Straight Talk | Bradley’s Chris Reynolds in running for A.D. at Indiana University



Chris Reynolds, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics at Bradley University, reportedly is one of four finalists for the job as Athletic Director at Indiana University. The popular Reynolds certainly has the credentials to get the job. He was a basketball star at Indiana University and was associate A.D. for the Hoosiers from 2003 to 2012. He left Indiana to become Deputy A.D. at Northwestern University before coming to Bradley. He also served on A.D. staffs at Michigan State, Western Michigan and Notre Dame. Reynolds has a law degree and Ph.D. from Indiana and is highly regarded across the country. Reportedly, the new A.D. will be named by Feb. 1 to replace Fred Glass who retires as Athletic Director at the end of the school year.

Wild political news

There’s plenty of wild and crazy stuff going on in Washington from the House and Senate to the White House to the print and electronic media. Peoria seems to be able to hold its own with unusual and unique political stories beginning with the surprise announcement that State Senator Chuck Weaver deciding not to seek re-election after all. He made the decision after filing petitions and telling folks what he wanted to accomplish if re-elected to the 37th Senatorial District. By most accounts, Chuck was a hard working, dedicated member of the Illinois Senate. I don’t think anyone thought he would not be re elected even though Win Stoller, CEO of Widmer Interiors, had filed to run against him in the Republican primary.

In announcing his decision, Weaver said there were other ways in which he could serve the people of central Illinois, but stopped short of what those “other ways” might be. Some local media types suggested he was a possible choice to replace the retiring Gary Roberts as president of Bradley University. Word is the university screening committee is just now starting to interview finalists, so I doubt that suggestion holds water. Truth is, only Chuck Weaver and his wife know what his plans are in the future. In the meantime, Chuck told me he was going to continue serving as State Senator until his term ends in January 2021. It’s unfortunate he doesn’t want to continue because he has served with distinction.

The next major surprise

Republican Ray LaHood announced he would not vote for the reelection of fellow Republican Donald Trump as President. He added he did not vote for Trump in 2016, choosing, instead, to cast his ballot for Hillary Clinton. Both Republicans and Democrats have chatted locally and nationally about the timing of LaHood’s announcement since his son, 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood, is a Trump delegate and had just filed papers to put Trump on the Illinois presidential primary ballot. It should be noted, Ray LaHood served in Congress from 1995 to 2009 as U.S. Representative from the same district where his son serves today. He later was appointed Secretary of the Transportation Department by President Obama and more recently was named chairman of the board of the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum by Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker. It’s not unusual for family members to have differing political views about issues and candidates.

In a personal note, I want to mention, with pride, that our son. Dr. R. Dan Monroe, chairman of the History Department at Millikin University, was recently appointed to the Lincoln board.

Another surprise

A Peoria County Board member has a stash of campaign cash close to $50,000. The question is why does Brian Elsasser have that kind of money as the District 14 county board member, a post he was elected to in 1998? The cattle farmer apparently has higher aspirations having suggested to some he wanted to be appointed to replace Aaron Schock over Darin LaHood and then wanted to be appointed 37th District state senator over Chuck Weaver. He was ignored for both. It appears a local grain company was a major contributor to the Elsasser fund.

Saluting World War II veteran Carl Porter

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak before a group of veterans at the Buehler Home. Their “club” numbers close to 50 and they represent all branches of the military. Though I was the speaker, they had better stories to tell, which some shared with me after my presentation. One of those veterans is Carl Porter of Pekin. The 98- year-old former paratrooper participated in D-Day at Normandy. Trouble is when it was his time to jump, the C-47 he was in, was 20 miles from the desired target landing, a good distance from Normandy. Porter said, with a laugh, “I landed in a tree and had to cut myself loose from the chute, only to be captured by the Germans.” His capture didn’t last long, like a half day, he said.

“Soldiers and troops who landed at Utah Beach moved forward so fast they surrounded the Germans who were holding us. We wound up taking the Germans captive.” Porter was returned to his base in England and parachuted later into Germany for more action. He’ll tell his story with more details on our morning show on FM 90.7. Stay tuned because we have more stories to tell from our veterans including someone who accompanied the atom bomb to the plane that dropped it on Japan.

Congratulations to Matt George, CEO of Children’s Home

With the support and assistance of Kevin Harrington, the original Shark on “Shark Tank,” Matt George has penned an outstanding book, “Nonprofit Game Plan.”

“It’s a proven strategy for nonprofit success,” as he explained on “Breakfast with Roger and Friends.” Promotion of the book was launched on Amazon Jan. 15, and locally on our show and later at the Lariat Club with Matt’s many friends and supporters. Among those who’ve endorsed the book are former Chicago Bear quarterback Jim McMahon; Mark Owen, former Navy Seal and author of the book, “No Hero;” Andre Dawson, eight time National League All Star; Ray LaHood; and former Caterpillar CEO, Doug Oberhelman.

Quote of the Month

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

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