100 years ago, Dec. 9, 1917

Sunday. No paper.

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- Proceeds from the sale today of 750 issues of the Journal Gazette, donated to the Mattoon Elks Club, will determine the number of food baskets the club may distribute on Christmas Eve to needy families in the city. Members of the club will be on the streets today selling copies of the JG for any size contribution. If club members are successful, enough contributions should be received to provide 40 to 50 baskets for families. The Salvation Army will provide the families' names... EDWARDSVILLE -- Walter Mullaney of Mattoon has been awarded a $65,000 judgment against the New York Central Railroad Co. A Madison County jury returned the verdict in favor of Mullaney last night. The suit arose from an accident in November 1961 when Mullaney, who was a claim agent for the New York Central, was injured while exiting a passenger train at the Mattoon depot. Mullaney was represented by the law firm of Ryan and Heller of Mattoon.

25 years ago, 1992

CHARLESTON -- The idea of a permanent community Christmas tree on the courthouse grounds goes against the grain of half the members of the Coles County Board. Six of the board’s 12 members yesterday voted to scotch a proposal to plant an evergreen on the courthouse lawn that would be decorated this and every holiday season. The tie vote meant defeat for the plan, brought to the board by Brian Nordin, the Illinois director of the National Tree Society. After burying the planting proposal, the board voted unanimously to allow Nordin’s or another group to erect a cut, temporary tree for display during the current season… CHARLESTON -- A consulting firm recommended a monthly surcharge of less than $2 to cover the implementation and operation costs of a countywide 911 system during a presentation to the Coles County 911 Steering Committee yesterday. Al Hambric of Hambric and Associates of Jasper, Ala., suggested the committee approve a surcharge of from $1.75 to $1.85 per phone line. Hambric’s estimates were based on 10-year cost projections for an enhanced 911 system. An enhanced system automatically identifies the telephone number and location of a caller even if the caller is unable to speak… MATTOON -- The City of Mattoon has a winner with its new holiday lights display in Peterson Park. A number of businesses purchased some $30,000 worth of lighted displays which are set up in the park from 5 to 10 p.m. each day through Jan. 3. Many of the displays were custom-made: There’s a dog in a stocking for KalKan, a bag full of bagels in a sleigh for Kraft/Lender’s and even a Santa on a bicycle tossing a newspaper for the Journal Gazette. Other displays include a carousel for Consolidated Communications, a three-car train for First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust, a gingerbread house for Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center and doves in a tree for General Electric. In all, there are about 20 light displays at Peterson Park.

100 years ago, Dec. 10, 1917

MATTOON -- Federal investigator Kerrick closed his investigation in Mattoon Saturday regarding charges of disloyalty, and today is making an investigation in Charleston. kerrick called before Judge McIntyre Mr. L.C. Young, who operates a hotel; Civil War veteran John W. Baker, W.E. Millar and Dr. J.C. Walker. Neither Young nor Baker had purchased Liberty Bonds when presented the opportunity. Old soldier Baker did contribute $3 to the YMCA fund but Young did not give to the YMCA fund or the Red Cross. Mr. Kerrick told Millar that he might improve his standing in the community by doing something for the YMCA or the Red Cross. Dr. Walker was informed that a number of complaints had been made against him because of his talk against the government. He stated that he was not pro-German or opposed to the government. The examination brought out the fact that complaints had been made by neighbors, fellow lodgemen and some of his patients. Dr. Walker protested he must have been misunderstood. "It is very strange," remarked Mr. Kerrick, "that half a dozen different people would misunderstand your words. I may say frankly that I think you have been talking too much, and your talk shows that you are not loyal to your country." ... MATTOON -- The thermometers of the Journal Gazette, four in number, recorded for last night a temperature of 6 degrees below zero, the coldest of the season. The same instruments on Saturday night recorded a minimum temperature of 2 below zero. The snowfall to date this month, according to the records of Mr. J. Withington, the local authority on weather, totals 5.7 inches, with 4.6 inches of snow falling over the weekend.

50 years ago, 1967

Sunday. No paper.

25 years ago, 1992

CHARLESTON -- The mother of a soldier en route to Somalia said she is sad her son will miss the holidays but is proud of his participation in the relief effort. Capt. Fletcher A. Crews also was in Kuwait two years ago at Christmas, said his mother, Charlene Crews. “I don’t like him to be gone for the holidays, but they evidently need him, and I guess that’s an honor to be selected to go,” she said. Her so is in California preparing to leave for Operation Restore Hope. The program is to make sure that food that has been shipped to Somalia reaches the hundreds of thousands of starving Somalis. Crews is married to the former Karla Rogers and is stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C… CHARLESTON -- It’s been nearly three weeks since authorities announced they determined, at least somewhat, what happened to Diane Marie Riordan Small. The body of the 26-year-old woman who left her Bradley home 12 years ago was found in October 1980 – with head, hands and feet severed -- partly submerged in the Embarras River near the Airtight Bridge in southeast Coles County. Small’s family history contributed to the length of time it took to connect her to the Airtight Bridge case. Her husband never reported her missing and told police he wasn’t concerned because Small had left the house on occasion previously.

