Neuhoff Media hosting Lady Palooza

Neuhoff Media hosting Lady Palooza

March 30 – Women are enjoying a shopping night out at the Mt. Zion Convention Center for Lady Palooza today.


The Spring 2017 Lady Palooza, hosted by Neuhoff Media Decatur and Staley Credit Union, features over 70 vendors that offer products such as jewelry, make-up, weight loss products, boutique clothing, and much more.  The event continues until 7 p.m. tonight.  Neuhoff Director of Sales Kathy Byerly says this unique event provides everything ladies could want.


“You don’t often get over 70 businesses in one place that all cater to women,” Byerly said.  “There is everything from clothes, candles, jewelry, and Decatur Memorial Hospital is here doing thyroid screenings.  It’s a fun time.”


Shopping bags are provided by Brettwood Village Shopping Center.  The event is free to attend.


Adult beverages are available for purchase and the Beach House is offering appetizers, too.


The event is being held at the Mt. Zion Convention Center, located at 1400 Mt. Zion Parkway.

Illinois internet privacy plans OK’d by committee

Illinois internet privacy plans OK’d by committee

March 30 – An Illinois House committee has backed legislation meant to enhance internet privacy rights at a time when federal protections are being rolled back.


The Cybersecurity, Data Analytics & IT Committee endorsed two privacy measures to meet a Thursday deadline, though the Democratic committee chairman said many issues remain to be debated.


One of the approved measures would allow consumers to request information on them that companies like Google and Facebook collect. The other would require apps to get consumer permission before tracking user locations.


Privacy advocates say such protections are needed, particularly with Republicans in Washington poised to roll back privacy regulations issued during the final months of the Obama administration.


Technology industry representatives argue the legislation would overburden businesses.


Source: AP

DMCOC scheduling LIHEAP appointments tomorrow

DMCOC scheduling LIHEAP appointments tomorrow

March 30 – You can start filling out your applications for the LIHEAP program, and take the first step at getting some monetary assistance towards your heating bill.


The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is designed to help out local residents that need a little help, and the Decatur Macon County Opportunities Corporation (DMCOC) will be scheduling appointments to determine who gets some grant money starting Friday, March 31.


Applications will be taken at the Decatur Civic Center from 7-9 a.m., or until all appointments are filled.  Additionally, they will be making appointments over the phone beginning at 8:30 a.m.


DMCOC will be assisting as many people as they can until funds are exhausted.  Appointments will be made on a first come, first serve basis and there can be only one appointment per residence.


For over the phone appointments or if you need any additional information, you can call the DMCOC at 217-428-2193.

Arts Council making final call for mural proposals

Arts Council making final call for mural proposals

March 30 – The Decatur Area Arts Council is making the final call for artists to submit proposals for mural projects.


The council is continuing the Decatur Mural Project, which began in 2012.  So far, three murals have been completed.  One depicts the Commodore Stephen Decatur and is located on the side of Central Illinois Title Co.  A mural dedicated to the Chicago Bears/Decatur Staleys is on the west side of 111 E Main Street.  The final mural is a tribute to Bob Marley and is on the side of GB’s Record Shop.


The council has identified three new locations where murals are set to go up.  Arts Council Executive Director Jerry Johnson says they are asking for design submissions.


“We don’t have any strict criteria for designs,” Johnson explains in a December interivew.  “We prefer that they have a positive message and that they be simple and graphical in nature because it makes them easier to pay.  We certainly recommend the artist consider the location, the size and shape of the wall, and the businesses around it, but we don’t dictate any specific content.”


The three new locations are: 100 block of S Oakwood (East side of street – Garcia’s Pizza building), 200 block of W. Main St (replace the current pot and bamboo mural), and 730 E Cerro Gordo St. (East wall of Ken’s Aquarium and Pet Supply).


Artists can submit more than one design.  Submissions are due by March 31, 2017.


For more information on the requirements, you can click here.

Decatur Tribune announces endorsements

Decatur Tribune announces endorsements

March 30 – Decatur Tribune Publisher Paul Osborne is announcing the paper’s endorsements for the April 4 Consolidated Election.


Osborne says they are endorsing Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe for another term as Decatur Mayor.  Osborne says it should be “no surprise” that he is endorsing Moore Wolfe.


“I’m not voting for her because she is a long-time friend, or was supportive of me when I was mayor, but because of her perspective on, and growth in, the office since she was selected by council to serve as mayor…” Osborne wrote in the Tribune.


For Decatur City Council, the Tribune is supporting Chris Riley, Chuck Kuhle, and Pat McDaniel.  Joining Byers & Co. this morning, Osborne says they are the strongest candidates.


