Champaign council backs honorary street designations
CHAMPAIGN — Two more Champaign community members are worthy of honorary street designations, city council members said on Tuesday.
Bishop Edward T. McGhee and former Central High School student Keegan Bannon will both be recognized with their own street signs. The city council unanimously supported the designations in straw polls on Tuesday and will have to finalize their approval in an upcoming regular session meeting.
McGhee is the pastor at the Church of the Apostolic Authority at 400 W. Bradley Ave. in Champaign. His honorary street will run just outside the church, on Bradley Avenue between State and Elm streets.
Lisa Fielder, a minister at the church, submitted that application and had kinds words to tell city council members on Tuesday night.
"He's an awesome pastor," Fielder said. "He's been a help to me and my family and so many others."
Fielder also collected letters of support for the designation from Ladine Shelby, Franklin Middle School Assistant Principal Renayee Westfield and Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh.
"He does these things because it's in his heart to give and to give to others," Fielder said.
In a second straw poll, council members also said they want to name Plymouth Drive between Galen and Harrington drives for Keegan Bannon.
The Central senior died suddenly in 2010. The street is near the Bannons' home and where he used to practice tennis for the high school team.
Champaign resident Jim Creighton spoke on the family's behalf Tuesday night.
"Keegan was an absolutely remarkable young man," Creighton said. "I knew him since birth, spoke to him the day before he died. It seemed like he just touched everybody who he came in contact with. If you did, you remembered him."
Mayor Don Gerard said the honorary street is meant to recognize not only Bannon's dedication to the community, but his entire family and the community that rallied around them after his death.
"I think this is an outstanding opportunity for the city to recognize not only Keegan Bannon, but the entire family and the entire community," Gerard said.