Horn Announces Mayoral Candidacy

Horn Announces Mayoral Candidacy

November 16 – First-term Decatur City Councilman David Horn officially announced his candidacy for Mayor during a Friday morning news conference at the Decatur Civic Center.

“In short, I care about the City of Decatur,” said Horn, a biology professor at Millikin University since 2005.

“I am concerned that our population has declined 5 percent since 2010. I am concerned we have a 25 percent poverty rate in the city, and I think I can make a strong difference as mayor.”

Horn, 47, becomes the fourth candidate in the race, with Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe seeking re-election and Kara Demirjian Huss and Jacob Jenkins also challenging for the office.

“My focus is going to be on making the city more livable, more vibrant and more healthy,” said Horn. “I think that we can do that through neighborhood revitalization, creation of more equitable relationships, creating a healthy environment in which we live, and reducing local government barriers to growth.”

In a media release, Horn touted himself as “an independent voice” focused on evidence-based and data-driven solutions and “a strong proponent for fiscal responsibility, community revitalization and environmental stewardship.” In his support for the revitalization effort, he has stressed “a need for urgency” in regard to houses on the demolition list.

Horn admitted the city has seen some degree of progress in recent years.

“I think there are some positive things that are occurring in Decatur, and manufacturing job growth, particularly at Caterpillar, is definitely one area where we’ve had some growth,” he said.

“I think one of the things I would do as mayor would be to work collaboratively with industry, with small business, and with organizations to remove barriers that there are to further job creation and growing the economy.”

Horn has shown a willingness to dissent during his time on the Council. Last month, he voted against allowing sandwich board advertising signs on downtown sidewalks. In August, he railed against “the many negative impacts of gambling” as the Council mulled raising the fees for video gaming terminals.

Regardless of the outcome of the mayoral race, Horn says he will continue as a community advocate.

“No matter what, I’ve got two more years on the Council and I look forward to being a public servant for the citizens of Decatur,” he said.

PDF: Horn Mayoral Candidacy Press Release

Bill to Rename Harristown Post Office for Palmer Passes Senate

Bill to Rename Harristown Post Office for Palmer Passes Senate

November 16 – A resolution to rename the Harristown post office in honor of Petty Officer Logan Palmer awaits President Donald Trump’s signature after it passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Thursday.

“We are one step closer to seeing the ‘Logan S. Palmer Post Office’ in Harristown,” U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said in a statement. “I am very happy my colleagues in the Senate unanimously passed this important legislation to honor one of America’s heroes.”

Davis introduced the resolution, H.R. 5935, in May and it passed the House on September 13. It officially designates the United States Postal Service facility located at 1355 N. Meridian Road in honor of Palmer, who was among the sailors killed last August when the USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker off the coast of Singapore.

“Designating this post office will not only honor Logan’s service, but also serve as a grave reminder of risks that our service members take on each day and the responsibilities we have to them as a country,” Davis said. “I was honored to sponsor this legislation and I look forward to President Trump signing this bill into law soon.”

Illinois Firearm Deer Season Opens

Illinois Firearm Deer Season Opens

November 16 – With the seven-day firearm season opening this weekend, deer hunters are reminded to focus on safety.

The season begins through Sunday, with a second round being held from November 28 through December 2.

“Our firearm deer weekends are Illinois’ most popular hunting season, and amid all the excitement of the season, we want to remind hunters that safe hunting is the best hunting,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal. “Illinois’ hunting safety record is a good one, but even one hunting incident involving injuries or fatalities is one too many.”

The IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, which administers the Illinois Hunter Safety Education Program, reports there were 19 hunting incidents last year during all seasons, three of which involved fatalities.  Ten of those incidents involved hunters falling from elevated tree stands or falling while climbing into or out of tree stands.

IDNR safety educators remind hunters using tree stands to use a Fall Arrest System safety harness. Nationally, more than 80 percent of reported tree stand incidents involve hunters who were not using a fall restraint system.

As additional precautions, hunters should check the harness, straps, ladder and other equipment to make sure they are in good working order. Hunters should also be aware of weather conditions that could make stands and steps slippery, and to have a mobile phone within reach to call for help if needed.

Hunters can review tree stand safety online at www.huntercourse.com/treestandsafety/

Safety educators and IDNR Conservation Police also remind everyone hunting with a firearm to:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, and never assume a firearm is unloaded;
  • Always point a firearm in a safe direction;
  • Be sure of the target, and make sure there are no other hunters, homes, buildings, vehicles or other animals beyond the target;
  • Keep their finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until they are ready to shoot.

Legal hunting hours for the firearm deer season are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Manar Welcomes Local Leadership Group to Springfield

Manar Welcomes Local Leadership Group to Springfield

November 16 – State Sen. Andy Manar welcomed members of the Decatur Leadership Institute to the state capital in Springfield on Wednesday.

DLI, a project of the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce, was established in 1985. Since its inception, the Chamber has been taking young business leaders to the capital to meet their representatives and senators.

The Institute’s goal is to develop citizen leaders to serve the Decatur and Macon County communities, create positive change in the community, strengthen relationships among future leaders and public servants, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at government, business and municipalities.

Manar updated the group about activity at the capital during the first week of the fall veto session.

Striglos Shows Off New First-Floor Showroom

Striglos Shows Off New First-Floor Showroom

November 15 – A business that has been around for a half century celebrated a special grand opening Thursday in downtown Decatur.

