bplist00__WebMainResource_ _WebResourceTextEncodingName_WebResourceData^WebResourceURL_WebResourceMIMETypeUUTF-8OŬNear Normal Grotto

March 1999 NearNormal News



Jim Jacobs

 aHEM! Hello, there!

I bear an important message from our esteemed treasurer: To wit,

 DUES ARE DUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 They may be brought to the meeting, mailed to Beth, or mailed to thegrotto mailbox. Don’t let this be your last issue of the best reading in thecaving world today, the Near Normal News!It’s only $10.00/yr. Six issues of the News, eleven meetings, a few cave trips, and all the funyou can stand. Get your renewal in TODAY! (Please?)

First, for anyone interested in submitting future articles for the News, please read the new and improved guidelines forsubmission. Since my office upgraded my desk machine a few months ago, and wealso have a new computer at home, we can take submissions just about any wayyou can get them to us, up to and including carrier pigeon. And we really dothank you for your support.

Probably the biggest thing on tap is the NCRC weekend, March 27-28! If youhave never had any cave rescue training, please arrange to attend. Even if youhave, do it again! Each situation is different, and each rescue is different.Cavers are in the unique position of being their own best-qualified rescuers.Above ground, firemen, policemen, paramedics, EMT’s and others are trained tohelp people. First aid responders are trained to first call 911 (ifcircumstances allow), and render aid until an EMT arrives. The others areexpert in their own areas, and rightfully, assume authority when arriving onthe scene. But a cave rescue is often a very different story. First, you can’tcall 911 in a cave. Cavers should know how to render effective aid and comfortfor HOURS, not just the ten minutes or so that 911 services strive for in surfaceemergency situations. When John Marquart was injured in Crystal Cave, we wereabout two miles of difficult cave from the surface. It was a matter of hoursbefore the party reached the surface to report the mishap. Longer still beforehelp could be organized. It was nearly 22 hours before a doctor who was willingand able to go that far into a cave reached John (guided and assisted by agroup of strong cavers) to render expert medical aid. Few policemen, firemen,doctors or EMT’s are also trained cavers. The logistics, knowledge and skillsnecessary to be able to cope with rescues in an underground environment arerarely covered in their training. This is where the National Cave RescueCommission comes in. People who have all had extensive experience in caverescue help others to become qualified. The training at Illinois Caverns willtake place over the weekend. It will include classroom instruction, fieldpractice, and a practice rescue. Advanced training is also available, usuallyat weeklong rescue training seminars. Many NNG’rs took part in the NCRC weekendat Illinois Caverns in 1995. I hope that many of us will be able to take partthis month. Contacts for information: NNG’s Marc Tiritilli, Phillip Odel, podell@iglou.com, Anmar Mirza, amirza@indiana.edu, or the NCRC, http://www.hutchison.org/ncrc/



Patty Daws


Preliminary Announcement: We wouldlike to invite the Iowa and Near Normal Grottos to the first annual Mark TwainGrotto picnic which will be held the weekend of April 10-11, 1999 south ofHannibal, MO. Camping (primitive) will be at Ranacker Conservation Area.

On Saturday (the 10th) we will haveled trips to several area caves:

Buzzard, Jabawarsky, Frankford andWoodson. Commercial trips are also available at Mark Twain and Cameron Cavesfor those who have not seen these neat maze caves. On Sunday (the 11th) we willhave a cave clean-up at Burton Cave near Quincy, IL. We will be cleaning thegraffiti off the walls and formations.

More information will be availablesoon including directions to the Campsite. Please let us know if you have aninterest in attending.


The Near Normal Grotto will host ourannual public meeting on Friday, April 23 at 7:30 PM, in the Community Room(downstairs) of the National City Bank, 211 E. Jefferson, Bloomington,Illinois. The meeting is free of charge. The featured presentation will be"Bats of Illinois and Elsewhere: Those Fascinating Flying Mammals",by Thomas A. Griffiths, Beling Professor of Biology, Illinois WesleyanUniversity. Please get the word out to any interested parties. Dr Griffiths isa renowned authority on bats, and is a very interesting, entertaining speaker.We’re fortunate to have him!


