A strong awareness of the value of education has existed in Logan County communities since the first settlements came into being early in the 19th century. It remains today. Residents demand quality in education programs, school facilities and equipment, extra-curricular activities, and in instructors and staff.
Six public school systems serve Logan County communities. They are: Lincoln Elementary School District 27, Chester-East Lincoln Community Consolidated School District 61, New Holland-Middletown School District 88, West Lincoln-Broadwell Elementary School District 92, Mount Pulaski Community Unit School District 23, and the Atlanta Schools. In addition, the county has three high schools: Lincoln Community High School, Mount Pulaski High School, and Hartsburg-Emden High School.
Lincoln Elementary School District 27 operates five K-6 elementary schools and one junior high school in Lincoln. The curriculum focuses on the basics of language arts, mathematics, and science, augmented by music, art, and physical education. There are special programs for gifted students, as well as special education programs for the developmentally disabled. Lincoln Junior High School houses the 7th and 8th grades and provides a curriculum that helps students through the transition to high school. The district has a total enrollment of nearly 1,300 students. Combined enrollments in the rest of the elementary school districts in the county about matches that figure.
The campus of Lincoln Community High School is located on the city's southeast side, adjacent to the Lincoln Park District's headquarters and recreation facilities. The school has an enrollment of about 1,060 students. They choose from more than 180 different academic and career oriented courses. There are advanced placement courses in English literature and composition and calculus that provide opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school. In addition, there are several advanced courses. Four years of French and Spanish are offered.
Lincoln Community High School offers an extensive program of career education, ranging from Business and Industrial Technology to Health Occupations. In all, there are more than 85 career oriented courses. The school fields a full roster of competitive sports teams for boys and girls. And, it encourages student participation in a wide ranging list of extracurricular clubs and special interest organizations.
For qualified students desiring a higher level of technical skill when entering the job market, there is the school's Tech Prep program. Tech Prep combines college preparatory courses with technology training. It begins in the ninth grade and continues through a student's senior year and provides opportunities to apply what is learned in the classroom to the real world beyond the classroom. It leads to a certificate or an associate degree in applied science from a community college or technical institute.
The Lincolnland Technical Education Center (LTEC) is located on the campus of Lincoln Community High School and extends the school's vocational education programs with eight career programs that develop high technical skills. The Center serves not only Lincoln Community High School but high schools in other Logan County communities and in neighboring counties. Graduates with LTEC training are placed in advance level courses as they enter the local branch of Heartland Community College. LTEC offers courses in auto mechanics, building trades, cooperative education, electronics, culinary arts, health occupations, advanced computer technology, and metal trades. Many of these courses are taught in cooperation with area organizations and businesses. For example, health occupations classes are held at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Logan County parents have access to alternatives to public education in several parochial elementary schools, among them Lincoln's Zion Lutheran, Carroll Catholic, a Baptist academy, Mount Pulaski Zion Lutheran, and a non-denominational Christian school. In addition, the Lincoln area has several day care centers, before and after school programs and preschools that offer educational activities for youngsters of working parents.
Logan County shares two of its colleges with surrounding counties. A third it shares with the nation.The 38-acre campus of Lincoln College fits comfortably into its residential setting just to the north of downtown Lincoln. The quiet, often tranquil campus has some 650 students enrolled each fall. Seventy percent reside in five residential halls on the campus.
A two-year college established in 1865, Lincoln awards associate in arts degrees in more than 20 majors. More than two-thirds of its graduates continue their work on a bachelors degree at a four-year college or university. While at Lincoln College, students participate in a host of competitive sports, a variety of musical ensembles, art shows, radio productions, and several student organizations.
Heartland Community College is also a two-year institution. Its main campus is in nearby Bloomington, but it provides local classes in its facility in downtown Lincoln. Some 3,000 students are enrolled at the main campus and two branch campuses.
At the Lincoln campus, Heartland students can attend courses in 16 different majors. Through cooperative agreements with seven other community colleges, students can attend classes at these colleges at the same rates charged at Heartland.
Lincoln Christian College and Lincoln Christian Seminary enroll students from throughout the United States. The college is a four-year Bible college affiliated with the Christian Church. Its campus is located on the eastern edge of Lincoln. Some 560 students attend classes at the college, focusing on 18 majors. It awards associate of arts, bachelor of arts, and bachelor of science degrees in several religious fields. The Seminary is a graduate school of theology and religious studies. More than 240 students are enrolled, seeking master of arts and master of divinity degrees. Fourteen additional colleges and universities, including the world-renowned University of Illinois, are within sixty miles of Lincoln and Logan County.
Lincoln's retail businesses are concentrated in its historic downtown and on four-lane Woodlawn Road. The two areas complement each other - Woodlawn has busy shopping centers and national chains, the downtown is perfect for relaxed browsing.
Main Street Lincoln is an organization which works to strengthen and preserve the historic downtown area. Among its efforts arethe Taste of Lincoln, Fantastic Fridays, Prom Grand March, and Holiday Car Giveaway. Main Street Lincoln committees works, in conjunction with the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce, to retain existing businesses and attract new ones.
