BC-IL--Illinois Weekend Digest, IL
AP-Illinois stories for the weekend of Aug. 18-19. Members using Exchange stories should retain the bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the AP-Illinois desk in Chicago at 312-781-0500 or email@example.com.
JOLIET, Ill. — George Anthos spent just three years in the Army, from 1955 to 1957, before returning home to Illinois and pursuing a profession as a hair dresser. But at age 83, he puts on a military-style uniform every Tuesday and reports to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery near Joliet. Since 2003, he has been a part of its Memorial Squad -- men and women who provide military honors for veterans buried there. About three dozen people accompany veterans on their last journey. They present the colors, play taps, fire 21-shot salutes and present U.S. flags to survivors. By Susan Sarkauskas. Daily Herald. SENT: 650 words, photos.
PEORIA, Ill. — A trailer and a generator don’t seem like typical graduation presents, but for two Brimfield teens, they were the perfect gifts. When Kami Stahl, 18, and Mikaela Endress, 19, wanted to open their own small business, many doubted them. “In the beginning, everyone laughed at us, to be honest,” said Endress. “I thought they were right.” Still, they persevered. In early May, they attended their first event as the owners of Kamaela’s Kreamery, surrounded by the friends and family that supported them. By Katherine Vieck. Journal Star. SENT: 800 words, photos.
VALMEYER, Ill. — Leaders in the Southern Illinois town of Valmeyer said they had “no textbooks” showing them the way to move their town from the river bottoms to the top of the bluffs. In the summer of 1993, Southern Illinois experienced one of the most costly and devastating floods in U.S. history. According to the National Weather Service, the flood crested on Aug. 1, 1993, when experts estimated 1 million cubic feet of water passed the St. Louis Arch every second. It did an estimated $15 billion in damages and is considered the most devastating flood in the history of the United States. The small village rallied its citizens, acquired land and moved Valmeyer, almost in its entirety, to the top of the river bluffs. Valmeyer did not just recover, some residents say they thrived. By Heidi Wiechert. Belleville News-Democrat. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.
EXCHANGE-TEDDY BEAR PATROL
PEORIA, Ill. — Ask Peoria police Officer Curtis Lindsay why he goes out of his way to give teddy bears to young children, and he’ll come back with a simple reason. “You just do. There is no rhyme or reasoning. You just do. Some things you just do,” said the 25-year veteran of the department. For more than a year, Lindsay, a Peoria native and a former police officer with Peoria Public Schools, has passed out dozens of bears to area children. He did it with no fanfare and didn’t really want to have a reporter tag along as he was driving the police transport wagon on Thursday. But he also admits it’s an important thing to brighten a child’s day, even if only for a few minutes. By Andy Kravetz. Journal Star. SENT: 600 words, photos.