CITY BEAT: OUR COMMUNITY, LIKE ALL COMMUNITIES, CONTINUES TO BE IMPACTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS

 

 

Editor Paul Osborne

How are you doing? I hope you are staying as safe from the coronavirus as is humanly possible. We’ll get through this, and we will emerge in a much better position, with limited hospitalizations and/or deaths if we all work together, follow the rules of prevention and look out for each other

     As we are going to press the Joint Crisis Communication Team has reported that a total of three Macon County residents have died because of COVID-19 and a total of 42 residents have tested positive for the virus. The deaths and most of the positive cases are from the Fair Havens Senior Living long-term care facility.

     Daily reports can be found on this website and on WSOY and virtually every other member of the media.

     So many people in the Decatur area are displaying extreme goodness and care for others and their examples continue to help us focus on the reality that we are not alone in this battle. Stay strong. That’s what this community, and you, are really all about when a crisis hits us — because that’s what you are about in calmer times.

     I believe overwhelming challenges like the one were experiencing now, bring out the worst and the best in people. — and I’m seeing an inspiring amount of “the best” that defines our community.

     • RYAN McCrady, President of the EDC of Decatur-Macon County, and former city manager, is leaving our community, effective May 1, to become President & CEO of the Springfield-Sangamon Growth Alliance.

     In his last monthly newsletter for the EDC he wrote: “I am eternally grateful for my time in Decatur and the support this amazing community has given to me and my family. The economy of Decatur is in good hands as the Board of Directors has ap-pointed Nicole Bateman to be the next President of this EDC.

     “There are some amazing economic achievements in the future of Decatur, and Nicole is the perfect person to bring them to fruition. I have appreciated the opportunity to work alongside her these last five years. Andrew Taylor and Brandy Poshard have also been instrumental in helping our community experience its recent growth. With this team in place, the best is yet to come for Decatur.”

     Although I’m somewhat sad to see Ryan leave our community, I certainly wish Ryan and his family the best. He’s been good for our community and was a very positive city manager during the years he served in that position. Although he was hired as city manager not too long after I left the mayor’s office, we did meet in my office here at the newspaper quite-a-few times — more for my perspective and experience as a former mayor than as the editor of the Trib. I always enjoyed our one-on-one conversations.

     • RYAN McCRADY’s mention in the EDC newsletter that “the economy of Decatur is in good hands as the Board of Directors has appointed Nicole Bateman to be the next President of this EDC” was not “new news”, because it was announced several weeks ago that she would be assuming that position when he left, but certainly was a strong endorsement of her leadership abilities. Nicole has done an impressive job at whatever position she has held in economic development for our area. Best wishes to her as she assumes her new position at EDC. I have no doubt that she and her associates will do a super job!!

     •CLOSED — I received, along with a lot of other people, the following communication recently: “It is with much sadness and some joy that we announce, effective March 31, 2020, Print N Copy Shop, Inc. will close its doors.

     “Russ and Carole Keirl opened Print n Copy Stop, Inc. on July 7, 1980. In 1983 their son, Doug, became a full time employee and has remained with us to the end. We have employed several others throughout the years to assist us in our business. In 1988 the shop relocated to its current address of 151 W. Main.”

     I remember when Russ and Carole opened their business in a building in the 100 block of East Main St. (those buildings are long gone and that area is now a parking lot) just down the street from the Tribune. They were getting started and needed to advertise and we needed some printing done, so for some time I traded out advertising for printing. I always enjoyed that relationship and had a lot in common with them — we were both independent small business owners.

     Print n Copy Stop, Inc. created a lot of “great impressions” over the almost 40 years they were in business.

     • THE PEW Research Center released a report recently that stated, in part: “The virus also has impacted Americans’ religious behaviors. More than half of all U.S. adults (55%) say they have prayed for an end to the spread of coronavirus. Large majorities of Americans who pray daily (86%) and of U.S. Christians (73%) have taken to prayer during the outbreak – but so have some who say they seldom or never pray and people who say they do not belong to any religion (15% and 24%, respectively).” That’s probably a fairly accurate indication of something that has always been true: when overwhelming problems fall upon this nation, and other nations, “prayer” becomes a key part of working through a horrible situation.           