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[The following article created a bitof a stir on the Tag-Net email list.]




Dr. Whit Gibbons and Dr. KurtBuhlmann, scientists from the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL)accompanied John Jensen and Jim Ozier of the Georgia Department of NaturalResources on a spelunking expedition in north Georgia last week and found arare, blind fish known as a southern cavefish. As teachers of ecology studentsand courses at the University of Georgia, both Gibbons and Buhlmann take everyopportunity to acquaint themselves with the rich biodiversity of thesoutheastern region. Exploring caves adds another dimension to their quest fordiscovering and understanding the biology of the region's inhabitants. Cavefishare not just blind; they are eyeless. They are small white fish known toinhabit the waters deep beneath the earth but they are rarely seen by peoplebecause they are found only at limited points at which underground lakes can bereached through caves. While some scientists look for the cavefish for years,this group had been underground for about an hour and had come to the end of awinding tunnel. The rain outside was making the water level of the cave risewhen Buhlmann spotted the fish. Within 30 minutes he was able to capture itusing a net. Only two other individual cavefish have ever been caught inGeorgia, one in 1969 and one in 1973. Little is known about this elusive fish.Even to call them rare may be inaccurate. They may be abundant, but simply liveoutside our knowledge. Their number cannot be estimated and no one knows howthey live or reproduce. As Dr. Gibbons points out, "The ultimate questionis how many species are living beneath the earth's surface that humans are yetto find, and perhaps never will?"


This was a rather typical reaction:

BLIND CAVEFISH (creed of the cavebiologist)

Dan Twilley (Ooltewah, Tennessee)


Take nothing but specimens, leavenothing but world shaking scientific

papers, kill nothing but uncommonand rare species.

I guess the big (unanswered)question is: did they actually collect the specimens or did they look them overand do a "catch and release"? –Ed.

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[I include this article not for morbidinterest, sensationalism, or as a scare tactic. Deaths in our sport arerelatively rare, and I believe that when they happen, we should pause andreflect for a moment on the circumstances of the fatality. What caused it? Whatcould they have done differently? Could they, or should they have known better?What can we do to make sure that we don't end up in this situation? This mightmake a good discussion topic for the grotto meeting. - Ed.]



Buddy Lane

(Signal_Mountain, Tennessee)



TAG cavers, it is with much sadnessthat I must report

a fatality in Ellison's Cave,Incredible Pit..


A group of three cavers, from theDouglasville, GA area,

were ascending Incredible Pit atapproximately 00:00 Wednesday AM. There was a rope left handing in the pit whenthey arrived, at the top of the drop, so they rigged very close beside it.


The first two ascended one on eachrope and got up with great difficulty, due to twisting the two ropes together,in the 440-foot pit.


The third climber ascended upbetween 100 to 200 feet was hopeless tangled up in the ropes. He was yellingfor help to his friends and did not know how to do a change over. After he quityelling and had no addition communication with the two top guys, in addition tothe fact the rope were still loaded, they left the cave and called rescue at03:00.


The rescue team found him hanging onboth ropes in the very wet pit, tangled between them. He was dead at the scene.


The patient in his late 20's wasremoved from the cave and arrived at the top of Pigeon Mountain at 23:17 thisevening.


We wish to thank all the responderswho worked so hard throughout the day: Walker County Cave Rescue, ChattanoogaHamilton County Rescue, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Walker CountyEMA and Dade County Georgia Rescue.


With Much Regret,

Chattanooga Hamilton County Rescue

Buddy Lane, Captain

NSS 12054 LF

SCC 43




The following report is repostedwith permission from Buddy Lane, thanks to Bill Bussey for sending it to me.


