Paul Osborne, Editor


Scherer Votes To Waive License Plate Fee For
Wounded Veterans

Illinois Moves From Second
To Third Highest 
Unemployment Rate 
In The Nation

The People Speak In 
'Letters To The Editor'

City Council Passes 
Storm Water Utility, City
Manager Addresses Dredging
Project Hiring

Rep. Mitchell: Obama Library Is Outrageous Waste Of
Taxpayer Dollars

'The Milkman' Was Special
Part Of Our Neighborhood

First Poll In Governor's Race Is Not Good News For Quinn
City To Host Mahomet
Aquifer Summit

ADM Announces Significant
Actions In Ongoing
Portfolio Management

On Tax Day Rep. Mitchell
Warns Against Even
Higher Taxes

CHIC At DMH Starting April 15

Land Of Lincoln Honor Flight
Takes To The Air April 29

Decatur Choral Society To
Present OPUS 24 Spring
Concert May 13

City Aggregation Program

Rose Legislation To Help
Transition Laid Off Workers
Back To Employment

Mayor Of Decatur Responds
To Associated Fire Fighters Of Illinois President's Letter

Associated Fire Fighters Of 
Illinois President Blasts
Mayor McElroy, Editor Osborne
For Reaction To HB 5485

Detectives Seize Drugs,
Firearms And Cash

It's Now Official: Walker Is
Named Eisenhower
Basketball Coach

The People Speak In
'Letters To The Editor'

It's Not Official But
Walker Appears To Be
Eisenhower Choice

City Council Approves
Water Main Work

City Of Decatur Launches
Online Tool To Bring In
Business, Boost Existing
Business Success

Macon County Issued Final
Property Assessment
Equalization Factor

Osborne Online:
A Young Man's Anquish
Following A Tornado That
Ripped Through Decatur
40 Years Ago Today (April 3)

Senator Manar Introduces
Measure To Overhaul School
Funding System

Tom Cross Launches Petition
For Illinois Families To Oppose Quinn/Frerichs Tax Increase

'The People Speak' In 
'Letters To The Editor

Greek Orthodox Church To
Host 53rd Annual 'Stars Over
Athens' Festival May 8

Poll: Rauner Leads Quinn

Illinois Corporate Tax Is 9.5%:
Fourth Highest In The Nation

Hockaday Picks Hawkeyes
Decatur Fire Hydrants To Be
Flushed During April

U. S. Rep. Rodney Davis:
He Keeps Winning

Paul Osborne's

Ann Callis

Ann Callis Discusses Her Campaign To Unseat Davis 
In Interview At The Tribune

 I interviewed 13th Congressional District Democratic Candidate Ann Callis at the Tribune Tuesday and got an opportunity to look deeper into her campaign.
Callis is challenging Republican incumbent Rodney Davis in the very high profile race.
The 13th Congressional District includes all of Decatur and Macon County.
I’ll have a feature story on what I learned about Callis, and her campaign, in the next print edition of the Decatur Tribune. The story  will also be posted on this site a day or two after the print edition hits the streets and the mailboxes.
I formed some definite impressions of Callis and her campaign in our first sit-down and I'll let you know what I think her chances are to beat Davis.

Another Fee For Residents

Residents will have a new fee of about $3.67 per month (at least initially) as the city council voted 7-0 Monday night in favor of the measure to provide funding for improvements and maintenance to the storm water system.
More information about the new fee can be found in another post here.
Hopefully, this will be the last fee increase, or fee creation, that city residents will have to experience in the depressed local economy.
Residents are getting pretty fed up with paying more for everything -- at least that’s what they tell me. 
The argument that Decatur residents aren’t paying as much as other Illinois communities of comparable size, is also wearing a little thin. Presently, Macon County’s tax and fee structure is not all that attractive for businesses and residents.

Ryan McCrady

City Manager Loses Cool

Those present in the city council chambers, or watching the council meeting on television Monday evening, saw something unusual -- City Manager Ryan McCrady losing his cool!
McCrady, irritated by union claims that local workers were not being hired  for the dredging project, said it was time for the union members to grow up, and added “I’ve had it” with what he called the unions putting out information that he said was not true.  
McCrady’s anger reminded me of “Ralphie” from “The Christmas Story”, when he had enough torment from Scut Farkus, and attacked him because he couldn’t take any more.
I’m not comparing union members to Scut Fark
us, but I do think McCrady (Ralphie) probably won’t be getting a a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle from the unions this coming Christmas.

