Civic News & Info
Governor Quinn Names New Executive Director of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 06 December 2010 14:13
Eileen Mackevich Previously Headed National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
SPRINGFIELD – December 3, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today named Eileen R. Mackevich as the new executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM).  Mackevich is the former executive director of the national Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
“Eileen Mackevich’s proven track record and work coordinating the nation’s observance of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday make her the best person to oversee one of the most popular presidential museums in the nation,” said Governor Quinn. “I thank Director Jan Grimes for her service as museum’s interim acting director, as well as her continued work as director of the state’s Historic Preservation Agency.”
Mackevich previously served as executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, was co-founder and president of the Chicago Humanities Festival and spent 18 years as a broadcast journalist and talk show host on Chicago Public Radio. She has been awarded honorary doctorates by Dominican University and Lincoln College, and is invested as a Member of the British Empire.
“It is an honor to be appointed to direct this institution that honors a man who is an inspiration and guiding light for our nation and the world,” said Mackevich. “Lincoln draws out the best from all classes and political persuasions, and he binds us together as a people and as a nation. I look forward to working with the Library and Museum’s talented and hardworking staff to attract many more people to Springfield to experience the real Abraham Lincoln.”
Mackevich earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, holds a master’s degree in British history from Northeastern Illinois University, and has completed additional graduate course work in British history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
After conducting an in-depth interview process of several nationally-renowned historians and museum professionals, Mackevich was the unanimous recommendation of the Board of Trustees for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s (IHPA). IHPA Director Jan Grimes has been serving as interim acting director of the ALPLM since 2008.
“The members of the board were deeply impressed with Eileen Mackevich’s strong vision to ensure the continued success of an already wonderful institution,” said Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Chair Sunny Fischer. “Rarely have we read such glowing references from a wide variety of people in the field. She has a national and global network that will clearly help to increase awareness about Lincoln and the Museum.”
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum has welcomed 2.5 million visitors since opening in April 2005. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, adjacent to the Museum, is the state’s chief genealogical and historical research facility. Its collections of more than 15 million items are available to researchers of all ages. Visit for more information about the Museum and Library as well as exhibits and special events at both facilities.

Harkin/Woolsey: House Action on School Nutrition Bill Important Step Toward Historic School Nutrition Reform PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 06 December 2010 14:03
December 2, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA-06) lauded today’s passage of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act by the House of Representatives by a vote of 264-157.  In particular, they singled out praise for a provision that would require the Secretary of Agriculture to set nutrition standards for all foods sold on the grounds of schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, consistent with their jointly introduced legislation, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act.   Harkin and Woolsey have introduced this legislation every Congress since 2006.  Harkin has sought similar protections since the mid 1990s.  

“For too long, we have allowed the unchecked sale of junk food in our schools to undermine not just the health of our kids, but also the desires of parents, and our taxpayer investment in school meals,” said Harkin.  “House passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act moves us one step closer to requiring common-sense nutrition standards for the foods and beverages sold in schools.  With this provision, the bill will help make the healthy choice, the easy choice.  We also know that it’s the choice that parents around the country prefer.  Survey after survey shows that parents support school nutrition standards at school that reinforce the healthy choices that parents try to make for their kids at home.”

“It’s been 30 years since the regulations limiting junk food sales in schools were updated, despite significant advances in nutrition science and a troubling growth in childhood obesity,” said Woolsey.  “Updating the nutrition standards for foods sold in vending machines, a la carte lines, and school snack bars is a common sense way to confront childhood obesity head on.”

Under the terms of the provision, section 208, the Secretary of Agriculture is required to propose science-based school nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools, including vending machines, snack bars, and school stores, not later than one year after enactment of the bill.  Following a notice and comment period, the standards must go into effect not earlier than one year after the regulations are finalized.  Under the terms of the legislation, the Secretary of Agriculture is also required to review and, if necessary, update the school nutrition standards after the publication of a new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

This fiscally responsible and bipartisan Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act reauthorizes the nation’s major Federal child nutrition programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), including the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program.  The bill provides $4.5 billion in additional funding over the next 10 years – nearly ten times the amount of money provided for the previous child nutrition reauthorization, and the largest new investment in child nutrition programs since their inception.

The bill is partially paid for by eliminating $2.2 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) temporary benefit increase under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama, however, has committed to work with Congress to replace this offset before these SNAP cuts take place in November 2013.

Bon-Ton Stores Community Day Event Raises over $6.5 Million for Local Non-Profits PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Christine Hojnacki   
Thursday, 02 December 2010 08:05


The Bon-Ton Stores Semi-Annual Community Day Event Generates Donations

Milwaukee, Wisc. (November 30, 2010) – The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. is pleased to announce today that the Company raised over $6.5 million for local non-profit organizations and agencies through its semi-annual Community Day event held on Saturday, November 13, 2010.

