Thursday's unemployment numbers show Decatur is once again lagging the rest of Illinois. That long-term trend is partly responsible for a new law aimed at changing the way Illinois handles economic development.
In Decatur, 13.2 percent of job-seekers can't find work. State Sen. Andy Manar — a Democrat whose district includes Decatur — says that's part of the reason he thought it was time to blow up the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and start over.
A recent summer storm provided an object lesson for a family I know. Making their way along an interstate highway on a weekend outing, the family drove into a violent storm moving erratically across the state.
Within minutes, hailstones pelted the car along with heavy rains. Visibility was seriously compromised. The parents prayed for safety and watched for an exit where they could get off the road to wait out the storm.
Meanwhile, the four-year-old in the back seat was alarmed by the noise of the pounding rain and hail. She asked her parents if they were safe.