Push To Make Temporary Tax 'Permanent' Is No Surprise

 No one should be surprised there is a push from Gov. Pat Quinn, and other political leaders, to make the “temporary” income tax increase “permanent” -- or we are all doomed.
If you actually believed the tax would be “temporary” when it was enacted, there is a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.
“Temporary” is the word politicians use to put a tax in a position to be “permanent”.
A “temporary tax” is usually meant to be used to help government dig out from under the debt it owes. 
As witnessed countless times, a temporary tax never seems to help government handle its financial problems, but encourages it to spend even more.
Now underway is the scare tactic about how many people and services will be eliminated in the state if the “temporary tax” is allowed to expire. 

‘TEMPORARY’: Back in 2002, the City of Decatur, was facing financial problems. 
So, several taxes were increased to “temporarily” get the city over the hump, with the intention, according to a couple of council members at the time, to have a sunset on those taxes.  
Those tax increases (food & beverage, utility, etc.) are still in effect 12 years later and it would do a lot of harm to repeal them.
I think the big difference between the City of Decatur and the State of Illinois on this issue is that cuts have been made to put the City in better financial shape in the face of the community having one of the worse unemployment rates in Illinois -- while the State of Illinois makes minor cuts and continues to spend without much thought of making needed necessary budget changes. 
The next time a “temporary tax” is proposed,
rest assured that, once government gets its mitts on more of your money it is a permanent arrangement -- regardless of what it is called.
No wonder citizens do not trust most of those they elect to represent them -- and that less than 16% of the registered voters in Macon County even bothered to show up and vote in last month’s primary election.

Candidates' First Quarter Filing
Totals Are Complete And Show
Some Hefty Fund Balances...(A Few Not So Hefty)

I checked out filings with the Illinois State Board of Elections and the Federal Election Commission involving the candidates that are running in the two Illinois House Districts that include Decatur, the two State Senate Districts that represent our community and the race in the 13th Congressional District which includes Decatur.
Here’s what I found:  
State Representative candidates have filed their D-2 Quarterly Reports for period between 1/1/2014 to 3/31/2014.
In the 96th District incumbent Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur)  had total receipts of $94,625.00 for the period and $11,806.25 in In-Kind contributions.
Scherer reported $58,085.73 in funds available at the beginning of the quarter and, $65.917.95 in funds available on March 31.
Scherer’s challenger Mike Bell (R-Edinburg)  reported  $6,730.00 in receipts for the quarter but funds available at the end of the period totalled only $5.23. 
In the 101st District, Rep. Bill Mitchell’s committee, Citizens for Bill Mitchell, filed a D-2 which shows $124,440.41 available at the close of the reporting period, March 31.  Mitchell had total receipts of $8,850.00 during the period.
Mitchell does not have an opponent in his race.

STATE SENATE: State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) had $404,042.19 available in his campaign March 31, after total receipts of $75,598.09 were reported by  Friends of Andy Manar.
His opponent in the 48th District race, Linda Little (R-Decatur) reported total receipts of $4,985.00, as her campaign committee. She also reported a fund balance of $4,032.99 on March 31. 
Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) in the 51st State Senate District doesn’t have an opponent in his race.  Rose reported total receipts of $16,190.00 during the quarter and a fund balance of $43,426.47 at the end of the quarter.

13TH DISTRICT: Of course, the total amount of the money that is being raised in the 13th Congressional District race between incumbent Republican Rodney Davis  and former judge Democrat Ann Callis is being watched carefully.
Ann Callis for Congress filed its Quarterly Report Tuesday and showed a balance of $513.897.76, after raising $188,804.28 during the quarter.  Callis has raised over a million dollars (1.016,378.94) in this election cycle.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (Rodney For Congress) had a cash balance of $951,903.00 at the end of the quarter, after raising $285,558.00 during the period.  Davis has raised over two million dollars ($2,059,953) during this campaign season.

