Bad news for Bradley fans

The popular and legendary Bradley basketball coach, Joe Stowell, has been fired by WMBD’s general manager, Mike Wild. Stowell will no longer be heard doing games with Dave Snell. Wild, who has a history of firing people, dumped Stowell in favor of Danny Adams, who graduated from the Hilltop school in 2007. And don’t kid yourself, despite his class comments after the firing, Stowell is disappointed. So are the coach’s family, friends and fans. No disrespect toward Snell or Adams, but Joe has more basketball knowledge in his little finger than the two of them together. And Snell would be the first to admit it. Shame on Bradley for allowing this to happen. Coach Stowell brought more fame and recognition to Bradley than anyone since the days of “Squeaky” and his teammates. Joe traveled all over the country and in many parts of the world on behalf of the university. His insights, humor, enthusiasm, and knowledge made radio broadcasts of Bradley games a joy for listeners. After watching a game, I would hurry to the car to hear the former Bradley coach’s comments and analysis. No more. It’s disappointing. Stowell will be missed. He was thrown a “bone” to do Bradley women’s basketball, but let’s face it, the same level of interest isn’t there.


There’s another story circulating that Coach Stowell was removed from the board of the Bradley Sports Hall of Fame. So was softball pitching great and former coach at Illinois Central College, Lorene Ramsey. Nice touch Bradley.



While the Peoria Journal ignored it, WEEK-TV reported on the fights after school at Peoria High. Police say it’s not unusual despite the increase in enrollment from 950 to 1,500 thanks to the closing of Woodruff High School. Those who criticized people like Laura Petelle for voting to close Woodruff say it was just a matter of time before there would be fights. And while they anticipate more, no one wants the conflicts to escalate. Neither do I. However, you would have to be naïve to not foresee this development. Some critics point to alleged similar fights at Richwoods that have gone unreported by anyone in the media.


School board member Jim Stowell, who did not vote in favor of closing Woodruff, has indicated he is interested in running as an at-large candidate for city council. This is the same Jim Stowell who basically told Mayor Jim Ardis to butt out when Ardis suggested the idea that school board members should be appointed.


Over seven different organizations gathered on the Riverfront, Friday, September 24 at 4:00 p.m. for a rally supporting the Constitution. There were speakers, excellent music, T-shirts for sale along with other patriotic items. A good crowd attended, but not the local media. WMBD was there, but no TV station and, as predicted, the left-leaning newspaper ignored the event. It’s amazing how the Journal will cover six anti-war protesters at a Congressman’s office and run a front page story about how a guy claims he didn’t kill his wife that’s about as interesting as a root canal, but censor Americans of both parties rallying for our Constitution.


My life-long friend and co-host of “Breakfast with Royce and Roger,” Royce Elliott, is on the mend after a nasty fall at his home. Royce is receiving rehabilitation at Riverview Senior Living Community. I know he would appreciate hearing from people. You can send cards, notes and food packages to Royce at 500 Centennial Drive, East Peoria, 61611.


Sad to say but it appears Peoria is losing a radio frequency. Associated Bank owns the assets of WOAM and Bob Kelly owns the 1350 AM license. Both have been unable to sell the station due to the economy and the asking price. There’s no building and the radio equipment is now in storage. If the two entities are unsuccessful in selling WOAM, most radio observers speculate the FCC will revoke the license and the frequency will be eliminated in this part of the state. It was the last hope for a station that would program “good music” from Tony Bennett to Frank Sinatra to the Kingston Trio to Glenn Miller.


The PJS continues to display its political bigotry on behalf of liberal ideology as in the Democrat Party. Recently, an editorial attacked central Illinois Republican, Bill Brady, Republican candidate for Governor. The editorial claimed Brady needed more than slogans in an obvious attempt to demean Brady’s well-designed and effective campaign. The attacks then expanded to the front page after Brady suggested a one year freeze on teachers’ salaries in an effort to help solve the state’s financial problems. The Journal’s biased approach was to ask teachers for their response. Of course, the IEA and the NEA have been and are big Democrat supporters. The PJS headline screamed that the Brady idea was soundly rejected by teachers. No kidding. That would be like asking Caterpillar’s union what it thought of the company’s reduction of health benefits for workers. Duh.

