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100 years ago, March 16, 1919

Sunday. No paper.

50 years ago

Sunday. No paper.

25 years ago, 1994

CHICAGO -- Dawn Clark Netsch won the Democratic nomination for governor yesterday, setting up a campaign against Republican Gov. Jim Edgar in which her proposed $2.5 billion tax increase will likely be the key issue. Netsch defeated Attorney General Roland Burris and Cook County Board President Richard Phelan. Edgar, from Charleston, easily beat conservative businessman Jack Roeser with 75 percent of the vote to take the Republican nomination in his bid for re-election… CHARLESTON -- Voters yesterday overwhelmingly defeated a proposed property tax rate hike for the Charleston School District. The tax referendum was defeated by an almost 3-to-2 vote, with 3,063 opposed and 1,936 in favor… MATTOON -- Consolidated Communications will lay off 35 part-time operators, effective April 3, as a result of losing a major long-distance company as a customer, a Consolidated spokesman said. In addition to providing operator services for customers of Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co., Consolidated Communications also provides operator services to long distance companies nationwide. Brian Carr of Consolidated said the loss of the long-distance company’s business will account for some 280,000 fewer calls a month. Consolidated operators handle approximately 850,000 call attempts a month. Consolidated has 71 full-time and 95 part-time operators.

100 years ago, March 17, 1919

MATTOON -- Strawberries are again being transferred in Mattoon by employees of the express company, the fruit being from the far south. The first of the berries for transfer arrived last week. Before long strawberries will be handled through here in rail car load lots. Mattoon is one of the points of heaviest transfer for eastern markets. When the season is on in full, entire trains are given to the Big Four daily... MATTOON -- Troop No. 1 of the Boy Scouts, a Mattoon organization with Fred Kelly as scoutmaster, and Edward C. Craig, J.A. Bell and H.W. Clark as scout committee, will be soon have uniforms, most of its members having qualified as "pale faces." Last Friday night members of the troop, which numbers 23 boys, had a feast in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church, their meeting place. The women who assisted on this occasion were Mrs. P.N. Kelly, Mrs. Thomas Donnell and Mrs. Frank W. Taylor.

50 years ago

MATTOON -- Magical things are expected to occur on St. Patrick’s Day, but two Mattoon families got more than they expected. Dr. and Mrs. Stanley Thiel found on their front sidewalk this morning, painted bright green and accompanied by a sign, a huge Blarney Stone – 500 pounds in all! According to tradition, the rock is to be kissed for good luck. Dr. and Mrs. Raymond Daugherty found a smaller version of the Blarney Stone in their front yard this morning. The Daughertys had done some St. Patrick’s Day decorating for their daughter’s fourth birthday and the Blarney Stone was a nice decorative touch, they said. Both families live on Western Avenue. Whence the stones came from remains a mystery today… MATTOON – Kevin Walter Wright, weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces, came home Saturday from St. John’s Premature Center in Springfield, and now the automatic washer at the Donald Wright residence in Mattoon is going full blast practically around the clock. All three triplets are now home and Linda Wright, her husband Donald, and grandmothers and great-grandmothers are snatching sleep when they can. On March 21, Kevin, Kathy Jo and Keith will be two months old… MATTOON -- Spring doesn’t officially arrive until Thursday, but it felt like spring in Mattoon today. Warm sunshine pushed the temperatures into the 60s, giving local residents one of the few opportunities in months to shed topcoats. At 2 p.m. today, the mercury was at 64 degrees.

25 years ago, 1994

CHARLESTON -- Despite objections from three Eastern Illinois University student members, Charleston’s Alcohol Task Force last night approved a recommendation to raise the city’s bar-entry age from 19 to 21. By a 7-3 vote, the board approved several recommendations aimed at continuing strict enforcement and easing the transition to a 21 entry age. EIU students Luke Neumann, Chad Bandy and Bobby Smith voted against the motion, saying a 21 entry age will simply shift the problem to house parties. The bar-entry age change was one of seven recommendations the Alcohol Task Force is forwarding to the Charleston City Council for consideration… MATTOON -- More than 500 people attended a program at Mattoon High School last night with almost everyone knowing the material presented wouldn’t be anything new. Yet, continuing interest in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy more than 30 years ago continues to attract interest. So, a midweek presentation by Robert Groden, a leading researcher into the assassination, was plenty to pull people away from television for an evening. Groden presented evidence and a clear-cut case that the assassination could not have occurred as reported by the Warren Commission. Groden presented evidence, including items suppressed from official hearings. He worked with Oliver Stone on the film “JFK,” and said the country is indebted to Stone for his effort.

