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THUMBS UP! To the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois, and its honorees. Caterpillar Inc. was awarded Campaign of the Year and Anne Snyder was named volunteer of the year at United Way's annual meeting. One of the pillars of United Way is how individuals' work benefit the whole. Those winners, and those who received other honors from the United Way, are prime examples.

THUMBS UP! To Scovill Zoo. The zoo has expanded reasons to go to it, and it's now another Decatur hot spot for art. The latest addition is a contribution from Millikin student artists. "Stories" will appear on the 20-foot "Learning Curve" sculpture. The curved steel LED sculpture at the entrance of the zoo, installed in 2017, is designed to display images and animations over a square pool of water. 

THUMBS DOWN! To recent celebrity deaths. Tim Conway, who became that rare entertainer who literally made generations laugh, between “McHale's Navy,” “The Carol Burnett Show,” Dorf and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Peggy Lipton had similar longevity, between “The Mod Squad” and “Twin Peaks.” And Doris Day started as a singer, became the nation's top box office attraction from the mid-50s to the early-60s, and devoted the latter part of her life to animal welfare. We all will join them at some point, of course. But it's also true that we're a little sadder and a little reminded of our own age as we observe the passing of those who have entertained us.

THUMBS UP! To the Symetra Tour fulfilling its promise to make this year's final Forsyth Classic women's professional golf tournament a memorable one. What’s likely the final Forsyth Classic will be a big draw for its top players. Symetra's $65,000 addition to the purse means the tournament will now be among the top six purses on the schedule with $200,000 in total prize money, including $30,000 to the winner. The longest-running tournament in the women's developmental tour, the final Classic will be the 35th.

THUMBS UP! To University of Illinois athletic bosses remembering Decatur. The third annual Illini Celebration Dinner featured football coach Lovie Smith, who was greeted enthusiastically. We thank the local sponsors and individuals who made the event possible, and we're glad university figures recognize Macon County. Macon County is the university's No. 3 ticket-buying area, behind Champaign and Chicago. This visit was also a share of thanks back from them.

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