“McDaniel disagrees at times, and that doesn’t hurt the council as long as you respect your position and respect the mayor and I think Pat does that,” Osborne says.  “I’ve known Chris Riley since he was a kid.  He has financial background and he also has experience working with the public.  And then Chuck Kuhle – he has no agenda.  Chuck just wants to serve the community.”


Osborne is not making endorsements for any other race.

Underwood wants to bring experience to Richland board

Underwood wants to bring experience to Richland board

March 30 – Jim Underwood is seeking one of three open seats on the Richland Community College Board of Trustees.


Joining Byers & Co. this morning, Underwood spoke about his campaign and his interest in being a trustee.  Underwood says he has always had an interest in Richland.  He served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Capitol Development Board and he saw similarities between projects there and projects at Richland.


“I was the director of the Capitol Development Board and we had construction projects at Richland and all over the state,” Underwood says.  “I visited probably half of the 48 community colleges and that also piqued my interest.  Then this year, no one was stepping up; no one filed with a couple of days to go so I thought the time is right.”


Underwood is seeking a six-year term.  He’s challenged by incumbents Bruce Campbell and Wayne Dunning, and Melinda Westwater.


You can find the full Byers & Co. interview with Underwood here.

Campbell seeks re-election to Richland board

Campbell seeks re-election to Richland board

March 30 – Incumbent candidate for the Richland Community College Board of Trustees Bruce Campbell says there have been leadership changes at the college and he wants to continue watching those from within.


Joining Byers & Co. this morning, Campbell spoke about his bid for re-election and about the issues the community college faces.  Campbell says he is seeking re-election to the board because he feels it’s appropriate for him to continue the work that is already underway.


“With the transition going on from former President Dr. Gayle Saunders to Dr. Cris Valdez, it seemed appropriate to see the transition complete,” Campbell says.  “We have really high hopes for the things in the future that Richland can do not only for the immediate area but for the entire district.”


Campbell has been elected to the Board of Trustees twice and he is seeking another six-year term.  Campbell currently serves as the board president.


Other candidates you’ll see on the ballot include incumbent Wayne Dunning, and Jim Underwood and Melinda Westwater.


You can find the full Byers & Co. interview with Campbell here.

Millikin students to test run downtown coffee shop next week

Millikin students to test run downtown coffee shop next week

March 30 – A group of business students at Millikin University are trying to launch a new coffee shop downtown Decatur.


Blue Brew Coffee Shop will soon debut for a short time in an open store front inside the Hickory Point Bank building.  The Millikin students are attempting a test run to see how the community responds.  Aric Hopp is one of the students bringing the shop downtown.  He says this is part of a school project that could turn into a fulltime business.


“Blue Brew is a performance-learning project where we are doing a one week pop-up shop to test market feasibility,” Hopp explains.  “We want to see if it’s doable to have a coffee shop downtown and the ultimate goal is to come out of this with enough sales and data to prove that yes we can have a shop there.”


Hopp says the coffee shop could turn into a student-run venture.  He is working closely with fellow students Carson Jones, Jesse Sargeant, and Martel McGee.  The students will offer a basic, limited menu next week.


Blue Brew will sell their Basic Blue, an Ethiopian house blend; Artisan blend, a premium Columbia and Nicaragua blend; Black Iced Tea, and muffins.


Blue Brew will be open April 3-7 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.


More information can be found here.

Johns Hill hosting art fair Friday

Johns Hill hosting art fair Friday

March 30 – Johns Hill Magnet School is hosting their art and culture fair this Friday night, showcasing projects representing over 20 different countries.


Students will be providing food samples and they’ll be wearing clothing from some of their native lands.  Johns Hill has students from 22 different countries.  You’ll get to experience henna tattoos, learn to sketch superheroes, make origami art, and enjoy dances from the student Hispanic Culture Club.


Dinner will be available for purchase.  The fair takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Johns Hill Gym and Cafeteria on Friday, March 31.

Decatur celebrates Boys & Girls Club Week

Decatur celebrates Boys & Girls Club Week

March 30 – It’s National Boys & Girls Club Week and the Decatur community is celebrating the club’s impact on kids.


The Boys & Girls Club of Decatur is hosting fun events this week to celebrate.  Wednesday was the Celebration of Greatness.  The event featured community leaders speaking to the kids and families, a performance, and refreshments.  The club’s Shamika Bond says the club is really great for the community.


“Our biggest mission value here is to make sure all kids reach their full potential,” Bond says.  “This is like a week-long birthday for us.  We wanted to get some great people to come speak to our children and encourage them.”


Tuesday was carnival day to encourage kids to be themselves and not be rushed to grow up.  The Celebration of Greatness was to inspire kids about where they can end up.  The club is also hosting a prom to give kids something to do and take them off the streets.  And Friday is the all-star basketball game between some local Boys & Girls Club alumni and current club members.


You can learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of Decatur here.