There are several lessons to belearned from this incident:


1) EVERYONE needs to be able to dochangeovers.


2) Getting to the patient was obviouslydifficult, but not impossible. How

loaded was the 2nd rope? Getting tothe patient would require a) rappeling a tangled rope or b) down climbing 200feet (difficult - NOT impossible) or

c) rappeling on a loaded rope.Rappeling on a loaded rope is extremely dangerous, and requires specialtechniques. Again, it falls into the difficult/dangerous category, notimpossible. If I were in this situation, I would rappel with a safety, just incase the rope became unloaded suddenly. The possibility of sudden unloading islow, however, as 200 feet down in a bell shaped pit would provide littleopportunity for the patient to suddenly get off line. Any decision to rescueshould not be taken lightly - this one would require a lot of skill on the partof the rescuers.


3) If one of the members could getto the patient and perform a pick-off,

there may not have been a fatality.(Then again, there may have been TWO

people tangled in the rope).


4) Two ropes running side by side willalmost inevitably tangle. They require special management to work correctly.

Cindy Heazlit

Chair, The Self Rescue Group




From: "William Putnam"<putnam@scott.marketspace.com>


His name was Hal Bufford, ofDouglasville, GA. I was there (one of many) to help bring him out. I respondhere not to criticize or bash Hal or his fellow cavers, but to offer somehonest thoughts and observations from one who was there for the considerationthoughtful cavers.


Cindy Heazlit writes:

+AD4-1) EVERYONE needs to be able todo changeovers.


Absolutely. It is an essential basicskill for vertical cavers. I wonder what percentage of active vertical caverscan actually do it? Add the fact that he

was already wet, cold, and tiredbefore starting the climb, plus the fact that he was climbing 440 feet in asubstantial waterfall of 35 degree water while

wearing a plastic rain suit overcotton clothing... I have watched cavers who

have been caving for many yearsspend 15 to 30 minutes making the climb-to-rappel changeover. In thoseconditions and with that (inappropriate) clothing he didn't have that muchtime. IMHO, people should practice until they are able to easily andconsistently do it in less than 5 minutes. With practice, it can be done inless than 1 minute. Hopefully, that level of ability will give us some marginin the kind of difficult conditions that he faced.


+AD4-2) Getting to the patient wasobviously difficult, but not impossible. How

+AD4-loaded was the 2nd rope?


His weight (+AD4-200 lbs includingwet clothing and gear) was equally distributed between the two ropes. Combinedweight of caver and ropes was probably about 300 to 350 lbs. He was attached toboth ropes, apparently in an attempt to change from climb to rappel. He had therack rigged (though one bar was threaded wrong) but appeared to have beenunable to transfer his weight to the rack from the handled ascender attached tohis harness. The sling on the

ascender was too long (a full arm'slength at least) and it may have been out

of reach or at the limit of hisreach. The knee cam of his ropewalker was attached to the other rope. His footcam was not recovered.


+AD4- Getting to the patient wouldrequire

+AD4-a) rappeling a tangled rope or

+AD4-b) down climbing 200 feet(difficult - NOT impossible) or

+AD4-c) rappeling on a loaded rope.


The ropes were tangled above andbelow him. His two companions did not have

the strength or equipment to pullhim up. It took six haulers, and a Z-rig

quite a while to do it, and we wereall exhausted by the effort. Cramped quarters at the top of the pit onlyallowed an 8-foot bite for the haul. He

was at least 200 feet down. Inretrospect, we might have been better off taking another 500 foot rope andlowering both ropes and patient to the bottom, then sending someone down to righim for the haul. His companions did not have that option. I think that tryingto downclimb to rappel the two loaded and tangled ropes would very possiblyhave stranded a second person on rope.


