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100 years ago, Feb. 28, 1919

MATTOON -- Claiming that he was sorry and ashamed for what he had done, and laying the trouble to booze, Jasper (Ben) Minear pleaded guilty this morning before Judge Aulabaugh to slapping his wife, Mrs. Grace Minear. A fine of $10 and costs was assessed. Mrs. Minear gave to her husband yesterday morning from the family purse $21 to pay the rent, to pay for moving the family furniture to another loocation and to do certain other chores, according to her story. He returned home under the influence of liquor and is alleged to have slapped his wife, threatening her life. Mrs. Minear said her husband has threatened her life at least 25 times in recent weeks. She said she will ask the court to issue an order for her husband to provide separate maintenance for her and the children. After neing in jail for a short time last night, Minear spent an additional dollar of the money his wife had given him to buy something to eat for his fellow prisoners. On promising to return to his work at the gas company plantand leave Mrs. Minear and the children undisturbed, Judge Aulabaugh released Minear with a part payment on the fine, he agreeing to pay thye remainder by the middle of next month... NEOGA -- John Storm of Mattoon, representing Central Illinois Public Service Company, went to the home of Ed Schoby Wednesday to put in an electric meter. A lineman had previously attached the wire in readiness for him. When Storm touched the wire he received a shock which threw him backward and burned his fingers badly. The lineman had attached a wire which carried 2,300 volts of electricity instead of the regular house wire... MATTOON -- Freight train No. 97 of the Big Four Railroad, pulled by Big Four engine 6023 and MK&T engine 849, Engineers Griffin and Parsons, Conductor Cates, was wrecked at 5:20 o'clock yesterday afternoon about a half-mile east of Loxa. Nine freight cars were derailed and piled up in confusion, blocking the main line until 10:30 o'clock. The derailment was due to a drawbar of Big Four car No. 43902 pulling out and falling on a rail. It was necessary to detour the second section of train No. 41, formerly known as the Erie Express, passenger train No. 3 and passenger train No. 20 between Mattoon and Charleston. The trains were routed by way of Lerna, using the Clover Leaf between that point and Charleston and the Indiana division of the Illinois Central between Lerna and Mattoon.

50 years ago, 1969

CHARLESTON -- Dr. Henry Hofacker, a veterinarian from Charleston, will serve as the “unofficial” trainer for the American team scheduled to participate in the World Table Tennis Tournament in Munich, Germany, in April. Hofacker said he was chosen as unofficial trainer with the understanding that a medical doctor would be called in to handle any situation which he could not be expected to handle. He said he can take care of things such as charley horses, bruises and sprains. Hofacker said he became a table tennis enthusiast when he and his wife Millie hosted a girl from The Netherlands in an exchange program… MATTOON -- Snow is predicted to blanket the Mattoon area as well as the entire state of Illinois. The Coles County area is predicted to receive up to 5 inches of snow. An Indiana man was taken to Memorial Hospital in Mattoon after his semi-trailer truck overturned on Interstate 57 at the U.S. Route 45 interchange about 4:30 a.m. today. According to Illinois State Police, gusty wind and an icy pavement caused the truck to strike a guardrail and overturn. There were several reports of weather-related traffic accidents in Coles and Cumberland counties this morning.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- While protesters at Saturday’s Planned Parentood rummage sale say they hampered the fundraiser, organizers disagreed. Protesters said several people turned back after seeing the protest while others decided not to go to the sale after discussing the organization with the protesters. But rummage sale organizers said the protest only attracted attention to the sale. They said more than 200 people attended the sale and raised more than $1,000. All the proceeds will go toward building a Planned Parenthood clinic in Charleston… MATTOON -- The president of the Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative board of directors has been named the utility’s new general manager. David Finley, a farmer from gays, was appointed general manager Saturday after the board completed four interviews. Finley begins his duties today. He resignation as a member of the board has been submitted and will be acted upon at a special meeting Wednesday. Finley was in his fourth year as a board member. He replaces Craig DeBower, who left in December to take a position with a larger co-op.

