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From the Editor

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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
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.


April 16 2017
United Airlines’ Fiasco!
I couldn’t believe the news that United Airlines had a passenger physically removed from a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport this past week. United said they needed four seats for members of their staff who had to get to Louisville, KY, the flight’s destination. But, the passengers had already boarded the plane, and I read where it is extremely rare that an airline would wait that long to ask passengers to leave.
Passengers were offered vouchers for up to $800 but no one took United’s offer. They called security officers to remove four passengers randomly picked by a computer. One of them was a doctor, 69 years old, who said he had to get back to Louisville to check on his patients and refused to leave. He ended up in a hospital after being dragged off the plane and busting up his lip.
This could have easily been avoided if United had simply increased its voucher offer. I read where one passenger on another flight took an offer of $1,350 to give up her seat.
United should have taken into account the passenger is a doctor and everyone wants someone with medical expertise on a flight in case something happens.
I don’t know about you, but I will avoid taking a United Airlines flight unless it is absolute necessary.
Beatles Exhibit
On Sunday my lovely wife, Sally, and I motored to the Quad Cities to take in a Beatles exhibit at the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa. It brought memories of the Fab 4’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. It was worth the trip. We also stopped in nearby LeClaire, Iowa to visit the home of the television show, “Pickers.” A beautiful day and a great time.

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