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OUR VIEW: Thumbs up! Thumbs down!

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Low turnout on early Tuesday at the Macon County Clerks Office. Visit to see a video about voter turnout.

THUMBS UP! And welcome back to Scovill Zoo. As was the case with most gathering spots, the zoo lost its 2020 season to COVID-19. The zoo will be open with safety protocols in place, including limited attendance, social distancing. "But at least we'll be open," said Lizzie Van Ert, the zoo's education and volunteer director. We expect and eagerly anticipate a lot of people will be saying the same thing about a lot of different returns this spring and summer.

THUMBS DOWN! To what may be a sign of a third COVID-19 wave. Illinois cases have begun to trend upward again. The bad news: The numbers may delay Illinois' entry to its bridge COVID recovery program. The good news: The numbers are still far below the post-Christmas spike. The best news: A vaccine is available, and more people are receiving it daily.

THUMBS UP! To the response the public gave in honor of Illinois State Police Trooper Todd Hanneken. Volunteers helped set up 2,000 flags in advance of Hanneken's funeral. Hanneken, who died in a single-car crash, was a 1994 graduate of Mount Zion High School. His family released a touching statement, advising that we, among other things, “prioritize what matters.”

THUMBS UP! To a new event. The Decatur Parks Foundation and The Decatur Area Arts Council have partnered together in creating the Devon On Tap Decatur Craft Beer and Music Festival scheduled for Aug. 28 at the Devon Lakeshore Amphitheater. The venue is large enough to hold the growing festival, which has overflowed on downtown Decatur streets in earlier events. The Devon also allows the event to feature local bands, which are to be announced.

THUMBS UP! To earth dodging a 1,100-foot bullet. NASA has announced the asteroid Apophis, a 1,100-foot asteroid, will steer clear of the earth for 100 years. The asteroid’s travels indicated the possibilities of 2029, 2036 and 2068 impacts on the earth. The first two were eliminated as risks some time ago, and NASA eliminated the 2068 possibility.


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