Herald and Review from Decatur, Illinois on April 5, 1999 · Page 3
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

Herald and Review from Decatur, Illinois · Page 3

Decatur, Illinois
Issue Date:
Monday, April 5, 1999
Page 3
Start Free Trial

Central llinois A3 Decatur, Illinois Herald & Review Monday, April 5, 1999 t 1 to5 Capitol Notes up i MAN Conferences are news to Democrats At least the politicians were a little better than the trial lawyers who rushed to file lawsuits over last month's deadly Amtrak train crash near Bour-bonnais. Republicans in the Illinois House waited nine whole days before they started holding news conferences to proclaim themselves the champions of rail safety. Then they held two news conferences in two days. They got less coverage the second day, perhaps because they were calling for creation of a (hold the presses) "railroad safety task force." When asked how a committee would prevent train wrecks, state Rep. William A. O'Connor, R-Riverside, said it would determine "what administrative and governmental actions can be taken from a safety perspective." State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Mur-physboro, explained why no Democratic representatives attended the news conference "This is the legislators that Amtrak passes through their district," Bost said. "If you look at the railroad route, there are no Democrats on that route." That would be news to the people who get on and off the train in Centralia or Effingham. The last stop for the Amtrak line on which the crash occurred, before it stops in Bost's district, is in the district represented by state Rep. Kurt Granberg, D-Carlyle. The second to the last stop is in the district represented by state Rep. Charles A. "Chuck" Hartke, D-Teutopolis. Bost's assertion would be a real surprise to state Rep. John "Phil" Novak, D-Bradley. The crash took place in his district. Footnote: Collisions and deaths at highway crossings pver railroad tracks are declining, but Illinois remains near the top of the national fatality list. The first-ever long-term plan for improving Illinois grade crossings is due this week. STATE REP. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, has been traveling the state to drum up support for amending the Illinois Constitution to guarantee everyone access to health care He calls it the Bernardin amendment, after the late Roman Catholic cardinal from Chicago. Boland has been pushing this for more than a year. The large-type headline on one of his recent press releases misspelled the namesake as "Bernadin." One of Boland's allies on the issue is former state Treasurer Patrick Quinn. He was stumping for support last week, but like the other supporters was unable to come up with any cost estimate for the idea. WHAT BETTER body than the Illinois legislature to prove the old cliche about it being impossible to escape death and taxes? A House committee approved adding $2 to the cost of each certified death certificate, which typically costs $7 for the first copy and $2 or $4 for additional copies. Supporters included many of the same legislators who love to stand up and rail against big government and tax increases. STATE REP. Charles A. "Chuck" Hartke, D-Teutopolis, is part of the House Democratic leadership team. This year, he may be spending more time as presiding officer than any of the other deputies to Speaker Michael J. Madigan, D-Chicago. He's getting pretty good at it. He has recently been using a new way to quiet things down when the chaos and noise get intolerable. "I'll tell you what I tell my grandchildren: Let's use our inside voices. Shhhh." Anthony Man is the Herald & Review's Springfield bureau chief. Questions or comments should be directed to: Statehouse Press Room, Springfield, IL 62706. Phone: 782-4043. Fax: 789-7943. Clay S. Nelson, 'executive coach,' will meet with groups from Decatur high schools on career, life planning. By GARY MIN1CH H&R Staff Writer DECATUR Between 80 and 100 Decatur high school freshmen and sophomores will get exposure this week to an "executive coach" a number of Decatur business leaders swear by. Clay S. Nelson, principal of Consulting Service Network of Santa Barbara, Calif., is spending the week in Decatur to meet with groups of students from each of the four high schools. The visit was arranged by the Millikin Decatur Executive Association and Decatur Memorial Hospital Foundation. "This is the first time we've done any thing like this," said Sharon Alpi of Tabor School of Business. In the past, the executive association comprised of Decatur business people who support the university has brought in speakers for single programs, but Alpi said this is the first week-long event the group has sponsored. It will be Nelson's fifth trip to Decatur. He has conducted personal planning seminars here involving a number of business leaders, many of whom agree he is worth every dollar of his very expensive fees. Others, like Frank Tyrolt, chairman of Dunn Co., can endorse what Nelson is doing but say it doesn't work for them. Carla Brinkoetter, president of Tom Brinkoetter & Co. Realtors, said Nelson changed her life. "He gets in your face and makes you think," she said. "It's really impressive to be in a room and watching grown men cry." Brinkoetter said Nelson's program is all about setting priorities and thinking