College recently made a donation of medical supplies to
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
With on-site teaching suspended for the rest of the year, Dean and
Department Chair of Health Sciences Jennifer O'Connor gathered up
supplies that would not be used by Heartland and delivered them to
the hospital. The donation was accepted by Tara Morris (blue scrubs)
who works at the ALMH Emergency Room and is also an instructor at
HCC also made additional donations to OSF St. Joseph in
ALMH began accepting donations directly Monday through Friday from 8
a.m. to 5 p.m., and on weekends by appointment only. To make a
delivery on weekdays, go to the service/delivery door on the back
side of the hospital and ring the bell. Appointments are required
only for weekend drop offs.
Photo provided by Steve Fast
Heartland Health Sciences donate materials to Abraham Lincoln
LDN found this
impressive window with a beautiful message in Lincoln on the south
side of Scully Park. We went searching for Jenny Lewis to find out
the rest of the story. Jenny is a procedural technician in labor and
delivery at St. John's Hospital in Springfield.
She said that the window was a surprise gift from her mother-in-law
with help from her husband and children and input from Jenny's mom.
Jenny said the window and its message of support was their way of
telling her how proud they were of the work she is doing on the
frontlines during the coronavirus. And that they extended those
feelings to all frontline healthcare workers as well.
Jenny said when the sign first went up and she was out looking at
it, there were some people in Scully Park across the street who came
to the edge and started clapping for her. It was very touching, "and
it made me proud to go to work and do my job."
LDN is proud of you too, Jenny. And we are grateful to you and every
healthcare worker risking his or her health to take care of others.
You are our heroes.
Photos Karen Hargis
Lincoln Community High School also hosted a “Light for the Fight”
event with the dual purpose of showing support for front line
workers and also for showing love to the Class of 2020 who was going
to be missing out on many of its milestone events. By this time
schools had been closed to the end of the school year, proms had
been cancelled, and sports was suspended. Graduation ceremonies
would be another opportunity to think outside the box. In all our
students were getting the short end of the stick, and many wanted
them to know they were thought of and loved, thus the combined
Lincoln shows up for Light For The Fight - Covid-19 Album
As the month progressed there was also a need for food in the
community. It was a time when schools were closed and kids were not
getting the nutrition they needed because of it. Parents were
stretching their dollars to the best of their ability under the
circumstances, but being off work, on unemployment, and needing to
provide multiple meals per day for the family was putting a terrible
strain on them.
Again, the community stepped up to help out.
Open Arms partners with local restaurants to provide Sunday lunch to
Open Arms & Guzzardo's provide Sunday Lunch for the community -
Copper Creek Staff play "Ding-dong Dash!" to help those in need -
District 27 continues to provide nutritious meals for at risk
children - Album
Lincoln Logan Food Pantry serving more customers than ever due to
There was also some financial assistance coming into the community.
Locally, Enel North America (owners of Logan County windfarms in the
Mount Pulaski area) donated $65,000 to relief efforts in Latham,
Mount Pulaski and Lincoln.
Enel North America Commits $65,000 Toward COVID-19 Relief Efforts in
Responders in Latham and Mount Pulaski will receive $50,000
Pledges $5,000 to Lincoln Logan Food Pantry
The Logan County Airport received a funding commitment through the
federal CARES act.
LaHood Applauds Over $16.5 Million in CARES Act Funding for 18th
Airport to receive $30,000
Lincoln Daily News also embarked on an effort to help the community
cope with what was going on around them. To educate and inform all
of us about the various aspects and impacts of Covid-19, LDN
embarked on a series of articles talking with local folks about what
was going on in their lives and businesses as a result of the
disease. The goal was to share knowledge and assist all of us in
gaining perspective and understanding the sacrifices of the
community at this point in time.
A closer look: How the Covid-19 Pandemic is changing our lives
By Dr. Paul E.
Explaining the pandemic and shelter-in-place to younger children
worker Teena Lowery said, “As I was walking along my mail route in
Nugent Place one day recently I noticed a little girl outside
snapping a picture of this window. Turns out an eight-year-old girl
and her mom created this artwork and beautiful message. It took them
between 3 - 4 hours to complete. As you can see it has everything
people are looking for these days. As mom Nikki Rhoades said,
“Whether you are hunting for hearts, bears, Easter eggs or just a
little bit of encouragement we have got you covered.”
In today's edition, LDN reporter Angela Reiners catches up with the
family responsible for this artwork and talks with mom Nikki Rhoades
about how to talk to your children about social distancing and the
coronavirus. Be sure to check it out.
Photo by Teena Lowery
How to talk to your children about social distancing and the corona
How to explain shelter in place to an older child with special needs
Companies help employees transition to working from home
Staying connected: Working from home benefits and challenges
Essential workers on the front lines taking precautions
Because of the stay at home orders, the newly created Community
Champion awards presented by Lincoln Daily News were put on hold in
March. However, in April the trophy was posted in our daily edition
and a show of long-distance love was given to all our front line
Community Champions for April 2020
LDN also checked in with some of our local businesses and
institutions to see how they were doing. Some were getting creative
to help their business and the community, while others took on the
attitude of “just keep on truckin’.”
