Rep. LeRoy Ufkes will not win any awards for career longevity. Ufkes took his seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in Springfield for the first time Monday. His last day on the job was Tuesday. The Republican was chosen by five county GOP chairmen in their western Illinois district to serve out the term of Rep. Kent Slater, who resigned to become a judge. Republicans, a minority in the House, decided not to risk weakening their strength further by leaving the seat vacant. Democrat Bill Edley, elected in November to succeed Slater, takes office today. In his first vote, Ufkes supported a bill extending a program to help poor people pay utility bills. The measure passed 114 to 0. Ufkes, a 20-year member of the Hancock County Republican Central Committee, said the GOP county chairmen gave him no instructions on how to vote. “They just said they trusted me,” he said.
--Nancy Reagan put her “Just Say No” campaign on ice--literally. Brian Boitano, the 1988 Olympic figure skating champion, former Olympic skater Jo Jo Starbuck and members of the New York Rangers hockey team helped Mrs. Reagan conduct an anti-drug rally at New York’s Rockefeller Center skating rink. NBC television weatherman Willard Scott was master of ceremonies. The First Lady urged the group of about 50 children, some from the U.N. International School, to carry the anti-drug message around the world. “Feel good because you’ve chosen to say no to drugs and alcohol,” Mrs. Reagan told the children.
--A lot of people will be singing the blues in Washington for George Bush’s inauguration. Lee Atwater, one of the President-elect’s key advisers during the campaign and a blues fan, is organizing a rhythm and blues concert for Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration. The Washington show will include such legends as Ruth Brown, Bo Didley, Willie Dixon and Sam Moore from Sam and Dave, organizers said. Also scheduled are Percy Sledge, Joe Cocker, Delbert McClinton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and brother Jimmie Vaughan from the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Koko Taylor, Rolling Stone Ron Wood and Stax Records veterans Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn, Billy Preston and Dr. John.