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100 years ago, Jan. 6, 1918

Sunday. No paper.

50 years ago, 1968

CHARLESTON -- Figures compiled from two county offices indicate that 1967 was an active year in Coles County. Circuit Clerk Joseph Snyder reported that in the first 11 months of the year a total of $102,967.29 was collected by his office in traffic and criminal fines and associated costs. In 1967, a total of 809 cases were filed in Coles County Circuit Court, compared to 814 cases in 1966. John Sheeks, Coles County treasurer, said the total billing for 1966 assessments of real estate was $4597,754, and $1,269,452 on personal property. Sheeks has embarked on a campaign to collect more than $62,000 in delinquent taxes... MATTOON -- Classes at Mattoon High School will reconvene next Tuesday as the building will remain closed Monday for completion of the extermination program to rid the building of Brown Recluse spiders. The school was closed Friday when James Gire of Charleston began extermination of the venomous spiders. The species was found by the thousands in all portions of the building after one was found in the drawer of a cabinet in a science lab. Classes will resume at regular time on Tuesday.

25 years ago, 1993

MATTOON -- Holiday lights displays attracted more than 40,000 cars of visitors in Mattoon and at Eagle Creek State Park this winter. A total of 20,066 vehicles passed through the inaugural edition of the Mattoon Lightworks display at Peterson Park in Mattoon. Kurt Stretch, park superintendent, said state transportation officials estimated three to four people per vehicle, meaning more than 65,000 people went through the display. About 50,000 miniature candy canes were given to visitors. The display opened Dec. 5 and closed on Jan. 3. Out-of-state visitors were cited as one reason for increased traffic at the Festival of Lights at Eagle Creek. Now in its third year, the lights festival is a 1 ½-mile route at the Inn at Eagle Creek. A total of 21,563 cars have gone through the festival since Oct. 31, an increase of about 3,000 cars over last year, said Jane Serrano, general manager of the resort… CHARLESTON -- Police are investigating a burglary to a doctor’s office over the weekend in which about $4,000 in medications and $5,110.01 in cash and checks was taken. The office of Dr. Renu A. Bajaj, 901 W. Lincoln Ave., was broken into between 1:15 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Monday… WINDSOR -- A New Jersey truck driver apparently fell asleep and overturned his rig in the yard of a residence near the intersection of Illinois Routes 16 and 32 early yesterday. The northbound semi reportedly ran through a stop sign and fell over onto its side in the yard of the Dwight Arganbright residence about 4:45 a.m. yesterday. The truck was hauling “thousands of pounds of New Jersey garbage bound for the Loveall Landfill in Moultrie County,” police said. The cab was removed from the yard by mid-morning, but workers were still busy at noon trying to get the trailer upright. Semi driver Joseph Giovannelli received several traffic tickets.

100 years ago, Jan. 7, 1918

MATTOON -- Rain and snow have fallen almost continually since Saturday evening, the ground being covered about 3 inches in depth here. But Chicago reports one of its heaviest snows in many years, 13 1/2 inches falling over the weekend on top of 4 1/2 inches already on the ground. More than half of the railroads entering Chicago were forced to cancel. Other trains were delayed. Train No. 1, due in Mattoon at 1:17 o'clock Sunday afternoon, arrived on Sunday evening after 6 o'clock. At that same time, train No. 7, the southbound Panama Limited, due here at 4:23 p.m., had not yet left the Chicago station. It reached Mattoon this morning shortly after 1 o'clock... WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court today declared the military draft law is constitutional. Chief Justice White, in handing down the decision on the nine cases opposing the draft law, said the arguments of all the objectors were "absolutely devoid of merit." The justice's mind "is unable to conceive that raising armies by draft is slavery" and a violation of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, he said.

50 years ago, 1968

Sunday. No paper.