Another Reason We Are Losing
Out To Neighboring States

If you want to know why people and businesses are moving out of Illinois to neighboring states, the story about Tax Freedom Day on the front page of this week’s print edition of the Decatur Tribune will answer your question.
According to the article, the non-partisan Tax Foundation in Washington, DC, just released its annual calculations for its Tax Freedom Day (TFD), and the news is not good.
Tax Freedom Day is the day when US taxpayers have earned enough money to pay their total tax bill for the year. After that day, the money is the taxpayers’ to keep. Taxes at all levels of government are included, whether levied by the federal government or state and local governments.
Tax Freedom Day for US taxpayers this year is April 21, three days later than last year. Taxpayers have three fewer days of their money to keep.
According to the article, Illinois’ high tax rates place it at a distinct disadvantage with respect to adjacent states. Of the states surrounding Illinois, every state has a lower tax burden.
Decatur is in Illinois (I know you are aware of that) and people who live in our state are being taxed to death!
Until April 28th, all the money we’ve made so far this year goes just to pay our taxes!
Illinois is the 7th highest tax state and our neighboring states are way down on the list.
As the article indicates Wisconsin is 13th highest, Iowa is 32nd highest, Indiana is 24th highest, Missouri is 36th highest and
Kentucky is 44th highest.
Any questions?

AMERICAN-MADE: HB3861, also known as the American-Made Car Bill passed the Illinois House 73-36 on April 10th and will be voted on by the senate later this month.
The bill puts restrictions on the type of vehicles that can be purchased by state agencies suc
h as government workers and police. 
That’s a big problem for Miles Chevrolet in Decatur because the Chevrolet Impala, which is extremely popular with police departments and other law enforcement agencies, are assembled in Canada, although a lot of the parts are made in the U.S.
Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) voted against the bill and Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) voted for it.
Miles Chevrolet employs 177 people and sells up to 2,000 police cars a year.
If this bill passes the senate, there is no doubt it will have a huge impact on the employees of Miles Chevrolet -- and on our community.
If the dealership can no longer sell 2000 cars a year to state agencies, you don’t have to be a financial wizard to know what that does to many of the well-paying jobs at Miles Chevrolet.
With Chevrolet out of the picture, it will also mean less competitive bidding for the vehicles needed, plus the elimination of cars favored by police officers.
Guess who picks up the tab for that?
Decatur has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and I guess they won’t be satisfied until we again have THE highest unemployment rate  -- while politicians babble on about our area needing jobs.
I certainly buy American-made every opportunity I get and, more than that, I buy from Decatur businesses, whenever it is possible.
However, I also realize that we live in a global marketplace and, if we are going to
continue to tap into the world market, we have to recognize how many jobs are created by building the parts needed to build those products that are shipped to other countries.
It is not a one-way street any longer.

CARP CHATTER: I’ve had some inquiries about the carp screen failure at the Lake Decatur Dam and if the screen floated on down the Sangamon River.
Keith Alexander, Director of Water Management, recently briefed the Decatur City Council on the fish screen failure and schedule.
If you are interested in the facts on what happened and what will happen, I printed Alexander’s report to the council in this week's print edition (page 31).  You can also check it out here.
Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY.  





Ice House Auto Auction To Host Monthly Saturday Sales

The Ice House Auto Auction will host monthly Saturday sales staring with April 26th.  
This sale will be open to the public and welcome dealers.  
The Ice House has been a legacy in the Decatur community for a decade.  The owner, Judd Bourne, was anxious to utilize the building as well as provide a unique buying and selling opportunity for people in this area.  Bourne is looking forward to promoting the sale and working with the community.  
The gates will open at 8:00 am and the sale will start promptly at 10:00!   Contact Judd Bourne at 217-450 1795 for consignments.  Licensing will be done on site.  Bourne is expecting to run anywhere from 50 – 100 cars on the first sale day.  
The Ice House is located on 888 West Eldorado, Decatur. 

