Governor JB Pritzker’s “stay at home” order on Friday (more details in story elsewhere on this site) has impacted our community more than anything during the many decades that I’ve been publshing this newspaper. So much of what has been “routine” for all of us, is no longer “routine”, and the uncertainty of when all of this will end and we can go back and start living a “routine” life again, has left many with nerves already frayed. Right now, the impact on businesses closing down and employees being laid off seems unreal. It feels like only yesterday that the economy was in great shape and we were moving ahead with success after success. Unemployment was so low that it seemed like a miracle and now, so many people have been laid off from their jobs because the wheels of our economy have virtually ground to a halt. Still, we have a lot to be thankful for and I’ve seen the American fighting spirit coming alive and showing why this nation is the greatest on earth and is willing to makes sacrifices for the greater good of all people — in Decatur and around the world. We’ll get through this and be wiser, stronger and more thankful for what we have in putting the ordeal in perspective.
• OUR OFFICES at the Decatur Tribune will be closed until it is wise and safe to be open again. You can still reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at P. O. Box 1490, Decatur, Illinois 62525-1490, or at 217/422-9702 when we have someone available to answer the phone. I’m really not certain what the next few weeks will bring and neither is any other business. Although some of you who read the Tribune don’t have online access, we do have an online site which can be found at decaturtribune.com I will try to keep you up-to-date on the publishing status of the Decatur Tribune during this ordeal via the website. Hopefully, we can keep publishing each edition in print while the restrictions in the fight against the coronavirus are in place.
Check out my “Viewpoint” in the print and online editions for more details on publishing a newspaper during this virus period. Newspapers and all kinds of businesses are coping as best we can during this crisis.
• FOR THE first time in the 17 years of the City Hall Insider hour on Byers & Co., on WSOY every week, we did last Thursday’s program via phone. Thanks to Brian for the consideration since I’m in the “at risk’ category for catching the coronavirus.
• SO sorry to hear of the passing of my long time friend Ron “Coach” James, who died last Friday. His obituary is in the Macon County Deaths section of the print and online editions. Coach and I started our careers in Decatur in the 1960s. Coach was also one of the local bankers who believed in me and was willing to loan me money for several endeavors over the years. (Every penny was paid back with interest.)
When I ran for mayor, Coach was one of the members of my campaign committee and worked hard for my election. He was also on Byers & Co. immediately after my hour on Thursdays and we chatted each week when I was ready to leave the studio and he was ready to go in — and we would often reflect on some of our shared memories over the years. It wasn’t that long ago that he told me he had seen a doctor, and had some tests done, and the diagnosis wasn’t good.
I’ll miss Coach. Prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Eileen, and their family members and many friends.
• LAST WEEK’S Primary Election was overshadowed by the COVID-19 Pandemic and didn’t get as much attention as it would have normally.
Here are a few highlights: The Republican ballot had two candidates for Macon County Circuit Clerk — Sherry Doty and Jennifer Yborra, with Doty winning with 69% of the vote. Since there isn’t a Democrat candidate to face in November Sherry Doty will also win in the General Election — and she will be the new circuit clerk following Lois Durbin who is retiring.
It’s a little different for the Republican winner in the race for Macon County State’s Attorney as candidate Scott A. Rueter, who defeated Philip J. Tibbs, by winning 56% of the vote. Scott will face Democrat Tammara “Tammy” Wagoner in the November General Election. Wagoner was unopposed in her primary race.
The Macon County Board had two contested races. The two winners in the Dist. 5 race were Debra Kraft and Jeffrey Entler who received 39% and 34% of the vote respectively with challenger Hubert Murray winning 27% of the vote.
The race in District Seven had been much more public with Board Chairman Kevin R. Greenfield being challenged by Edward D. Yoder. Greenfield won with 62% of the vote.
Republican Incumbent State Rep. Dan Caulkins of Decatur (101st District) and Democrat Incumbent State Rep. Sue Scherer of Decatur (96th District) had no opponents in the primary and have no opponents in the General Election — so both won re-election.
Decatur Township Cannabis Sale Proposition received 62.3% YES votes and 37.97 NO votes.
Maroa-Forsyth CUSd No 2 School Building Bond Proposition passed with 57% of the votes.
For other races of area interest in last Tuesday’s Primary go to the website il-macon.pollresults.net
Please STAY SAFE and well and don’t get out unless it is a necessity.