CITY BEAT: IT WAS 50 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK THAT I HAD THE CRAZY IDEA TO BUY THE DECATUR TRIBUNE — THAT WAS CLOSING DOWN!

 

Editor Paul Osborne

     As indicated by the yellowing front page of a newspaper in the old wooden frame in a front page photo in this week’s print and online editions, it was announced in the Dec. 24, 1969, that I had purchased the Decatur Tribune that week. (I had to dig out the old edition from my closet and felt fortunate to even find it.)

     It was intended that the Dec. 24, 1969 edition was going to be the last and the headline would reflect its closing, but I (Osborne Co.) purchased the newspaper that week and the headline reflected that sale. As I look at that 50-year-old edition I can’t help but notice how different the newspaper looked (it was a broadsheet paper) from today’s editions. I made several changes after buying the Trib. I also notice how much younger I looked 50 years ago than how I look today. (Where did I get that really narrow tie?}

     Since the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is usually the lightest news edition of the year, I thought it would be a good time for me to reflect a little on what led me to buy this newspaper, so that’s what my “Viewpoint” is about on page 3 of the print and online editions.

      Several months ago, WAND-TV’s Sean Streaty interviewed me in my office and asked “Why would you buy a failing newspaper?” The answer: “Because I couldn’t afford to buy a successful one!” Also, because I was 50 years younger back then and not “wise enough” to know it was a really bad decision destined for failure…but…we survived!

     • I ENJOYED chatting with Kevin Kehoe when we ran into each other (not literally) at Subway on North Park Street in Decatur. Kevin, as I am sure that many of you remember, is an attorney who served as a Demo-cratic member of the Illinois Senate from Decatur. In 1992, he was elected to the Macon County Board and in 1994 became its chairman. He chose to step down from the Chairman po-sition in 1995 to focus on his private law practice. It was in 1998 that he was appointed to succeed the late Penny Severns in the Illinois Senate. The Senate district he represented, included several Central Illinois counties, including Macon County.

     Kevin lost the 1998 general election to Duane Noland, a Republican candidate member of the Illinois House of Representatives. He told me that several have asked that he get back into politics, but I didn’t detect any interest. I had not seen Kevin for several years and was happy to see him again. Best wishes to him.

     • NOW OPEN: The Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting last Thursday, to celebrate the grand opening of Chipotle Mexican Grill at 4165 N. Water Street in Decatur. Chipotle opened its doors to the public last Saturday. Most people I’ve talked with were anxious to check it out.

     • RED LIGHT traffic signal at intersection means stop! I don’t know why it seems to be happening more frequently, but I see a lot of vehicles going through Decatur intersections after the traffic signal turns red. I can understand if the light turns red and it is too late to stop, but I’m observing three, four and even five cars following the first car who are blasting through the intersection after the signal has turned red. I don’t know if they are distracted by their cellphones or something else, but there is going to be a terrible accident at one of these intersections one of these days.

     The drivers of these vehicles who risk their lives remind me of sheep that I raised as my project in FFA and if one decided to jump a fence, the rest of them would jump, too, even though it would put them in traffic! I had one ewe try to jump out of a low side trailer, after being gently tied around the neck and fastened to the front of the trailer to keep her from jumping while going down the highway. You guessed it, the ewe jumped and was hanging by her neck at the side of the trailer and the other four with her, jumped too, and were hanging by their necks on the side of the trailer! I rescued all of them and we never hauled sheep that way again. For the sheep, it was a really, really BAAAAAAAAD idea and for three or more drivers to follow another driver through a red traffic light is also a BAAAAAAD idea. I want everyone to drive safely and I’m not trying to “pull the wool” over your eyes!

     Have a great Christmas Day and a healthy and prosperous New Year!!!! 

1 Comment

  1. Tom Burns on December 25, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Ultimately the Tribune may be the only mass market newspaper to
    survive in Decatur.

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