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Statue At Risk While Awaiting State Funds

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Guy Stephens/ WNIJ
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Restoration of an iconic Illinois statue is still waiting for money from the state.  A northern Illinois lawmaker says he wants to keep light on the matter, before it’s too late. 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources awarded $350,000 several years ago to help restore the landmark sculpture known as “Blackhawk” in Lowden State Park. That funding dried up during the budget impasse and was nowhere to be found in the last budget.  

State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, says Lorado Taft’s statue above the Rock River near Oregon has kept crumbling, so he’s proposing a resolution:

“To make sure we talk about the historical importance of the statue, the local economic importance of the statue, as well as the artistic and historical significance that the sculptor has,” Demmer said. “Understanding that the state’s budget situation continues to be very unpredictable, we’re looking for what other sources of funding might be available to help restore and preserve the statue.”  

Demmer said any allocation would probably come as part of a statewide capital funding bill. If it doesn’t happen soon, he’s afraid there won’t be anything left to restore.

Guy Stephens produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements. In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level. Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU. In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."