+AD4-Rappeling on a loaded rope isextremely dangerous, and requires special

+AD4-techniques. Again, it fallsinto the difficult/dangerous category, not

+AD4-impossible. If I were in thissituation, I would rappel with a safety, just +AD4-in case the rope weresuddenly unloaded. The possibility of sudden

+AD4-unloading is low, however, as200 feet down in a bell shaped pit would +AD4-provide little opportunity forthe patient to suddenly get off line. Any

+AD4-decision to rescue should notbe taken lightly - this one would require a

+AD4-lot of skill on the part of therescuers.


Actually, a sudden load shift didoccur early in the haul. We were trying to haul both ropes, but one wasanchored in such a way that we had to raise the

other to get some slack and remove aknot and carabiner. While we were doing

that, something shifted below andall his weight went to the other rope. After

that, we used the haul system on theloaded rope and pulled the other by hand.

He had been on rope in the water formany hours by then, and had made no response to our calls, so there was littlepoint in sending anyone down and

exposing them to the same risk. Isuppose that would be the only option

available to the victim's companionsin the circumstances. But as you say, it would have very difficult anddangerous.


+AD4-3) If one of the members couldget to the patient and perform a pick-off,

+AD4-there may not have been afatality. (Then again, there may have been TWO

+AD4-people tangled in the rope).


Exactly. I do not know theexperience level of the cavers involved, but

judging from what I saw, I do notbelieve they had the ability to do that.

Most cavers would not. I would notwant to do it myself, though I could if

desperate. Having an extra, unloadedrope beside the victim is one thing. A

loaded and tangled pair of ropes (ofdifferent diameters, too) in a 440 foot

pit with a large volume of 35-degreewater coming down is quite another thing

indeed. This fellow needed to beable to help himself. Better yet, he needed

to avoid getting in that situation.As is often the case, the fatality was the

result of a series of compoundingerrors. Poor rigging, times difficult conditions, times improper clothing,times no communications, times inability

to change over. Change any one ofthose factors, and the accident is avoided.

The chain of causality is broken.


+AD4-4) Two ropes running side byside will almost inevitably tangle. They

+AD4-require special management towork correctly.


Yes. I like to keep ropes at least 6feet apart in any pit, farther if

possible - especially in long dropslike this. These were less than 2 feet

apart at the lip. One of the ropeswas already rigged when they got there

(left by previous visitors). I wouldhave pulled it up and put it aside to use

my own rope and avoid the risk oftangling. Some folks might decide to use the

+ACI-booty rope+ACI-, but I wouldnot do that if I did not know its history and

ownership. Plus, I'd have had topull it up anyway to check for damage,

length, knot in the end, etc. beforeusing it. Too many bad things can happen

to ropes left hanging in caves,especially in waterfalls. Better to pull it,

put it aside, and use your own. Ibelieve they left it rigged because they

thought someone else was in the caveahead of them. There is another rig point

around a ledge to the right, but youcan't see the bolts unless you traverse

around (hands and knees on belay),and I don't think they knew it is there. It

is not obvious. Absent a clear rigpoint, the appropriate thing to do is either inspect and use the rope that'sthere or replace it with your own. And of course there's always the option ofnot doing the drop - leave and come back another day.


The focus of this list isself-rescue - getting out on your own or with the

help of your companions. This groupdid not have the knowledge or resources to

do that. His only hope was to savehimself. A quick changeover and descent

would have done that, allowing theothers to pull one rope and clear the other

for ascent. Once he was stuck therewas little or nothing they could do to

help him. By the time they couldexit the cave, it was almost certainly already too late. They key to thisaccident was prevention, not reaction.


These fellows made some mistakes,and the outcome was tragic. I looked at his

face and felt that it could havebeen me, 19 years ago. When we were starting

out, didn't we all think at somepoint that we knew everything we needed to

know when we really did not? Nowthat I am older, all I know for sure is that

there is so much that I do not know.


In great sadness,

Bill Putnam


eGroup Spotlight:

"Sarugby" - South AfricanRugby



eGroup home:http://www.eGroups.com/list/self_rescue

Free Web-based e-mail groups byeGroups.com


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[This item was sent out by the IDNR. – Ed.]