100 years ago, Dec. 11, 1917

CHARLESTON -- The opening and reception for the public's inspection of the new Charleston Courier newspaper building at 307-311 Sixth Street, was held Saturday. More than 500 people attended the event. After being taken through the business office, the private and editorial offices, visitors were piloted through the composing room where they found operators at work on the linotype machines, pressmen manipulating the presses and makeup men at their postsw in making up the evening edition. The Courier's new plant is one of the most up to date of any city of its size in the state... CHARLESTON -- James Butler, a retired farmer living on Fourth Street near the Eastern Illinois State Normal School, was called disloyal by Mr. Kerrick, the government investigator, in a hearing Sunday morning. Butler was told that if, in the future, he was guilty of traitorous utterances or acting in a disloyal manner toward the United States, he would be held for appearance before federal court. Professor Frederick Koch of the Normal School had been said to have been guilty of disloyal utterances, but when the music instructor was brought before the investigator, it required but a few minutes to ascertain that there was no foundation for such reports.

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- Some people just won't cooperate at all -- take the weatherman, for example. Santa Claus was coming to Mattoon Saturday morning in the annual holiday parade, and youngsters who wanted to see him had to be bundled up in rain gear. Fog, drizzle and rain again blanketed the area today. Mattoon has had only four days without precipitation this month. Over the weekend, Mattoon received 1.31 inches of rain. During the previous weekend, the area was flooded with 2.60 inches of rain... MATTOON -- A Christmas concert yesterday at the First Methodist Church in Mattoon marked the first appearance of the Lake Land College Concert Choir. Under the direction of Mrs. Ned Van Voorhis, the choir numbers 19 college students from 14 communities, one LLC faculty member, a high school teacher and a student teacher from Eastern Illinois University. Britt Myers of Charleston and Jan Beebe of Effingham were soloists. Other choir members included Nancy Borror, Kay Bugenhagen, Jack Butler, Elaine Carper, Don Christy, Shirley Day, Jewell Dobbs, Janis Ferguson, Jayne Hill, Charlotte Holt, Margaret Kile, Janice Litz, David Sandy, Deborah Sandy, Beverly Swank, Terry Ramsey, Dan Edwards, Ray Gebhardt, Gregg Wheeler and Loren Easter.

25 years ago, 1992

SPRINGFIELD -- Attorneys from Mattoon and Charleston make up most of the candidates for the recently vacated associate judgeship in the 5th judicial circuit. Ten of the 13 applicants are lawyers from Coles County. Applicants include Dale Cini, attorney from Mattoon; Bob Cummins, also a Mattoon attorney; L. Stanton Dotson, attorney from Mattoon and former state’s attorney; Bob Dunst, Mattoon attorney and assistant public defender; Priscilla Ebdon, Charleston attorney and former assistant public defender; Jim Glenn, Mattoon attorney; Lonnie Lutz, public defender from Charleston; Mark Novak, Charleston former assistant state’s attorney; Mitchell Shick, Mattoon attorney; Paul Wieck, Charleston attorney; and David Lewis of Marshall, Clark County state’s attorney. Two attorneys from Champaign-Urbana also have applied… ASHMORE -- A U.S. Navy seaman from Ashmore is the latest area man to be sent to help in the relief effort in Somalia. Kerry E. Postlewait, son of David and Joyce Postlewait of Ashmore, is on board the USS Ranger, which has been deployed to Operation Restored Hope in Somalia. Postlewait, who has been in the Navy for 5 ½ years, was stationed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. Navy 1st Class Petty Officer Robert D. Martin of Mattoon is a medical technician, also serving on the USS Ranger. Marin Capt. Fletcher Crews of Charleston and Neal Cross of Mattoon, serving in the Army, also have been sent to Somalia… MATTOON -- Al Lagattolla has been named sports editor of the Journal Gazette. The 23-year-old Lagattolla succeeds longtime JG sports editor Jim Kimball, who died Nov. 16. Lagattolla has worked for the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier for two years prior to assuming his new position. A native of Melrose Park, Ill., Lagattolla is an Eastern Illinois University graduate.

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