The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Another Fatality On Hwy 34 Precedes W.C. Students Petition Drive

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

April 23, 2008

Another Fatality On Hwy 34 Precedes W.C. Students Petition Drive

How many lives will be lost along Highway 34 before our state legislators approve funding into a four-lane stretch of one of western Illinois' busiest two-lane highways?

I read where our Illinois Governor found unmarked money and gave it for the historic (1891) Pilgrim Baptist Church in the Chicago area after a devastating fire had damaged it in 2006. Moved, the article said that in 2006, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reached into the pockets of Illinois taxpayers and pledged $1 million to the church to help restore and rebuild.

According to the article from "Illinois Family Institute", his administration gave the million to Loop Lap school who rented preschool space and took the million and went condo shopping and the church hasn't seen a dime of the money or them since. After pressure, the church said the governor pledged an additional $1 million but they haven't seen it yet.

Then, after the bizarre shooting in DeKalb, the Governor pledged $40 million to demolish and rebuild Cole Hall at Northern Illinois University where the tragedy occurred.

The CTBA (Center For Tax and Budget Accountability) says the state of Illinois in FY 2009, will be in a deficit of $752 million after adjusting for inflation, plus they have $3.4 billion more in medical bills. Programs will be cut in 2009, they say including K-12, Higher Education, and Agriculture.

So, where is this $42 million of unmarked money that only the Governor seems to know about? If there is unmarked money laying around, or if the governor is a magician, why can't he pull some out of the hat for Highway 34?

Isn't making a dangerous stretch of highway, that has taken the life of many, and improving it with 4-lane and giving it the potential of saving many lives, a little more important than these other projects?

Hopefully, someone in Springfield will figure out the right thing to do, and then just do it.

West Central 34Voices will be going door to door in Henderson County Saturday to gain signatures to send to Springfield. If you want to see 34 a 4-lane, be ready with your pen and a kind word of encouragement for what they are trying to do to make our county and Western Illinois a better place to live and travel.