The natural beauty that characterizes Illinois is more than skin deep. Someof the State’s most significant and scenic wonders lie beneath the surface—inIllinois caves. With more than 100 recorded caves, Monroe County has more cavesthan any other county in Illinois.

The process of cave formation involves the power of water over rock. Therocks that form the base of the Illinois Ozark, Shawnee Hill, and MississippiBorder natural divisions are the sort most susceptible to the forces of water.Millions of years ago, huge shallow seas that covered much of this areadeposited many layers of organic and carbonate sediments, forming the limestoneand dolomite bedrock that dominate the region today. These types of rocks areeasily dissolved and carried off by water especially along the subterraneancracks or "joints" common to the sedimentary deposits.

During the courses of thousands of years, the dissolving action of wateralong the subterranean cracks formed large water-filled conduits or undergroundstreams. Meanwhile, erosion on the surface began to cut valleys deeper, some ofthe underground passages were drained, creating the air-filled passages knownas caves.

During the cave-making process, water acts not only as a dissolving agent,but also as a builder. In the protected cave environment , dripping and seepingwater can deposit carbonate materials and form a host of geologic formations.


Illinois Caverns contains an extensive array of spectacular cave formations,including stalactites, stalagmites, rimstone dams, flowstone, and soda straws.Many formations are actively growing with the continued deposition of calciumcarbonate. An underground stream meanders through the cave in its entrenchedbed. Throughout the year, the temperature in the cave remains a relativelyconstant 58 degrees Fahrenheit. A caving group from Chicago, the Windy CityGrotto, has mapped approximately six miles of the cavern’s passages.

In addition to these cave formations, Illinois Caverns is home for adelicately balanced and fragile community of animals. The cave has anoutstanding invertebrate fauna, including the largest number of cave-adaptedanimals known from any cave in Illinois. The cave salamander and at least twospecies of bats, the little brown bat and eastern pipstrel, are commonly foundin the cave.


As you are aware, Illinois Caverns is becoming more and more popular withthe visiting public. In fact, last year’s attendance increased by 26% over theprevious year. As could be expected, along with this increase in visitation isan increase in concern for the safety of the public as well as the cave’s ecosystem.DNR staff and the visiting public have identified many of the concerns.

Overall, the main concern expressed is that we maintain a quality cavingexperience for the visiting public, provide a safe educational experience andpreserve the fragile ecosystem of the cave.

In order to address these concerns, some changes will be needed at thissite. Fortunately, we already have a "Cave Exploration Permit" systemin place. Visitors must sign the permit prior to entering the cave. By making afew changes t it, most of our concerns can be addressed for the near future.

The changes we are proposing are 1) Required use of hard hat, 2) Requiredappropriate footwear with treaded soles, and 3) Groups of 25 or more mustpre-register prior to arrival.

Hours of operation for Illinois Caverns Natural Area will remain the samefor both summer (8:30am – 7:30pm) and winter hours (8:30am – 3:30pm). However,no one will be permitted to access the cave after 2:30pm in the winter and6:00pm in the summer hours. This change has been implemented from a publicsafety standpoint, allowing site staff to initiate safety/rescue efforts beforetime and daylight run out.

If you are affiliated with a Speleological Group, Grotto or any otherinterested party and wish to be on our mailing list for possible future NewsBriefs please forward this newsletter to them and mail us their address. Ifyour Grotto or Speleological Group has a web site or newsletter, it would beappreciated if you can include the newly imposed rules at Illinois Caverns inyour publications.

If you have any other questions, concern or comments, feel free to call orwrite for there may be need to alter the cave permit as needed. IllinoisCaverns phone number is (618) 458-6699. Address: 4369 G Road, Waterloo,Illinois 62298.



March 27 and 28 – NCRC Cave Rescue training at Illinois Caverns

May – Ground Water Month – come and walk through an aquifer

June – Cave Clean up - Grottos and Speleological groups and others.

