071615CM0038As the Tour de France grinds on across the ocean, another group of equally dedicated cyclists pedals on right here in Illinois.

On Thursday afternoon, dozens of bikers clad in matching blue and gray kits rolled into Springfield and stopped at the Illinois Police Officers Memorial on the west side of the State Capitol. The riders were members of the Illinois chapter of COPS, which stands for Concerns of Police Survivors. The group is dedicated to helping survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

The charity ride began earlier Thursday at the Mississippi River in Alton The riders arrived at the Capitol at about 4 p.m. and stopped to rest and reflect at the Police Officers Memorial. After about 30 minutes, the group resumed their ride, heading north. They are due to arrive at Gold Star Families Park and Memorial in Chicago sometime Sunday.
The national COPS organization was founded in 1984, and the Illinois chapter was established in April 2005.

lincoln-trail

Lincoln Trail State Park is named after the trail Abraham Lincoln’s family followed on the way from Indiana to Illinois in 1831.

The state acquired the first 31 acres of Lincoln Trail State Park in 1936. Today, the park has grown to have 1,023 acres.

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AOTM - Erik BlomeErik Blome followed his father’s passion for art and has become one of Illinois’ most prolific artists. Blome specializes in creating massive bronzes. He has created the Blackhawks’ 75th anniversary sculpture at the United Center, a 9/11 monument in Oak Lawn and a statue of Jack Benny along with other sensational works. Blome’s art can be found in 17 states and in Canada.

Blome and his wife, Charlotte, have founded and run a non-profit organization called “When I Grow Up I Want To Be,” which brings art and other supplies, art workshops and attention to children from Ethiopia.

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Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago

Illinois has an amazing array of public and private high schools throughout the state, and one Chicago high school recently received national honors.

After performing a comprehensive assessment of the culture and diversity of public high schools in all 50 states, niche.com found Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago to be the second most diverse school in the entire nation. Located on Chicago’s Near West Side, the school has about 2,100 students in grades 7-12.

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navy-pier-ferris

Tourists to the Windy City will have an even more impressive view of Lake Michigan from the top of the planned 196-foot Ferris wheel that will replace the current 147-foot wheel, which was installed at Navy Pier in 1995.

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