Area history, Feb. 17, 2014

Today is Monday, Feb.17, 2014. News reports from this date in history:

In 1914, the Park Theatre has installed a beautiful pipe organ, manufactured by the Hinners Organ Co. of Pekin. It is a two manual organ and is modern in every respect, capable of many combinations that will delight the music lovers of the twin cities. Patrons of the Park will have the opportunity to hear the organ Thursday when music especially composed for Kleine's masterpiece, "The Last Days of Pompeii," will be played by the organist, Cyril Dadswell, of Chicago. Dadswell is an English cathedral organist of note.

In 1964, a statewide search by law enforcement was under way for Robert Fosdick, 21, of Champaign, who leaped to freedom from a second floor cell block at the DeWitt County Jail in Clinton. Fosdick is wanted in Champaign County on two warrants for alleged rape and another for attempted rape. Fosdick reportedly crawled out of his jail cell after sawing away a lower bar with hacksaw blades that apparently had been slipped to him.

In 1999, nearly 2,000 teachers would be hired to give Illinois schoolchildren more attention under a $60 million proposal in Gov. George Ryan's fiscal year 2000 budget. But the budget does not include money to build the classrooms necessary to house those teachers and their smaller classes.

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