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Steve Taylor


I got to go to Kentucky to do alittle cave biology on February 23rd and 24th, 1999. There is a guy at theIllinois Natural History Survey who is working on a book on the crayfish ofKentucky. He needed to photograph specimens of the two troglobitic species ofcrayfish occurring in that state, Orconectes inermis (north central Kentucky,extends up into Indiana) and Orconectes pellucidus (more central Kentucky,Mammoth Cave area).

A series of emails and phone callssome months in advance (with a few frantic calls the day before leaving) set uptrips to two caves which were just what I wanted. Easy access (for my cavingpartner is not a caver) with a stream that would yield cave crayfish. A longsix hour drive through the boring parts of Illinois and equally boring parts ofIndiana, finally gave way to some nice hills as we crossed over into Kentucky,and soon I was craning my neck at all the sinks and other karst features.

We arrived at our first cave, Bandy Cave,and everything seemed perfect, I went and checked in at the landowners house,then we geared up, strolled down into the sinkhole, ducked in the entrance andwe almost immediately in walking height stream passage. Excellent, we trolleydotted along and soon found several cave crayfish, including a few largehealthy individuals with all their parts attached (many cave crayfish seem tohave one pincher that is missing or regenerating). We also got to see some cavefish (neat!). After some photography, we left the cave and drove down to theMammoth Cave area in central Kentucky.

It was just before dark, and wedecided we could try hitting our other cave (for the second species ofcrayfish) before the day was done. This cave was right in the middle of a townin a large sinkhole. We pulled up, geared up, and slipped down into the woodedsinkhole, and approached the entrance. At the entrance was a large tower builtlong ago to pump water up out of the cave for use by old locomotives. The towerwas in a state of disrepair, and we had to pick our way through lumber withnails jutting out, and all sorts of partially collapsed things that looked likethey were going to fall down on top of us. Finally we came to a cement wallwith a rusty metal ladder going down. Several steps down, I discovered that oneof the steps was missing. At the bottom we found a jumbled pile of debris, anold cement and stone dam, rusty pipes, beer cans, spray paint, string, etc. Butthere was a nice babbling stream. We worked our way down passage of thatawkward height that makes you unsure whether you should be stoop walking orcrawling. Crayfish were not numerous here, but we found a few and took somepictures. We climbed out in the darkness, with plans to return the nextmorning. We stayed in a trashy hotel (there was a bullet hole in the window ofour room) and ate southern food.

The next morning we returned to thesame cave for more crayfish

hunting and photography, withsufficient success to call the entire trip a success. Then I talked mycompanion into heading over to Horse Cave, Kentucky to visit Hidden River Caveand the American Cave Museum (Headquarters of the American Cave ConservationAssociation). We enjoyed our tour of the cave and the facilities, and I highlyrecommend the Museum and cave tour to anyone. Very informative, veryprofessional, very educational. After chatting for a bit with the ACCA folks,we got in the car and did the long drive back home.


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Norm Rogers


Normally, we don't make a big dealof announcing a new member of the grotto, other than a welcome in the NNG News,however I would like to make an exception. At the restoration camp in Kentuckylast January, John Vargo gave me his dues money and announced he wanted to be amember of the Near Normal Grotto, and now I want to take this opportunity tointroduce this unique man. John, who lives in Swartz Creek, Michigan has beenmy friend since 1991, when he and his daughter attended the summer camp atMammoth Cave. Since that time, he has attended all the camps that were possiblefor him to attend. John was born totally deaf, but with his ability to readlips, and my very small knowledge of sign language, we are able to communicatevery well.

