Looking back for March 20: Dennis Weaver stops in Charleston to promote McGovern for president | Lifestyles
MATTOON — The decided drop in temperature over the past 24 hours, while decidedly uncomfortable, has nothing to do with March weather 39 years ago, according to Big Four Railroad engineer Paul Rider. According to Mr. Rider, who at the time was firing on the Big Four, an eight-car shipment of “longhorn” cattle from Texas was received by the Big Four in East St. Louis on March 18, 1883, and headed for Buffalo, NY The cattle were shipped in open railcars and were in fairly serious condition when received as the temperature had dropped a few degrees below zero. By the time the train reached Mattoon it was 32 degrees below zero. Each of the eight wagonloads of cattle had frozen to death. The dead cattle were taken east of the Big Four store yards and burned… CHARLESTON – Miss Corinne West, tied for four years to St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago, has been chosen superintendent of Charleston Hospital. She took up her new post at the end of last week. Miss West fills the position left vacant by the resignation of Allen, who leaves in a few days for Pennsylvania, where she obtained a position as a special tuberculosis nurse… URBANA – Centralia won the high school basketball championship of State by beating Atwood 24-16 in a thrilling game on Saturday night. Atwood’s defense cracked in the final period and the fast southern quintet was able to claim first-basket honors among Illinois prep schools. The loss was the only loss of the season for Atwood’s team. Atwood reached the championship game by defeating Peoria in the semi-finals. Rockford, which lost to Centralia in the two-day four-team event, beat Peoria to take third place.
MATTOON — Actor Dennis Weaver, formerly of “Gunsmoke” and now starring in “McCloud,” ventured into the realm of politics on Saturday as he made a brief appearance on behalf of the presidential hopeful Democrat, Senator George McGovern. Weaver spoke at a press conference in Charleston, then met shoppers at Cross County Mall in Mattoon. Weaver noted that he supports McGovern because the senator “says everything I wish I could say” and feels it’s his duty… MATTOON – An undetermined amount of smoke and water damage occurred during the a fire at the Kroger Family Center east of Mattoon on Sunday. The alarm was received by the Mattoon Fire Department at 4.20pm after a fire was discovered in an office storage area in the northeast section of the store. Firefighters said smoke filled the entire building, although actual fire damage was considered minimal… MATTOON – Polio vaccination clinics will be held in the Mattoon School District on March 23 and May 18 for those who will be entering kindergarten next fall and who have never been vaccinated. Other children currently in school who have never been vaccinated can also attend the clinic. The clinics are free and will take place at Jefferson Junior High. Mrs Ruth Luckey, a school nurse, said additional clinics will be held in April so that pupils who have had the first two doses of the polio vaccine can receive a booster.
CHARLESTON — Lawyers representing the City of Charleston filed a motion in court yesterday asking that a lawsuit stemming from last year’s drownings at the Lake Charleston Spillway be dismissed. Mattoon attorneys Steve Corn and Richard Hayden are representing the city in a lawsuit brought by the family of Joseph Bee, one of two college students who drowned at the weir on May 9, 1996. Bee, 21, of Springfield and Tim Fix, 23, of Plainfield both drowned while swimming near the weir. The lawsuit filed by Springfield attorney David Drake on behalf of Bee’s father, Tom, said the city should have been aware of the unsafe conditions at the spillway and the dangers warranting fencing and warning signs… MATTOON – Appearance of the Mattoon Police Dispatch Room is changed, but not the service provided. Mattoon Police will continue to staff the station 24 hours a day, every day, and provide services, including dispatch if needed, Police Chief Dave O’Dell said. The goal is to assist and complement Coles County’s new central 911 dispatch system, O’Dell said. Police are not competing with 911 for dispatch service, he said. Mattoon Police are beginning an approximately six-week project to implement a “side channel” dispatch system and monitor the Town Hall layout.