Watch Where You Step
Doggie, Human ‘Business’ Creates Problem In Central Park

    With the warmer weather coming on if you plan on taking a leisurely walk through Central Park be sure and stay on the sidewalks.
    Park watchers and others connected to the area have been asking me to write something about the influx of dog and human “business” that is increasing with the warmer weather.
    I know this is a delicate subject but some of the downtown apartment dwellers have dogs and they take them to the park to poop and never clean up after them -- at least when they think no one is looking.
    The result is that people are stepping in it as they walk through the park and it is even around the picnic tables where downtown workers and others come to eat their lunch, or where families hold gatherings. 
    I realize that a dog has to do what a dog does, and that’s understandable, but dog owners have a responsibility to clean up after them. 
    In fairness, I am told that a few of the people who bring their dogs to the park, are conscientious and always clean up after their dogs.
    No one wants to come to the park and get that on their shoes or clothes.
    I read an AP item just the other day that, the problem is so bad in Madrid that Mayor Manuela Carmena is warning dog owners they’ll face stiff fines or possibly weekend work as street cleaners if they are caught in an upcoming “dog poop crackdown.”
    I doubt that kind of drastic action will be taken by the Decatur City Council, but if there is an ordinance against littering, wouldn’t this be a form of “littering”?
    Maybe there is an ordinance that is not enforced.
    Another problem is that warm weather is also bringing out homeless people who use the park as their home with actions similar to how some dogs are using it.
    Obviously, all that is “left behind” is not from the dogs.
    I’m hearing complaints that homeless people are sitting around the outside of the Transfer House, drinking beer (where do homeless people get the money to buy beer?) getting sick and vomiting, plus urinating on the outside of the structure.
    This does not conjure up a beautiful picture or experience for visitors to our city.
    There is no need for homeless people to live in the park.  Decatur has plenty of places the homeless can go to get assistance and even help them get back on their feet -- if they want to get back on their feet.
    I’m not looking down on the plight of homeless people in our community, but “homelessness” should not be an excuse to do what you want to do on public property. 
    Hopefully, there can be a closer look taken at what’s happening in the park before the band concerts start on Monday evenings and the Decatur Celebration rolls around.
    We certainly want everyone to enjoy the park, but we want to make sure that what they take home from their experience in Central Park is not on their shoes or clothes.

Fired Police Chief Re-Files Lawsuit Against City Of Decatur

    Former Decatur Police Chief Brad Sweeney re-filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the City of Decatur on Friday.
    This time, City Manager Tim Gleason is not being sued.
    The original lawsuit had been dismissed 10 days earlier by Judge A.G. Webber IV, who advised Sweeney to drop Gleason’s name if he wanted to re-file. 
    There’s not much difference in the new lawsuit filed Friday except it is only against the City of Decatur and a document is included from the Illinois Department of Employment Security which relates to why Sweeney was fired.
    The City of Decatur’s attorneys have 14 days from last Friday to file their response to Sweeney’s revised lawsuit.
    It seems to me, the longer this case plays out in public view, the greater the negative publicity for the city manager and the City of Decatur.  

Supt. Taylor Pushed Out, Accepts New Job With  Heyworth School District    
    Last week, the Heyworth School District hired Decatur Public School Supt. Lisa Taylor as its new Junior/Senior High School Principal.  Taylor’s resignation is effective July 29, 2016.
    Good for her.  
    Although the Decatur Board of Education never took an official vote on whether to extend her contract (despite what some members of the media used in their reports) the indication was that, unofficially, there would be a 4-3 vote to get rid of her, but that decision and formal vote were delayed -- probably with the hope that Taylor would take the hint and look for another job.
    In all of my decades of being publisher of this newspaper, I have never witnessed the kind of support that Supt. Taylor had for the job she was doing for the school district.
    That support came from across the community -- from teachers, business leaders, students, parents, teachers’ union and everybody else who worked with her. There is a lot of anger out there about what 4 members of the board did (or didn’t do) to push her out of the job.
    In a news release from the school board, President Sherri Perkins, who was going to vote against extending her contract, stated: “The Board is appreciative of Supt. Taylor’s contributions in her role as the district’s leader for the last two years. She has been a tireless advocate for education and for student success and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.”   
    Perkins, who is one of the four who “unofficially” did not want to keep Taylor, probably is relieved that the “official vote” never had to be taken.
    Taylor, in an interview with our Sports Editor J. Thomas McNamara is leaving the district with a lot of class and so many in the community will miss her.  
    The Decatur School Board lost a lot of credibility with the community over how the Taylor controversy was handled -- and that is not going to be easy to rebuild.
    The next school board election should be interesting.
    Best wishes to Lisa.  She will definitely be missed in 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, visit our website at and also find us at our Decatur Tribune Facebook page.