     When things go back to “normal” some people will go back to trying to eliminate God from every aspect of our national life.

     • I READ last week, in the Wiley Report, that, if people would put the lid down on the toilet seat after doing their “business”, when the toilet was flushed it would reduce the dangerous emissions by 80%. Good idea, but that would be impossible to do in many public restrooms in restaurants and office buildings (once they open up after COVID-19) because there is no “lid” that covers the stools.

     Many of you may never use a public restroom again! Sorry! With information like this, we may see a return to outhouses. There was no flushing in them, plus most had old Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs for the occupant’s reading pleasure.

     • I RECEIVED a call from a local mail carrier last week (who did not want her name used) expressing concern that she, and some other carriers, did not have hand sanitizer even though the USPS indicated they would provide some. “We did receive some coupons to pick up hand sanitizer on our own, but we couldn’t find any left,” she said.

     She also indicated that, one of the people on her route gave her some sanitizer to use and told her that when she ran out that more would be provided. The message she wanted me to get out is for mail recipients, if they have some extra sanitizer, to think about giving some to their carrier.

     The United States Postal Service continues to claim that it is sharing the latest information with its workers and that gloves, hand sanitizer and surgical masks are available upon request.      

     Remember the famous United States Postal Service “creed”? “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The creed may have to be updated to include “virus”.

     Special thanks to postal employees and all who unselfishly continue to provide needed services to us and put their own health at risk to do it. You are appreciated more than you know.

     • FAIR CANCELLED: It was no surprise that this year’s Macon County Fair, scheduled for June 9-14, will not be held this year, considering about everything else planned for this spring and summer has been cancelled.

     Fair Board President Gordon Moore issued the following statement: “Due to COVID-19, this year’s fair has been cancelled. After much discussion the fair board voted to cancel it. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but we need to follow the recommended guidelines at this time. The Macon County Fair is one of the first fairs in the state. We will bring back a bigger and better fair next year. (June 8-13, 2021).”

     • SCAMS are everywhere as scammers see “big money” in using the coronavirus pandemic to feed on the fears of people in Decatur and communities all over the nation. Attorney General Kwame Raoul, in an article that starts on this week’s front page of the print edition, is urging Illinois residents to be “vigilant and watch for scammers trying to take advantage of the upcoming COVID-19 federal economic stimulus payments to individuals.”

     That’s one scam, but there are plenty of others we’re faced with every day — especially in emails. Believe it or not, I was notified that I had won $10 million in a lottery — three times in the same day from three different scammers! All I had to do was fill out some questions (personal information) and respond. In fact, it was “Decatur” as in Decatur Tribune that had won. So, be careful and don’t respond to these scammers.           

     The COVID-19 pandemic is a horrible virus visited upon this nation and many others, but scammers view it as a “golden opportunity” to add lots of money to their coffers through cheating residents who can least afford to lose money. BEWARE of the SCAMMER virus spread by people without a conscience or concern for others.

     • AS MOST of you already know, our offices have been closed to the public for the past month, but you can call 422-9702 during the day and leave a message for us or email us anytime you want at [email protected] You can also visit this website for additional info at decaturtribune.com or write us at Decatur Tribune, P.O. Box 1490, Decatur, IL 62525-1490. Remember, when you call in to change your address to a new, or former location (for the snowbirds) it will always be changed the second issue after you call due to computer pre-addressing. We’re trying to make the best of a bad situation — along with everybody else. Thanks for your patience. We’ll get through this together.

     • THE “City Hall Insider” continues each Thursday morning at 7:00 on Byers & Co. on WSOY via phone. I always enjoy my discussions with Brian and it will be great to get back in the WSOY studio again when this pandemic is behind us.      

     Please stay safe and continue to practice defensive routines to help you avoid the virus.

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