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Decatur Tribune Offices Are Located At:
132 South Water Street 
Suite 424
P. O. Box 1490
Decatur, Illinois 62523


Hours: 
Mon.-Thurs. 9:00-4:30
Phone: 217/422-9702
Fax: 217/422-7320


Submit your news 
to the editor at:
decaturtribune@aol.com 
or to: Decatur Tribune, 
P. O. Box 1490, 
Decatur, IL 62525-1490.

GOD BLESS AMERICA








Sheriff Howard G. Buffett


Incredible Commitment By Buffett Foundation


     ​We had already gone to press for the print edition of the Decatur Tribune when The Howard G. Buffett Foundation announced last Wednesday a $30 million commitment to construct a new 17-acre healthcare and social services “Community Care Campus” in Decatur to address public health needs and treat the growing drug addiction epidemic in Macon County.
     As most of you know I’ve written about this community for a long, long time and not too much causes me to think “WOW!” but this amazing commitment to the future of our community deserved a really “BIG WOW!” in my mind!
    Thanks so much, to Macon County Sheriff Howard G. Buffett for all he has done, and continues to do, for this great community.
    I’m also appreciative that Buffett is the type of person who doesn’t do anything for the publicity but because he wants to make life better for the residents of this area.
    I’ve seen a lot of people come and go over the decades that I’ve been editor and publisher of this newspaper, and have a variety of impressions as to what they were about -- or not about.      
    I knew, after the two of us had breakfast together  several months ago, that Howard Buffett is the real deal and I’m especially enthusiastic about the future of Decatur and Macon County because this good man chose our community to do a lot of good things that we could not do for ourselves. 
    DOUBLE WOW!!!!    

     
   • SO SORRY to read of the death of  Decatur attorney Norm Fombelle, who passed away Aug. 8th at the age of 82. (His obituary is on page 20 of the print edition.)
        Norm started his private practice in the old Standard Office Building (now Millikin Court) in the early 1960s.
        The firm’s name was Burger, Geisler and Fombelle and it was located on the fifth floor next to my office, so I saw Norm almost daily the first few years I was in business.
    I remember there was a “tie shack” on the northwest corner of Main and Water streets and Norm would often come back to the building with a new tie that he had purchased over the lunch hour.
        When Millikin Bank purchased the building in the late 1960s I moved to the Hecht Building which was located on the northwest corner of Water and Prairie, where the Demirco Building is today.
        I didn’t see Norm a lot after that and, over the years, he would call about something every once-in-a-while.
        Norm was another young guy making his mark in Decatur and, as I see more and more of them pass away, I am reminded of the dreams and places we shared.
        My condolences to Norm’s wife and family and many friends.
        The years have passed too quickly.

     
   • THE NEWS that another major supermarket in Decatur is closing was not welcome news.
        County Market at 1450 East Pershing Road is the latest casualty as Niemann Foods Inc. informed its 50 employees Wednesday that it would be closing soon -- probably in a couple of months.
        Gerry Kettler, Niemann Foods, Inc. Director of Consumer Affairs indicated that Decatur is in a tough economic environment.
        If there is a bit of good news from the bad news its that the location could possibly see a Save A Lot store.
        By the way, The County Market Express Gas Station that’s located in front of the store will remain open. 
        Only days before the County Market closure announcement, Kroger officials announced the closing of the store on King Street (Fairview Plaza).
        I’m a little shocked that two huge supermarkets in Decatur announced closure plans within the same week.
        However, like any other business, the bottom line is about profit and if any business is proving to not be profitable, owners and boards will sell it or close it down.
        
      
 • THE AIR conditioning in the downtown post office is now operating so don’t expect a heat stroke when you go inside to get your mail or transact postal business.
        I’m thankful it is operating for the USPS employees who worked for several weeks in the heat of summer without any cool air.
        Of course, the downside of the air conditioning in the building being fixed is that subscribers who get their Decatur Tribune out of a “warm” P. O. box will no longer think the newspaper is “hot off of the press”!

