Meet Walter Weimer, an ordinary guy, who has had some extraordinary experiences. Born into a childhood of extreme poverty, where he and his siblings had to use their wits to survive.

VIETNAM-This story begins in Vietnam in 1966. First Lieutenant James H. Graff was a co-pilot on a U.S. Air Force C-130 with four other crew members when their plane crashed into a mountain side in Khanh Hoa Province, South Vietnam. The date was October 3, 1966. The crash was listed as, “caused by ground fire or sabotage.”

The Marengo City Council approved the rezoning of the Marengo-Union Library District building to 19714 E. Grant Highway in Marengo, at the city council meeting on April 11 in city hall.

As spring approaches, everyone appears to be ready to get outdoors and participate in those pursuits and activities which correspond with the season. Unfortunately, there are also those among us that take the opportunity or advantage of this weather for criminal pursuits.

Many of you have noticed that the Union Fire Department has been training at a house outside of town, on Route 20. We invited the staff from the Illinois State Fire Institute to come and spend a Saturday with us, training the members of your Union Fire Department, as well as members from surrounding communities.

It seems that education is in the news everywhere, and much of what is reported is not always positive or presents the public education system in an affirmative light. This is unfair to many school districts which are doing a commendable job educating children and exercising good fiscal controls.

This past month the Marengo Fire/Rescue Districts hosted a Hazmat Operations class. The class was taught by the Illinois Fire Service Institute. We had many neighboring departments from the area who participated in the class. The departments involved were: Algonquin, McHenry, Woodstock, Wonder Lake, Harvard, Crystal Lake, Huntley, and Marengo. With our district having two major highways, railroad, and agriculture within its boundaries, we have a higher-than-normal chance for a hazmat incident. By hosting and participating in this class, our members will be better prepared to respond if an incident should arise.

We are also offering free blood pressure checks at Brandt’s Pharmacy in Marengo on the first Monday of every month from 3-5p.m., and a CPR class on the second Tuesday of every month at our Station 1. High blood pressure can be one of the leading causes of many medical conditions. By having your blood pressure checked regularly, you can help prevent heart attacks and strokes, which are two major causes of death today. Regular doctor visits can help diagnose and treat this condition. Also, regular exercise and proper diet will help. If you have any questions regarding this or on fire prevention, please feel free to contact us at 815-568-8912.

As a reminder from last months’ article, we are excepting applications for our June test. Applications must be completed and turned in at 120 E. Prairie Street at the Marengo Fire Protection District no later than June 1, 2011.

Over the last few years, you may have heard city officials and staff mention our wastewater treatment plant expansion project. I am happy to report that after waiting for four years, the state has finally decided to grant the city the necessary permits to expand the treatment plant.

Union has become a part of my life, as it has for so many of its 600 residents. It doesn’t seem to be a small town for the many people that keep it functioning the way a town should be.

This past April 12, 2011 marked the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of one of darkest chapters of our nation’s history, the start of the American Civil War. In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln described the United States as being, "conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

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