To kick-off the holiday giving season, The Bon-Ton Stores, under its eight nameplates: Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, Younkers and Parisian (Detroit-area), held its signature Community Day event on November 13. Through this charitable-giving event, organizations raised donations for important projects and causes in their communities.

The event provides an opportunity for local 501(c)(3) organizations and schools to raise donations needed to support their mission. By selling $5 discount savings booklets and retaining 100% of the donation, local non-profit groups raise money for their charity. In return for their donation of $5 to the organization, customers receive a $10 coupon and multiple discounts to be used on Community Day. Over the past twelve years, The Bon-Ton Stores have helped thousands of local non-profit groups raise over $80 million through the successful Community Day event.

"The Community Day event allows us to make a meaningful impact on thousands of organizations in the markets in which we operate,” said Bud Bergren, President and CEO, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. “We thank our customers and associates who contributed. We know that fundraising is a crucial activity for local non-profit groups, regardless of their size, and we are honored to support them through this program.”

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., with headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operates 277 stores, including 11 furniture galleries, in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates and, under the Parisian nameplate, stores in the Detroit, Michigan area. The stores offer a broad assortment of brand-name fashion apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as cosmetics and home furnishings.  The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc is an active and positive participant in the communities that it serves.


Governor Quinn Calls on Illinois Residents to Support Our Troops This Holiday Season PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Andrew Mason   
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 09:19

Launches Annual Holiday Card Drive for Wounded Troops, Urges Support for Homeless Veterans at Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

CHICAGO – November 29, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today joined local schoolchildren to light the state of Illinois’ annual holiday tree and launch the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive. Governor Quinn encouraged schoolchildren from across the state to take part in the annual drive by making holiday cards for servicemembers at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany. Governor Quinn will personally deliver the cards during a visit to troops at LRMC later this year.

“We want every servicemember who is spending the holidays at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to know that we are all thinking of them and are grateful for their courage and sacrifice,” said Governor Quinn. “I encourage everyone in Illinois to join me in supporting our servicemembers and Veterans this holiday season.”

This year will mark the sixth time that Governor Quinn has visited Illinois troops and their families at LRMC. The center is the largest American hospital outside of the United States. For more information on how to participate in the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive, please visit

Governor Quinn was also joined at the tree lighting ceremony by Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Director Dan Grant and representatives from a number of Veterans’ organizations to encourage residents throughout the state to support homeless Veterans during the holidays. The IDVA operates the Prince Home for Homeless and Disabled Veterans, a facility that has become a national model for supportive housing and therapeutic services for homeless Veterans.

“Everyone always asks what they can do to help Veterans, especially at this time of the year,” said Director Grant. “Supporting the organizations that are providing essential services for homeless Veterans and helping them to rebuild their lives is one of the best ways you can do it.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that approximately one-third of the nation’s adult homeless population is made up of Veterans, with many suffering mental illness and alcohol and/or substance abuse problems. In Illinois, nearly 10 percent of the homeless population is made up of Veterans.

Governor Quinn was also joined at the tree lighting ceremony by the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center Inspirational Choir and Chase Bernardi, a formerly homeless Iraq War Veteran.


Heartland Plating Co. of Bettendorf Ordered to Address Hazardous Waste Issues at Metal Electroplating Facility PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Chris Whitley   
Monday, 29 November 2010 08:55


(Kansas City, Kan., November 24, 2010) – EPA Region 7 has ordered Heartland Plating Co., of Bettendorf, Iowa, and its owners to immediately address a series of issues related to the improper storage and management of hazardous wastes at the metal electroplating facility.

Last month, EPA representatives inspected Heartland Plating’s operations at 3900 Elm Street in Bettendorf, and documented throughout the facility spilled and abandoned materials for which the company’s representatives could not provide complete and accurate hazardous waste determinations.

Based on container labels and information provided by Heartland employees, EPA inspectors were able to determine that the company was storing or treating a number of wastes, including chromium, zinc, cyanide, cobalt, potassium permanganate, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide.

A unilateral administrative order issued today in Kansas City, Kan., requires Heartland Plating and its owners, Marion Patigler and the Estate of Gerhard Patigler, to take several immediate actions to address violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The order directs the respondents to refrain from removing or relocating materials currently located at the facility until EPA determines the waste is being handled safely; immediately certify compliance with hazardous waste regulations or halt the generation and management of wastes until such certification can be made; identify all solid and hazardous wastes currently being treated, stored or disposed at the facility; and restrict access to areas of the property where solid and hazardous wastes have been stored or disposed, and to areas where hazardous material has been released.

Additionally, the respondents are ordered to formulate a plan for proper management or disposal of all solid and hazardous wastes at the facility in compliance with RCRA regulations, and to conduct an investigation to determine if wastes have migrated off the site. They must also undertake an immediate cleanup of any hazardous releases on the property, as well as a cleanup of the building and any surrounding areas that may be contaminated.

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Learn more about EPA’s civil enforcement of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act:

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