THUMBS UP! To Mister Softee. After a spate of disappointing closures at Nelson Park, it makes us smile to know Mister Softee ice cream will be sold in a permanent location there next summer. A Decatur favorite, Mister Softee will take the place of the closed Ted's Taters. The park district is still looking for a replacement for the site of the closed CherryBerry at the complex. At least one of the vacancies is being filled by a proven winner. The projected opening date is April 1.
THUMBS DOWN! To fake news. We've received an up-close look at how it happens and what the fallout is in the case of Christian County GOP chairman Seth McMillan. A Facebook ad for McMillan's Illinois Senate campaign said incumbent state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, voted in favor of energy legislation that was part of a deal last year to keep the Clinton nuclear power plant open. Manar voted against the legislation. McMillan said he had the ad taken down when he realized the error. But Manar has found the solution is not that easy. Constituents have seen the ad, contacted the senator, and rejected the roll call evidence of his vote. "They would call me a liar, (saying) 'If it wasn't true, it wouldn't be on Facebook,' " Manar said. Manar at one point created a response ad, but after 24 hours it was stopped by Facebook. “According to them,” Manar said, “it 'violated our policy to referencing another paid ad.' " Manar said there's no way to challenge the issue in the courts without a viable way to track the appearance of the ad. Which does not exist. This case is a small example of a huge problem. The solution to this will not be easy, and may be impossible.
THUMBS UP! To Boo at the Zoo. Scovill Zoo's long-standing tradition, Boo at the Zoo has been captivating children and adults since 1984. Like Decatur Celebration, volunteers in their 20s weren't born yet when the event started. Weather cooperated this year and almost doubled the opening-night crowd. Boo at the Zoo continues through the end of October, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
THUMBS DOWN! To speeders and distracted drivers. Bad behavior behind the wheel is an easy thing to condemn. But holding a mirror to our own carelessness is also a reminder to endeavor to do better. Decatur police say speeding plays a role in accidents, including hundreds annually at our most dangerous intersections. Let's all resolve to slow down, pay attention and do exactly what we all have been taught and told repeatedly – drive defensively.
THUMBS UP! To Dove Inc.'s annual candle lighting ceremony. The event helps turn negatives into positives. Those who suffer from domestic violence must be remembered and commemorated. Those who survive and escape and are able to reconstruct their lives need to be celebrated. As is the case with the WSOY Community Food Drive, we wish this was an annual event we could conclude. But as long at the need is there, we're thankful Dove Inc. is around, and we appreciate this ceremony as it extends through its fourth decade.