Tenhouse, Noland appointed to House
A pair of farmers are the newest members of the Illinois General Assembly, replacing House members who resigned their seats. Rep. Art Tenhouse (R-96, Liberty) took his seat on December 5, replacing Jeff Mays who resigned and moved to New England. Tenhouse, 39, has been a partner in the family-owned Four-Ten Farms since 1978. He holds a bachelor's degree and a master's in business administration from the University of Illinois. He is a certified public accountant. Tenhouse is president of the Adams County Farm Bureau and a member of the Adams Electric Cooperative board of directors. He has taught agricultural finance at John Wood Community College. He and his wife Sharon have three children.
Rep. N. Duane Noland (R-102, Blue Mound) took office on April 3, replacing Mike Tate who resigned to become executive director of the Illinois Association of Independent Insurance Agents. Noland, 33, is vice president of the family-owned Noland Farms. He was an agribusiness officer at Illinois National Bank of Springfield for four years. Noland holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics and education from the University of Illinois. He is a director of the Macon County Farm Bureau and treasurer of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. He and his wife Tina have two children.
Kustra for keeps at Public Aid
Kathleen Breidert Kustra, acting director of the Department of Public Aid (DPA) since December, was officially appointed to the post by Gov. James R. Thompson in late February. Prior to December, she had served as the agency's assistant director since 1987. Kustra replaced Susan Suter, who resigned the director's post to pursue her campaign for state comptroller.
From 1983-86, Kustra served as assistant to Illinois House Minority Leader Lee A. Daniels (R-46, Addison) and, from 1980-82, she was executive assistant to U.S. Rep. John E. Porter (R-10, Winnetka). Her annual salary is now $71,321; her appointment was confirmed by the Senate on April 4. Kustra's husband, Bob, is a state senator (R-28, Des Plaines) and the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.
Kustra is one of nine women serving in cabinet-level positions in Illinois. The 3-to-l ratio of men to women in Thompson's cabinet earned the governor recognition from the National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC) in late February. Thompson ranked in the top 10 of the NWPC's survey in 1987 and 1989. This year he tied for third place with Govs. Henry Bellmon of Oklahoma, Richard F. Celeste of Ohio and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin. First place in this year's survey went to Gov. William D. Shaefer of Maryland; Gov. Booth Gardner of Washington was ranked second. The NWPC is a bipartisan group dedicated to the election and appointment of women to political office.
Wright to Department of Professional Regulation
Gov. Thompson tapped Kevin Wright to be director of the Department of Professional Regulation, effective March 1. He replaced Steve Selcke who moved to the top spot in Thompson's legislative affairs office in October 1989. Robert Thompson, who had served as the department's interim director, returned to his duties as administrative services deputy director.
Wright had served as deputy director of the governor's legislative affairs office and as his Senate liaison since August 1988. He has been associated with the Thompson administration since 1980. The appointment was confirmed by the Senate on April 4; Wright's annual salary is $60,349.
Replacing Wright in Thompson's legislative affairs office was Kevin Martin, who had directed legislative affairs for the Department of Conservation since 1988. From 1985-88, Martin held a similar post with the Department of Rehabilitation Services. His new annual salary is $50,000.
Riverboat casinos to be regulated by Illinois Gaming Board
Gov. Thompson signed legislation in February legalizing riverboat gambling along Illinois waterways, beginning January 1991. Illinois now will beat Iowa to the economic development
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and tourism punch that will purportedly accure from the gambling, particularly to communities along the Mississippi River. Iowa approved riverboat gambling last year, but it is not scheduled to begin until April 1991.
The Illinois legislation also established a five-member Illinois Gaming Board within the Department of Revenue that will oversee and regulate the gambling activity. Appointed by Thompson in early February, the board will be chaired by William J. Kunkle Jr. of Indian Head Park, senior partner with Phelan Pope & John and former chief deputy and first assistant state's attorney of Cook County. Other members include William Jack Chamblin of Robinson, president and owner of Bradford Supply Company; Robert Gibson of Chicago, retired state AFL-CIO president; J. Thomas Johnson of Chicago, a partner with Grant Thornton and former director of the Department of Revenue; and Raymond C. Niepert of Mulkeytown, a retired Illinois State Police commander. Board members, who will receive $300 per diem plus expenses, were confirmed by the Senate on April 4. Niepert is to serve until July 1991, Gibson and Johnson until July 1992, and Chamblin and Kunkle until July 1993.
Initially, the board can issue only 10 licenses (each covering two riverboats); five more can be added in March 1992. Applicants who pass a background investigation by the board and are issued a license must post a $200,000 bond and pay a licensing fee.
