The Lincoln Depot reopened Tuesday after a $4 million renovation, part of a multiyear project that showcases restored windows, doors and the original ticket counter with a scale once used to weigh luggage.
Four other stories you should read are jury finds Lovington man guilty of reckless driving in injury incident, South Shores School chess club makes its move, Decatur City Council OKs deficit budget and federal judge dismisses Coles County assessment lawsuit.
Renovated Lincoln Depot reopens
As a youth growing up on the north side of Lincoln, Bill Gossett spent a lot of time in the Lincoln Depot.
“I had a paper route for The Pantagraph,” he said. “At 4:30 or 5 in the morning, the train would bring the papers south from Bloomington. The paper carriers would unload them off of the baggage car, fold them, and deliver them.”
Gossett, now 94, was among an estimated 200 people who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday to celebrate renovations to the station in downtown Lincoln. The depot was built in 1911.
Jury finds driver was reckless
A jury found Myles McGonigle guilty of aggravated reckless driving causing great bodily harm on Tuesday, returning a verdict after less than two hours of deliberations.
The charge, a Class 4 felony, stems from a November 2015 collision with a pedestrian. Prosecutors said McGonigle, 51, a cosmetology instructor from Lovington, was working evenings and had been driving to get dinner when his van hit pedestrian Anthony Johnson as he crossed U.S. 36 at East Prairie Avenue on the city's east side.
South Shores chess club making all the right moves
Playing in your first chess tournament can be nerve-wracking.
“I was so proud of Raezhane,” said Joshua Fazekas, South Shores School's social worker and coach of the chess team, speaking of fourth-grader Raezhane Jones. “The game went an hour and a half, and she didn't lose until the last few moves.”
Until those last few moves at the Nov. 11 tournament in Peoria, the outcome could have gone the other way, he said.
The South Shores Superstars Chess Club began last March as a good-behavior incentive, Fazekas said, but more students have wanted to join as word gets around about how much fun the students have been having.
City council OKs deficit budget to send message
The Decatur City Council hopes it sent a message to state lawmakers Monday night, approving a 2018 budget that runs a $3.2 million deficit: Their actions in passing a state budget will have serious consequences locally.
The council voted 5-2 to approve the $67.9 million spending plan, with more discussions expected to occur in the coming months about ways to generate new revenue or make cuts to city services.
Federal judge dismisses Coles County assessment suit
Saying federal courts shouldn't address an issue that can be settled in state court, a judge dismissed a lawsuit a group filed against Coles County for its handling of a reassessment project.
U.S. District Judge Colin Bruce made the ruling Monday on the suit that sought an end to the reassessment project and a refund of what the opponents said was excessive taxes they paid because of it.
The group's attorney indicated on Tuesday that an appeal is likely.