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100 years ago, March 8, 1918

MATTOON -- A section of the Sixth Cavalry of the U.S. Army passed through Mattoon at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon enroute from San Antonio, Texas, to an eastern port. The soldiers were being moved in a long train of about 20 passenger cars... TOLEDO -- Thus far there has been obtained no clue to the robbers who blew the safe in the bank at Jewett early yesterday and escaped with $1,400. Several charges of nitroglycerin were used in tearing off the doors of the big safe. The Janesville blood hounds were secured and placed on the trail which led to Toledo. Here the trail was lost, but it appeared that at least two men entered a buggy just east of town and drove in the direction of Charleston or Mattoon. 

50 years ago, 1968

MATTOON -- The Charleston and Oak bridge projects are necessary to relieve traffic congestion on major streets in both areas, according to the voter information committee backing the five Mattoon bond issues to be voted on March 30. Traffic figures show the Charleston Avenue bridge has 14,700 vehicles a day which indicates a need for six lanes. Surveys indicate more than 10,500 cars a day on Oak. The recommendation calls for a two-lane bridge over the Illinois Central railroad tracks at Oak, connecting South 18th Street to South 21st Street at Marshall... CHARLESTON -- A tract to be developed as a city park has been purchased by the Charleston Kiwanis Club. The 8.4-acre tract extends from Division to Third Street between Harrison and Jackson avenues,  and had been considered for purchase by the Township Park Board. Development of the park site will include picnic tables, a shelter and playground equipment.

25 years ago, 1993

CHARLESTON -- A breakdown of 1990 U.S. Census data shows that Coles County has the area’s largest percentage of people with incomes below the poverty level while also having the greatest number of residents with an income of more than $150,000. According to census data, 16.7 percent of Coles County residents live on incomes below the poverty level. Edgar County was next at 16 percent. Douglas County had the lowest percentage below the poverty level at 9.6 percent. Coles also had 138 residents with incomes greater than $150,000. Second was Shelby with 49 residents… CHARLESTON -- Local groups may have an opportunity to keep the city’s highways clean and receive lasting recognition for their work. Under the state’s “Adop-A-Highway” program, civic groups could adopt a quarter-mile section of a highway which they would agree to clean four times a year. The Illinois Department of Transportation identified the following roadways for the program: Illinois Route 316, from Decker Springs Road to Moore Business Forms; Illinois Route 130, from Service Star on the north to Lee’s Nursery Road south; and Illinois Route 16, from Douglas Drive to a quarter-mile west of 18th Street.

100 years ago, March 9, 1918

CHARLESTON -- From the Charleston News: A Moberly, Mo., newspaper advised the Brown Shoe Co. to stay out of Charleston, as it is evidently "a college community of aristocratic snobs!" Moberly is only a jay whistle division on the poor old bankrupt Wabash Road, and no doubt the roughneck reubens there couldn't tell a State Normal School from their Jeff City capital building. Moberly has a shoe factory, and it made them mad when they saw that Fred Gray and others from Brown Shoe were snooping around town as if to commandeer the brogan plant... MATTOON -- Eight hundred members of the 80th Illinois, a colored regiment, passed through Mattoon this morning on a special Big Four Railroad train of 24 Pullmans, enroute to an eastern port. Two of the soldiers became ill from smallpox after the special departed from the southern camp where the men had been training. One of the medical officers attached to the contingent telephoned from Mattoon to Indianapolis a request for vaccine sufficient to vaccinate every man on the train.  

50 years ago, 1968

DA NANG, Vietnam -- A bullet crease at breakfast is not a way to start the day, but a Charleston, Ill., Marine was happy. Cpl. Dan G. Padgett, 20, had been in Vietnam just four days when he walked from his tin-roofede hut toward the mess hall. Suddenly, he felt a stab of pain on the top of his head. Dropping to the ground, Cpl. Padgett, who is with a Marine helicopter squadron, felt the top of his head and was relieved to find that he had only been grazed by a sniper's bullet. "Right away, I thanked my lucky stars that I hadn't grown any taller," Padgett said... MATTOON -- The comprehensive plan for the city of Mattoon, prepared by Victor Gruen Associates of Los Angeles includes a section on parks and recreation, public buildings and schools. The report says Mattoon Memorial Hospital is overcrowded and that immediate consideration should be given to expanding the present facility or building an entirely new hospital. The plan suggests consideration should be given to building a hospital between Mattoon and Charleston that could be operated as a county hospital. Named as "one of the greatest deficiencies in Mattoon" is the lack of adequate indoor facilities for a well-rounded indoor and year-round program of recreation for all ages.

25 years ago, 1993

MATTOON -- Education leaped into the 21st century lst night as members of the Lake Land College Board approved up to $55,000 for a distance learning media room. Room 112 in the Northeast Building will be modified to look more like a movie studio than the traditional classroom with a large teacher’s desk and blackboards. This modern classroom will be outfitted with three television monitors, two cameras, one document camera and a remote center that will control all those functions. The room will link to other institutions throughout the district, enabling students at other sites to watch a class being taught, but to interact with that teacher… SHELBYVILLE -- Vandalism to Shelbyville High School has forced postponement of a benefit basketball game. The benefit game between local physicians and the staff of Shelby Memorial Hospital has been delayed from this Saturday to March 20. Vandals struck the high school Friday night or early Saturday, breaking windows and spraying fire extinguishers through hallways.

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