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Dateline Dixon: Reagan to the rescue

Statue plan to be seen Thursday at City Hall

Matt Mencarini
Matt Mencarini

DIXON – Michael Jordan and Ronald Reagan now have something in common – other than their connection to Illinois.

During a news conference at City Hall on Thursday, the proposed design for the Ronald Reagan lifeguard statue will be unveiled, according to the city’s news release, and it was done by the same art studio responsible for the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center in Chicago.

Rotblatt Amrany Fine Arts Studio in Highland Park, and sculptors Omri Amrany and Gary Tillery, will create a statue that depicts a young Reagan running to rescue one of the reported 77 swimmers he saved in 7 years as a lifeguard at Lowell Park, according to the release.

In addition to the Jordan statue, Amrany’s work includes statues of Chicago Blackhawks great Bobby Hull, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kareem Abdul Jabbar and a Holocaust memorial at a synagogue in Northbrook, according to the studio’s website.

Amrany and Tillery worked together on the Pat Tillman statue for the Arizona Cardinals in Tempe, Ariz., according to the site.

The cost for the 7-foot tall Reagan statue was estimated at $200,000, according to the city’s new release, and will be paid for with corporate and individual donations and sponsorships.

City Hall notes

– At the end of its last two meetings, the Dixon City Council has gone into executive session to review closed session minutes from meetings following the arrest of former Comptroller Rita Crundwell.

There will likely be a few more executive sessions to discuss whether to release the minutes, Mayor Jim Burke said. The mayor declined to comment on how the discussion have gone so far.

– The Council Chambers at City Hall have been without working microphones and a speaker system for a few weeks. During meetings, Burke and the city council have passed a single microphone around when needed.

That problem should be fixed soon, Burke said.

Work on the microphones and speaker system is expected to start today, Burke said, and be finished by Firday.

Ex-Raven was pulling for Manning

Sean Considine, who retired from the NFL after playing last season with the Baltimore Ravens, visited St. Anne Catholic School in Dixon last week. I had a chance to talk with him before he spoke to nearly 50 students and staff.

We talked about why he’s back in the area – he had a home built for his family in Byron – and why he likes speaking to groups of children. But I couldn’t resist asking if he had a prediction about the Super Bowl.

Considine said he was rooting for the Denver Broncos because he admired what quarterback Peyton Manning was doing at his age and his approach to the game.

Considine said he tried to take the same approach when he played.

“Football is still one of those games where you can outsmart some people,” he said. “And I think that’s what Peyton Manning does for a living better than anybody I’ve ever seen. So I’ve got a lot of respect for what he’s doing, and I’m pulling for him to get one more Super Bowl ring under his belt.”

Considine didn’t offer a prediction for the game.

But I made one of my own. I said last Friday that the Denver Broncos would beat the Seattle Seahawks, 38-28. Of course, I was wrong. Thankfully, there was no money backing up my prediction.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at or at 815-625-3600, ext. 529. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

SVM reporter at Books on First today

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini will have "office hours" from 1 to 2 p.m. today at Books on First, 202 W. First St.

Feel free to stop by and let him know what's on your mind. Is there a story in Dixon you think should be reported? Stop by to share or just to say hi.

Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at or at 815-625-3600, ext. 529. Follow him on Twitter: @MattMencarini.

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