Thursday, February 03, 2005

Last WWI Veteran Dies in Illinois

I just got to the local section of the Southern Illinoisan today and they have a story on Warren V. Hileman who died Sunday at the age of 103 at the Anna State Veterans Home.

Hileman was believed to be the last veteran of the Great War still living in Illinois. He served not in Europe as most might expect, but in Siberia in the often-forgotten campaign against the Bolsheviks.

He saw action at Posolskaya, not against the Red Army, but when the Cossack leader Semanov opened fire on boxcars of sleeping doughboys.

Hileman was part of the 27th Infantry which earned the nicknamed "Wolfhounds" during their time in Russia.

The National Archives's website has a good article on the reasons for American intervention and the activities of the American Expeidionary Force entitled "Guarding the Railroad: Taming the Cossacks."

Not Mentioned
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has concluded his 2005 State of the State Address and guess what wasn't mentioned — the state of the state's finances.

Depending on whom you ask, the state is facing anywhere from a $1 to $2 billion shortfall, maybe more. That's basically, where the state was at when he did his first State of the State Address in 2003.
DNR Memo
Today's Southern Illinoisan reveals the official position taken by IDNR concerning the budget cuts may not be the truth after all.

After repeated claims that the cuts in staff won't affect programs, this memo from one of the division chiefs within DNR makes clear that programs will be affected.
The memo said staff and budget reductions would affect a wide range of services including: Reduction in fish production; deer and wild turkey harvest reporting; chronic wasting disease surveillance; natural area stewardship (including eradication of invasive species); and monitoring, management and recovery of threatened and endangered species.

"The recent layoffs and proposed budget cuts seriously jeopardize ORC's and DNR's ability to administer and implement critical programs such as CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program); Illinois Rivers 20/20 and Farm Bill programs," the memo stated.
So much for the official line — and we still haven't heard the truth about cutbacks in the land management division which includes state parks.

Oh, and by the way, the Governor is probably set to announce more cuts in about 15 minutes when he makes his State of the State Address.