The legislation also provides for a 20 percent wagering tax to be levied on each licensee's adjusted gross receipts. A quarter of this tax will be returned to the local government where each boat is docked. The remainder will go to cover administrative costs and to the state's Education Assistance Fund.
Gambling will be prohibited while boats are docked. Excursions can last up to four hours, and the gaming board will determine how many excursions a boat is allowed to make daily. State police and agents of the new board will be responsible for enforcement of the new law.
East St. Louis' community college gets new board
The State Community College of East St. Louis is unique among Illinois' community colleges. Funding for the school comes solely from the state rather than from a combination of state funds and local property taxes. And, unlike most other community college districts where the voters elect a board of trustees, the East St. Louis college board is appointed by the governor. Originally established as an educational "experiment" in 1969, the college was intended to provide a comprehensive college program with an emphasis on innovative vocational and technical training for the residents of the East St. Louis area, but it gradually drifted away from this mission into a broader and more diffused academic curriculum.
Confusion over the college's mission was compounded by years of financial and administrative mismanagement, as uncovered by Illinois' auditor general. Many of the problems that have beset the city of East St. Louis -- inadequate elementary and secondary education high drop-out rates and general economic decline -- also have had a negative effect on the community college.
In an attempt to pull the State Community College out of its quagmire, the legislature in 1989 passed Senate Bill 629. Signed by Gov Thompson in September 1989, the bill abolished the college's 10-member board of trustees (to be replaced by a new seven-member board), called for a return to its vocational and technical mission, and ordered a 1994 referendum to determine the college's fate.
Thompson appointed six of the seven new board members in mid-January. They are Roger Conner of East St. Louis, a retired director of vocational and technical education at the college; Warrington Hudlin of Washington Park, a representative of Travelers Insurance; Don Knuckle of Centreville, a retired cartographer; Johnnie Penelton of East St. Louis, director of the prevention initiation program at the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House; Constance Rockingham of Belleville, dean of students at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville; and John S. Washburn of Carbondale, assistant professor and chairman of the vocational education studies department at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Hudlin is chairman. Members receive expenses only and must be confirmed by the Senate. Conner's term expires in June 1991; Knuckle's, Penelton's and Washburn's in June 1993; and Hudlin's and Rockingham's in June 1995.
The 1994 referendum will allow the residents of the East St. Louis Community College district to determine whether the district will become permanent and be supported by a local property tax or whether it will be annexed to the Belleville Area Community College district. If annexation is the choice, it will become effective in July 1996.
Appointments, promotions at executive agencies
Directors of several executive agencies made the following appointments and promotions:
• At the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA), Director Steven D. McClure appointed Dennis R. Whetstone executive deputy director on February 7. Whetstone will oversee the day-to-day activities of
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DCCA's five bureaus, as well as the agency's personnel, governmental relations and public affairs functions. Prior to the appointment, he had been deputy director of DCCA's program administration bureau since 1987.
Whetstone has held a number of planning and management positions in state government since 1975, including staff director of the Illinois Employment and Training Council and statewide manager of the federal Job Training Partnership Act. His annual salary is $69,516.
• At the Department of Conservation, Director Mark Frech named Jeff Ver Steeg of Charleston chief of the agency's wildlife division, effective February 1. Ver Steeg has been a district wildlife biologist with the department for 10 years. During the past 8 1/2 years he has directed wildlife management at 10 state-owned parks and conservation areas in eight east central Illinois counties. Jack Ellis, acting chief since November 1989, resumed his duties as head of the division's planning section.
• At the Department of Professional Regulation, a new chief public information officer has come on board. Michael Manning formerly was with the Department of Energy and Natural Resources where he worked in the area of solid waste and renewable resources and with the Illinois State Museum. He replaced Steve Waters who left for the private sector.
• At the Department of Public Aid (DPA), Director Kathleen B. Kustra announced two appointments in the family support services division at the end of January. Brenda Downs of Springfield is the new manager of homeless programs and Michele Piel of Chicago is the new manager of child care programs.
Downs comes to DPA from DCCA. She has also served as executive director of Springfield Clean 'N' Green and has worked with the Department of Public Health, the city of Decatur and the Decatur-Macon County Clean Community program. In her new post, she will supervise the emergency food and shelter program, coordinate DPA's homeless initiatives, represent the homeless in matters before the agency's Social Services Advisory Committee and be DPA's liaison for federal programs dealing with the homeless.
Piel previously served as director of program operations for the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Prior to that she was with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Day Care Action Council of Illinois and the Children's Day Care Center of Lutheran General Hospital. At DPA Piel will be responsible for the department's adherence to the federal Family Support Act which mandates child care for families coming off welfare. She is currently working with other state and private agencies to develop a statewide child care referral service.
