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Back in the Day–July 4, 2018

10 YEARS AGO
July 8, 2008

The Tuscola United Methodist Church handbell choir performed patriotic music in the Fourth of July parade. The Freedom Ringers were Jeannie Craddock, Dee Beachy, Ann Leisner, Susan Hall, Lily Benner, Amelia Benner, and Karen Benner.

Along with the annual parade, many other festivities took place at Ervin Park. These included a concert by Chuck Wicks, a pet parade, kiddie tractor pull, 3 on 3 basketball, and mud volleyball. The festivities concluded with the annual fireworks display.

In sports, Tuscola 2 girls softball team celebrated wins over Tolono, Villa Grove, and St. Joe. Tuscola 1 girls defeated Urbana and White Heath. The Tuscola 2 boys baseball team ended their regular season with a loss to Villa Grove, while Tuscola 1 boys ended theirs with wins against Villa Grove and Oakland.

20 YEARS AGO
July 7, 1998

Tuscola’s Fourth of July celebration was terrorized by an Indiana man who led police on a high-speed chase exceeding 100 mph. The chase began in Indiana, crossed into Illinois via Route 36 to Tuscola, and straight into Tuscola’s crowded Ervin Park. The man fired shots into the air at the park, drove through the north ball diamond and into Parkview Subdivision, where he shot himself. People at the park were terrified, but, thankfully, there were no injuries.

TCHS cheerleader Ashley Hall and fellow cheerleaders attended the U of I’s UCA cheerleading camp. Hall came away from camp a member of the All-Star Squad.

Katie Hettinger was preparing to compete in the Miss Moultrie-Douglas County Fair Queen Pageant. Katie had been crowned 1998 Miss Tuscola.

30 YEARS AGO
July 5, 1988

The drought caused many communities to cancel their annual fireworks display. Tuscola, however, was prepared to carry on with theirs. The Tuscola Fire Department and American Business Club continued with the celebration at Ervin Park, drawing a very large crowd. The day was filled with bingo and brats, mud volleyball, and ended with the annual fireworks.

Not only was the drought causing problems for the agriculture industry and Fourth of July celebrations, but also it was wreaking havoc for homeowners. The ground was cracking due to lack of moisture, and homes on shallow foundations and tree-lined streets were experiencing cracking as a result.

The Dunn Sisters performed at the Museum Association of Douglas County’s “WDZ Days.” Gloria McClure, Rosie McMorris, and Katie Bell were popular on WDZ in the late 1930’s.

The team tennis tournament was held at Ervin Park. Winners were Sherry Miller and Andy Marner. Darrell Waite and Tracy Patton took second place.

40 YEARS AGO
July 6, 1978

Thanks to donations from ABC and the ABC Auxiliary, Tuscola Pool installed a slide. Lifeguards at the pool during the summer of ’78 were Jackie Miller, Deanna Dean, Kris Stewart, Windy Cannon, Ginger Allen, Commache Campbell, and Arnold Dean.

A boil order was in effect due to a water main break at North Central and Main streets. The leak was discovered by the Douglas Water Company employees and Fire Chief Dennis Dietrich.

Not only was Tuscola dealing with low water pressure due to the water main break, it also was suffering from a heat wave with high humidity. Severe storms had also rolled into the area, and at least three buildings were struck by lightning.

TCHS was facing a decline in enrollment. It was feared that Tuscola would have to drop out of the Okaw Conference, or at the very least, would lose its competitiveness.

50 YEARS AGO
July 4, 1968

A ceremony was held to honor 50 year Masons. Guests of honor were Dale Kerns, Fred Steven, Noah Purcell, Clyde Sturgell, Sr., and Burl H. Mills.

Construction was started on the new home of the Tuscola newspaper and printing plant. The new location and current home was constructed at 115 W. Sale Street.

The Tuscola Water Plant was equipped with a new aerator. As a result, the quality of Tuscola water was improved.

The Tuscola Library held its summer reading program. A few students in the program were Jackie Norman, Cliff Ponder, Gordy Cross, Mike Conner, Ginger Allen, Kimmy McCarty, Michelle Martin, and Ruth Ann Wellons. A record total of 105 students were enrolled in the program. The program was directed by Kathryn McCumber.

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