The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on July 23, 2006 · Page 12
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 12

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Bloomington, Illinois
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Sunday, July 23, 2006
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Page 12
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B4 Pantagraph Sunday, July 23, 2006 www.pai.tagraph.com LOCAL A PAGE FROM OUR PAST WEATHER 2 counties added for disaster aid ASSOCIATED PRESS SPRINGFIELD Gov. Rod Blagojevich declared Clinton and Jefferson counties state disaster areas Saturday, one day after a similar declaration for two other Southern Illinois counties that were socked by torrential rains and high winds. Nearly 100,000 people in southwestern Illinois were still without power Saturday, after a one-two punch of storms Wednesday and Friday, state officials said. Blagojevich declared Madison and St. Clair counties state disaster areas on Friday "Our state emergency personnel are continuing to work closely with county and local emergency service agencies around the clock in the Metro East area to help restore power and get things back to normal as soon as possible," Blagojevich said in a statement. State damage assessment teams have been sent to identify the areas of greatest need, the governor's office said. Most of the problems are related to power outages and damage to drinking water sources. At its height, about 300,000 people had lost access to safe drinking water, officials said Saturday Blagojevich's declaration makes disaster-relief funds available to reimburse state and local agencies for extraordinary costs associated with the storm. The area should get a respite from the turbulent weather, with highs in the low to mid-80s, calm winds and little chance of rain for much of the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Showman had passion for weird ,1 UIMIM.W. .,L. !.,., M.H. Pantagraph file photo Robert Powers as "Stinky the Skunk" and Bloomington-born movie producer K. Gordon Murray promote the local premiere of "Little Red Riding Hood and Her Friends" on Dec. 19, 1964, at the Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington. PANTAGRAPH .COM) TJifm It's the Best of the Season Hurry in! unc-h &$skk .sspe m. iiimp el , ILLINOIS tp- PEACHES Bar- Red Haven I (freestone) ILLINOIS SUPER SWEET 31-COLOR CORPL-m: r-, I Jf- We Bring The Mp. U( 111 r i vuuvb io row. inuiMHH . ., ,- TCUMcccee WATERMELON. Te CANTALOUPE "fttRettpr than home amti'n- L'U..I. f 1, I v. "TV rgnmiha la. Vmsif Y.- "W .. ifeaiiiuiiv l; ureen, re now, w"' weather permitting W f dark green WT Grape, RomaKT HOME GROWN GREEN BEANS AND NEW POTATOES Best selection now for stocking up Jackson's Dressing & Jellies, Kathy's Kitchen & more! Trusted Names r if : i & w : BroMenn Healthcare & Heritage Enterprises partnered to make Evergreen Place a reality. The unique senior living facility blends personalized support services with first class amenities to create a warm and secure environment for local seniors. Evergreen Place RESIDENTIAL ASSISTED LIVING 801 Gregory St. Normal 309-451-9355 www.EvergreenPlaceAssistedLiving.com 1 QiH-ffi-iiiJ)Quiii.iiiyCjOj ,i, 4 r.,!' , Portrait Package Special Only $Q95 y Package Includes: One - 10 x 13 Two - 8 x 10 s Four - 5 x 7's Four - 3 x 5's 3 2 Wallets ; , h i. Wish vou ware here! An. :Vrw J Uet I I j I ORTRAIT Innovations' We've totally re-invented the studio experience. Appointment! Highly Recommended. VKdk-uu welcome but may be limited based on availability. No subject fee or additional charges. Only one SV.S Portrait" Package .Special of your favorite pose per family or group during each promotional period please. Oiler not vjlid lor business purposes, individual adult subjects or unaccompanied minors. Otter subcci to change at any time. PLUS 6 Free . Personalized Portrait Cards 30 NEW Card Designs! Bring an extra change of clothes. No sitting fees or charges The Shoppes at College Hills 309 Veterans Parkway, Suite 415 Normal, IL 61761 Hurry, Call for an Appointment Today! 