100 years ago, Dec. 5, 1917

MATTOON -- Merging of the two most important departments of city government -- those of light and water -- will be brought about in the near future, if Mayor Swan and some members of the Mattoon City Council have their wishes. At the City Council meeting last night, the mayor informed aldermen that a bill of $3,500 for reconstruction of the lighting system in the northern part of the city, following havoc wrought by the cyclone in may, had been due for 60 days and is still unpaid. The mayor said now is the time for the merging of the light and water plants. He said the merger could save $3,000 a year. A special committee of Aldermen Kizer, Hoffman and Pennington was named by the mayor to meet with the water board to ascertain if the board is willing to assist in merging of the two departments... CHARLESTON -- J.H. McClelland, coroner of Coles County, is preparing to sue the county to force payment of $1,155 in coroner's claims that he has been unable to collect from the estates of the deceased. Coroner McClelland presented a bill for this amount to the county board of supervisors in June and again in September and last week. the committee on claims has turned down his request. The coroner reports that he has held 140 inquests this year, 103 of which were to investigate the deaths of the tornado victims in May. Only six or seven estates of victims have paid the inquest fee. 

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- While teams of law enforcement and fire officials searched Mattoon High School yesterday at noon, the high school's students, faculty and staff were evacuated from the building after an anonymous bomb threat was received at MHS. Nothing was found in the school during the search which began shortly after 8 a.m. A male caller threatened that a bomb would go off at 12:15 p.m.Students remained outside the building until 12:30 p.m.Observers said the evacuation was made quickly and without panic... CHARLESTON -- The Coles County Board of Supervisors this morning approved pay raises for deputies in the Coles County Sheriff's Department. The action came after a letter from Sheriff Mike Curtis seeking the raise was read. The salaries of deputies was raised from $450 per month to $525 per month, and the salary of the chief deputy was hiked from $475 to $550 a month. Also raised was the mileage paid to deputies for use of their automobiles while on duty. The figure was raised from 8 cents a mile to 12 cents a mile... MATTOON -- The number of passengers departing from Coles County Memorial Airport aboard Ozark Air Lines set a record for the month of November. A total of 428 people boarded Ozark flights during the month, compared with 389 for November 1966. Ozark also reported that 15,426 pounds of cargo was carried from the local airport for November. Arriving cargo totaled more than 8,500 pounds for the month.

25 years ago, 1992

MATTOON -- Filing for city offices begins Monday. There are 10 known possibilities for commissioner and six known possibilities to run for mayor.  People do not become official candidates until they file their petitions. Those expressing interest in running for mayor include Commissioner Wanda Ferguson, Commissioner Hal Kottwitz, Jack Record, Fred Decker, Larry Moore and Robert E. O’Dell. The possibilities for commissioner thus far include Commissioner Larry Butler, Kottwitz, Gene Baker, John Finley, Kenneth Evans, Bill Brandvold, Robert McDowell, Toni James, Joseph Mattox and Jackie Camden. Mayor Roger Dettro, who has served as mayor for 20 years, said he does not plan to seek re-election…  CHARLESTON -- The Coles County Sheriff’s Department may be in the market for a new squad car, but not a new police dog. Sgt. Steve Darimont wrecked his department vehicle earlier this week when he ran off the road near Humboldt, Sheriff Jim Kimball said. Neither Darimont nor Duke, the department’s police dog who accompanies the officer, was injured. Kimball said Darimont had been called to the county jail to help with an unruly inmate when he ran off the edge of the road and lost control on the muddy shoulder. While insurance estimates are not yet available, Kimball said he expected the vehicle to be a total loss.

100 years ago, Dec. 6, 1917

CHARLESTON -- Coles County cattle cleaned the platter at a big livestock show now in session in Chicago. J.W. Frazier of near Charleston won first and second place premiums for car lots in the southwestern division at the International Livestock Show. He also won first and second in Hereford specials and second prize in the all-age class. It is also reported that Joe Garver, also of near Charleston, won the third prize for the southwestern division... MATTOON -- Fires were built this afternoon under the boilers of the new power and heating plant of the Illinois Central Railroad in the subway north of the Big Four Railroad for the purpose of supplying heat for drying the interior of the Illinois Central's new passenger station. Interior work on the new station cannot be completed until the walls and floors are dry. With the opening of the new station and closing of the Essex House building now used for a passenger station, loafers will be "turned out in the cold." The Essex House continues to be a place for idle men to loaf. The new passenger station will not be open to such people.

50 years ago, 1967

MATTOON -- A campaign to raise funds to help needy families enjoy a happier Christmas opened in Mattoon today. Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the campaign will involve all interested students in the Mattoon school district. Students participating will sell cans of leather conditioner and shoe shine. Names of all students who sell at least five cans will be placed in a drawing for prizes, including a portable television, a transistor radio, $25 savings bond and $10 cash. Proceeds from the sales will be used by the KCs to provide Christmas items for needy families... MATTOON -- The Salvation Army received an unusual gift this holiday season. Capt. Kenneth Sharp, commander of the local Salvation Army, was given a number of ducks, but can't find anyone who knows how to dress them. As a result, the Corps has issued a call for help. The ducks will be frozen and given to the needy for Christmas, Sharp said... ALLENVILLE -- Tiny Hill, internationally known band leader, recently found time to visit his aunt, Mrs. Bertha Winchester of Allenville on her 85th birthday. Tiny (Harry L.), who reached the height of his popularity during World War II when he played for the All-Time Hit Parade in New York City, is a native of Sullivan who now lines in Denver. He continues to specialize in playing the hit tunes of the 1930s and '40s.

25 years ago, 1992

Sunday. No paper.

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