• Phil Bradley, director of the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), announced several appointments and a promotion in January. Kristine Milling now manages DORS' services for the hearing impaired, Audrey McCrimon is the agency's new associate director and Madan Vasishta is the new assistant superintendent at the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) in Jacksonville.
Milling has worked with the deaf since joining DORS in 1985, both as a counselor and as a teacher. She will be responsible for coordinating the agency's adult services for the deaf as well as programs with the Chicago Hearing Society, Jacksonville Community Center for the Deaf and various community colleges.
McCrimon is a former deputy commissioner of Chicago's Office on Aging and Disability. In her new post she will manage DORS' Chicago office as well as direct the department's client assistance program and the Disabled Individuals Assistance Line. McCrimon also serves as agency liaison to consumer groups and advisory councils.
Vasishta comes to Jacksonville from Austin where he was associate principal at the Texas School for the Deaf. "Dr. Vasishita brings a wealth of teaching and administrative experience to our school. We look forward to the creative approaches and diversity of skills he will give to the various educational programs and opportunities our school provides for Illinois students with hearing impairments," said ISD superintendent Peter Seller. Both of ISD's top administrators — Vasishta and Seller — are deaf.
Boards and commissions
Gov. Thompson made the following appointments and reappointments to Illinois boards and commissions in January. Unless otherwise indicated, all appointments were effective immediately, require Senate confirmation and pay expenses only.
• Illinois Arts Council: Carolyn Kaplan of Chicago, a writer, replaced actor John Malkovich. Her term expires June 30, 1993. The position does not require Senate confirmation. The council supports and promotes Illinois arts and artists.
• Capital Development Board: John Janicik of Clarendon Hills, an attorney with Mayer. Brown & Platt of Chicago, replaced Jewel Lafontant. Janicik's appointment expires in January 1992. The board administers state-appropriated building funds, conducts research, reviews building and construction codes and advises state and local governmental agencies.
• Illinois Community College Board: Ercel D. Davis of Rapids City, management development director for Moline's Deere & Company, was reappointed to a term expiring in June 1995. The 12-member board determines standards for establishing community colleges,
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provides statewide planning for Illinois' community college network and has final approval over new units of instruction at these colleges.
• State Board of Education: Retired school teacher Hugh R. Brown of Evanston and Dorothy O'Neill of Champaign, a tax preparer for H & R Block, have been reappointed. Both will serve until January 16, 1995. The 17-member board is responsible for the educational policies and guidelines for public and private schools, pre-school through grade 12, and for vocational education in Illinois. Members receive expenses plus $50 per diem.
• Employment Security Advisory Board: Dale William Stewart of Hillsboro, secretary/ treasurer and business representative for Alton's Teamsters Local Union #525, replaced Charles Gadwitz. Stewart will serve until January 1991. The board advises the director of the Department of Employment Security.
• Guardianship and Advocacy Commission: Barbara K. Leardi of Edwardsville, a teacher at Collinsville School District 10's Maryville School, replaced Patrick Staunton. Her appointment expires in June 1990. The 11-member commission is charged with safeguarding the rights of and providing legal counsel for the developmentally disabled.
• Illinois Health Facilities Authority: Louis G. Alexander, a retired banker from Chicago, and retiree Irene Mills of Decatur were re-appointed. The seven-member authority provides for management, operation and/or construction of health facilities in the state.
• Illinois Human Rights Commission: Newly appointed were Jarvis Williams, president of Public Service Employees Union Local 46, Chicago, replacing Alfred C. Whitley; Randall C. Raynolds, sales/marketing director for Julie Davis Inc. Realtors, Springfield; and Grace Kaminkowitz, owner of Grace Kaminkowitz Enterprises, Chicago. The appointments, which have already been confirmed by the Senate, expire in January 1993 and pay $24,688 annually. Commission member Mathilda Jakubowski of Chicago was reappointed. Her term also expires in January 1993. Her annual salary is $21,688. The commission, which shares duties for enforcing the Human Rights Act with the Department of Human Rights, investigates allegations of unlawful discrimination.
• Surface Mining Advisory Council: Re-appointed were Robert J. Blaylock of Sesser, safety inspector for Old Ben Coal Company; Richard R. Lounsbury of Carlinville, environmental adviser for Monterey Coal Company; Rollie D. Moore of Oneida, owner of Moore Farms; Richard Smith of Du Quoin, utility truck driver for Freeman United Coal Mining Company; and Kenneth T. Stellhorn of Red Bud, vice president of H.E. Stellhorn and Sons Inc. and Randolph County commissioner. Lounsbury's term expires in August 1990 and Moore's in August 1991. Blaylock, Smith and Stellhorn will serve until August 1992. In addition to expenses council members receive $50 per diem. The 10-member council advises the director of the Department of Mines and Minerals and the agency's land reclamation division. Appointees represent the interests of conservation and environmental protection, agriculture, mining, local government, education, labor and the general public.