Prairie Land Punishers vs. 
NEMO Viqueens At Decatur 
Civic Center May 3

Prairieland Punishers Roller Derby team vs. NEMO Viqueens will be playing at the Decatur Civic Center on May 3. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m. for a fresh meat mixer. The main event will be 7:00 p.m. Tickets pay for both events.
Tickets cost as follows:  general seating, $10 pre-bout day, $15 at the door; child's ticket, $5 (except VIP); VIP tickets cost $15 pre-bout day and $20 at door (kid's VIP tickets are same as adult). 
Tickets can be purchased in advance online at or from any of the team members.

The Salvation Army Senior Program To Be Held April 25

The Salvation Army Senior Program will be held Friday, April 25, at 11:00 a.m. at 229 W. Main St. The program will be J.C. Fultz, WAND Meteorologist.
A donation of $3 will be accepted at the door. Reservations are due by April 23 by calling  428-4672.

Children’s Museum of Illinois Is Extending Hours On First Friday Of Each Month

Children’s Museum of Illinois is extending its hours on the first Friday of each month.
On Friday, May 2nd, Museum hours will be 9:30 AM to 7 PM. Play late and enjoy food for purchase from 5:00-7:00 PM. 
Admission is $5 for everyone ages 2 and older. For more information, visit or call the Museum at 217-423-5437.

Summer Art Classes At Decatur Area Arts Council

The Decatur Area Arts Council will offer arts classes for all ages June through August 2014.   Classes will be held at the Madden Arts Center at 125 North Water Street in downtown Decatur.  To register, call 217-423-3189.  
For more information on summer classes, dowload the Summer 2014 Art Classes Schedule at, or call 217-423-3189.

Decatur Park District Boat Slips Available

The Decatur Park District has boat slips available for the 2014 season. The docks have accessible walkways, electricity, and potable water. A ladder system will be put in place if lake water levels become an issue this summer. Rental fee is $795 per slip. Call 422-5911 for details.

Go Fly A Kite April 26, 27

Fly a kite and celebrate Earth Day during the Decatur Park District’s Kite Festival. On April 26 & 27 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Sinawik Park, professional flyers from across the Midwest will amaze the crowd with stunt kites, dancing kites, and fighting kites. 
Families may bring a kite, make a kite, or purchase kites onsite from the Kite Harbor booth. 
Family-friendly activities will be offered throughout the day including a Big Kite Candy Drop (weather permitting). Concessions will be available for purchase. 
For more information, call 422-5911.

Long Creek Community Rummage Sales May 2, 3

Long Creek Community area wide rummage sales will be held Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3 from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Early Bird Kiwanis Club And Boy Scout Troop 202 To Hold Fundraiser Breakfast April 26

A flapjack fundraiser breakfast to support Boy Scout Troop 202 and the Early Bird Kiwanis Club community service projects will be held at Applebee's Restaurant in Forsyth on Saturday, April 26 from 8:00-10:00 a.m. Breakfast will include pancakes, bacon and beverage for $5.
For tickets, call scouts - 429-4103 or Kiwanis 423-0543 or 615-0265.

Maroa-Forsyth Schools Band Department To Host Annual Jazz Café April 26

The Maroa-Forsyth Schools band department is hosting its Annual Jazz Café on Satur-day April 26th from 2-5pm at the Maroa-Forsyth High School Cafetorium.  
  Admission is free for the fun and entertaining fundraiser which supports the band department’s students in grades 5-12.  
Currently the students are raising funds for new drum cases as well as equipment for starting a flag corps team to supplement the marching band.  
Musical entertainment will be provided by Maroa-Forsyth students and a special guest jazz combo.  Throughout the afternoon, over 100 raffles will take place with the mega prizes including an Xbox One and Beats Earbuds.   You must be present to win raffles.  Food and beverages available for purchase including Papa Murphy’s Pizza and large variety of desserts.  All raffle and food/drink tickets are $1.

Earth Day To Be Celebrated At Recycling Center April 25, 26

Earth Day is being celebrated Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, by the Community Recycling Center.  The hours will be 8:00 a.m. to noon on Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 26th. 
The center is located downtown at 130 W. Cerro Gordo, Decatur.  Stop by with aluminum cans to recycle and take advantage of a 50 cents per pound price. 
The Community Recycling Center, operated by volunteers, benefits all  the programs at Dove, Inc.  The center regular business hours: Thursday afternoons, noon to 5:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to noon.

