Back in the Day 7-29-20

10 years ago
August 4, 2010
A month after launching Can Do For Classrooms, the group had collected almost $20,000 in donations. The group was hosting a PRIDE Walk fundraiser in September with the goal of reaching $50,000 in donations for Tuscola schools. 

Tuscola’s TEDI reported an active year in Tuscola despite the down economy at their monthly meeting. 

TCHS students Alyssa Davis, Felicia Tucker, Courtney Davis, Lexi Rogers, and Anthony Morrison attended Eastern Illinois University’s summer music camp for chorus. On the band side, Tuscola attendees included Jackie Adams, Cameron Baer, and Chase Kaufmann. 

The TCHS Class of 1990 held their 20-year class reunion, consisting of 30 members of the class. 

Former Tuscola Public Library librarian Brian Penne was celebrated as he left the library to take the job as the Tuscola school district librarian. 

At their monthly Rotary meeting, Alan Shoemaker and Doug Childers were named Rick Harris Fellows and Dr. Rick Davis and Doug McCumber attained the coveted Paul Harris Blue Sapphire status. 

20 years ago
August 1, 2000
Ned Ferguson, who had been linked with the Tuscola Ford dealership in one form or another since 1954, would be retiring from Tim Mooney Ford at the end of August. For 34 years Ferguson was at the helm of Ferguson Motor Sales. 

Personnel action taken at the Tuscola school board included hiring Joie McDonald as a high school English and social studies teacher and yearbook sponsor, Ron O’Hearn as a third-grade teacher and assistant football coach, and Eilene Wellinghoff as a fourth-grade teacher.

Other school board actions included adopting new policies for the hallowed halls of TCHS. Bookbags would no longer be allowed from class to class, and guidelines for appropriate clothing were spelled out. Sales of candy and soda during the day were also being restricted.

A new twosome was at the top of the leaderboard in the Wednesday Night Men’s Golf League this week. The Chucklin’ Cherokee J.C. Sigler and partner John Hoel moved from second to first with a league-leading 39 points. 

30 years ago 
July 1, 1990
Approximately 125 family and friends of Montelle “Monk” Hackett met at Kaskaskia Country Club Friday evening to extend best wishes to the guests of honor on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

Former Tuscola Mayor Chris Hill announced he was planning to form a corporation with three other investors to bid on the Jarman Hospital property at the Sept. 14-15 auction. Should he be the successful bidder, Hill said the corporation’s intention was to remodel the building as senior living apartments. 

Another chapter of Tuscola football came to a close when Coach Larry Bienias resigned at Tuscola High School to accept a position at Burbank Reavis High School in Burbank, a suburb of Chicago. In his four-year stint at TCHS, Bienias’ teams compiled a 27-11 record and made 2A state playoffs in 1987 and 1988.

40 years ago 
July 29, 1980
Six pilots from foreign countries who were undergoing training at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul were guests of Tuscola families over the July 19 weekend. Lucille Murray organized the pilots’ stays with the Lyle Heits, the Dana Bischops, the Charles Campbells, the Don Hances, the Thomas Meyers, and the Marion Pierces. 

School board members voted to raise the cost of lunch by 10 cents, meaning student lunches would now cost 60 cents for grades 1-4, 65 cents for grades 5-12, and $1 for adults. There was also a subcommittee set to meet with city council on the possibility of building softball diamonds at East Prairie. 

Mayor Chris Hill signed a contract recently, offered by Jerry Scribner of Tuscola IGA, in which the city agreed to pay half the cost of installing a stoplight at the Embarras Street/Route 36 intersection in front of the IGA complex.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Breen of rural Tuscola were honored at a dinner held recently at the Country Club Inn in Champaign in celebration of their 45th wedding anniversary. The event was hosted by their children.

50 years ago 
August 6, 1970 
Pat Keen, a Tuscola native and U of I senior and golf captain, captured the Chick Evans Amateur tournament at White Pines Golf Club in Bensenville. This was one of the three top amateur tournaments in the world. 

Two ambitious young Tuscola men–Tom McGuire and Gary Neal– were undertaking the task of clearing out the famous Patterson Springs in Camargo prior to their leaving for college in the fall. Included in the project would be clearing the heavy undergrowth and numerous trees, and the patching and cementing of three deep ponds fed by the springs. 

Local residents taking part in tennis lessons at Ervin Park, being taught by Rudy Kalamr, included Donna Bissey, Mary Wineland, Janice Oakley, Lori Smith, Michelle Kennedy, Donna Hibbets, Kathy Kalmar, and Donna Conner.

The hottest team in Little League during the second half of the season was Coach Joe Harris’ ABC club, which won its last nine games. Players included Everett Groves, Randy Hastings, Chris Harris, Jack Mooday, Tom McConnell, Terry Mulligan, John Pflum, Jim Grimm, Mark Ebert, Trent Anderson, Darren Cooper, Steve Roach, Brian Wood, and Phil Gangloff.

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