309.862.4700 Studio Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. www.PortraitInnovations.com By Bill Steinbacher-Kemp Archivistlibrarian McLean County Museum of History From his elementary school days onward, Kenneth Gordon Murray, the son of a Blooming-ton funeral home director, demonstrated a passionate interest in the weird and wonderful, first as a local carnival promoter and later as a movie producer. It was in the latter role that Murray garnered both success and notoriety As testament to one of the more peculiar careers in all American film, his credits as producer ranged from the late 1950s feature "The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy" to the sexploitation offering "Shanty Tramp." But before his rise as drive-in movie mogul, he earned his carnival barker chops in Blooming-ton. In 1942, the 22-year-old Murray borrowed a few items from the family funeral home, including a tent used for graveside services, and went into the traveling bingo business. After adding an ice cream machine and a carnival ride or two, the young proprietor took his "Murray's Fair" on the road, stopping at town and county festivals across the state. Several years later, Ken Murray's show business acumen was put to a much greater test. He purchased a run-down, weather-beaten carnival known as "West's Wonder Shows," and after repairing and adding rides, attractions and concessions, he Murray earned some measure of fame by way of the wily promotional campaigns that accompanied many of these kiddie matinees. was back on the road with his renamed "United Liberty Shows." In the spring of 1949, the Pantagraph paid a visit to Murray's off-season encampment in Randolph, a bump in the road on Highway 51 halfway between Bloomington and Heyworth. In an abandoned blacksmith shop and garage, Murray and his ragtag crew were seen repairing and customizing seven rides and sideshow wagons. Perhaps Murray tired of life on the road, or perhaps there wasn't much money to be made as a small-time operator, but for reasons unknown he left the carnival business. After forays into the theater construction trade and Hollywood, he settled in Miami, where by the 1950s he found success producing and distributing low-budget risque, horror .and children's films. Always mechanically inclined, K. Gordon Murray (his movie-making nom de guerre) developed a pioneering "loop-, ing" process to dub foreign language films into English, en abling his production company to distribute dozens of horror and children's fantasy films from Mexico, West Germany and elsewhere. During the 1950s and 1960s, Murray handled the stateside releases of a succession of strange children's films with titles like "The Princess and the Swineherd" and "Little Red Riding Hood and the Monsters." Even the safe-sounding "Santa Claus" featured the title character's journey to hell in order to battle Satan. Murray earned some measure of fame by way of the wily promotional campaigns that accompanied many of these kiddie matinees. For instance, in December 1964, Murray returned to his hometown accompanied by "Stinky the Skunk." The two were in Bloomington for the premiere of "Little Red Riding Hood and Her Friends" at the Castle Theater. Murray suffered a fatal heart attack on Dec. 30, 1979, at his home in Key Biscayne, Florida. He was only 57. Somewhat marginalized if not forgotten at the end, Murray's reputation has grown considerably in the quarter-century after, his death. Today, he had reached cult status as a purveyor of Z-grade cinema, and there's even a Web site, "The Wonder World of K. Gordon Murray" (www.kgordonmur-ray.com), which celebrates his life and career. You Can't Hide From Ragweed! Are you suffering with ragweed symptoms such as sneezing, itchy and stuffy nose. Join a clinical research study testing an investigational medication designed to help relieve your symptoms. Qualified participants will receive study medication or placebo, study-related medical exams, and compensation for time and travel. GGD0 GfflEED hr more inlormation contact: B Sneeze. Wheeze & Itch Associates I 2010 Jacohssen Drive. Normal, IL 61761 I !l -'m IT'S ALL ABOUT COMFORT HmMSVUle the summerevent T MERITAGE SC. y - Lu. 1. v.- 1 , - IK 11 Kerrectly tailored, pertectly comtortable sofas specially priced. LmMimmmmMmm Stab Is Value Pricing Jet. Rt. 54 & 121, Mt. Pulaski 792-3201 We wiU "otbe undersM identical items. s Hrs. M-Thnrs. 9-6; Fri. 9-8; Sat. 9-5; Sun. 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