        
• THE JB PRITZKER bus was scheduled to stop in Decatur today (at least that was the plan as we went to press). It is/was the last stop of a downstate tour prior to Democratic festivities in Springfield scheduled around Democrat Day at the Illinois State Fair. Senator Richard J. Durbin was scheduled to be on the bus with Pritzker, as well as other prominent statewide and local candidates and elected officials.
        The bus parked in the southwest corner of the parking lot of the Decatur Civic Center across from the small grassy area and they planned to stay about 45 minutes to talk with supporters. 

Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY. 


Last Week's Posts

National Political Bickering Has Made It Difficult To Attract Interest In Local Races


​   It’s probably an understatement to write that the general public is sick and tired of politics and all of the hateful rhetoric that fills newspaper stories and the airwaves.
    I’ve had more than a few candidates tell me that many of the people they’ve talked with indicated they need some relief from “politics” and campaigns.
    I certainly understand how they feel, but we have some important local races that have been underway for what seems like forever.
    Although the General Election is on Nov. 6, there really hasn’t been much stirring with the candidates in local races -- at least on the surface.
    I’m sure that will change when we get to Labor Day and head into the final two months before the election.
    That’s the home stretch and the time when candidates and their supporters will be out energetically seeking votes in a lot of different ways.
    
  
 • MACON County Clerk Steve Bean is retiring from office and is not a candidate in the upcoming election. Bean has a little over 100 days to serve in the office that he has occupied for a long time.  Steve told me the other day that he and his wife are looking forward to doing some traveling after his retirement, although he admitted that a few people are trying to talk him into running for another office or serving in another public office.  I think they are wasting their time.  Steve has been a great Macon County Clerk, but he is also going to enjoy his retirement.  Steve has been my friend for many years and served on my campaign committee when I ran for mayor.

  
 • THE RACE to replace Steve Bean has been fairly quiet since Democrat Amy Rueff and Republican Josh Tanner emerged from the primary election (Rueff was unopposed) to go head-to-head in the General Election, Nov. 6.
    When Friends of Amy Rueff  filed its D-2 Quarterly report with the Illinois State Board of Elections in July, it reported funds available at the end of the second quarter as $12,683.05, with total receipts during the quarter of $12,880.00, which included $8,000.00 transfered in by union PACs, Democrat officeholders and Democratic organizations.
    Elect Josh Tanner had funds available at the close of the period of $19.34.  The committee reported that  since the D-2 was filed, a $1,000.00 contribution from the Macon County Republican Central Committee was received.
    Also Elect Josh Tanner is holding a fundraiser and raffle drawing at the Decatur Club on August 14, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, so the campaign pace is already picking up some speed.
    For more information, check out www.electjoshtanner.com .
    By the way, there is a cash prize of $2,500!

  
 • IN THE RACE for Macon County Treasurer between incumbent Republican Edward D. Yoder and Democrat April Kostenski, there hasn’t been a lot of financial activity.     
    On its D-2, Friends of April Kostenski reported funds available at the close of the reporting period of $4,161.58, with $100.00 in contributions during the quarter.
    Interestingly, Friends for Edward D. Yoder did not file a D-2 report, meaning that Yoder did not meet the threshold of contributions/expenses to be required to file one.  Yoder’s committee has not filed a quarterly report since 2011, after he won his first term, so, unless I missed it somewhere, Yoder doesn’t take much in, or spend much on his campaigns -- which has apparently worked for him so far.
    There was a little campaign activity over the weekend in this race as Kostenski challenged Yoder to participate in four candidate forums.
    “The people of Macon County should have confidence that their hard-earned tax dollars are being managed properly,” said Kostenski.  “Candidate forums are a good way to discuss issues in a public and transparent way.”
    It seems to me that four candidate forums about the Macon County Treasurer’s office between now and election day are probably three too many, although I realize that Kostenski is challenging an incumbent and she has to draw him out to level the playing field, I would be surprised if he agrees to any forum because he’s a pretty low profile officeholder and the forum would benefit his challenger more than him because of the added publicity the forum(s) would give her.
    However, that’s my personal opinion on most races.
          
