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Dialogue

Cheers

... to the U.S. Department of Justice, McLean County Sheriff's Department, McLean County State's Attorney's Office and the McLean County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for working on the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.

The nationwide program brings together federal, state and local law enforcement officials, prosecutors and community leaders to identify the most pressing crime issues and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.

We have to work together to improve the lives of everyone around us.

Cheers

... to the town of Normal for its straight-faced handling of its mandatory offer to give away an old bridge.

The offer is required by law. The bridge itself is free, but anyone who wants it must haul it away.

We're guessing that's not free.

We drive over bridges many times during the course of a day and pay little or no attention to how they're built. The Glenn Avenue bridge at first glance seems plain, but the workers who built it added some decorative touches that make it special.

Probably too big for a backyard pond, but we hope someone somewhere finds a use for it.

Cheers

... and thank you to everyone who attended The Pantagraph's Coffee with the Newsroom event Tuesday. We also thank Denny's Doughnuts and Bakery in south Bloomington for hosting.

We look forward to seeing more of you at our next get-together.

Cheers

... to the Children's Discovery Museum on welcoming its 2 millionth visitor last week.

The museum started small and has grown to one of the must-stop places in uptown Normal for both visitors and Twin City residents.

Thank you to the town of Normal and museum leaders and workers for making CDM such a cool and welcoming place for all ages.

Cheers

... to Georgia Nugent, newly named interim president at Illinois Wesleyan University. She will oversee the school until trustees find a permanent replacement for Eric Jensen, who retired last month.

Nugent has spent time at a number of well-respected schools. We're confident she will push IWU toward even further greatness.

Cheers

... and thanks to everyone, everywhere, who made Central Illinois Independence Day festivals and parades into such spectacular events.

The fireworks always are the "spark" of patriotism marking our independence, but the parades, festivals, and other events take a lot of planning and hard work.

We thank you all for your commitment.

Cheers

... and good luck to the contingent of Model T enthusiasts who stopped in downtown Bloomington last week. The cars and their drivers represented a number of southern and eastern states on their way from New Jersey to California.

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