Tornado Tribute - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Tornado Tribute

Photographer/Assignment Manager Randy and I are heading back to Evansville right now, so thought I'd make use of my time by telling you about our day in Illinois.  This was my third day in our lovely neighboring state this week.  Today, I'm just the co-pilot, which is an incredibly good thing.  You don't want to see me try to drive our big satellite truck!!  (I'm bad enough in a regular car!)

The weather today was really pretty rotten in Harrisburg.  I'm not sure what it ended up doing all day in Evansville, but we saw rain, snow and sleet.  Definitely not ideal for an outdoor monument unveiling ceremony, but people came anyway.  The new monument remembers the 8 lives lost because of the tornado and sits in its path, close to the strip mall that was leveled.  

I know many felt it was important to be there to see the new monument, including several family members of the tornado victims.  Everyone there is just so appreciative of all the help and prayers they've received over the past year.

By the time we finished at the monument, we were pretty chilly.  I'm pretty sure my feet are still wet.  But, we warmed up in the truck to start writing and editing for the 4pm news.  Our satellite truck didn't totally agree with us, so plans, as they so often do in this business, changed at the last minute.  We moved on to our 5pm story and then packed up for Ridgway.

Tonight in Ridgway, parishioners at what was St. Joseph Catholic Church, are gathering to remember those killed in Harrisburg, pray the Stations of the Cross, enjoy a meal (with lots of desserts, I'm told), and kick off the fundraising campaign to build a new church.  Fr. Steven Beatty is the priest, and he's hoping they will have a new church in 2015.  First, they have to raise a lot of money...hopefully millions.  So tonight everyone is going to hear about the plans they have so far.  There seemed to be a pretty good turnout!

While we were in Illinois today I pulled out a book Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg gave me on Monday.  It's a look back at the tornado and clean-up process that was put together by folks at Southern Illinois University.  I just about made it into one of the pictures, but not quite.  It was a shot of all the media gathered to hear from Mayor Gregg and Governor Quinn after the tornado.  You can see the photographer I was with, but I missed the cut.  What a great way to remember that historic event, though. Proceeds from the book go to area organizations helping with the rebuilding efforts.

Now, I'm just gearing up for a weekend full of basketball at the Ford Center, which isn't a bad thing.  Heading straight there to watch the women's team play UNI.  My purple coat worked well in Harrisburg, and it will serve me well tonight, too!

Alright, we are nearing the station, so I'm signing off.  Enjoy the weekend!  (Spring... hurry on up!)

Until next time,


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