• Southwest Regional Port District Board: Reappointed was Scott Randolph of East St. Louis, a principal with East St. Louis School District 189. His new term expires in June 1992. The port district board promotes industrial, commercial, transportation and recreational activities and facilities in St. Clair County.
• Illinois Student Assistance Commission: Retired state Rep. Celeste M. Stiehl (R-57, Belleville) replaced Anthony Volpe. Previously known as the Illinois State Scholarship Commission, this agency administers 12 financial assistance programs including scholarships, loans and grants. ISAC has expanded its scope to include not only high school and college students, but also returning students and parents planning for the educational future of their young children.
Haynsworth new law school dean
Harry J. Haynsworth IV, David H. Means Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina, will take over as dean of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale's School of Law on July 1. The appointment, which must be approved by the university's chancellor and its board, was announced in January by Benjamin A. Shepherd, vice president for academic affairs and research.
Haynsworth has been with the University of South Carolina's law school since 1974, serving two stints as the school's associate dean and one as acting dean. Haynsworth practiced law for seven years in the 1960s and '70s in Columbia, S.C. His specialities include business law and tax partnerships.
The law school has been without a permanent dean since the departure in July 1988 of Rennard J. Strickland to become scholar-in-residence at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Ariz. C. Peter Goplerud, a law school faculty member, has served in the interim.
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Changes at the IASB
Peter Weber took over as director of governmental relations for the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) on February 1. He was appointed to the post by Wayne Sampson, the group's executive director. Sampson had been the association's chief lobbyist prior to his mid-September appointment as executive director. Besides his lobbying activities, Weber is responsible for overseeing the group's publications on legislative issues. He had been assistant director of governmental relations since September 1989. Prior to joining IASB, Weber was a lobbyist with the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities and had been a policy analyst for the House Republican staff.
In an expansion of the group's lobbying efforts, the IASB also appointed two assistant directors. Ben Schwarm and Deanna Sullivan also began their duties on February 1. Schwarm comes to the association from the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions where he served as a legislative liaison. He also has served as an assistant to state Rep. Thomas Ewing (R-87, Pontiac). Sullivan most recently worked with the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Prior to that she worked for the Illinois House Republican campaign committee and, from 1986-87, was a staff member for the House Republicans.
Illinois organizer heads Harvard Law Review
Barak Obama, formerly a community organizer on Chicago's far south side, was elected president of the Harvard Law Review by its 80 editors on February 5. Currently a resident of Somerville, Mass., Obama entered Harvard's law school in 1988. The first African American to head the Review, he said in a February 9 PBS interview that he wants to make it a forum for liberal, conservative and minority perspectives. His future plans include the practice of law for a few years and a return to the inner city as either an organizer or a politician.
Obama directed the church-based Developing Communities Project in Chicago's Greater Roseland area for three years. He also served as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, an organizing institute working throughout the Midwest. His article, "Why organize?" appeared in the August-September 1988 Illinois Issues as part of a community organizing series sponsored by the Woods Charitable Fund Inc.
• Chicago-area urologist and attorney Herbert Sohn was elected president of the 1,350-member American Association of Clinical Urologists in February. He has been actively involved with the association's board for a number of years. Sohn also has served eight years as press relations chairman for the American Urological Association. As an attorney active in the area of health care policy, he has been a frequent speaker for the Illinois State Bar Association's Health Care Council and has been involved with the American Medical Association in policy making.
• Gov. James R. Thompson is in line for a seat on President George Bush's Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB). He will join new appointee Amos Jordan of the Center for International Strategic Studies and current men Michael W. McConnell, assistant professor at the University of Chicago's law school, on three-member board. First established by President Jimmy Carter, the board monitors government intelligence activities to ensure compliance with U.S. law and the Constitution. The board meets every other month and reports to the U.S. attorney general. Members are appointed by the president and receive expenses only.
SIU-C poet-in-residence wins national book award
Rodney G. Jones, poet-in-residence Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, won the National Book Critics Circle Award mid-February for his third book, Transparent Gestures. Calling it a book of ironies, Jones feels that the 28 poems illuminate the cent theme that the act of speaking and the gestural basis of language are "transparent."
Awards and critical acclaim are not new Jones. His second book. The Unborn, published in 1985, was well accepted by literary critics and it garnered Jones a Pulitzer Prize nomination. He also won a Guggenheim fellows the same year. Jones received the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award for Poetry in the spring of 1989 and in November won the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Excellence.
Busy on his fourth book, Jones does not believe that there is a lack of good poetry but that "the work that is truly exceptional is not getting to a place where it can be picked up." Calling poetry reading an "acquired condition Jones believes that newspapers and reviewers could do more to promote poets and their work.
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