This week, we take a closer look at another race that impacts our area between Republican Shane Mendenhall and Democrat Andrew Weatherford who are campaigning to replace retiring Judge Thomas E. Little in the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Macon County in the Nov. 8 General Election. This race is attracting a lot more attention than most judicial races in the past. The Decatur Tribune asked three basic questions of the judicial candidates and their answers can be found on page 6 of this week’s print and online editions of the Decatur Tribune.
• ELECTION Day (Nov. 8) is drawing near and a lot of questions will be answered on that day. When the votes are counted, not only will we know which candidate won which race, we will also have a good idea of the direction our area, and the nation, will be headed during the next two years. Next week, I will print the ballot for this election in the print and online editions. If you haven’t seen the ballot, you might want to take a close look at it to make sure you know what choices you have before you go to the polls.
• PLEASED to receive news that the Decatur Police Department has been awarded a Federal Fiscal Year 2023 Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program grant to conduct additional traffic safety efforts. The STEP program focuses on high-visibility enforcement and strategies aimed at saving lives and preventing injuries by reducing traffic crashes.
“We’re pleased to receive this grant to step up our road safety efforts with the goal of saving lives,” said Sgt. Steve Hagemeyer. “Our mission is to make travel safer through directed, proactive patrols and to stop, cite and arrest those who choose to violate traffic laws.”
As detailed in previous columns, there seems to be a high number of drivers that disregard speed limits, stoplights and weave in and out of traffic. “Stepping up road safety efforts” will, hopefully, reduce the dangerous driving of too many motorists these days —and save lives.
• WATCH OUT!!! I stepped out the Water Street front door of the Millikin Court building the other day and had I taken an additional step a second sooner a bicyclist riding at a high rate of speed on the sidewalk would have mowed me down! Also, I narrowly missed being hit by another bicyclist when I reached the intersection of Main and North Water streets on another day! Too many are riding bikes at a high rate of speed (for bikes) on sidewalks downtown and its making it dangerous for pedestrians — including this one. Be careful!
• SOME restaurants are having a difficult time hiring help. Someone who wanted to “dine in” at Culver’s on North Water Street and Pershing Road, found the doors locked during what should have been normal business hours — although the drive-through was open. Several people were in the parking lot and left after not being able to go inside. The person who experienced the door being locked at Culver’s a few weeks ago called the restaurant last week and asked if inside dining was available. The answer was “no, because of staffing problems”.
If you plan on dining in at Culver’s, or any other restaurant, it might be wise to call ahead to make sure you can get inside. A couple of restaurants in the Decatur area closed down in recent months because they couldn’t get anyone to work for them. I never thought I would live to see the day when businesses closed down, or scaled back their operation, because they couldn’t find anyone who wanted to work.
• GOOD MOVE — Macon County has been working jointly with the City of Decatur to help combat violent crimes in Macon County. (See page 12 of print and online edition) At the Macon County Board meeting on October 13th a resolution was passed for an Intergovernmental cooperative agreement for a multi-jurisdictional street crimes task force. This agreement gives designated Macon County Deputies authority to work with the City of Decatur. It also gives the Decatur Police authority to work outside the city limits.
• HOW SAFE are Decatur’s Streets? That’s the subject of my “Viewpoint” column on page 3 of today’s print and online editions.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning.