CITY BEAT: PEOPLE, PLACES AND FAMILIAR FACES IN DECATUR

 

Editor Paul Osborne

     • CONGRATULATIONS to David G. Weber on his induction into the Decatur Hall of Fame last week in a ceremony before the start of the annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon at the civic center. I’ve known Dave for many years and always appreciated all of his “behind the scenes” volunteer efforts for the community and his friendliness and professionalism when I visited with him in his role as vice president at Busey Bank. It was a well-deserved honor.

     • CONGRATULATIONS also to our own Sports Editor J. Thomas McNamara for being honored during last week’s 50th Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament at Stephen Decatur Middle School. Tom was named a “Decatur Hero”, along with former Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffet and Brian Hodges, for his active participation in helping to keep the tournament going and other efforts in local sports and the community, He was also honored by having the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award named after him. Tom just started his 44th year of covering sports for me and this newspaper and I’m pleased that he has been honored for his hard work and commitment to our community.

     • I RECEIVED the following autopsy report from Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day and it was sad reading, like so many others are these days. It stated: “Tommy King, age 20 of Decatur was pronounced dead on Nov. 28, 2019 at 9:09 PM in Decatur Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. Mr. King suffered gunshot trauma. He and an associate were reportedly wounded in the vicinity of Martin Luther King Drive and Cantrell Street. Mr. King was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival by ambulance in the ER. The other subject was reportedly transferred to an out of county trauma center for further treatment.

     “The autopsy on Mr. King was completed today at the McLean County morgue in Bloomington. Mr. King suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, the extremities and the lower body. He, therefore, suffered massive internal injuries involving several of his major organic systems. “The Decatur Police continue their criminal investigation into this incident. An inquest will be set upon completion of the final autopsy report.”

     I didn’t know Tommy King, or anything about him, but it certainly does bother me when a 20-year-old Decatur man is gunned down, along with another person, on one of the city’s streets. I’m sure we will know more about this shootings as the Decatur Police Department completes its investigations but regardless of the results of the investigation explaining why the victims were shot tragedies like this one happen too often in our community. How many is too many? One is too many.

     • I RAN INTO (not literally) Decatur Area Arts Council Gallery Director Sue Powell several weeks ago as I was walking to the post office and she was walking to the Decatur Area Arts Council building in the 100 block of North Water Street. Sue told me then that she was preparing to retire from her position. He husband had already retired and they wanted to travel and enjoy their retirement together.

     I first met Sue back in the 1980s when she was supervisor of Cultural Arts for the Decatur Park District and she was a very frequent guest on my daily “Newsline” program on WFHL-TV 23 to talk about what was happening in the arts at the park district. It’s hard to think about art activities and programs in Decatur without thinking about Sue’s long involvement. A retirement party will be held for Sue on the third floor of the Madden Arts Center, 125 North Water St, in Decatur, from 4:30-6:30, Monday, Dec. 16. She’s done a tremendous job for the Decatur Area Arts Council, the Decatur Park District and the community for many years.

     Some day, if I ever get the time, I’m going to dig out one of those videos from the television show in the 1980s and send Sue a copy of one of her appearances on the program. I will look much younger, but Sue will look about the same as she does now. Best wishes to Sue in her retirement.

     • THE DECATUR Christmas Parade will finally be held downtown on Saturday, Dec. 7, starting at 4:30 p.m. That has to be the latest its ever been held, at least in all of the years we’ve covered it. Of course, Thanksgiving was later this year than usual. We usually receive a lot of information and details about the parade, but not much this year except the date and time. Best wishes for great weather for the parade on Saturday.

     • THE Burrito Truck has disappeared from its location on East Pershing Road, near North Water Street, but it appeared that it was operational until just before Thanksgiving Day, as was indicated to me a month ago that when it closed it was forever. The Saturday before it closed down, I saw people waiting in their cars for it to open at 11:00 a.m.

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