The Decatur Daily Review from Decatur, Illinois on August 14, 1978 · Page 15
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The Decatur Daily Review from Decatur, Illinois · Page 15

Decatur, Illinois
Issue Date:
Monday, August 14, 1978
Page 15
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Decatur, Illinois, Monday, August 14, City -initiated rezoning By Jan Gilarski Angelo Drakos, owner of Esker's Tavern, says he would sleep more comfortably at night if his business were re-zoned to a B-2 commercial district, s Residents of the quiet, tree-lined Clay Street area where the tavern is located say they would sleep better at night if they were assured the rezoning would not result in an expansion of the business. "How can I expand?" Drakos counters. "If I were to rebuild under B-2 zoning), I would have to buy additional property." And so the debate goes. Drakos and the residents in the area surrounding the tavern at 1703 E. Clay St. have become somewhat reluctant !TW 1 ' 5"" """""S" Tx?F7zpz 8 r-w-r l Traffic near Esker's Tavern is a cause of concern among some neighbors on East Clay and Glay Street f"Just stand here and watch you can't see around the corner," says a resident of the 1800 Block E. Clay St., juggling a bag of groceries in her arm. She lives a block east of Esker's Tavern and is one of a number of area residents who are fearful a rezoning of the tavern to a commercial district will aggravate what she views as hazardous conditions. Whether or not the rezoning is approved, Esker's will be allowed to remain at its present location as a legal non-conforming use. Neighbors are aware of that. The tavern, located in the center of a middle-income residential neighborhood, has no off-street parking. Patrons park right to the corner of 17th and Clay streets, posing a sight barrier to motorists coming through the inter Bennett, Dunn begin spending campaign funds for fall election State Rep. Allen Bennett, R-Decatur, at one time had more than $19,000 to spend on his re-election campaign. Rep. John Dunn, D-Decatur, had about $11,500. Both now have started spending their campaign funds in preparation for the November election, according to annual reports filed with the State Board of Elections. The reports filed by both candidates are similar to ones filed about a month ago, with the exception that they were required to detail their expenses over $150 in the most recent report. It is the last look at their campaign finances until October. Republican Webber Borchers and Democrat B.T. "Tim" Donovan have not filed reports, indicating they had not received or spent more than $1,000 as of June 30. Borchers, Donovan, Bennett and Dunn are vying for the three 51st District House seats. Traffic death Another traffic death the past weekend brings to 10 the total so far in Macon County in 1978. There have been six deaths in city of Police report Decatur traffic accidents and four traffic deaths in the county. The total of 10 is fewer than the 13 recorded in all of 1977 or 1976, records show. Jhere were 17 traffic deaths in Macon County combined in 1977 and 26 in 1976. The 27 traffic deaths recorded in 1971 in Macon County is the highest this decade;, Deputy listed fair to serious Macon County Sheriff Deputy Hugh Higgins was listed in fair to serious condition at Decatur Memorial Hospital this' morning with a head injury sustained when his patrol car left the road and. came to rest in a ditch south of Interstate 72 on Illinois 48. According to Sheriff Stephen D. Fish-er,Jbe 59-year-old Higgins hit his head about 5 p.m. after getting nauseated and pulling off the side of the road. It is 1978 opponents since the city initiated a petition to rezone Esker's (and three other taverns) to B-2 commercial district to conform with recent changes in the city's liquor code. The Esker's rezoning is the only one which has drawn opposition. The other three taverns are located on busy thoroughfares. The City Plan Commission, voting 3 to 3 last month on the rezonings, sent the issue to the City Council for a decision. The council is expected to discuss the matter at a study session tonight, before formal action is taken. Esker's now is zoned residential and is classified as a legal non-conforming use. Even if the B-2 rezoning is not approved by the City Council, the tavern neighbors section, she says. "It's dangerous for kids to play." She also resents, having to pick up beer bottles and' cans left on her lawn by customers. She was aware of the presence of the tavern when she moved into the neighborhood, "but I heard it didn't do that much business," she says. Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Shondel have lived in their home at 1744 E. Clay St., across the street from the tavern, for almost 40 years. "It (the tavern) doesn't bother me at all," Mrs. Shondel says, although noting she is "looking for a terrible wreck to happen one day" because of the traffic situation. "I'm in favor of leaving it right there," she says. Her husband, pointing to a camping trailer parked on the street next door, Bennett has spent $5,379 so far. As of June 30, he still had $13,803 left. New contributions have included $200 from Illinois Amco Political Action Committee and $100 each from Hughes Motors, 2655 N. 22nd St.; Kaskaskia Steel Erectors Inc., 2202 N. 40th St.; and the CIPS Employee Political Participation Committee. Bennett's expenses have included $2,042 and assorted other expenses for his $500 a ticket fund-raising event earlier this year. Other expenses have included: Two hundred fifty dollars to the Illinois Republican State House Dinner Committee; $100 for the GOP fund-raising event featuring Ronald Reagan; $50 to a fund-raising event for Lt. Gov. Dave O'Neal; $25 to the House Republican Campaign Committee for a "Vital Edge" seminar. Also, $200.53 (for which he was reimbursed for half by Sen. James Rupp) toll reaches believed he blacked out and the car continued down the embankment. There was minor damage to the car, Fisher said. Man is serious after stabbing Fred Ricks, 32, of 404 E. Center St. was listed in serious condition in St. Mary's Hospital this morning with a stab wound he received Saturday. A 41-year-old Decatur woman was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery. She was released Sunday on a notice to appear. Man treated after mishap A 31-year-old Decatur man was treated at St. Mary's Hospital Sunday for injuries received when his car hit a retaining wall and support post at the Jasper Street subway about 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Decatur police reported Andrew A. Brown of 935 E. Moore St. lost control of his car before the crash which totaled his vehicle. Brown was cited for reckless driving. Trucker slightly injured A truck driver from Sioux Falls, S.D., was treated at Decatur Memorial Hos THE DECATUR of Esker's will be allowed to remain in its present location. The rezoning, city officials say, will just make the facts conform to the rules. Although he didn't initiate the rezoning petition, Drakos supports it. "Everything we have to do now conforms to B-2," he says, noting the only exceptions are setbacks and lot size. As a liquor license holder, Drakos has to abide by applicable fire, building and health codes. "Why would we not want to have the same privileges as someone in a B-2 zone?" Drakos asks. To Drakos, the "privileges" are important. In its present situation as a non-conforming use, the tavern could not be have mixed notes, "That thing right there bothers me more." Betty Oyler of 1761 E. Clay St. says she doesn't object to the tavern as it is. But she feels the rezoning will lead to an expansion of the business and "we feel if it enlarges, it will be a threat." Angelo Drakos, owner of the tavern, says he is not interested in enlarging the business. There are some present problems which concern Mrs. Oyler, one of them being the traffic and parking problem. "They (customers) park in places restricted by the city," she says. "They park to the corners so you cannot see the stop signs." Mrs. Oyler says she wouldn't mind if Drakos built a parking lot on property adjacent to the tavern, but does not want to see the bar itself enlarged. for a reception in Springfield for the Macon County Young Republicans; $200 to the Illinois House Republican Campaign Committee; $125 to Pamela Rosborough of Elwin and Judith Chafin, his legislative aide, for campaign work; and $12.50 for flowers for the funeral of Shelbyville Mayor John L. Heinlein. Dunn has spent $1,936 and had $9,559 left as of June 30. He showed no recent contributions of more than $150 and his only major expense was $1,034 to the Knights of Columbus Hall for a fund-raising event he held earlier this year. Rep. Rolland Tipsword, D-Taylorville, who has withdrawn from the November ballot, reported he had $2,562 on hand as of June 30. After he announced his retirement from the ballot, he returned a $100 contribution from the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois. He did not close down his campaign committee. 10 in county pital late Saturday for injuries sustained when his semi-tractor trailer overturned about 9:30 p.m. on the U.S. 51 exit ramp to Interstate 72. According to Decatur police, Gary Dickinson, 30, received minor injuries when his semi failed to negotiate the curve and turned over on the driver's side. The semi, which was uprighted, was loaded with more than 30,000 pounds of beef. Bee causes accident A 16-year-old Decatur youth was treated at St. Mary's Hospital Sunday for injuries received when he struck an Illinois Power Co. pole at 1326 W. Eldorado St. David A. Fitzgerald of 144 N. Summit Ave. was injured about 7 a.m. Sunday when he tried to swat a bee that flew in his car as he was driving, according to Decatur police. No estimate was available for the damaged pole. DECATUR WEEKLY The Decatur Weekly Gazette was established by James Shoaff on June 26, 1851. DAILY REVIEW property would please owner rebuilt' in the same location should