25 years ago, 1993

CHARLESTON -- Coles County’s 911 steering committee endorsed a $1.85 monthly surcharge during its final meeting last night. The committee unanimously approved the surcharge and unanimously approved the location of one central answering/central dispatching center. The committee will forward the recommendations to the Coles County Board, which will decide at its February meeting whether to place the 911 surcharge referendum on the April election ballot… SPRINGFIELD -- A task force studying higher education will recommend that Illinois eliminate two university governing boards and give the individual schools more power, Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra said yesterday. Kustra, task force co-chairman, said erasing the Board of Regents and Board of Governors would improve efficiency. At least seven of those eight universities now under those boards would be governed by unpaid trustees, whose plans would be reviewed by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, he said… CHARLESTON -- Duke hasn’t faced as tough of a basketball schedule as Eastern Illinois University. Neither has Kentucky, Indiana or North Carolina, according to the latest computer basketball team ratings compiled by Jeff Sagarin for USA Today. In fact, Michigan is the only team among Sagarin’s Top 10 teams with a tougher schedule so far than EIU. The Panthers’ schedule strength is rated 79.22, compared to Duke’s 77.31. The “no-cupcake” start to the schedule is part of the reason EIU has started with a 1-6 record. Tonight, the Panthers will host Creighton University of the Missouri Valley Conference visits Lantz Arena tonight.

100 years ago, Jan. 8, 1918

PARIS -- Henry W. Barger of Mattoon, with one other driver, passed through Paris yesterday with six Ford automobiles all running on their own power. Barger accomplished the feat by removing the front wheels from four of the machines and replacing them with runners. Each driver managed three cars, which were set in high all the time. A rope shut off the throttles of the two rear cars in each instance. By this means, Barger saved the expense of paying four more drivers. The cars were brought from Detroit... WASHINGTON -- A gigantic German thrust on the western front -- possibly their greatest assault during the great war -- is impending, U.S. Secretary of War Baker said today in his weekly military review. In the great battle the Germans, Secretary Baker said, "may be counted upon to strain every fiber of their remaining strength in an endeavor to make their plans succeed."

50 years ago, 1968

ARCOLA -- Fourteen cars of a 50-car load of soybean meal destined for Norfolk, Va., left the tracks three miles west of Arcola late Friday after a wheel journal on one of the cars burned off. Bulldozer crews and track crews of the Pennsylvania Railroad today continue to repair the 300 feet of track torn up in sub-zero temperatures. Much of the soybean meal is being salvaged with the use of a vacuum device, railroad officials said. The cleanup operation is expected to take a few more days... MATTOON -- Residents plagued for the second consecutive weekend with frozen water pipes, overworked furnaces and vehicles that refuse to start, can expect a warming trend today and tomorrow. The temperature dropped to a weekend low of 8 degrees below zero in Mattoon at 7 a.m. yesterday. The Central Illinois Public Service office also recorded a total of 2 inches of snow on the ground by yesterday morning. One plumbing business reported getting 50 phone calls on Sunday alone from residents with frozen water pipes.

25 years ago, 1993

CHARLESTON -- An associate professor of business at Eastern Illinois University recently wrote a second book on recipes for bread-making machines. Norman Garrett, a member of the faculty in the EIU Lumpkin College of Business, is the author of “Great Bread Machine Recipes,” released last summer. His second cookbook, “Quick and Delicious Bread Machine Recipes,” will be published in a few months. Garrett, who lives in Charleston with his wife Margie and five children, said he has always liked to cook and bake. He said he grew up watching his mother and grandmother make everything from scratch… CHARLESTON -- For those Elvis fans who have been cryin’ like hound dogs for a postage stamp of The King, the U.S. Postal Service has just the thing for you. At noon today, sales begin for the 29-cent Elvis stamp, the first one of Presley to be issued by the postal service. Both Mattoon and Charleston postal officials said they are prepared for the onslaught of Elvis fans wanting to purchase the stamps. Sheila Record, acting superintendent of postal operations in Mattoon, said she has about 16,000 of the Elvis stamps on hand with more on order. Record said there is a limit of 400 stamps that can be purchased by one person. At the Charleston Post Office, Postmaster Donna Fox said the Elvis stamps will hold their own with earlier popular stamp subjects such as the Illinois state flower and state bird as well as those of movie icons John Wayne and Judy Garland.

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