​​Central Park Fountain in Downtown Decatur

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St. Mary’s Hospital To Host AARP Smart Driver 
Class May 2

    St. Mary's Hospital, 1800 E. Lakeshore Drive, Decatur, will host a AARP Smart Driver Class on Monday, May 2 from 8:30 a.m-4:30 p.m.
    Class fee is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers.
    For additional information or to register, call Marge at (217) 464-2046.

Osborne Online

‘Old Decatur’ Has Vanished Right Before My Eyes

Mac on Sports 
Ingram Cites Vision for MacArthur

Mac on Sports
Ingram Succeeds Ranstead

    The Decatur School Board tonight (Tuesday) approved Cordell Ingram as MacArthur's new principal where he will succeed Paul Ranstead.
    Ingram was approved by a 6-0 vote with one abstention (Brian Hodges).
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune as Ingram and this writer goes back many years to when he coached the Generals football team to successful seasons.

Macon County Circuit Court Launches Foreclosure 
Mediation Program

Crossing Healthcare To Host First Of Decatur's Walk With A Doc Program May 3

Osborne Online:

Haines & Essick Was More Than A Downtown Store 



Lisa Taylor

Heyworth Approves Taylor as Principal
By J. Thomas McNamara

    Decatur School District Superintendent Lisa M. Taylor will be the new principal of Heyworth high school after that district's school board approved her at their Wednesday night meeting.
    In an  interview with the Decatur Tribune following her approval as Heyworth's high school principal, Taylor said, "I have worked in Decatur for 14 years as a teacher through superintendent of schools.
    "It has been a privilege to work in Decatur and an opportunity for my personal and professional growth," said Taylor about her experiences in District 61.  
    "The staff, parents and community support has been very humbling and rewarding."  
    About her new position, Taylor said, "I am honored to have the privilege of joining the leadership team in Heyworth next year.  I am excited about the opportunity to work directly with teachers and students at the building level.  
    "I am impressed by their commitment to student success and am looking forward to becoming a member of the Heyworth community," said Taylor.


Mac on Sports
Etherton New Braves Grid Coach

National Foodworks Services Opens Doors, and Entrepreneurial Ventures

Letters To The Editor:

• Saddened By Closing Of Haines And Essick

• This Nation Is Close To

Being What Founders 
Wanted To Avoid

Council Hears Fire Station Report, Affirms Cupcake Law

​Illinois has Warmer, Drier Soils in Mid-April

Mac on Sports
Brilley Named Morton

Football Coach

Richland Students Contribute To Facility And Curriculum Design

Letters To The Editor:

• So-Called State Reforms Means Eroding Principles That Built Middle Class

• Wind Farm…Hazardous To Your Health

​• Observations On Noise Pollution Policy In Decatur

Mac on Sports
Okaw, Corn Belt to Merge

Veteran Prosecutor Joins

The Macon County 
State's Attorney's Office

Osborne Online

Encounters With ‘Droopy Drawers’ 

City Aggregation Program Renewed

Osborne Online

Strike One Stupid Act

Off My Bucket List

Greek Orthodox Church To Host 55th Annual ‘Stars Over Athens’ Festival May 5

Millikin University Named Top 20 Small College To Offer ‘Best Deal’ For STEM Degrees

Osborne Online

Some Of This And That From Here And There

Mac on Sports
Whitman: 'Groce is Our Coach'

City Council Talks Fiber Opportunity, Mixed Use Development