Debbie’s Downtown Floral offers solutions for the ‘Stay at Home’
Put flowers on
your table this Easter season, maybe let the kiddo’s do the
Truckers keep on trucking during the pandemic
St. Clara's residents are doing well and looking forward to seeing
family again soon - Album
Quality Inn serves essential travelers with the utmost care
Timber Creek Village residents and staff doing well in these unusual
A message to
the community from Administrator Tisha Abner
Christian Village standing strong in the face of Covid-19
Of course, school sports were officially over for the year. To mark
this and honor those who lost some good opportunities at a state
championship, LDN’s Sports Writer Teena Lower put together her final
thoughts on the season.
Some final thoughts on the Railers basketball season
Even though the daily headlines included something about the
coronavirus pandemic there was other news in Logan County.
To the best of our ability, our community continued to do many of
the things it would have done otherwise, including giving to those
in need, celebrating spring, and keeping our city and county moving
Lincoln City Council meets under unique conditions
Small business relief, 2020-21
Budget, insurance and more
Lincoln aldermen set to approve 2020/2021 fiscal year budget
afternoon, Graue Chevrolet technicians handed over six bicycles to
Christy Fruge of the Lincoln D.A.R.E. program. The bikes had been
retrieved from the unclaimed stack of bikes at the city street
department building and were refurbished by Graue technicians.
Fruge will work with local school teachers and School Resource
Officers to give the bikes to deserving youth in Lincoln.
Photo by Nila Smith
Graue technicians refurbish abandoned bikes for Lincoln D.A.R.E.
of Atlanta has been selected as the new Executive Director at the
Christian Village in Lincoln. Halley is well qualified to fill the
position and is looking forward to a bright future at the Village.
She notes that her love for our senior population comes from her
love for her own grandparents and the relationship she had with
them, especially her grandfather. She noted that when making a
decision, "I think of my Grandpa Bob and ask myself, would this be
good enough for him?"
Photo provided by Christian Village
One interesting and unique story came from a tip and photos from
reader Brad Matthews. Asian Carp had invaded Lincoln Lakes, and in
April Shawn Price of Price Fisheries was hired to resolve the issue.
Now that is a
boatload of fish! Shawn Price of Price Fisheries was recently hired
by the Lincoln Lakes Condo Association to come to Lincoln and help
rid of the invasive Asian Carp that have taken over the lakes. Price
is a commercial fisher who does a lot of environmental fishing,
helping to rid the Midwest of the invasive fish that are detrimental
to other fish as well as the eco-system of the public waterways. In
two days, the harvest from the lake exceeded 17,000 pounds. The fish
were sold, some for food, and others for use in the production of
Photo by Brad Matthews
Lincoln Lakes ridded of Asian Carp
Finally, Mother Nature also did her part to keep the community
entertained in April. Some may not have been so pleased with her
efforts such as Laurel Sutton who found herself in a very
frightening situation at the hands of the weather.
Though it was
only a bit before 5 p.m., outside the evening sky looked more like
it typically does around 7 p.m. or so. The storm was on its way. In
a few short minutes the wind arrived, and also heavy rain that
rolled down the streets in waves. It only lasted a few minutes in
Lincoln, but it was long enough to wreak havoc around the Logan
County community. The Illinois State Police reported multiple semi
tractor-trailers were knocked over on Interstate 55 between Elkhart
and Lincoln. Power went out in a wide portion of Lincoln as well as
rural areas and other communities. Much of the reason for the power
outages were snapped power poles and broken lines. In Lincoln, power
was restored relatively quickly coming back on around 6:30 p.m. in
Photos by Nila Smith
evening, Laurel Sutton had finished her day working at CEFCU in
Lincoln and was on her way home for the night. As she headed south
on Primm Road a heavy storm hit the area with hard fast winds.
In an instant, Laurel found herself in a situation no one ever wants
to be in. Power poles were falling in front of her vehicle as well
as behind! She was trapped in her car while the storm raged around
Thankfully she was rescued by local first responders and Ameren, but
it is surely an event that she will never forget.
Thanks to all who helped Laurel, and Laurel - we are happy that you
Photo printed with permission from Laurel's sister Mitzi Rohlfs.
Straight line winds do damage in Mount Pulaski
But, Mother Nature also did us a solid, giving us peace, calm, and
beautiful scenes to help us forget what was going on around us.
The beauty of
nature is all around us. This area is a popular sheltering place for
heron. The large birds build their nest in colonies high in trees.
The nests are generally about three-and-a-half feet in diameter to
accommodate the big birds. When in flight, the birds present an
awesome sight with a six-foot wing span.
Photo by Curtis Fox
sunset at Kickapoo Creek Park promotes a sense of peace and
tranquility during troubled times in our community. A walk in the
park, observing social distancing, is good for the body and the
mind. While it is going to be rainy today according to the
weatherman at least, perhaps Sunday or later next week, you will
take that opportunity to commune with nature and draw strength and
inner peace from its fantastic serenity.
Photo by Jan Youngquist
The beauty of nature - slideshow
Spring arrives at Kickapoo Creek Park
As a result, we reached a point when we looked around us and
imagined that the work was almost normal.
The world looks almost normal - slideshow
So, in that first few weeks, this is how we coped with covid. Maybe
we could have done a little better in some areas, but for the most
part, we showed the strength and resilience of the community, as
well as compassion for others.
If you don’t think we are blessed, think again. This is a great
place to live and great people to live among.
As we go into May and in the months ahead we’ll locally see more
chin up attitude as we hear the “Same song, different verse.”