Local Community Leader dies
A long-time community leader has passed away. Lou Mervis of Danville died Sunday of complications from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The impact of Lou Mervis has been felt in countless aspects of Danville life. The industrialist and civic leader passed away on Sunday. Mervis built a small scrap business in Danville into a thriving multi-state industrial giant. He was a civic leader, philanthropist, and political adviser. Mervis grew up in Danville and lived here all of his life, raising a family of four sons and a daughter with his wife of 59 years, Sybil. His company Mervis Industries has grown into one of the largest family-owned scrap processing companies in the U. S. - comprised of 18 divisions and six affiliated companies in eleven cities in the U.S.
He was a former member of the Danville School Board, serving some years as president. He was named to the Illinois State Board of Education by two different Governors. He served 17 years on the board, several as chairman. Mervis was active on the political scene for years, supporting the candidates in whom he could believe, no matter what their party affiliation.
Mervis also was one of the developers of the Vermilion Advantage. He provided funding for colleges, local schools, the Danville Symphony, the local Library, the United Way, the local medical center, the Boys and Girls Club, and many more local agencies. His family has provided 92 scholarships to DACC students over the years. He served on local bank boards and on the Danville Housing Authority. He was a past winner of the First Citizen award.
Downtown Danville building gets new owner
One of Danville’s iconic buildings may be about to get a makeover. The Executive Director of Historic Restorations, Inc., had a notice on Facebook saying it has taken over ownership of the Breese Tower in downtown Danville. The city’s tallest building, it has stood vacant for several years.
The new owner says in the on-line article that as with most historic restoration, this project will take time, probably a lot of time. But there sole purpose for taking on this project is to save the building from demolition. They say they will be in Danville in a couple of weeks to tour the property, meet with local officials, and begin to develop a plan for this property that will keep it proudly standing over Danville for at least another 100 years!
Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer says he has been informed that this good news is legit. He says city officials will know more about it when the owners come to Danville in several weeks.
Historic Restorations Inc. asked in its Facebook posts for comments and suggestions about the project. The local suggestions included condos, a restaurant on the first floor, senior housing, offices, and even a gambling casino. A spokesman for Historic Restorations says it cannot legally operate a casino. The organization is a non-profit, charitable organization based in Alabama.
Festival of Trees tickets go on sale
Tickets for the annual Festival of Trees go on sale this week. The 21st annual Festival of Trees will be November 11-15 at the David S. Palmer Arena in Danville. Tickets for the event go on sale 10:00 a.m. this Friday. They can be purchased in-person at the David S. Palmer Arena, online at presencehealth.org/festivaloftrees or by phone at 1-877-77CLICK (25425). Ticket prices vary per event. Favorite returning events include the Children’s Holiday Breakfast, the Ladies’ Luncheon, the Princess Tea Party, the Crystal Ball and the Family Pajama Party. New to the event line-up this year is the McDonald’s Star Wars Lunch and two Danville Art League sponsored Wine and Painting parties. The Festival of Trees benefits the outreach programs of Presence United Samaritans Medical Center.
Local Air Expo a success
The Vermilion Regional Air Expo over the weekend was a big success. Airport manager Mike Potter says the event went just as planned.
He said the quality of the show and the great weather brought out good crowds. There were large crowds, but it was an orderly group of people simply enjoyed a show. Sheriff Pat Hartshorn said his department had no trouble to deal with. Potter say the original plan was to have this type of show every two year, but due to the success of the 2017 show, there could be another one next year.
The chief sponsor of the Air Expo was the Julius Hegeler II foundation. Hegeler said he thought the show was terrific. And Hegeler has knowledge of aviation, since he was a pilot in Korea. The retired industrialist says it is another example of what a great place Danville is to live.
Heating assistance applications being accepted
East Central Illinois Community Action Agency has started accepting appointments for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Applications are now being accepted for households with senior citizens or those who have members with a disability. Schedule an appointment at 56 N. Vermilion Street, Danville, between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, or by calling (217) 554-9110. Applicants must bring
· Social Security Cards for all household members
· Driver’s License or Government-issued Photo ID
· Proof of gross income for all household members
· Copy of current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days
Beginning November 1, 2017, households with children under the age of 6 years as well as households who are disconnected from their power sources may apply. The LIHEAP program will continue until May 31, 2018 or until funding is exhausted.
Local medical Centers to get new names
Medical Centers in Danville and Urbana are going to get new names. The names of both Presence Covenant and Presence United Samaritans medical centers will be changing as a result of their pending sale to OSF HealthCare.
Presence Covenant Medical Center's new name will be OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center, and Presence United Samaritans Medical Center will become OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center. The names will formally be changed after the finalization of the sale of both hospitals, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. A planned sale of the two hospitals to OSF HealthCare was announced a month ago, with the transaction yet to be approved by state regulators. This week the two Catholic health systems signed a definitive agreement.
Both local medical centers have had a variety of names over the years due to mergers of hospitals and health care systems.
Local industries to have open house
Major companies in Vermilion County Illinois are opening their doors for a special one day, behind-the-scenes look. The Vermilion County Tour of Industries will include eight companies this year. The Tour of Industries will be on Saturday October 21. Tour participants may register to win prizes, learn about the companies and receive information about immediate job openings. The eight companies participating are:
Danville Metal Stamping
Hall of Fame Plaques and Signs by Trigard
And two thyssenkrupp facilities
First tours begin at 9 AM, last tours begin at 2:30.
Tour guests will be required to wear long pants and closed toe shoes. No cameras or cell phones will be allowed in the buildings. Several companies also include minimum age restrictions for children.
The victim in an accident on Bowman Avenue has been identified as 57-year-old John W. McCoy, Jr., of Danville. Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden said her office and Illinois State Police continue to investigate.
According to a police report, McCoy was driving a semitrailer truck south on Bowman Avenue about three-quarters of a mile south of Bismarck Road Monday morning. His vehicle left the highway for an unknown reason. The truck passed through a ditch embankment and entered the parking lot of a grain elevator. Then the vehicle struck two grain augers and drove over two large rock piles before rolling over on its left side.
Authorities said McCoy was not wearing a seat belt. He was ejected from the truck tractor and died.
LOVE Inc to host fundraiser
A Praise Fest and Dessert Auction will be held on Thursday, October 19, at Bremer Conference Center at Danville Area Community College. The event is being hosted by Love INC (In the Name of Christ) of Vermilion County, and funds raised will be used to support this local ministry. The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. In between music sets, favorite desserts of local community members will be auctioned off, as well as an on-going silent auction of delectable desserts. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.
Through local churches, agencies and volunteers, Love INC coordinates service to people in need like the disabled, the poor, the elderly, single parents, anyone who is hurting.
Candidate packets available
Petition packets for candidates who wish to run in the General Primary Election in March are available in the office of Cathy Jenkins, Vermilion County Clerk. Packets may be picked up between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Petition packets must be filed with the Vermilion County Clerk beginning Monday, November 27, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. thru Monday, December 4, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. The order in which candidates file will determine their placement on the ballot. In the event two candidates file for the same office and are of the same party, a lottery will be held at a later date and time to determine ballot placement.
Local offices to be nominated at the March 20, 2018 General Primary Election include County Treasurer, County Clerk, County Sheriff, Supervisor of Assessments, Regional Superintendent of Schools, Board of Review Members, and County Board Members. Precinct Committeepersons will be elected at the General Primary Election.
Federal, state and judicial offices will also be on the ballot The candidate who receives the highest vote total in each political party for each office in the primary will be on the November 6, 2018 General Election ballot.