GOD BLESS AMERICA
Don’t Blame Me For Your DUI Being Printed In The Public Records Section
As you know, if you’ve read the print edition of this newspaper, we always print items that are on the public record each week.
Such records as obituaries, births, marriage licenses, dissolution of marriage, traffic/liquor arrests, misdemeanor and felony charges that have been filed are printed.
We don’t have to go digging for such information. It is available to anyone who wants to take the time to check out the various local sources.
As is true with any business, especially a newspaper, we get some negative feedback from a few of those whose names are listed.
The DUI charges bring me more angry calls than anything else in the newspaper.
Except in the case of one call, (this man was very understanding of the newspaper’s policy) over the years, the caller usually starts off calm and ends up yelling and cursing when he or she finds out their name will be printed the same as everyone else who has been charged.
Of course, the person calling can’t understand why he can’t receive special treatment. He usually threatens to sue this newspaper into oblivion and tells me how sorry I’m going to be for including his name in the public records.
Actually, we don’t print the DUI arrests because we enjoy impacting on the lives of people who yell as us, but feel it is our responsibility to not give some people “special attention” because they have money, power or the best excuses for why they were charged. All names and charges we receive are printed.
For most people, I’m sure it is embarrassing to be listed in the public records for driving under the influence, but who made that decision to get behind the wheel?
That wasn’t this newspaper.
Get Impaired Drivers
Off Of The Roads
The article on the front page of this week's print edition indicates that, since Monday, there are increased roadside safety checks and patrols to get impaired drivers off of the road.
This is an extremely worthwhile project and impacts on our community and state in a positive way. There’s no doubt getting impaired drivers off of the road saves lives.
That’s a statistical fact!
I remember, many years ago, being among the first to arrive at the scene of a crash on a highway near Decatur and when the passenger door of one of the cars involved was opened, the woman inside was screaming for help.
Half of her face was missing -- an innocent victim of a drunk driver!
That image is burned permanently into my mind and when someone talks to me about his name being in the public records because he had “a little” too much to drink and got behind the wheel, I always wonder if his arrest prevented someone else from being disfigured or killed.
So, as a reminder to everyone reading this column: if you, or anyone you know, shows really bad judgement and drives impaired -- don’t try to get your name removed from the public records.
Be thankful that it doesn’t end up under “felonies” for driving impaired and killing someone!
As the slogan goes: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
‘Coffee With The Candidate’
Lt. Jon Butts will be hosting "Coffee with the Candidate" Thursday, Aug. 24 at the Gardens Restaurant, 1044 W. Eldorado, Decatur, from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.
Lt. Butts is a candidate for Macon County Sheriff.
Everyone is invited to stop by and get to know the candidate better.
No Increase In Fines For Distracted Driving
City Councilman Patrick McDaniel didn’t get much support from the council Monday night in his attempt to get consideration for increasing the fine for a distracted driving charge.
The matter was discussed during a study session but there was no support for voting on it as a future agenda item, the next step in the process.
Police Chief Jim Getz indicated to council that his department should continue to focus on speeders and those driving under the influence.
Of course, enforcement, and the amount of the fine, are two separate issues but I’m sure the police chief’s view carried a lot of weight with the council members in their decision not to move ahead with McDaniel’s idea.
Higher Fines Would Probably
Not Keep Some Drivers Off Of Their Hand-Held Phones
While distracted drivers pose a danger on the roads, I think some of them would continue to talk on their phones even if the fine was increased to $1,000!
It’s an addiction.
I see a lot of drivers passing through downtown talking on their hand-held phones and it’s especially dangerous for pedestrians who cross streets in designated walkways and at intersections.
It is really dangerous at the crossings in front of the downtown post office and the intersection at Franklin and East Main Street.
It’s apparent some of these drivers are in another world when they are talking on their phones, or even worse, texting. I’ve seen drivers chatting on their phones and driving through intersections when the stoplight is red, and pedestrians are trying to cross (including me). The drivers are so involved in their phone conversation, they don’t slow down or try to stop . They just keep driving without even realizing they could have crashed into a car that was driving with the green light in the intersection -- or run over a pedestrian.
Bye, Bye Library Annex
The Decatur Public Library Annex appears to be in its last days as the city council seems to favor demolishing it as the ultimate solution to the building which once housed the Sears automotive center (I can almost smell the rubber odor from the tires) and later, a mall of small businesses.
It’s in terrible shape and it apparently would cost more to repair it than tear it down.
Demolition will not be cheap and the city will probably have to wait until next year’s budget to have the money.
Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY. or visit our website at decaturtribune.net.
Central Park Fountain in Downtown Decatur
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Decatur, Illinois 62523
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FirsTech Unveils New Space and New Website
FirsTech, Inc., an innovator in payment processing solutions in Decatur and St. Louis, Missouri, held an open house Thursday afternoon at 265 South Park Street in downtown Decatur.
The newly renovated service center and a new version of its website, firstechpayments.com were introduced as a way of better serving its customers.
FirsTech celebrated both achievements with Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe, Ryan McCrady, President of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Decatur & Macon County, and attendees at the open house and ribbon cutting.
The building renovations, which started in the spring of 2016, included: remodeling the interior and exterior of the FirsTech buildings at 253 to 265 S. Park St.; demolishing the old drive-thru and buildings at 254 E. Main; and building a new drive-through at Busey Bank, 130 N. Water St.
With the investment, FirsTech will keep 50 jobs in the community.
“The EDC greatly appreciates this investment into our community by First Tech,” said McCrady. “This is another shining example of how enterprise zone benefits can help local employers expand their workforce and continue to support and build our economy in the central business district.”
From structural to digital renovations, FirsTech also launched its newly redesigned website, firstechpayments.com. With vibrant and inviting imagery, the website is not only easier to navigate, it outlines innovative payment capabilities for and brings readily accessible support to clients in various industries—including utilities, insurance, financial services, telecom, healthcare, government and non-profit.
“As the payment industry's partner for business success, FirsTech recognizes innovation as essential to providing service excellence for customers. As we grow forward, we embrace our innovative spirit with an inward focus,” said Howard Mooney, President & CEO of FirsTech. “Remodeling our service center in Decatur and revamping our online presence at firstechpayments.com ensure future and current customers can access support for their unique payment processing needs.”
To learn more about its innovative payment processing solutions, visit firstechpayments.com.
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