There’s been a rumor circulating in local nursing circles that Methodist Medical Center, that is Unity Point, is mandating that all nurses have or seek to have a Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) degree. Not so says Jeanine Spain, RN, vice president of nursing operations for Methodist. Appearing on WAZU-FM’s “Breakfast with Roger and Friends,” Spain said the medical center is strongly urging nurses without the BSN degree to further advance their educational credentials, but they are not demanding they do so. She said Unity Point is offering to pay 80 percent of the cost for returning to school. For those who go back to school, they’re required to work at Methodist two years for each year of paid tuition.

Blake Long, manager of marketing and communications for Unity Point, accompanied Spain for the interview. He detailed development of the new Methodist College of Nursing in the former American Appliance store on War Memorial Drive, north of the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. Construction of an apartment complex for students is part of expansion plans for the school. Spain said their goal is to have an enrollment of 1,000 students with a wider curriculum than just nursing education.

Speaking of Methodist, many have complimented the hospital for adding a new and very attractive exterior to the medical complex. Gone are the old faces of the Glen Oak Wing, constructed in 1951 and the red brick addition dating back to 1917. The new face is well-lit at night with not one, but five Unity Point Methodist blue signs. It’s a welcome change!


Another member of the District 150 School Board is gone. Linda Butler has resigned a year before her term ends. A staunch supporter of the now departed former Superintendent Grenita Lathan, Butler quit with words of praise for Lathan. That’s like the crew praising the captain of the Titanic as it was sinking. Compliments to voters who not only dumped a number of board members, but in so doing, created an environment for change. And wow, has it happened, making it possible for new people with new thinking and new ideas to serve on the school board.

A number of people urged former board member Alicia Butler to seek appointment to the Butler seat. Alicia served with distinction on the District 150 board and was president during her term. She knows school issues and is focused on helping children get the best education possible. She would be an excellent appointment.


Frustration continues in Illinois over failure of Republican and Democrat leaders to agree to a budget. It’s sad and embarrassing. Democrats blame newly elected Gov. Bruce Rauner while Republicans blame Speaker of the House Mike Madigan.

Madigan was elected to the House in 1971 and was elected speaker in 1983. Except for two years, Madigan has held that position ever since. Chicago Magazine has called him “The real Governor of Illinois.” And Rich Miller, editor of Capitol Fax, has said, “the pile of political corpses outside Madigan’s statehouse door of those who tried to beat him is a mile high and a mile wide.” Both men are equally accountable for the stalemate regardless of what the liberal newspapers in the state have printed.

My suggestion for settling the budget solution is to bring in an arbitrator who will sit down with Rauner and Madigan and discuss and negotiate the issues. They use arbitrators for a variety of similar challenges from professional player salaries to labor disputes. Since Ray LaHood is highly regarded by many in both political parties, especially in Illinois, I think he would make an excellent arbitrator. LaHood did his best to promote civility in Congress and even spearheaded not one, but four retreats. In his book, “Seeking Bipartisanship,” LaHood quoted Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough, who was a speaker at the first retreat. McCullough said, “History teaches that when we unite in grand purpose there is nothing we cannot do.” Maybe Ray LaHood could get Rauner and Madigan to unite in the “grand purpose” of crafting a state budget. This might be a simplistic solution, but nothing else has worked so why not consider it.


Never in the history of local radio has there been a station off the air more than WOAM. It seems like the 1350 AM station is off the air more than it’s on. Sometimes the station is silent for days. Having no local office, no representatives, and no one to whom one can complain, the once proud frequency has become a joke. Keep in mind, when WOAM featured country music, it was the No. 1 station in ratings. Now owned by the Larry Nelson family of Plano, Ill., WOAM was once proudly operated by Bob Kelly of Kelly Communications. Today, it’s just one of more than 22 AM and FM stations heard on local radio, that is, when it’s on the air.

Belated congratulations to Lee Hall of WEEK. The sports play-by-play guy did another great job covering both IHSA girls and boys state tournaments. His broadcasting skill and on-the-air personality made the games even more interesting for TV observers.

And while we’re at it, kudos to Peoria Journal sports writer Dave Eminian for his coverage of the Peoria Rivermen. Such reporting helps people support local teams, including the Peoria Chiefs which Eminian also does for the Peoria paper.


State Rep. Mike Unes has introduced House Bill 5601 to prohibit anonymous complaints against Illinois nursing homes. Too bad there isn’t such a law against those who do it against anyone or anything. Just talk to anyone who’s been victimized by such anonymous criticism. As expected, there are those who support such secret and too often unfounded complaints complaining retaliation could result.


“I believe it is safe to say that none of us has ever done with life as much as he could do.” –Norman Vincent Peale





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