Daily dose: Local histor(ies), Republican convention outlook and for once, a wet month

Daily dose: Local histor(ies), Republican convention outlook and for once, a wet month

Local history

From Saturday ...

In 1912, at least 200 people were in the crowd today for the laying of the cornerstone at the new Holy Cross Church and School at Elm and White streets in Champaign. The laying of the cornerstone was done by the Rev. James Shannon, vicar general of the Peoria Diocese. The stone was hung from a derrick about 8 inches above its final resting space. Shannon was handed a trowel full of mortar which he placed in position below the stone. He then sprinkled it with holy water and read a Latin ritual. Following the laying of the stone, Father W.E. Frawley, pastor of the new parish, made a short address of welcome and explanation.

In 1962, Gene Fuller, a Villa Grove High School freshman, was electrocuted during football practice Saturday morning when he came into contact with a restraining cable on which a live wire from a light pole had fallen. Other players attempted to remove the young man from the cable but received shocks when they came in contact with his body. The Douglas County coroner said he believed the youth died almost immediately after coming into contact with the cable.

From Sunday  ....

In 1912, Mrs. John Ely, 706 W. White St., Champaign, did what no X-ray machine could do: pull a 2 1/2-inch long splinter from her foot, relieving her of pain she had suffered since Feb. 14. Mrs. Ely ran the splinter into her foot by scuffing up a sliver of flooring in a grocery store on Valentine’s Day. The sharp piece of wood penetrated the sole of her new shoe. A few weeks ago, Mrs. Ely submitted to an X-ray examination. Two views were taken but they failed to show anything. But this morning, she said the sharp piece of wood worked itself almost to the surface and she extracted it with little effort.

In 1962, a tour of the new Broadmeadow Grade School in Rantoul was conducted by Superintendent J.W. Eater. The $816,000 school will open in September. It has facilities for 750 to 800 students. Pupils who have been attending classes in six classrooms at Chanute Air Force Base will move to the new school. This is the sixth building project in the Rantoul City Schools since 1950.

Today ...

In 1912, conductor John Phillips of Urbana was released from the McLean County Jail this morning after a coroner’s jury ruled that the shooting death of Lee Wrighthouse on the Big Four Railroad was a case of self-defense. Phillips told police that Wrighthouse and other men kept jumping onto the train, and were throwing rocks at him. He eventually fired a shot to frighten the men and did not think he had struck a man until the sheriff met him when the train stopped in Bloomington.


In 1962, swimming at the Centennial Park Pool in Champaign will continue until cold weather forces its closure, said Edgar Bain, pool manager. As of Monday morning, pool attendance had reached 128,164 this summer. Beginning Sept. 4, the pool will be open 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Republican convention expectations

From Sunday's N-G column ....

The Illinois delegation to this week’s Republican National Convention includes Champaign County Republican Party Chairman Habeeb Habeeb, attending his first convention, and former Gov. Jim Edgar, who is going to his ninth.

Edgar, a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, is an at-large delegate, having been chosen at the state party convention last month.

“They called and asked if I wanted to be an at-large delegate, and I said yes,” he said. “I’m not sure we’ll be down there for all four days. Plus I think it’s going to rain most of the time we’re there so I’m going to bring a couple of books.

“Someone said the problem is that we’re 45 minutes away from the convention center. But I think that’s fine. The real fun is what’s going around the hotel. That’s where the politicking will be going on. This is where the beginning of the 2014 election starts, at the 2012 convention.”

Habeeb expects wall-to-wall activity, even though he’s only an alternate delegate for Romney.

“I’m really looking forward to the whole experience,” Habeeb said. “I’ve met some of these people before, so that will be good. But I’m most intrigued by the interaction and the wheeling and dealing. You don’t get many chances to go to a convention so this will be a good opportunity to see how the national platform works, and what happens during the convention and how they arrive at things. I guess I’m most interested in what happens behind the scenes.”

Like Edgar, he expects that a lot of groundwork will be laid at the convention for Illinois’ 2014 election.

“I’m sure that because all of the Illinois delegation will be in one place, all attending similar events, that it will be a big networking deal and people will be testing the waters,” he said.

Jan Miller of Urbana, a former Champaign County GOP chairman, will be going to only his second convention. He’s a full Romney delegate, replacing state Rep. Bill Mitchell, who is unable to attend.

“I am really getting excited about the campaign and our prospects in November,” Miller said. “And I think this convention will be great. I think I’m most excited about hearing from so many great speakers.”

Miller’s only other convention experience was the 1976 meeting in Kansas City.
“I was a (Gerald) Ford guy and as a college graduation present my parents gave me $200 to go to the convention,” he said. “I wasn’t there in any official capacity, just to observe. I had a great time.”

Incidentally there are a couple of notable absences from the convention. Neither U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, or 13th Congressional District candidate Rodney Davis of Taylorville, are attending the meeting.


Wet month

For the first time since January, Champaign-Urbana is experiencing a month with above average preciptation.

Sunday's official rainfall total of 2.07 inches put the August monthly total at 5.56 inches -- about an inch and a half above the August normal of 3.93 inches.

The 2.07 inches at the Illinois State Water Survey was low when compared to some observations in northern Champaign County. A weather spotter northeast of Mahomet reported 2.71 inches; a spotter in far northeasten Champaign County reported 3.6 inces.








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