Office supplier Striglos showed off its new Business Solution Center on the first floor below its existing offices at 150 East William Street during a ribbon-cutting and business after-hours presented by the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce.

Owners Scott and Shannon Striglos thanked attendees for all the ventures the business has been on since the 1960s.

“When you’ve been around for over 50 years, you constantly have to reinvent yourself and move with the changing times,” said Shannon Striglos. “We’re remaining the same in that you get to know your salesperson and have somebody you can call, but we’re trying to be a little more forward-thinking with print management and IT resourcing.”

The showroom takes over the space formerly occupied by Haines & Essick, a prominent Decatur store for more than a century that had been owned by Striglos before it closed more than two years ago.

“We saw an opportunity. We had a lot of customers asking us to do this type of thing, so we just listened to them and made it happen,” said sales director Ryan Katt, who noted the renovation took about 11 months. “It’s going to be a huge impact. It brings a physical presence to what we do. We’ve always been an online and on the phone type of business and this lets our customers see who they’re speaking with.”

Chamber president Mirinda Rothrock touted Striglos as a “legacy business in our community,” while Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe said she was excited to see a family business thrive in the area.

“We’ve worked really hard to make our downtown a model, and other communities in the central part of the state are jealous,” said Moore Wolfe. “We do it so well because we have companies that invest in our downtown such as Striglos.”

Shannon Striglos agreed that the new showroom solidifies their commitment to the business district.

“We love downtown and we love Decatur. So to be able to evolve again and kind of remain the same with customer service being our focus, it’s exciting,” she said. “We wanted to remain a face in downtown Decatur. This revitalization, being down here and seeing parking spots full and restaurants full and shops with enthusiasm, it makes you want to be part of it.”



Hearing Officer Recommends Granting License to Arrow Ambulance

Hearing Officer Recommends Granting License to Arrow Ambulance

November 15 – A hearing officer again has recommended granting a license to Champaign-based Arrow Ambulance LLC, with the Decatur City Council set to vote on the matter at Monday’s meeting.

Steven Mahrt initially submitted a favorable recommendation in August, but the Council sent the issue to a second hearing in October following formal requests for additional testimony by HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital and Teamsters Local 916.

More than 20 witnesses testified over more than two hours during the second hearing.

In his supplemental report, Mahrt concluded “that adding another service provider will benefit the community.”

He also determined that Arrow, a not-for-profit entity owned and operated by Carle Foundation Hospital, “meets or will meet, as a condition of its license, all of the local requirements” of the city code that was amended this year to accommodate a second ambulance service.

Earlier this summer St. Mary’s acquired Decatur Ambulance Service, which has served the city since 1959.

H3H, Salvation Army Hosting Veterans’ Stand Down

H3H, Salvation Army Hosting Veterans’ Stand Down

November 15 – The annual Veterans’ Stand Down event hosted by the Heroes Helping Heroes Foundation is set for Friday.

Now in its 10th year, the Stand Down will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Salvation Army’s Community Center.

It features more than 30 human service agencies providing resources and information regarding health, benefits, financial aid, housing, employment, legal aid, mental health, substance abuse, children’s services, tax assistance and more.

The event is open only to people who have served in the armed forces and is sponsored in part by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

For more information, contact Lucy Brownlee at 1-217-201-3625 or Kyle Karsten at 1-217-428-4672 ext. 104.

Millikin’s Empty Chili Bowl Fundraiser Set for Friday

Millikin’s Empty Chili Bowl Fundraiser Set for Friday

November 15 – The annual “Empty Chili Bowl” fundraiser at Millikin University will be held Friday in the University Commons.

Millikin art students will be selling ceramic chili bowls for $10 each from 5-7 p.m. in the Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Room on the building’s third floor, with all sales benefiting the Good Samaritan Inn.

Chili, both regular and vegetarian, will be served, as well as drinks and desserts. Music from the Millikin Big Bluegrass Band will be featured. The fundraiser is free and open to the public. All chili bowl sales are cash only.

For more information, contact Jennifer Holt at 1-217-420-6639 or by email at jholt@millikin.edu.

UPDATE: Coroner IDs Man Who Died After Being Struck by Pickup Truck

UPDATE: Coroner IDs Man Who Died After Being Struck by Pickup Truck

November 14 – A 48-year-old Decatur man died Wednesday after he was struck by a pickup truck near the intersection of East Eldorado and North 24th Street.

According to the Decatur Police Department, officers responded to the area shortly before noon and discovered that the full-size pickup driven by a 55-year-old Decatur man struck a pedestrian standing near the intersection.

Macon County Coroner Michael Day has identified the victim as Larry C. Williams. He died in the Decatur Memorial Hospital emergency room from massive generalized head and torso trauma.

An initial investigation determined the pickup was traveling east while Williams was standing on the sidewalk on 24th Street, south of Eldorado. The vehicle left the roadway to the south and the driver was unable to maintain control, continuing through the boulevard and front yards on the south side of the block and striking the victim.

Williams was transported to DMH by Decatur Ambulance Service but succumbed to his injuries. Routine toxicology tests and an inquest are pending.

Members of the Fatal Accident Investigation Team responded to the scene. Eastbound Eldorado was reduced to one lane and 24th Street was shut down for approximately three hours.

No other information was available.