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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
June 23 2016
Eventful week in Normal
This has been a very eventful week in Normal. After the Normal West girls softball team took second in state Class 4A tournament they held a reception at the school on Sunday. I was really impressed with the outpouring of respect and love the players have for their coach, April Schermann
She has been head coach for 13 years and compiled an amazing record of 350 wins and 108 losses. The 2009, 2010 and 2013 teams won at least 30 games. This year’s team had many injuries before putting together a great run that left them with a 29-10 record and they came within one strike of a state title. Congratulations to the West coaches and team members and thanks for the thrills.
Largest History Makers dinner
We attended the McLean County History Museum History Makers Gala last Thursday at the Bone Student Center honoring four outstanding individuals who have made a difference in McLean County. Honored were former ISU womens basketball coach Jill Hutchison, Father Ric Schneider, O.F.M. from St. Mary’s Parish, Bloomington, State Rep. and former Illinois Director of Agriculture Gordon Ropp and community organizer and attorney Jack Porter.  A record 554 tickets were sold. Carolyn Yockey, museum board chairman, announced the fund-raising goal of $3 million has been reached. Watch for more permanent exhibits.
Radisson Hotel coming
The long awaited news on the shuttered hotel in North Normal came this week. It will be a Radisson Hotel and renovated by the Swift Family of Freeport, Ill. and should be done in 8-10 months. The hotel has been closed since 1999. It was a popular spot for banquets and weddings and it should be once again.

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June 16 2016
Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to depart Tuesday
Happy Father’s Day. My lovely wife Sally said we can go anywhere I choose. I would like to go to Rome, Italy, but their isn’t be enough time to get to Normal and put out next week’s edition. Oh, well. Some day!
 One of the best trips I’ve ever heard of is the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight. They will be leaving Springfield, IL on Tuesday, June 21 and will fly 5 World War II, 29 Korean War and 46 Vietnam War era Veterans on their day long, cost free Honor Flight trip to Washington DC.  The 80 Vets, who will depart from Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, will come from the 53 Illinois communities and cities including Bloomington, Chenoa, Clinton and Gridley. Having been established in early 2009, this will be LLHF’s 39th flight and a total of 2,985 Veterans will have been honored with their Honor Flight.
The press release we received said, “Departure for DC will be shortly after 6:00 AM on a chartered 737 jetliner from Springfield and then the 15 US Air Force, 44 Army, 10 Marines and 11 Navy Veterans will tour Washington’s Military Memorials and other related sites on three coach buses for the day. The final stop will be Arlington National Cemetery to visit the cemetery and witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. The group will then be due back to the Springfield airport at 9:30 PM and family, friends and the general public are encouraged to come to the airport to “Welcome Home” these heroes for the sacrifices and service they gave to our country. All participants are encouraged to show their patriotic spirit with balloons, posters, small flags, red-white-blue clothing, etc. Come out and say “thank you” to those who have protected your freedoms.”
The Honor Flight Veteran applications continue to be accepted. Veteran or Guardian Applications may be obtained at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org or by contacting John Dust at HonorFlightGuy@aol.com or phone 309-339-0227.


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