Go figure, July 4, 2018

Go figure, July 4, 2018

A numerical look at local headlines, by Editor JEFF D'ALESSIO:

209

Flattering words officially entered into the Congressional Record to describe the remarkable life of News-Gazette Editor Emeritus JOHN FOREMAN, who passed away Saturday at age 65.

Co-authoring the tribute: U.S. Reps. RODNEY DAVIS and JOHN SHIMKUS, who wrote in part: "John loved everything about working at The News-Gazette. He loved local journalism and knew better than anyone the importance of the relationship between a community and its newspaper. To many, he embodied the spirit of everything The News-Gazette stands for."

Read Mr. Foreman's obituary here.

1761

The year the newest member of Urbana's Legacy Tree club — a bur oak — is believed to have sprouted from the ground in the original forested area known as Big Grove.

It's a beauty for its age (ratings of excellent for structural condition, very good overall); it's a behemoth (98 feet tall with a crown spread of 108 feet); and it's no stranger to awards (the International Society of Arboriculture named it one of 50 bicentennial trees in the country in 1976).

See it for yourself at 1904 E. Main St.

48

Years ago that a young LAUREL PRUSSING, new to town and attending her first Champaign County Fourth of July parade, took note of a group of women marching in the name of the environment.

"It was HIPs — Housewives Interested in Pollution Solutions — started by the late BARBARA ANDERSON at the urging of BRUCE HANNON," says the former Urbana mayor, who was inspired to drop by one of their meetings.

That led to her helping launch two recycling businesses, selling city and state officials on the idea of charging a deposit on beverage containers, and in 1972 being convinced to run for the county board, which was being reorganized under the new state constitution.

"There was a great amount of interest in that election because of the newly structured board, which had formerly consisted of all the township supervisors — all men and all white," she says.

That changed quickly, with the top four vote-getters all women, including three — Prussing, JEAN-MARIE WYLD and AMY KUMMEROW — who became the board's first female members.

Says a proud Prussing: "The News-Gazette reported: 'Faculty Wives Sweep Incumbents from Office.' ... After that, it was OK for women to run."