a fire destroy more than 50 percent of the building. "Part of Esker's charm is its location," he says. "My livelihood would be gone." Under the B-2 rezoning, if the tavern suffered substantial damage Drakos would have to either buy more property or receive a variance before a building permit for remodeling would be issued. But the option to rebuild on the site would be there. Neighboring residents have complained that cars of tavern patrons block their driveways and the noise keeps them awake at night. They say also that a traffic hazard is presented when cars park right up to the stop sign Staff photo by Ron Ernst 17th streets. feelings "This is a neighborhood. We have kids we're raising," she says. Mrs. Oyler's daughter Natalie says one thing which bothers her is that only one lane of traffic can get through when cars are parked on both sides of the street. "If a car's coming toward you, you have to back up down the street." But she acknowledges tavern owner Drakos "is a real nice guy." The "crux of the whole matter," according to another resident of the 1700 Block, is that "I don't want them to have the opportunity to expand." "I don't object to it as it is. We even patronize it," he says. "But this is a different crowd," he notes, from the one present when he moved to the neighborhood 21 years ago. ' -BY JAN GILARSKI Wilfred W. Miller United Way appoints postmaster Wilfred W. Miller, Decatur postmaster, has been appointed chairman of the public employees' division for this fall's United Way campaign. The Decatur native has been with the U.S. Postal Service since 1935. He became postmaster in 1977. Miller is a graduate of Decatur High School and attended the University of Illinois. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean Conflict. He is a member of the Rotary Club, Commodore Council of Royal Arcanum and is president of the Commodore Credit Union. Since 1953, he also has been a part-time announcer at WSOY. Assistants to Miller in the campaign will be: Stephen Fisher and Valerie Salmons, municipal employees; Robert W. Davis township employees; Dr. Rudolph G. Breitmeyer and Margie Rendfeld, state employees. Gordon R. Elliott and Henry E. Pauls, federal employees; Dwight E. Patrick, United Way agencies; Christopher Kiricoples, other social agencies. David Marshall, Millikin University; Michael Van Strien, Richland Community College; Mrs. Robert Sarikas, Catholic schools. Last year the public employees division raised $54,500 for the United Way. This year's goal for the entire campaign is $1.3 million. on the corner. And they note they often have to pick up empty bottles and cans thrown on their lawns by customers after the bar closes. Drakos himself leaned over to pick up a can while showing a reporter the outside of the premises. "The lady who made the complaint about the driveways I'm sure it was legitimate," Drakos says. "When there is no off-street parking, it's difficult to police the-situation. We try to do the best we can. We're not interested in making the neighbors unhappy." He notes that Esker's probably has one of the best "track records" of city taverns in regard to the number of times police are called to handle prob Local group formed, will oppose building Clinton nuclear plant Formation of a Decatur chapter of Prairie Alliance has been announced. Prairie Alliance is a Central Illinois group opposed to the construction of the Ginton nuclear power plant. Approximately 20 persons attended the first local meeting last week, according to organizer Don Evans of Local faces, places Mount Zion. A second public meeting will take place in about a month, he added. While Prairie Alliance opposes nuclear power plants, it promotes alternative energy sources, Evans said. He said he started a local chapter "because I feel Decatur people don't really have anything to get involved in." Another reason for the new chapter here, he said, is because Decatur is the headquarters of Illinois Power Co., builders of the Clinton plant. Prairie Alliance started last year in Champaign-Urbana. Other chapters are in Springfield, Bloomington-Normal and Coles County. For more information, contact Evans at 864-4704 or Randy Luckenbill at 422-4350. Stewart, wife join Peace Corps Former Decatur resident John Stewart and his wife Janet have joined the Peace Corps to work with emotionally disturbed children in Chile. Stewart, son of the Rev. and Mrs. Robert S. Stewawrt of 120 S. Glencoe Ave., and his wife are graduates of Southern Illinois University, Carbon-dale. Stewart is a former clinical educator and paramedic. Mrs. Stewart formerly was a nurse's aide with the University of Utah hospital in Salt Lake City. Band camp is scheduled The Mount Zion School District bands will have a band camp Aug. 21 through 25, sponsored by the Mount Zion Band Boosters. On each day, the sixth grade band will meet from 8 to 10 a.m., high school band from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and junior high band