100 years ago, March 18, 1919

MATTOON -- The Seminole Limited of the Illinois Central Railroad, due in Mattoon at 4:05 a.m. yesterday, arrived her this morning at 10:45 o'clock via Evansville of the Indiana Division of the Illinois Central, having come north from Birmingham, Ala., over the Louisville and Nashville Road. An Illinois Division crew, Engine No. 1133, was in waiting in Mattoon for it. The Seminole Limited's long delay was due to heavy washouts in the south from rains.Trains from the far south are still arriving late today. Some of them may be annulled before the day ends... ARCOLA -- Yeggmen blew open the door of the small vault of the First National Bank of Arcola last night. They ransacked the small vault, but so far as is known nothing was carried away, about $200 worth of small change had been left scattered about the floor. Five safety deposit boxes in the vault were broken open and their contents scattered. The main vault of the bank, in which the principal funds were kept, was left untouched... PARIS -- The smallest federal income tax paid in Edgar County was three cents, paid by a young woman after deducting a $1,000 exemption. She paid with her personal check. the largest tax paid by one individual was $27,000. 

50 years ago

MATTOON -- Bids for construction of a grandstand and bleachers at Peterson Park were opened last night by the Mattoon City Council and placed on file for public inspection. The grandstand and bleachers are part of improvements to the park as part of the preparations for the Babe Ruth World Series in August. Four bids for grandstand construction ranged from a low of $16,995 by Huddleston Construction of Charleston to $20,404.85 by A.J. Walker Construction of Mattoon. Bidding on the bleachers were American Bleacher Corp. of Baton Rouge, La., $8,682, and Bailey and Himes of Urbana, $9,595… CASEY -- Army Pvt. Gerald Leroy Tharp, 26, of Casey died last Wednesday of wounds suffered Tuesday in Vietnam. Word of his death was received by relatives Saturday. Pvt. Tharp’s widow resides in Martinsville. Tharp was serving his second tour of duty in Vietnam. He enlisted in the Army in April 1964.

25 years ago, 1994

SHELBYVILLE -- Beginning this spring, it’s going to cost a few more bucks to recreate at Lake Shelbyville. User fees at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities have been developed, and the result is a collection of fees for boat launching ramps and swimming beaches. The fees include up to $1 per person or $3 per vehicle at all developed swimming beaches and $2 for the use of boat launching ramps which have facilities such as bathrooms, security lights, picnic tables and swimming areas. The Corps already charges camping fees and reservation fees for group picnic shelters, other group facilities and for special event permits. The fees, to go into effect after May 20, will be used to help pay operations and maintenance costs… MATTOON -- The acting president of the Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative told members the co-op must change to survive. At the 55th annual meeting of the organization last night, Malcolm Fox said change is a synonym for survival. General Manager David Finley told members 1993 was a busy year. He said approximately 340 work orders were processed, approximately 650 service orders were processed and about 430 poles were replaced… CHARLESTON -- The Southeastern Illinois Professional Firefighters Association, Charleston Local 3200 and Effingham Local 3084, will sponsor a ‘50s and ‘60s music show March 26 at Charleston High School’s Baker Gym. Featured will be the Drifters, the Shangri-Las, Dickey Lee, and Greg Redding and the Memphis All-Stars. The Drifters have sold nearly 200 million records and had 30 Top 10 hits. The Shangri-Las had several hits, including “Leader of the Pack.” Lee is best known for “Patches” and “Laurie (Strange Things Happen in this World).”

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