100 years ago, March 1, 1919

CHARLESTON -- Five young people miraculously escaped death at the Big Four Railroad crossing on Fifth Street at 8 o'clock on Thursday night when the Buick automobile in which they were riding was struck by the rear end of a Big Four freight train and reduced to a mass of twisted steel and splintered wood. the car was driven by John Driscoll Jr., son of John Driscoll, a Hickory Township farmer, and was occupied by three sisters of the youth, Mary, Margaret and Rose Driscoll, and another girl, Marian Griffith, daughter of Charles Griffith, also a farmer of Hickory Township. Margaret Driscoll, aged 18 years, had the most severe injuries. Her left foot was smashed with four toes smashed and broken. The flesh on the bottom of the left foot was torn loose and left in shreds. Attending physicians think the fot may possible be saved. Rose Driscoll, 17, and Marian Griffith, 16, had cuts and bruises to both legs, injuries not believed to be serious. Mary and John Jr. were badly bruised and shaken but were able to go home today... MATTOON -- The Rev. James M. Lively, pastor of the Central Baptist Church, has been honored with an invitation to be chaplain of the Illinois House of Representatives next week, the invitation having been extended by Rep. Walter E. Greene of Douglas County. Mr. Lively has accepted, and accordingly will go to Springfield next Tuesday to perform his duties. There is said to be no remuneration connected with the office, other than payment of expenses... WASHINGTON -- Seven million three hundred and fifty-four thousand men died in the European War, according to official figures given out today by Chief of Staff march. Russian paid the heaviest price with 1.7 million deaths. Among the other countries' death totals: Germany, 1.6 million; France, 1,385,300; Great Britain, 706,700; Italy, 460,000; and United States, 50,000.

50 years ago, 1969

MATTOON -- Dr. Elmer Goetz reports that Veterinary Medical Education Week is March 2-8. The first course in veterinary science at the University of Illinois was taught in 1870 by Dr. H.J. Detmers. In 1944, the UI Board of Trustees established a College of Veterinary Medicine. The college admitted its first class in 1948. Dr. Goetz and Dr. Samuel Clem, both of Mattoon, both are graduates of the veterinary college… GREENUP -- The Greenup Jaycees have elected Leroy Scott president for the coming year. Bob Cox was elected vice president. Other officers are Jay Hayden, treasurer; Richard Green, secretary; and Bob Shull, director.

25 years ago, 1994

URBANA -- Saying he would have imposed a life sentence had that been possible, a Champaign County judge yesterday gave Charles Lee Howard the maximum prison term for which he was eligible: 120 years. Circuit Judge J.G. Townsend called Howard a “manipulative, very clever and exceptionally dangerous” person in sentencing Howard for a brutal attack on a Mattoon woman in Champaign County on July 3. Even with routine reductions allowed under the state prison system, the 43-year-old Oakland man would likely be more than 100 years old if he lived to see his parole date. A jury last month convicted Howard of attempted murder, sexual assault and aggravated battery charges in connection with the attack… SHELBYVILLE -- Eagle Creek Resort in Findlay is now under new ownership. Quail Creek Associates, with headquarters in Phoenix, purchased all Eagle Creek property on Feb. 15, but continued ownership depends on the outcome of an automatic stay in a bankruptcy court in Phoenix. Ed Forester, whose firm has been managing the resort, will continue to manage the property but will report to Quail Creek Associates. Eagle Creek near Lake Shelbyville opened in June 1989 with a 138-room lodge, pool, tennis courts and golf course. Jim Barbeau, president of Eagle Creek Resort in Northfield, said the annual room occupancy rate has never exceeded 46.5 percent in 1990 and the resort needs 55 percent to break even... CHARLESTON -- Leslie Sease of Charleston High School placed second in the state in the VFW’s Voice of Democracy contest. Sease was one of 19 district winners to advance to the state competition after 11,228 students entered the contest. Nell Wiseman of Charleston was the 17th District’s Teacher of the Year. Sease received a $1,500 scholarship for her second place finish.

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