  
 • IN THE RACE for Macon County Sheriff between Republican Jim Root and Democrat Tony Brown, there hasn’t been an extremely high amount of funds raised at this point.
    Root For Sheriff, on its D-2 Quarterly, reported funds available at the close of the reporting period, on June 30th, of $17,184.07, with total receipts during the quarter of  $2,525.00.
    Already in the third quarter Root has received a $1,000.00 contribution from Macon County Republican Central Committee on July 5. 
    Root was unopposed in the primary election, so he was not forced to spend campaign money to get through that election -- and that always helps.
    Brown did have an opponent in the primary election, so he had to battle to win and move on to campaign for the General Election.
    The Antonio Brown for Sheriff committee reported funds available at the close of the reporting period of  $6,177.47 with total receipts (including transfers in)  of $6,169.00.

    • KROGER’S announcement last week  that it was going to close its Fairview Plaza location was a shock to many in our city, especially those who lived on the west side of Decatur.    
    Although Kroger, in its announcement, didn’t mention their customers didn’t feel safe shopping there (and wouldn’t if it was true) several on our Facebook page weighed in with comments positive and negative about the “safety factor”.
    Jim McBride: “Mismanagement at its worst. They should simply have done what the other three stores did years ago--close at night. West King has been hemorraging shoplift shrink on late nights forever. That's the biggest source of their problem. They could easily have stopped that!”
    Philip Riddle: “I  heard people didn’t feel safe going there after dark.”
    Kathy Brown Wiseley: “I don't feel safe in broad daylight.”
    Jenny Phillips Michel:  “I have gone there for years and it’s fine.”
        Smitty Smith: “My favorite Kroger, actually.    “
        Chris Gosda: “That'll hurt Millikin students that have no mode of transportation.”
        Nancy Billingsley Amato: “Fairview Plaza was so innovative when it opened. The first escalator in Decatur was at the Goldblatts store! And it was open on Sundays.”
        Dan Richardson:  “It's really no total surprise to me. If you look at the population of Decatur in 1980 versus the population in Decatur in 2018. There are 22,000 fewer people in the actual city of Decatur today!!”
        Sherri Gilmour: Surprise or not this is not good news for this neighborhood not to mention the 95 people that are employed there.”
        That’s a sampling of some of the comments on the Tribune Facebook Page.
        
Bottom line: The closing of the Kroger Store in Fairview Plaza is not good news for our community.

        • THE MACON Republican Headquarters is now open at 445 North Franklin St., Suite A, in downtown Decatur.  

Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY. 
  

Earlier Posts


      
 • THE D-2 Quarterly Reports have been filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections, and the race to replace State Rep. Bill Mitchell of Forsyth in the 101st Illinois House District, has some interesting quarterly figures.
        Republican Candidate Dan Caulkins of Decatur raised substantial funds during the quarter.         
    The Committee to Elect Dan Caulkins reported a fund balance of $14,741.52 at the end of the second quarter.
        Caulkins picked up $18,300.00 in contributions during the quarter.  The report also shows that there is a $35,000.00 loan from Dan Caulkins that he felt he needed to loan his campaign to win the primary election.
        Caulkins’ Democratic opponent, Jen McMillin of Decatur, had her Friends of Jen McMillin report filed and it showed funds available at the close of the reporting period June 30th of $3,556.35 -- meaning Caulkins had about $11,000.00 more heading into the third quarter.
        McMillin had contributions to her campaign during the quarter of $1,879.01.
        Interestingly retiring Republican State Rep. Bill Mitchell of Forsyth had $49,456.90 as the fund balance at the end of the quarter.  
    His report also has 35 itemized expenditures totaling $8,153.86 --  for the three-month period, even though he is not running for re-election and has no campaign.
        The itemized expenses are mostly for meals, office supplies, mileage reimbursement, etc.

