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From the Editor

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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
July 20 2017
Our thanks to Rich Farr
Normal Township honored retired supervisor Rich Farr and three former trustees, Mel Schultz, Randy Schaab and Rich Phillips, Friday at the ARC, the senior activity and recreation center in Normal. Rich spent 16 years as supervisor and capped it off with a crowning achievement--the ARC building that has been so popular it now has over 3,000 members.
Rich saw the need for such a facility as he noted the popularity of the programs the township operated at ISSCS, the former children’s school and home in Normal. The Town of Normal owned the building and Heartland Theatre was also using the space, so Mr. Farr looked for a new site. The former ISU ice skating building was available after falling into the hands of State Farm Cos., and they sold it to the township. A lot of hard work has resulted in a top notch facility that you will rarely find anywhere in the country. See the list of programs on page 4 in this edition.
Thanks Rich. You are a true visionary.
Route 66 site to open
Terri Ryburn and Mike Matejka put on a fabulous program Saturday during “Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66” at the County Museum of History at the old courthouse in Bloomington. Terri will be opening her historic Route 66 Sprague’s gas station on Pine Street in Normal in a couple of weeks.
Mike is a railroad historian and he told about how the railroads played a huge role in making McLean County No. 1 in agriculture in the midwest.
We’ll have more on their talks in upcoming editions


June 15 2017
Steve Robinson is the Best In State
It took quite a few years but The Normalite is proud to announce we have won a first place award from the Illinois Press Association. Steve Robinson was named Sports Columnist of the Year in Class A during a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel Friday in Springfield.
To tell you the truth, it was a shock to me! Don’t get me wrong, Steve is an excellent writer, but I never expected FIRST PLACE! As one of four finalists Steve and our staff were on pins and needles all week.
For the contest Steve needed to send in three columns of his choice. We have to give some credit to the students at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington. At a state tournament basketball game in Redbird Arena they brought along a life-size cutout of Pope Francis and put him in the front row. It seemed unfair to Steve and I. How could they be beaten? The Saints should win easily we thought. But, the other team was also a Catholic school, and they came out on top!
The other columns honored the retiring and very successful Normal Community High School Softball Coach Bob Grimes. Steve also wrote about one of the mother’s from the state tournament softball runner-up Normal West High School Wildcats who was fighting cancer. She was so proud of her daughter and having the chance to see her play in the state tournament.
Steve has been writing for us off and on for a long time, when he can put up with us. One time I was giving him a little bit of strong advice on how to do his job better. He took it all in and finally said, “Are you done? My turn to return fire” he announced and he told us what he thought in no uncertain terms.
Thanks Steve and keep up the good work.

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