Mac on Sports
Illinois Announces Demirjian Park
Champaign--At a 4 o'clock press conference today (Wednesday) the Demirjian family of Decatur and the Illinois athletic department are announcing their $7 million gift to build new soccer and track and field facilities.
I will have more details on this in a future print edition.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
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Campaigns Shaping Up But Little Interest Until After The Holidays
Last week, Macon County Clerk Steve Bean announced the results for the ballot placement lottery in the races for county office.
The lottery is necessary when more than one candidate files at the same time at the beginning of the first day that petitions can be filed.
The lottery determines which candidate gets his or her name first on the ballot for the March 20th Primary Election. It was once the conventional wisdom that having your name last was better than first, but I’m not sure there’s much truth in that considering a community of our size.
If you are running for office in a large city, the primary ballot may have 20 candidates for one office, and having your name first would probably be a help.
When I won the primary in my race for mayor, there were four candidates and I was not the first or last name on the ballot -- and it didn’t seem to hurt or help me.
Considering that last week’s lottery determined who was first and last on the primary ballot, and there were only two candidates in the contested primary races, first or last would be about equal in importance -- at least as I see it.
There were three county offices that had more than one candidate from the same party for the primary and, Macon County Clerk Republican candidates Samantha Murray and Josh Tanner will appear on the ballot in that order. For Macon County Sheriff, Democrats Jon L. Butts and Tony “Chubby” Brown will appear in that order, and in the other lottery for Macon County Treasurer, Democrats April Kostenski and Shavon Francis will appear on the ballot in that order.
The rest of the Democrat and Republican candidates for county-wide offices are uncontested in the primary and will automatically move on to the general election which will be held Nov. 6
• LITTLE INTEREST -- As is usually the case during the holiday season, the thoughts of most of the voters are more on Christmas shopping and gatherings and not on political campaigns -- and that is certainly true in other races at higher levels including members of the General Assembly and Congress.
That’s no reflection on the quality of candidates but of the season -- plus I think all of the state and national bickering over the past year has some people just fed up with thinking about politics.
Except for the announcements of the candidates I really haven’t done much yet about the races and the candidates. I’m sure I will be talking with them once we begin the new year
• YIKES!! I received a note and a couple of photos from Jerry Pressley about the dangerous steps at the edge of Nelson Park.
Jerry wrote: “Maybe you can look into this problem. I've complained for the last 5 years to replace these stairs that lead down to the lake on Lakeshore Drive, 1125 Lakeshore Drive, in front of my home. I don't know if the city owns them or the park district but maybe you can show the pictures and get a better response than I have.
“I would appreciate just a hand rail, but as you can see they are very dangerous to walk down.”
Thanks for sending the photos, Jerry. If it is a part of Nelson Park, it would be on Decatur Park District property.
However, since it is a right-of-way next to a road, maintenance of the strip could be the responsibility of one of several government jurisdictions.
We should know once these photos are seen.
Actually, the black and white photos (what Jerry sent was in color) don’t show the contrast to define how dangerous those steps are.
I would call them an invitation to a lawsuit as soon as someone takes a tumble down them. Whatever entity is responsible should do something about it before someone gets hurt.
• I REALLY like the comments of Dick Van Dyke President Dennis Rieken on our front page referencing the company’s $1 million dollar remodeling project: "We love Decatur, especially downtown Decatur, We are thrilled to have grown to the level that we can invest another million dollars into the upgrading of downtown and the Macon County economy.”
Those words are music to my ears and I’m sure to the ears of those who also love downtown.
• SAD TO HEAR -- I was sad to learn that Allen Bennett, 74, of Windsor and Resident Circuit Judge of Shelby County, 4th Judicial Circuit, passed away on Nov. 29.
I met Allen back in the 1970s when he was a young attorney in Decatur and I was the young editor of this newspaper.
Allen was elected State Represen-tative from Decatur in 1976 and served one term which was the time that I had about all of my contact with him. I always enjoyed talking with him and covering his work in the General Assembly. He went on to a distinquished career in law.
My condolences and prayers for his family and friends.
Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY. Visit our website at decaturtribune.net or decaturtribune.com
Central Park Fountain in Downtown Decatur