out the relative importance of conflicting demands on busy schedules. Kevin Breheny, president of J.L. Hubbard Insurance & Bonds, was impressed enough after one group session with Nelson that he paid the consultant's fee and expenses for a one-on-one follow-up weekend. Breheny, who said Nelson gave him a new perspective on managing his time, was instrumental in arranging this week's activities, Alpi said. Breheny said Nelson's sessions on career planning and life planning are directed at students with potential, but "who will benefit from learning the importance of planning. "A lot of key decisions are made between the ages of 15 and 19," said Breheny. Principals at each public high school and St. Teresa Catholic high school selected students for the program. Nelson will meet with about 20 students from each school between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday at Mueller Lodge. The day-long program starts with such questions as "What is your purpose in life?" "What is your primary goal ... for the next 12 months" regarding family? Personal? Health? Relationships? Education? From there, he will offer 10 steps toward career planning: assessing skills and interests, researching occupations, choosing career goals, selecting the right school, preparing resumes and mora During the week he also will meet with the executive association for breakfast on Thursday and will speak to business majors and other Millikin students on Wednesday night. Rock This House - i, 4 i 'i 1 1 f 4 . ; ! 0" -s3 m r ji v ' t . y1" - . : . ; Herald & Review photos Joseph C. Garza SOUND CHECK: John "Catfish" Evans wails on the guitar during the sound check for his band, Catfish and the Sharks. The band was the opening act for Indigenous on Sunday night at the newly reopened Avon Theater. Show brings rock to the reopened Avon Theater After poor attendance over six days, proprietors bring in near-sellout crowd By BILLY TYUS H&R Staff Writer DECATUR There were more than ghosts wandering the halls of the Avon Theater Sunday evening. Area residents packed the theater for the first popular music show in the reopened movie house the bluesrock group Indigenous resulting in a near-sellout crowd to the 8 p.m. performanca For years the theater sat dark. It last operated as a "dollar movie" house for second-run films from November 1993 to February 1995 and most recently was part of the "Haunted Decatur" and "Halloween Ghost" tours during Halloween. But on Sunday, the smell of freshly-popped popcorn filled the air as people of all ages scurried about to find seats. For some the show was an opportunity to reminisce about the theater's history. Others saw it as an opportunity to hear good, live music. "I remember this theater from a long time ago and I think this is a good idea," said Robert McDermith of Decatur, who attended the show with wife Alice. "This is something that Decatur definitely needs." Sunday's Indigenous performance capped seven days of music and entertainment at the Avon. Organizers said poor attendance at a six-day Christian music series which they blame in part on inadequate marketing led to a less than auspicious start for the theater. "It was definitely a learning experience," said Gary Strong, one of the Avon's new proprietors. "But it was good in that it helped us to get our feet wet. "We're still learning the ropes IS 1 i . -i i . i i , nil GETTING READY: Projectionist Chris Barnett splices a leader onto the film 'Elizabeth' on Sunday afternoon at the Avon Theater. An invitation-only showing of the film will be tonight. but we're going to get there." Proprietor Skip Huston said the next few months will bring a number of new music shows to the Avon both gospel and secular and that the theater could begin showing some first-run movies that other local theaters "choose not to show." Today, the theater will feature an invitation-only screening of the critically acclaimed film - "Elizabeth," which this year earned seven Academy Award nominations. Huston who produced the successful "Flashback" concerts at the Lincoln Theatre said being proprietors will allow the group to try some things they otherwise couldn't. "I always thought that being the producer was the big thing but the big thing really is having the theater," he said. Brothers fail in appeal attempt; one adds to sentence By RON INGRAM H&R Staff Writer DECATUR Two Decatur brothers have not only failed in their efforts to have an appellate court overturn their convictions for assault on two other Decatur men in November 1996, but one of them will see his sentence nearly doubled. Shoncee Anderson, who was 20 at the time of the assault, was convicted by a jury in April 1997 of aggravated battery with a firearm and attempted murder. He shot Jake Eubanks twice during an altercation in the basement of Eubanks' house in the 1500 block of North Woodford Street on Nov. 8, 1996. Eubanks was paralyzed from the waist down when one of the bullets lodged in his spine. Anderson and his brother, Juan, who was 18, also were convicted of the aggravated battery of Steven McGee, whom Juan repeatedly struck over the head with a marble table top during the altercation. McGee suffered a fractured skull, and one of his ears was nearly torn off. The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court rejected Shoncee Anderson's contention that