The University of Illinois, much to the consternation of some smokers, goes fully smoke-free on Jan. 1.
That means no smoking indoors or outdoors, or even in your car parked on university property.
Imagine how the doctors at the McKinley Health Center — then called the McKinley Hospital — in 1964 would feel about this advancement.
They thought they were pushing the no-smoking boundary 50 years ago when they had a cigarette vending machine removed from the first floor of the hospital during the UI’s winter break.
While students were away, they voted to remove the vending machine from a first floor public area. The vote was prompted, said UI Health Services Director Dr. Orville Walters, by an appeal from Dr. Paul Holinger, a prominent surgeon and a top official with the American Cancer Society.
Holinger, according to Walters, said the sale of cigarettes in the health center implied the sanction of their use.
The UI physicians noted that cigarette vending machines had been removed months earlier from the UI hospitals and medical facilities in Chicago.
“As physicians we feel an obligation to be consistent about it,” said Walters, who observed that instructors in UI hygiene classes advised students not to smoke cigarettes.
— The Yes for Independents Maps group, which hopes to get a constitutional amendment in support of a citizens legislative redistricting plan on the statewide ballot next November, is revving up its fundraising effort. Since Oct. 1, the committee has raised $622,300.
But it continues to rely on big-money, Chicago area donors for nearly all of its fundraising, at least that of $1,000 or more.
Since Oct. 1, all of its campaign donations but for $28,000 have come from contributors either in Chicago or in the northern Chicago suburbs. The biggest exception was a $25,000 contribution from the Illinois Manufacturers Association in Springfield. Among the other donors: $10,000 from Jerry Reinsdorf, owner and chairman of the Chicago White Sox.
— Jane Quinlan of Champaign, regional superintendent of schools for Champaign and Ford counties, apparently will be unopposed for another term. Quinlan, a Republican, is the only candidate to file as a candidate for the office.
— Ford County Judge Steve Pacey, who is stepping down from the bench on Dec. 31, closed out his campaign account last week. He had $516.63 remaining and used it to pay down some of the $24,500 in campaign debt he had been carrying since 1998.
— There’s still time to enter a raffle to benefit the East Lawn Cemetery on North Cunningham Avenue in Urbana, which had a $12,000 riding mower stolen earlier this year. American Legion Post 71 in Urbana is selling $10 raffle tickets until a drawing on Jan. 11. The grand prize winner gets a Colt AR-15 M4A1 rifle and a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 pistol.
Tom Kacich is a News-Gazette editor and columnist. He can be reached at 351-5221 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.