Friends Of Stephen 
M. Grimm To Host Fundraiser April 24

Friends of Stephen M Grimm will host a fundraiser at the Winery, 1099 West Main Street, Decatur, on Thursday, April 24 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
A $25 donation is suggested.

Spring Has Arrived At Schaub Floral Display Center’s Fragrance And 
Foliage Showcase

Spring has arrived at the Decatur Park District’s Schaub Floral Display Center! The Fragrance and Foliage Showcase will run April 25 – May 23 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily. 
The beautiful display features tropical plants, annuals, torenia, impatiens, and several types of begonias. Free and open to the public. 
The Schaub Floral Display Center is located at Sportsman’s Park, 3415 Lost Bridge Rd.  For more information, call 421-7550. 

Secretary Of State Unveils 
New Organ/Tissue 
Donation Campaign 

Secretary of State Jesse White unveiled a new ad campaign showing how all Illinoisans can become heroes by joining the state's Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. April is National Donate Life Month. White will attend events throughout Illinois to encourage donation and awareness throughout the month. 
Television and radio ads will air in English and Spanish statewide. Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State Organ/Tissue Donor Program at, 1-800-210-2106 or by visiting their local driver services facility.

The Garden Club Of Decatur To Hold Annual Plant Sale May 3

The Garden Club of Decatur will hold its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 3, 2013 at Prairie Avenue Christian Church, 2201 E. Prairie Ave, Decatur.  
The sale is 8:30-10:30 a.m.  and will offer perennial and annual flowers, cactus, hanging baskets and annual flats.  
There will also be plants from our members' gardens which are reasonably priced.  
Visit the website at:

Gallery 510 To Host National Juried Art Show In October

Gallery 510 will host the National Juried Art Show at Madden Arts Center in October.
The show is open to all mediums. There are two categories: general and cancer awareness. There will be $750 in awards given.
Deadline for entries will be July 7. For prospectus, send S.A.S.E. to Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St., Decatur, IL 62523; pick one up at Gallery 510 or Madden Arts Center in Decatur; or email for digital copy.

The Salvation Army’s Senior Trip To Wrigley Field Is May 2

The Salvation Army's senior trip to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs vs. Cardinals will be Friday, May 2.
Departure time will be 9:00 a.m. at The Salvation Army, 229 West Main. Attendees must be 50 years or older.
The cost will be $60 (payable at sign-up) and includes game ticket and bus ticket. Attendees will be responsible for their dinner at Coyote Canyon.
For additional information, call 428-4672.

Easter Seals Offers Parents Night Out Respite Program

Easter Seals Central Illinois offers a Parents Night Out Respite Program several times per month. Parents register and bring their children with developmental disabilities and their siblings from ages 1 through 13 years for an inclusive experience of social activities, field trips, and entertainmen
For more information call Lori Brown at 429-1052, ext. 111 or visit

Easter Seals Parents Night Out Respite Program Available

Easter Seals Central Illinois offers a Parents Night Out Respite Program several times per month.  Parents register and bring their children with developmental disabilities and their siblings from ages 1 through 13 years for an inclusive experience of fun, social activities, field trips, and entertainment.
For more information call Lori Brown at 429-1052, ext. 111 or visit

SDHS Class Of 1964 To Hold 50th Reunion June 20, 2014

The Stephen Decatur High School Class of 1964 will hold its 50th reunion Friday June 20, 2014, at the Wharf and Saturday June 21, 2014 at the Beach House
Those who want more details should contact Jeanette Curry Woolley  bjwsdhs64@comcast.ner or Donna Ambroise Reinhardt (217) 422-9334

Lakeview High School Class Of 1964 50th Reunion Being Planned

Lakeview High School’s class of 1964 is planning its 50th reunion, and it will be held during the summer of 2014 in Decatur.  
The Green and White - Reunite committee needs to update its alumni list in order to inform all classmates about the plans. 
Send your name (including maiden name) address, city, state, zip, email, Facebook, and phone numbers to CLASS ROSTER, in care of  Ken Kimberly, 210 Robinhood Rd., Covington, LA, 70433-4761; email: or Facebook “Ken Kimberly”.

Website Builder