Then there’s WEEK.. also in the tank. Former First Lady Laura Bush came to town to reward children for their reading accomplishments while also campaigning for Aaron Shock’s re-election. The Channel 25 news department failed to offer any sound bites of Mrs. Bush but countered her visit by broadcasting an interview with Shock’s Democrat opponent, D.K. Hirner. Herner criticized Shock for having a fund-raising event during this poor economy. Wonder where Shock’s opponent was when the current First Lady went to Spain taking along many of her friends and a hairdresser costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.


If you sell your house after 2012 you will pay an additional sales tax of 3.8% thanks to Obama’s health care bill. So if you have a home that sells for $200,000 you’ll pay another $7,600 sales tax. Bet you didn’t know that. Subtract that number along with the sales commission and other closing fees and you might have some money left over to buy another home.


Did you see the Chicago Cub game where centerfielder Tyler Colvin took a splintered bat in the chest? It was gruesome and a reminder how dangerous this sport is to players and spectators due to the number of bats that break during a game. Too many of them. It’s not unusual for parts of a broken bat to go flying at players on the infield as with Colvin who was a runner on third. Fans in the stands are at risk. The cause, says baseball authority, Pete Vonachen, is that today’s players are stronger and some of the bats are made of a softer wood.

Vonachen said, “Ash makes for a better wooden bat, but it’s getter harder and harder to obtain. Most of the ash for bats comes from Canada.” Vonachen said maple, one of the common woods used for bats, splinters easier. It was a maple bat that broke and injured the Cub player who’s now out for the season. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig claims he has been working hard to find a solution. Better work harder Bud. If a fan is struck and possibly killed, the Major Leagues will pay a fortune followed by Congressional hearings.


Speaking of the Cubs, who will be the next manager? A lot of names have been mentioned including the popular Ryne Sandberg who managed in Peoria for two years. This past year he was in Des Moines managing the Iowa Cubs. I feel he will get the nod, but interim manager Mike Quade sure has done an outstanding job since replacing Lou Piniella. Knowing Cub management they might pick Mickey Mouse.


Talk about replacements, it appears relative newcomer and city manager Scott Moore has had enough of Peoria after less than two years. He’s applied for a similar position in Texas. If he gets the job he’s gone. What to do, what to do? Here’s my uninvited suggestion; forget hiring an expensive and not too successful professional head-hunting company. We have some excellent and bright people on the council and in city government including Mayor Jim Ardis. Throw some names out and meet in executive session to consider them. Start with Peoria County administrator Patrick Urich. Urich is bright, energetic, a dedicated administrator, and enjoys living in Peoria. Another name to consider is David Krings. Krings was administrator for Peoria County until he received a better opportunity to become administrator for Hamilton County in Cincinnati. He was there for years and had an outstanding reputation and much was accomplished under his leadership including construction of new baseball and football stadiums. Krings is now working as a city and county consultant. That’s my two cents.


The unimpressive win over Northern Illinois along with the prediction the University of Illinois football team will win only one Big Ten game can mean only one thing. This will be Coach Ron Zook’s last season in Champaign.


The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame has elected new officers. Larry Dunn is president; first vice president is yours truly; and second vice president is Mike Burns. Congratulations to outgoing president Corky Robertson for his leadership.


I heard the morning WLS radio team of Don Wade and Roma (his wife) interview NBC’s David Gregory recently. Gregory, no Tom Brokaw, described Iranian president Mahmound Ahmadinej, “charming, bright and smart.” If a journalist had called Hitler that back in the 1940’s he would’ve been black-balled. Today they make such people network anchors.

A retired teacher in East Peoria wrote a letter claiming her students began to cheat and lie after President Nixon was involved in Watergate and everyone used the term “kick butt” after President Bush said it on TV. Somehow the teacher didn’t come to the same conclusion about her students when President Clinton said, “I did not have sex with that woman” after it was revealed he was involved with Monica “Lewdwiskey” in the Oral Office Easter morning. And we wonder why some parents worry about what’s being taught to their children.


“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”—Thomas Jefferson

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