Tornado Tribute

Photographer/AssignmentManager Randy and I are heading back to Evansville right now, so thought I'dmake use of my time by telling you about our day in Illinois.  This was mythird day in our lovely neighboring state this week.  Today, I'm just theco-pilot, which is an incredibly good thing.  You don't want to see me tryto 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 surewhat it ended up doing all day in Evansville, but we saw rain, snow and sleet. Definitely not ideal for an outdoor monument unveiling ceremony, butpeople came anyway.  The new monument remembers the 8 lives lost becauseof 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 thereis just so appreciative of all the help and prayers they've received over thepast year.

By the time we finished at the monument, we were pretty chilly.  I'mpretty sure my feet are still wet.  But, we warmed up in the truck tostart writing and editing for the 4pm news.  Our satellite truck didn'ttotally agree with us, so plans, as they so often do in this business, changedat the last minute.  We moved on to our 5pm story and then packed up forRidgway.

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

While we were in Illinois today I pulled out a book Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregggave me on Monday.  It's a look back at the tornado and clean-up processthat was put together by folks at Southern Illinois University.  I justabout made it into one of the pictures, but not quite.  It was a shot ofall the media gathered to hear from Mayor Gregg and Governor Quinn after thetornado.  You can see the photographer I was with, but I missed the cut. What a great way to remember that historic event, though. Proceeds fromthe 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 teamplay UNI.  My purple coat worked well in Harrisburg, and it will serve mewell tonight, too!

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

Until next time,