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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
August 28 2014
Time to get outdoors; heat wave is over
I wasn’t prepared for the heat wave last weekend. It’s been so cool all summer, rarely hitting 90 degrees, so when it got to an actual temperature of 97 degrees on Sunday and nearly 110 degree heat index it was almost too hot to go outside.
Fortunately, the temperatures have dropped back into the 80s and there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. The Labor Day Parade starts in downtown Bloomington at 10 a.m. Monday and ends up at Miller Park. This is the granddaddy of all parades and features the WJBC Laborer of the Year. ISU’s Big Red Marching Machine, one of the largest in the country, will participate along with many high school marching bands. See story in this edition for more details.
City golf courses in Bloomington are hosting “Patriot Day” this weekend, a joint initiative of the PGA of America and United States Golf Assn. to raise funds for scholarships for children of military men and women killed or disabled in service through the Folds of Honor Foundation. See story in this edition.
One of my favorite events is coming up September 14. The 9th Annual Barn Keepers Barn Tour will feature Yates Township, just east of Chenoa. The self-guided tour takes in nine historically significant and unique barns. Admission is $20 per carload. See story at right.
The high school football season gets underway Friday night and all area teams will be in action. Good luck to all.
You could tell by the high quality of the sweet corn at the Normal celebration this past weekend that we are in for a bumper crop. Each of the ears were filled out all the way. It’s been a great year so far for the corn and soybeans.


August 21 2014
Corn Crib to remember the late Michael Collins
Tuesday night the Normal CornBelters honored the memory of the late Michael Collins, Normal West High and Heartland Community College star player who tragically died in an automobile crash caused by an alleged drunken driver. A permanent seat behind the team’s dugout, painted in purple, will forever be set aside for him. Michael’s admirers, led by Jo Morrison of Towanda, made a quilt that will hang permanently on the concourse in Michael’s honor. Mike Adams of Kappa, a friend of the Collins family, was the artist. Mike Moore’s Screen Printing helped with the design.
The foundation that has been set up in Michael’s honor received very generous donations. Fans could bid for the jerseys the Belters wore during the game and take them home. One bid was as high as $250.
Michael was also a organ and tissue donor and Gift of Hope had a booth at the game to take sign ups. Larry and Vivian Lefferts of Normal lost a son at a young age and have adopted Gift of Hope as their charity. They donated the fireworks for after the game Tuesday.
I’ve got a feeling this special young man is going to live on and on.

Cowboy AlFrom the ChimpersCage
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