Once, he invited me to go cavingwith himself and three other deaf cavers in Doghill/Donahue cave in Indiana. Agreat cave, but it was the quietest trip I've ever been on. No one said a word!At that time, I was reminded of John's great strength as a caver (something Ihad learned at previous camps at Mammoth Cave.) His deaf friends were somewhatnew at caving, and so when we approached an ear-dip, John went through first,plowing a furrow through the mud and water with his head and large shoulders.He trailed behind him a length of rope so his friends would be more comfortablefollowing the rope through the low spot. As I was the last in line to navigatethe bathtub, John told me to just hang on tight to the rope. When I did, heliterally pulled me through, at such a speed that we sent water and mud flyingeverywhere! Although soaked to the skin, and covered in muck, it was theeasiest section of cave I had ever traveled.

Since those days, John has had manyphysical trials, including two near fatal car accidents (neither were his fault)and several painful surgeries made necessary by arthritis. Despite thesesetbacks, John has continued to volunteer his time and efforts to therestoration work at Mammoth Cave. He has ignored the pain and swelling in hisknees caused by the work, and has always been positive in his role in theproject.

One of the greatest contributionsmade to the camp was John's invention of a device used to pull bridge supportposts out of the floor of the cave. The previous year, it took several people upto an hour's work to dig just one of these 4 X 4 posts out of the sand or mud.With John's tool, it now takes just seconds. Just this tool alone willaccelerate the work in Echo River by an incredible pace. Because of this, Johnreceived an award from the Park Service for his contribution to the project.

I feel the Near Normal Grotto shouldbe proud to have John Vargo as our newest member. [I couldn't agree more! -Ed.]


Visit the Restoration Camp web siteat:


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Jim Jacobs


The Near Normal Grotto meets the fourth Friday of each month with variancesaround holidays. Check the calendar on the inside front cover of eachnewsletter. The Near Normal News isissued six times per year; January, March, May, July, September andNovember/December. Articles submitted for the News should be RECEIVED by Friday, two weeks before themeeting. Occasionally, later submissions can be accepted with advancearrangement.


Articles may be submitted in many forms. They may be handwritten, typed (ifanyone still owns a typewriter), computer disk or email. Or in crayon on apaper bag. Just get them here. Since I will have to retype any handwritten ortyped submissions, please get them to me as far in advance of the deadline aspossible. Although I prefer either Microsoft Word or plain ASCII (DOS-text),articles on disk or email can be in just about any popular word processingformat.

METHODS OF SUBMISSION: Co-Editor Brian Braye handles graphics and layout.Any photographs, maps or lists which need to be scanned into the computer maybe sent directly to him as 1503 S. Madison, Bloomington, IL 61701 or emailed tobrbraye@ilstu.edu. I function primarilyas copy editor. Any articles, on paper or disk may be mailed to me at 1905Lambert Drive, Normal, IL 61761 or email to jjacobs@ilstu.edu.

STYLE: SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES. Although this is not a technical journal, we docount a fair number of professionals in our midst, and we’ve been honored bysome first-rate submissions in the areas of chemistry, geology and biology. Anyarticles addressing technical or scientific issues should hold to a highstandard of experiment and proof, citing references where appropriate.

STYLE: TRIP REPORTS. Some of our members cave frequently, some don’t. Othershave retired to their armchairs. It is my belief that trip reports are bestwritten in an informal, personal nature, recounting the experience and feelingsof a caving trip, so that members who did not participate can "crawlalong" with the author and enjoy the trip vicariously. Humorous anecdotesare encouraged, but include nothing mean-spirited, which would causeembarrassment or hurt anyone’s feelings.

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January 22, 1999


Called to order at 7:20 by President Brian R. Braye. Present; Jim Jacobs,Bill Van Antwerp, Marty Jacobs, Marc Tiritilli, Tracy L. Tiritilli, SuzannaWalaszek, Steve Taylor, Julie Angel, John R. Marquart. Introductions: Welcomenew member Bill Van Antwerp, an EMT from Peoria.

OFFICERS’ REPORTS: Secretary. The minutes of the previous meetings wereapproved as published in the December issue of the NEWS. The Treasurer’s report(delivered by Julie Angel, subbing for Beth Reinke) was accepted.