Over 100 shops in the downtown provide a variety of productsand services, including jewelry, clothing, hair products, gifts, antiques and crafts, office supplies, furniture, and florals. Gourmet coffee, candy, and other food items are found in cozy shops as well as several restaurants and taverns. Many professional offices locate in the downtown area, which is anchored by the county courthouse. Lincoln's old railroad depot has gained new life as a restaurant and banquet facility. It has been restored to its former elegance. A fine example of a classic railroad dining car is attached to the structure for use as a meeting or party place. Several shopping centers and stores line Woodlawn Road on the city's west side. Commercial development has provided space for three major-name motels, several national restaurant chains, and a number of other local, state, and national retail businesses.
Logan County communities support business and industrial development. Eleven years ago, the Lincoln/Logan County Enterprise Zone was created to provide capital investment and job creation incentives. Since then, 245 projects have invested over $45 million in construction and improvements, created 1203 new jobs and helped retain 1271 jobs. The Enterprise Zone covers four square miles and has room to expand up to ten miles.
Two Revolving Loan Funds also provide an incentive for businesses to expand and generate more jobs. Business start-up workshops and other business planning and technical assistance are available for growing businesses.
There's room to grow in Logan County with sites for industrial or commercial development and with warehouse, retail and office space for rent. The Logan County Economic Development Council, a division of the Chamber of Commerce, provides information on available buildings and sites as well as on the available labor force, retail trade analysis and demographics.
Employers will find a well-trained workforce in Logan County. Lincoln and several other community high schools provide career-oriented training through Lincolnland Technical Education Center. Both the private Lincoln College and public Heartland Community College offer associate degree and certificate programs in business and technical careers. Lincoln is also home to Midwest School of Welding and Fabricating which offers several levels of industrial training. Fourteen other colleges and universities are within 60 miles of Logan County.
The Cutler-Hammer Division of Eaton Corporation is the largest industrial employer in Logan County. The 350,000 square-foot plant on the north edge of Lincoln produces more than 20,000 circuit breaker panels and meter devices every work day. It employs more than 750 workers.
MII, Inc. produces store fixtures and movable storage units while Precision Products Co. makes lawn and garden equipment. Each employ about 200 at their Lincoln plants. Some 190 people are employed at Ball-Foster Glass Container Co. Three firms in Lincoln produce cardboard packaging: Willamette Industries, Heritage Packaging, and Sieb Die Cut Specialties.
Mount Pulaski Products makes grit and absorbent products for the world market with nearly 50 employees. Mount Pulaski is also home to Inland Tool Corporation, producer of dies and metal auto stampings with about 40 employees. In Atlanta, Universal Sports Lighting produces lighting equipment for athletic fields. Some 220 workers are employed by Turris Coal Co., which operates a mine southeast of Elkhart. Limestone, sand and gravel are also extracted in Logan County.
Agriculture and agri-businesses are major contributors to the economy of Logan County. Stine Seeds and Remington Seeds produce seed corn while other agribusiness firms in the County produce animal feeds or process fertilizers.
Some 369,000 acres of Logan County land are devoted to farming. Of this, 353,000 acres are used as cropland. There are more than 800 farms in Logan County, with an average size of 444 acres. About 29,000,000 bushels of corn and 7,200,000 bushels of soybeans are produced each year. About 140,000 hogs and pigs are sold annually. In addition, the county's farmers sell about 6,100 cattle.
Logan County residents enjoy speedy access to high quality professional medical care. Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital of Lincoln has 66 beds and serves 17 communities in Logan County and eastern Mason County. It is affiliated with Memorial Health System of Springfield.
ALMH operates 24 hour emergency service with physicians and nurses specially trained in emergency medicine and trauma. Emergency transportation is available through the hospital-based Advanced Life Support Paramedic Program, including air transport by helicopter.
The hospital recently completed a $1,500,000 renovation of its emergency, radiology, laboratory, and central registration departments and began renovation of its surgical, rehabilitative services and obstetrics/gynecology departments.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital's medical services include non-emergency walk-in care, orthopedics, general inpatient care, intensive and intermediate care, inpatient and outpatient surgery, CT scans, cardiac rehabilitation, EEG/EKG, mammography, sonography, pediatrics, oncology, hospice, and outpatient mental health services. In addition, it offers speech, physical, and respiratory therapy, sports medicine, and a pain management program. ALMH also has a number of classes and support groups.
Community outreach is very important to ALMH. The hospital has joined four other agencies in a unique healthcare program. The Logan County Health Department, Family Medical Center, Logan/Mason Mental Health and Lincoln-Logan County Chamber of Commerce sponsor the Rural Health Partnership. This special program brings primary and preventive healthcare to rural communities via a 36-foot long fully equipped mobile health unit, which makes regular visits throughout the county. The Partnership also provides youth education on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs as well as health education to the entire community.
Logan/Mason Mental Health and Family Counseling Service is a tax supported agency that provides individual and group therapy and counseling, marriage and family counseling, hot lines for suicide prevention and crisis intervention, and alcohol and drug abuse counseling and treatment.
Logan County boasts six quality skilled care nursing homes. Four are located in Lincoln and include retirement centers which offer independent and assisted living as well as nursing home care.
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