MATTOON — A track spike costs only about 2 cents, the price of a postage stamp, but in 1920 and 1921 the Illinois Central Railroad system spent $389,271 on such spikes. This means the railroad purchased and used 19,087,280 spikes in two years. According to an article in the May issue of Illinois Central Magazine, on the basis of 300 working days per year, 31,612 spikes were used each day, enough to prick 2 ½ miles of trail… CHARLESTON – In Trailing 3-0 after five innings, the Mattoon Boosters rallied for a 7-3 win over the Charleston Independents yesterday afternoon. Both teams entered the game with 2-0 records. Bohland, pitcher for Charleston, held Mattoon without a hitter for the first five innings, striking out the first nine batters of the game. But the Boosters, led by right fielder Horn’s two safeties, had nine hits over the last four innings to win… CHARLESTON – At the Eastern Illinois Athletic Association’s big track meet held Saturday on the normal court, first place went to Champaign High School, which edged the small town of Forrest 32-31. Seventeen schools scored points with Mattoon getting 4, Neoga 3 and Oakland 2. In the Oratory Contest between the same schools on Saturday night, Miss Ruth White of Charleston won in the Oratory Division with Carlos Craig of Charleston second in Modern Poetry and Miss Catherine Sellars second in humorous reading. Miss Louise Bresee of Urbana, formerly of Mattoon, was awarded first in modern poetry.
MATTOON – Some Gays homes were evacuated yesterday morning after eight train cars, one of which was leaking nitric acid, derailed in the village. Nitric acid is not combustible, but its vapors are dangerous. A Mattoon firefighter called to the scene with the department’s emergency unit said two parts per million was fatal. The workers who straightened the car used masks and no injuries were reported. Penn Central’s eight cars (originally the Big Four) derailed at about 6:30 a.m., the train was heading east. The workers spent most of the day clearing the tracks and cleaning up. The trains ran again at 9 p.m.… MATTOON – Pam Young and Elizabeth Goetz were named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, today for the class of 1972 at Mattoon High School. Miss Young is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Young, and Miss Goetz is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Elmer Goetz. In addition to placing first and second in this year’s senior class, both girls are also active in several school clubs and organizations. Miss Young plans to enroll at the University of Illinois and earn a degree in dental hygiene. Miss Goetz plans to attend Iowa State University and study science and dietetics.
MATTOON — Another of what police describe as a key player in a major drug organization is in custody. Paul E. Felix, 43, of Redondo Beach, Calif., was arrested last night at a bar by Redondo police, marking the 11th arrest after an investigation lasting more than two years. Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Dave McLearin said Felix was the source of the Coles County group’s drugs. Police said Felix was the supplier to a local drug trafficking ring run by Lowell Kelsey of Mattoon, which operates several video libraries in the area. Felix and Kelsey both face 30-year minimum sentences if convicted… MATTOON – Improving the quality of health care led to the construction of the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in 1977. Increasing service to patients while reducing costs is the challenge facing Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center as it approaches the 21st century. Coles County had 27 physicians in the early 1970s. More than 90 physicians are on SBLHC’s medical staff today. From two 50-bed hospitals in 1977, Sarah Bush Lincoln has grown into a 190-bed facility with a regional cancer center, a psychiatric center, and seven offsite clinics and offices. The Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System today has 954 employees and a payroll of $29.5 million, up from 620 employees and a payroll of $3.9 million in 1977. Sarah Bush Lincoln opened it 20 years ago, May 10, 1977.