OLD BUSINESS: - Incorporation papers were passed around. John M. said thatthe non-profit status is not necessary unless property is owned and donationssolicited. Motion to incorporate made and passed. Blackball mine program – theSMAPS computer mapping program was passed to Chris Rogers who will work withDon Coons to finish the map of the mine.

NEW BUSINESS: The First of America Bank has changed its name. It is nowNational City Bank. A discussion was held concerning the placing of NEWSarticles on the NNG website. Steve Taylor was concerned that some articles maycontain sensitive information which although appropriate for publishing in theNNN for an audience of primarily members, may contain information such as cavelocations which should not be placed on the web for anyone to see. Jim J.assured everyone that, if the author does not wish for an article to be placedon the web, that the request would be honored. Jim J. moved that the annualpublic meeting be moved to April rather than January. Approved unanimouslyafter a short discussion. Suzanne W. will chair the committee to organize andpublicize the program. John M. and Marc T. will assist. Steve Taylor has someinformation on new Illinois Caverns regulations. [Published in this issue –Ed.]

TRIP REPORTS: Marc Tiritilli – Illinois Caverns. Steve Taylor; Stimler andFogelpole. Trip to Devil’s Ice Box was cancelled. The next NNG meeting is Feb.26. The next ISS (Illinois Speleological Survey) meeting will take place onApril 25 at the Illinois Natural History Survey at Champaign. Adjourned. Therewas no program.


Respectfully submitted,

Jim Jacobs, Secretary

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February 26, 1999


Called to order at 7:19 by Vice-President, Julie Angel. Introductions.Present: Jim Jacobs, Bill Van Antwerp, Steve Taylor, Suzanna Walaszek, JeffWalaszek, Troy J. Simpson, Angi Bennett, Nick Bennett, Annie Bennett, BrettBennett, G. Dennis Campbell, Marc Tiritilli, Angela Carson, Dave Carson,Matthew Carson, Earl Neller, Nathan Horton, John R. Marquart.

OFFICER REPORTS: Secretary. Minutes of the January meeting were read andapproved. The Treasurer reported a balance of $367.92. Approved.

OLD BUSINESS: Julie A. got info on what is necessary to keep ourincorporation status. There is a $5.00/yr. fee, a form must be submitted, andsome sort of income tax statement. We will check on whether we would owe tax onour treasury status. The public meeting is now scheduled for April 24th.Suzanna W. has made a poster. Dr. Tom Griffiths of Illinois Wesleyan Universityhas agreed to reprise the wonderful presentation that he delivered in 1996.Posters will be passed out at the March meeting for distribution. John M.requested information for the annual report to the Illinois SpeleologicalSurvey. The ISS meeting is April 25th. Norm R. requests to step downas meeting program chair. Volunteers should please contact President BrianBraye.

TRIP REPORTS: Dave C., Dennis C., Phil VonDeBur and Norm Rogers participatedin the Mammoth Cave cleanup weekend. Dave and Dennis reported. Dave and Angelaalso delivered the first trip report for their son, Matthew (about six monthsold now), who visited Mammoth Cave with his parents. They also toured DiamondCaverns, KY, and found it well worth the trip. [Welcome aboard, Matthew! – Ed.]Steve Taylor has been very busy doing actual cave work, checking on the biotaand the water in Stimler and Fogelpole caves, and others. He lamented that hehad to do 16 cave trips in the last month or so, including some in Kentucky.One, in or near Cave City had been used for water source for locomotives, wherehe looked for cave crayfish. He also visited Hidden River Cave (KY) and others.The Spring MVOR IS May 14-16 near Shannon City, MO. There is a NCRC atIllinois Caverns MARCH 27-28!

Adjourned. Earl Neller gave an amazing slide program of a now closed cave.Although the slides were nearly 25 years old, they were in good shape, and verywell done! Thanks, Earl!


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