  
 • THE D-2 Quarterly Report for Democrat Rep. Sue Scherer of Decatur, who is running for re-election in the 96th Illinois House District (the other district representing the rest of Decatur) shows some totals that aren’t surprising. Friends of Sue Scherer Committee showed funds available at the close of the reporting period June 30 of $117,458.19, with only two contributions during the quarter.
        Howard Buoy contributed $250 and Comcast Financial Agency Corporation out of Philadelphia contributed $2,000.
        Already in the third quarter Scherer reported that the Illinois Federation of Teachers COPE    of Westmont, Illinois contributed $1,000,00 on July 17 and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 965 in Springfield, contributed $1,000.00 on July 24.  Also donating $1,000.00 on July 24 was Laborers Local 159 of Decatur.
        Scherer’s opponent is Republican Herman Senor of Springfield, who is virtually unknown in Decatur.
    Citizens for Senor for State Representative’s quarterly report shows funds available at the close of the reporting period totaled $8,112.83.  Although total receipts for Senor were reported as $5,295.00, he spent $5,007.17 during the quarter which means he actually gained $287.83 for the quarter.
        Democratic Incumbent State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, who is one of two senators representing major parts of Decatur and Macon County had 149 itemized expenditures totaling $416,064.32 for the quarter.
    Friends of Andy Manar reported on its quarterly report, total receipts of $304,530.20 with total expenditures of $424,102.91,
        Manar had total funds available at the close of the reporting period on June 30, of $361,498.95.
        Manar’s Republican opponent in the 48th District, Seth McMillan of Taylorville, reported 16 itemized individual contributions during the quarter totaling $4,825.00.
        Actually, when including the non-itemized contributions and the transfers into his campaign account, McMillan had $12,710.00 in receipts during the quarter.
        Friends for Seth McMillan also reported funds available at the close of the reporting period as $7,037.43 -- fairly small when considering Manar’s huge campaign war chest.
        It will be tough for McMillan to overcome the difference in campaign funds available and the incumbency of Manar.
    
        
• THE OTHER state senator representing the rest of Decatur is Sen. Chapin Rose, a Republican, of Mahomet,  representing the 51st District since January 2013.  Rose is unopposed in the General Election, so he will win re-election.
        Friends of Chapin Rose’s D-2 Quarterly Report shows 13 itemized transfers in totaling $7,100.00, mostly from Political Action Committees.
        Also reported was Comcast Financial Agency Corporation of Philadelphis contributing $1,000 of the  5 itemized Individual Contributions totaling $2,250.00.
        Combined transfers, itemized and non-itemized contributions totaled $10,850.00.
        Friends of Chapin Rose reported funds available at the close of the reporting period of $157,634.91.
        That’s not too shabby, considering Rose does not have an opponent so he has already won the election.
  

Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY. 







       


    

​​Central Park Fountain in Downtown Decatur

PAUL OSBORNE, EDITOR 

Decatur Tribune Online

Ottis Livingston Receives Korea Combat 
Medic Badge During Special Presentation

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AFL-CIO To Host Labor Day Parade And Picnic


​Working Families To Grant $20,600 To Local Charity on Labor Day 2018 Through We Are One Community Fund

EPL Bio Analytical Services, LLC joins 
the Tentamus global network of laboratories


The Howard G. Buffett Foundation Commits $30 Million 
to Build a Community Care Campus in Decatur to Improve Public Health


Decatur Ranked 1st in Nation for 
Agricultural Bioscience Employment
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Car And Bike Show Entries Being Sought For 10th Annual ‘Cruise 11 To Remember 9-11’ Event Sept. 9

On Sept. 9. 2018, Decatur will host the 10th annual “Cruise 11 to Remember 9-11” event.  
    The theme of the day will be Honor our Heroes to benefit our Patriots. The event will take place in Decatur’s Central Park.  
    Cruise 11 serves as a fundraiser for the Macon County Veterans Assist-ance Commission Help 4 Heroes Fund to benefit Macon County Veterans.  
    All vehicles are encouraged to participate in the car and motorcycle show.  
    Traditionally, many classic vehicles enter but this show is open to anyone.  The $11 entry fee & additional donations will be donated to the Help 4 Heroes Fund.  The fund provides necessities for Macon County Veterans. 
    Show parking and registration will begin at Central Park at 8am on the west side of the park. Magnetic dash plaques will be given to the first 100 entries.  1st responders and veterans judge the show. This year the entire show is open class, the judges will pick their favorite top 10 entries for the awards. Food will be available on the southside of the park. 
    Registration forms are available by emailing aynproductions@yahoo.com, on the Cruise 11 facebook page, call (217) 791-1385 or at the VAC office 141 South Main, #210 Decatur. 
Schedule of the day—
    8:00am Car & Bike Show Registration $11 to enter
    12:00pm Judging of Cars & Bikes-Judges are first responders and Veterans
    12:00pm Free entertainment featuring the Band Pizzazz
    2:30pm  9-11 Memorial Service & Awards
    3:00pm 11-Mile BG Nevitt Yellow Ribbon Memorial Cruise from Main & Main west on Main to the conference center & back


 Osborne Online

Leaving The Office On A Gurney is Not A Good Way To Get Some Extra Time Off!


