Capitol complex in Springfield is missing a statue

The Martin Luther King Jr. statue across from the state Capitol has been pulled from its pedestal. (Dave Dahl/WJBC)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – The state’s assessing the damage to the statue of Martin Luther King Jr., on the Capitol complex, while a man faces a charge of criminal damage to state property.

“Sunday evening, we estimate about 11:00,” said Dave Druker, a spokesman for the Illinois secretary of state’s office, “a person came up to the statue of Dr. King and toppled it.”

That man, says Druker, is Fernando Garcia Martinez. Druker says so far, the evidence may not support a hate crime.

Still, the fact that the statue is of King is troubling to Secretary of State Jesse White – for whom King was a pastor and a mentor during White’s college days in Alabama.

Dave Dahl can be reached at


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…