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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

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A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

DNR deputy director logs 61 flights

November 23, 2009 at 01:30 PM

Deb Stone must be one of the hardest working staffers in the Department of Natural Resources.

Or at least one of the most expensive to keep on staff.

One of several DNR deputy directors, Stone has flown 61 trips from Chicago to Springfield in the past few months according to a column by Chuck Goudie of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. Click here to read the full column.

Goudie credits Ross Weidner of ABC 7 for digging up the data that showed Stone was the single-busiest plane user since Gov. Blagojevich left office.

Stone was far and away the most frequent flier, ahead even of Michael Madigan (whose 31 flights paled in comparison).

Goudie raised a good question when he asked:

“But what could be so urgent about the state’s trees, streams and animals that it’s No. 2 official needs to fly to work more than any other person in Illinois government? Especially since her job was among two dozen DNR positions connected to former governor’s Ryan and Blagojevich that were targeted for elimination last spring?

“She obviously survived the cut, but what was so important it required 61 air trips? Were there last minute problems with the start of deer hunting season last weekend?”

Actually, Goudie is wrong in calling Stone the No. 2 official. That title belongs to Assistant Director John Rogner, another Chicago official in the DNR. Incidentally, it will be interesting to see what his flight log shows in the future.

As for Stone, she is one of several deputy directors in the DNR. I have lost count how many there are, or what they do, for that matter. But I know there are plenty more deputy directors than there are turkey biologists or upland game biologists.

 

 

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