the aggravated battery with a firearm conviction should be vacated because it was based on the same underlying acts as the attempted murder conviction. But the appellate court agreed with prosecutors that Circuit Judge John L. Davis erred in giving Anderson concurrent 20-year prison sentences for that charge and the attempted murder charge. The appellate court sent the case back to Macon County for Anderson to be resentenced. The brothers' appeal alleged Davis erred by not admitting as evidence that powdered cocaine was found on a table in the basement. They alleged Eubanks was high on the drug, had started the fight and was shot by Shoncee in self-defense after Eubanks pulled a gun. They also argued Assistant State's Attorney Richard Current prejudiced the jurors with a portion of his closing argument and that Shoncee's aggravated battery with a firearm conviction should be vacated because it was based on the same underlying acts as the attempted murder conviction. The appellate court reviewed the case and found there was no evidence presented that Eubanks had used cocaine the day of the assault. While a physician who attended Eubanks said he was intoxicated, there was no proof cocaine was the reason. Eubanks had admitted drinking whiskey and beer that day. The prosecutor's remarks to the jurors did not prejudice them against the brothers, Justice P.J. Knecht wrote for a unanimous court. The evidence was overwhelming against the pair and Davis took steps to strike Current's improper statements from the record and to instruct the jury to disregard them. Briefs H&R staff reports Decatur man dies after collision with train DECATUR A 51-year-old Decatur man died early Sunday morning after his vehicle collided with a train at a railroad crossing near 2800 N. Brush College Road. The victim, identified as William E. Unland, struck one of two Illinois Central Railroad locomotives at about 3:21 a.m. Sunday, Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day said. Day said it appears the first locomotive had cleared the crossing when Unland's vehicle struck the second. According to Decatur police reports, witnesses observed Unland traveling southbound on Brush College at a high rate of speed and appearing to speed up before slamming on his brakes about 40 feet from the crossing. Unland was pronounced dead at 6:10 a.m. of massive chest-abdominal trauma at St. Mary's Hospital. Toxicology testing is underway and an inquest is pending. Seat belt dummies set for Safe Kids Day DECATUR Vince and Larry, two "dummies" who promote the use of safety belts in Illinois, will appear from 12:30 to 4:40 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, for Safe Kids Day at Richland Community College. Public Affairs Here is the week's schedule of government meetings and other activities of interest to the public in Decatur and Macon County. Today Decatur Park District Board, 12:30 p.m.. Main Hangar Restaurant, Decatur Airport, Decatur. Hickory Point Fire Protection District Board, 6 p.m., fire station, 450 S. Smith St., Forsyth. Decatur City Council, 6:30 p.m., city council chambers, third floor, Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza, Decatur. Argenta Village Board, 7 p.m.. Village Hall, 132 N. Kenwood St., Argenta. Mount Zion Village Board of Trustees, 7 p.m.. Village Hall, 400 Main St., Mount Zion. Maroa Public Library Board, 7 p.m., 305 E. Garfield St., Maroa. Warrensburg Village Board, 7 p.m.. Village Hall, 160 E. Main St., Warrensburg. Blue Mound Village Board, 7 p.m.. Village Hall, Rail Road Avenue, Blue Mound. Forsyth Village Board, 7 p.m.. Village Hall, 301 S. Route 51, Forsyth. Hickory Point Town Board of Trustees, 7:30 p.m.. Town Hall, 2240 W. Ash Avenue, Decatur. Latham Fire Protection District Board, 7:30 p.m., 220 N. Main St., Latham. Tuesday Decatur Fire Insurance Board, 9 a.m.. Fire Station No. 1, 1415 N. Water St., Decatur. Decatur Civil Service Commission, noon. Human Resources division conference room, Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza, Decatur. Mount Zion Planning and Zoning Commission, 7 p.m., village hall, 400 Main St., Mount Zion. Oakley Township Board, 7 p.m., Oakley Township Building, Oakley. Decatur Public Library Finance and Properties Committee, 4:45 p.m., 247 E. North St., Decatur. Wednesday Decatur Public Building Commission, 8 a.m., Macon County Office Building, Room 804, 141 S. Main St., Decatur. Decatur Electrical Commission, 4 p.m., community development department conference room, Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza, Decatur. Macon County Emergency Telephone System Board, 6 p.m., ETSB office, 363 S. Main St., Suite 340, Decatur. Thursday Decatur Housing Authority, 3:30 p.m., Don F. Davis Administrative Center, 1808 E. Locust St., Decatur. Decatur Zoning Board of Appeals, 4 p.m., city council chambers, third floor, Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza, Decatur. Decatur Human Relations Commission, 5:30 p.m., city council chambers, third floor, Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza, Decatur. Macon County Board, 7:15 p.m., Macon County Office Building, 141 S. Main St., Decatur. -i

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 15,800+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the Herald and Review
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free