Area history, Jan. 13, 2018

Area history, Jan. 13, 2018

Today is Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1918, a snowstorm stranded Illinois Central Railroad passengers in Champaign. Some stayed on their trains, which were warm and comfortable, while others sought refuge in local hotels. A Kankakee & Urbana Traction Co. car was embedded in a snowdrift 2 miles south of Paxton and another was caught 2 miles north of Urbana. Champaign stores closed at 6 p.m. on a Saturday for the first time in many years.

In 1968, officers and employees of Busey First National Bank were to observe the bank's 100th anniversary with an open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Bank President James R. Klassen said the staff was anxious to share the celebration with customers and friends.

In 2003, the widow of slain Vermilion County Sheriff's Deputy Myron Deckard was devastated by outgoing Gov. George Ryan's decision to commute the sentences of all inmates on Illinois' death row, including the death sentence of the man convicted of killing her husband. Barbara Deckard said she was upset that Ryan did not consider the sentences on a case-by-case basis. "This is a travesty of justice," she said. Ryan, who left the governor's office that day, announced in a speech at Northwestern University's law school that he was commuting the sentences of 167 inmates on death row, because the system was "haunted by error."

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