Tom Demmer

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

A golf course owner is offering a large sum of money toward restoration of an iconic statue in one northern Illinois park in exchange for a long-term lease of land at another.

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

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.  

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

A northern Illinois legislator said efforts to restore an iconic statue near Oregon continue, but slowly, and completion is still up in the air.

State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said he has made it a priority to stay in contact with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources regarding restoration of the monumental Lorado Taft statue known to many as “Black Hawk.” Taft himself referred to it as "The Eternal Indian".

More than a hundred years of exposure, neglect and botched previous attempts to repair the statue have left it disfigured, cracked and crumbling.

WNIJ

DeKalb and Rochelle may be in the running for a massive new auto manufacturing plant. Toyota and Mazda announced they are teaming up to build a $1.5 billion factory in the U.S. but didn’t specify the site.

State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, says he knows state and local economic-development officials are working on a code-named project that meets the same specifications of the Toyota/Mazda plan. 

Demmer says he’s not surprised that DeKalb and Rochelle are contenders. He said both of the cities within his legislative district have what a manufacturer of that size needs.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

An effort to restore an Ogle County icon is advancing, but there’s still no money for actual repairs. 

The years have not been kind to Lorado Taft’s monumental statue, known to many as “Black Hawk.” Standing high on a bluff overlooking the Rock River near Oregon, it’s literally falling to pieces.  

Illinois State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Rochelle, says he’s been in regular contact with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which has authority over the statue. Demmer says that, despite the lack of a budget and other problems, some progress is being made.

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