The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 18, 2012

City history was reborn 25 years ago

This is the 25th anniversary of a momentous year … for me and for Danville.

I became a father in 1987 when Ruth Jensen Cullen, all 6 pounds, one-half ounce of her, was welcomed into the world at St. Elizabeth Hospital. I had never seen such a perfect baby or a more beautiful, glowing new mother.

Meanwhile, city history was reborn. A federal voting-rights lawsuit filed by several local blacks led to the death of the 60-year-old commission form of city government. The mayor-aldermanic form was ordered, with seven geographic wards, 14 aldermen and a mayor with veto power.

I was City Hall reporter for the Commercial-News, so I had a front-row seat. I covered the chaotic last year of the commissioners, and the birth pangs of the mayor-aldermanic government. I wrote reams; vast forests fell to provide all that newsprint. It was dramatic, historic and important … a rush.

The commission system was chummy and unrepresentative. The mayor and all four commissioners could live on the same block. Elected office was the province of white men seeking full-time employment. Not a single minority had been elected in 60 years.

Each commissioner was king of his department, and he kept his nose out of every other commissioner’s business. Every Tuesday morning, an illegal meeting was held so council members could decide in advance who would introduce which ordinance or resolution, and who would second it.

Then they all walked across the hall for a pro-forma meeting, rubber-stamping everything — usually without comment. The only witnesses were a couple of reporters, the city clerk, and the winking beneficiaries.

The federal consent decree of 1987 changed all that. The wards were drawn with boundaries that virtually guaranteed that minorities would be elected, and they were. City council service became part-time, so working people could participate. There was a heady spirit of inclusion, even revolution.

Text Only
Local News
  • Fair talent contest set

    August 1, 2014

  • Race to help VFW

    August 1, 2014

  • Pottery class set

    August 1, 2014

  • jimmyjohns1.jpg Sub shop to open second city location DANVILLE — Ask Jimmy John’s owner/general manager Seth Hobbs how Jimmy John’s is doing in Danville and he’ll tell you “things are going really well.”In fact, he’s planning to build a new store to reach more customers in the southern part of the city.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor to go to design program SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Advancing plans for riverfront development with other professionals is what Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is excited about attending a fall city design session.That is his desire for his design challenge when he is paired up with planners a

    August 1, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleMonday:Theft in the 100 block of Minnesota Avenue.Tuesday:Theft in the 100 block of North Bowman Avenue.Theft at Logan Avenue and West Main Street.Deceptive practice reported at First Financial Bank, 901 N

    August 1, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Wednesday, 7:51-8:03 a.m. — A medical call in the 600 block of Jewell Street.Wednesday, 8:34-8:51 a.m. — A motorcycle crash on Interstate 74 at the 214 mile marker.Wednesday, 11:12-11:30 p.m. — A medical

    August 1, 2014

  • Beef House sets production of 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' COVINGTON, Ind. — Get ready for a wild journey into space with The Beef House Dinner Theatre’s production of “Return to the Forbidden Planet.”This jukebox musical will have audiences laughing and singing along to familiar tunes such as “Good Vibratio

    August 1, 2014

  • State cites 3 Danville financial businesses DANVILLE — Three local businesses were issued citations in June by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.The citations, which were announced on Thursday, and resulting punishments were leveled against Illinois Title Loans,

    August 1, 2014

  • Ornament designs sought

    July 31, 2014

Spring 2014 Photos

Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Must Read