Today in Washington - March 25, 2009

Donelle Pardee Whiting
Cherry blossoms in bloom in Washington, Ill.

Was just listening to the radio, Lite Rock 107, in my office after coming back from lunch when the announcer came on with a promo for Five Points Washington.

It didn’t sound like a commercial. More like Sean Kelly just talking about the facility.

He did a great job extolling the virtues of our fine community center and what it has to offer.

He even took time to explain the name is more than just a name. That it stands for the fact that it more than a fitness center.

Each facet of the facility was mentioned and how it is a great place to have multiple activities.

I think it is great to hear Five Points talked about in that way.

Anyone who has read the recent editorial can pretty much guess that although I think Five Points is a wonderful place, I believe it could be so much more.

The theater and banquet center can be utilized so much more.

The recent Howl at the Moon event proved that the banquet center can be used for more than banquets and meetings.

The theater should be used as often as possible.

Monday morning, I will be sitting in on a meeting at Five Points about what the center has accomplished and future plans.

I will say the community center is a bonus to our community. It has drawn several good events.

The fitness center is doing well. The library has been able to increase its programming thanks to the added space since moving there.

But, we need to remember it is not a country club and it can offer so much more.

I will let you know how the meeting goes.


Just got off the phone with the Tazewell County sports editor, Bryan Veginski.

He reminded me that our beloved Panthers baseball team will play its first night game April 15.

This is a great thing. Up until now, the only night games our boys could play were at other schools because only the football field had lights.

As some of you may remember, Brian Wisher donated new stadium lights to Washington Community High School.

So not only does the football field have new, brighter lights, so does the neighboring baseball diamond.

This is a big thing for our Panthers. It opens up whole new avenues in scheduling for baseball games.

It should even add some excitement.

Now, if we could get some lights for the tennis courts and soccer fields, those two athletic programs will have some more flexibility.


Next week is April Fool’s Day.

Ever wonder how the holiday came about?

I do. Not enough to lose sleep or drop everything to find out. It’s is more of a musing.

So, for next week’s paper, which comes out on April 1, I asked our intrepid reporter to find out. Be sure to check that out.

And if you forget it will be there, then I will remind you at the beginning of next week.


Today in Washington is a type of blog. I am using it on a daily basis to keep you posted on what I am working on or brief items of interest.

Through this feature, I can continually post updates when I have a computer at my fingertips. That said, I am not always at a computer, so I can’t get information to you until then. But, this is basically an online journal that I am sharing with the readers.

So far, it seems to be a popular feature for visitors. It has been the most-visited page on our site, as you can see on the “Popular Stories” list. Because of that response, I have decided to make this part of my daily routine, minus weekends, of course.

But, I want to include more information. This is where you can take advantage of me. Post a comment or send me an e-mail at if you have any news or information that would be of interest to our readers.

I hope you enjoy the new feature. Feel free to make suggestions. I’d love some more ideas.