Macon County Veterans Assistance Commission And Help 4 Heroes Fund To Honor Memory Of 
David Freyling


    The Macon County Veterans Assistance Commission and Help 4 Heroes fund will be honoring the memory of their late Chairman, David Freyling. Dave passed away on July 7.     He served as a spokesperson and assisted in fundraising for the Help 4 Heroes Fund and as Chairman of the commission. Freyling volunteered thousands of hours for the betterment of Macon County Veterans. 
    Help 4 Heroes provides emergency meal cards and bus passes to veterans in need each month. All bus passes and meal cards given to veterans in need during the month of August will be given in memory of Dave Freyling and his years of volunteerism. 
    “Dave was an excellent spokesperson for the VAC and Help 4 Heroes. He took great pride in the work done to support our Macon County Veterans,” says Kathie Powless, Superintendent of the Macon County Veterans Assistance Commission.
    “When Help 4 Heroes was formed 2 years ago, Dave was an integral part of telling the story to the public of the need some of our Macon County Veterans have,” recalls Ayn Owens of Help 4 Heroes.  
    Contributions to Help 4 Heroes have provided nearly 6,000 bus rides to veterans in need since December 2016, fans, heaters, refurbished electric wheelchairs, school books, and more.


Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Is Steady At 4.3%

    The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has announced that the unemployment rate held steady at 4.3 percent in June and nonfarm payrolls increased by +18,100 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The May job gain was revised down slightly from its initial report to show a smaller gain. (+7,700 jobs versus +8,600 jobs).
    Job growth accelerated in the April to June period posting average monthly gains of +9,500 jobs over this three-month period, more than the 6-month average monthly gain of +7,500 jobs between January and June 2018.
    “June’s payroll gain is the largest in 12 months and the third largest in 24 months,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Illinois’ unemployment rate held steady in June and stands at its lowest point in 12 years.”
    “This positive trend of 12-year lows and new job growth is encouraging,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy. “Our commitment to the people of Illinois remains building a competitive economy that attracts opportunity and allows our hard-working citizens to thrive.”
    In June, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Government (+7,400); Leisure and Hospitality (+6,300); and Professional and Business Services (+5,300). The industry sector with the largest payroll decline was: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-5,000).
    Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +58,300 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in June: Government (+12,900); Leisure and Hospitality (+11,800); and Education and Health Services (+9,400). The industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines were: Information Services (-3,800) and Mining (-200). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +1.0 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.6 percent over-the-year gain in June. This was the second consecutive month for an increase of this magnitude in Illinois.
    The state’s unemployment rate is +0.3 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June 2018, which rose to 4.0 percent. 


Osborne Online

I Never Thought I Would Live To See... 


Decatur City  Council Appoints Billy Tyus As Interim City Manager 


The Decatur City Council approved the appointment of Billy Tyus as Interim City Manager during its regularly scheduled meeting Monday night. 
    Tyus fills the post on an interim basis being vacated by current City Manager Tim Gleason, who announced recently that he is leaving to be city manager in Bloomington, Illinois. 
    The Decatur City Council plans to hire a search firm to lead its search for a permanent city manager and will announce details about the search in the coming days. 
    The council also wants to encourage public input as part of the search and will soon have a link on the city’s web site where residents can provide views on qualifications that they would like to see in the next manager.         Residents can also mail input to the City of Decatur at the following address: 
 
 Decatur City Manager Input 
   C/O Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe 
   1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza 
   Decatur, IL 62523 

    Tyus has more than 22 years of public and private sector experience in government, media, community engagement and economic development and in September will have spent the last 18 years working for the City of Decatur. For more than a year he has served as Deputy City Manager, a second-in-command post for the team directing the day to day operations of the City, and previously worked in a variety of roles including Assistant City Manager for Development Ser-vices, Assistant City Manager for Public Information, Assistant to the City Manager and Public Information Officer. 
    Under the direction of City Manager Tim Gleason, Tyus has been positioned in an expanded role over the last several years, having been more directly involved in the overall administrative operations of the city. 

 

Letters To The Editor

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