from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Other activities for the week will include roller skating, softball, bowling, volleyball and swimming. Band directors are Mary Novy, sixth grade; Dwight Jordan, junior high; and Dave Dorgan, high school. Masonic Temple events to mark 50th anniversary An open house and a parade are among the special events planned for the Masonic Temple 50th anniversary celebration later this month. The temple was opened in 1928. A week of activities has been set aside to celebrate the anniversary, beginning Aug. 28. Special nights are planned for members of the Masonic lodges and ladies organizations. On Aug. 28, there will be events for the Masonic lodges Macon Lodge No. 8, Ionic Lodge No. 312, Stephen Decatur Lodge 979 and Great Light Lodge No. 1064. The primary sponsors for Aug. 29 activities are Order of Eastern Star Decatur Chapter 111, Mecca Shrine, Leighton Court No. 1 Order of Amaranth and Guiding Light Chapter 1016 Order of Eastern Star. On Aug. 30, there will be activities for Zohak Grotto, DeMolay and Jobs Daughters; on Sept. 1, for Royal Arch Masons, Council of Select Masters, and Commandery of Knights Templar. The public is being invited to an open house at the temple, 224 W. William St., beginning at 7 p.m. Aug. 31. There will be guides on each floor. The Decatur Two Springfield low bids on U.S. Two Springfield firms were the low bidders for the first work on the improvement of U.S. 51 (F-412). Reymueth Corp. and Sangamo Construction Co. bid $2,374,807 for the improvement project on a 6.6-mile stretch between Clinton and Mar.oa. The bid was under the Illinois Department of Transportation's estimate of $2,650,000, according to Richard Ador PAGE FIFTEEN lems. That contention holds up after a check of Decatur Police Department records. "I've been involved in the tavern business for 20 years," he says. "We discourage trouble and don't cater to troublemakers." He points out he has chosen not to stay open until 2 a.m., the new closing time made possible by a recent city liquor code amendment. Esker's closes at 1 a.m. daily. He describes the tavern as being the kind of place in which a young woman who walked in alone would not have to fear being harassed. ' "Most of the people who come in here are neighbors, plus we get a cross-cut of Decatur. Esker's has a good name." Dr. Kirby to speak Friday Dr. Inabell Kirby, a Decatur School District administrator, will speak at a conference on student competency testing in Illinois Friday at Northern Illinois University. She is director of research and information for Decatur public schools. Program resumes Aug. 22 The Decatur School District's Adult Basic Education Program, on summer vacation break since the end of July, will resume on Aug. 22. The free classes, which are held 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday at the Decatur Area Vocational Center, prepare persons to take the test to receive the GED Certificate, which is equivalent to a high school diploma. For more details call 424-3070. Yuttapong 'Gui' Prabpai Thai student to study here Yuttapong "Gui" Prabpai of Kerat, Thailand, will spend the 1978-79 school year attending St. Teresa High School as a participant in the American Field Service winter program. While in Decatur, Gui will live with the Robert Kimmons family at 2233 W. Marietta St. Gui is the son of Rawat and Arunsri Prabpai. His father owns a woodmill. His interests include reading, guitar and basketball. He has been attending the Ratcha-sima School in his hometown and plans further study at the university when he returns to his native land. Municipal Band will present a 30-min-ute program in the auditorium at about 8 p.m. A parade, dinner and rededication ceremony are scheduled on Sept. 2. The 2 p.m. parade will have the Masonic Temple as its starting point. Among the parade participants will be the Municipal Band. Fifty years ago, the Goodman Band, forerunner of the present band, marched in a Masonic parade. At 4 p.m. Sept. 2, rededication of the cornerstone and dedication of a new granite marker will take place at the Temple. Most Worshipful Grand Master Vance C. Van Tassell of Robinson will officiate. A dinner at $5 is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the large dining room. Tuesday is the deadline for reservations. The celebration will close with rededication ceremonies following the dinner. The cornerstone of the present Masonic Temple was laid by Louis Lincoln Emmerson, grand master of Illinois Masons on March 24, 1928. The temple was first used for degree work in January 1929. firms submit 51 project jan, department spokesman. The work will include new surfacing of the two-lane highway, which then can be incorporated into the four-lane highway planned for U.S. 51, Adorjan said. If there are no errors in the bid, the contract is expected to be awarded in three to four weeks, with the construction to start three to four weeks after that, according to Adorjan. h

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