News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
market. Hog City's own Colleen Renee Riddle, daughter of Vic and Donna
Riddle, has announced her engagement to Oyster Bay, New York, native
James Gerard Byrne, son of Patrick and Charlene Byrne. Colleen and Jim
became engaged this past Saturday at the Park Hyatt in Chicago.
Colleen and Jim plan to marry in 2008. The bride, a U of I grad, is
employed by Morningstar Research Firm. The groom, a Cornell man, is
employed by Sandler O'Neill and partners. Both currently reside in
Chicago. Congrats to both families, and an especially warm welcome from
Wapella's Irish Community to The Byrne's.
One burning question from Wapella.com: Jim, will you learn to fly the
Illinois flag on game day with father-in-law Vic (and most everyone else
in Hog City) or are you going to stick to those Ivy League roots? C'mon
Big Red...you know you want to join in the chant: ILL - INI!!!!
Three cheers for clans Riddle and Byrne!
Monday, May 28, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Come out and salute Wapella's Veterans, and enjoy a great meal!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Make some news! It's the summer, and nothing screams old-timey fun like
a tour around a sweltering Hog City to chat with her sweaty citizens)
with only a trip to the Heyworth Legion to report, with Lee Holt
sightings, and Lee's daughter Lindsay at the top of her bartending game,
but the real update follows...
In this month's Profiles in Courage, Wapella.com visits Sgt. John Wheat
in his new home of Madison, WI.
We all know the Unites States Army churns out fine men and women, but
the Wild Rover and the band of Wildcats (and one Scotsmen) that headed
north to visit Sgt. Wheat were duly impressed with the operation he runs
in Mad City.
From taking the tour group on a fine tavern tour, to record shopping, to
seeing the city, to his razor sharp observations on Madison: "great
city, but too many hippies" Sgt Wheat continues to make Hog City proud.
This being the Rover's first trip to Madison, I was duly impressed: it
was graduation weekend, and from the Spotted Cow lager, to the brew pubs
and the German beer gardens, it was mainly an alcohol-fueled
"impressed", but still - impressive nevertheless. Nothing like a bunch
of 30 something Wildcats lurking around campus pubs to make the local
females feel uncomfortable. But from Lakeside views, abundant fishing,
and beautiful summers, Madison is truly a beautiful town.
One bit of trivia, Wheat makes his home on Pirate Island, and even
locals seem to be oblivious to it's existence. As the Scotsmen in tow
noted, "I hope we don't get lost, I don't want to have to ask how to get
to Pirate Island." So, if you're ever in Madison, make sure you get
directions, as the question "do you know how to get to Pirate Island?"
which was asked by our group at near 3am, was met with torment and
ridicule by 5 of the 6 people we asked.
Wapella.com salutes you, John Wheat. Thank you for a great trip. No
Wildcats sightings in Madison, but believe me, Wapella is right at home
Monday, May 21, 2007
This story mentions that the Fire Marshall may have stayed in town too long for the drive back to Springfield.
Haley Westfall, daughter of Joe Morris and Holly Westfall Morris, ran in the
state track meet on Saturday, May 19th in East Peoria. She ran in the
4X100 relay for the 8th grade Clinton Maroon team. The team placed
33rd overall. The best part of the experience for Haley? Buying the
overpriced state track meet clothing and apparel....and the Papa John's
Congrats Haley! The Maroon are lucky to have a hi-speed Morris-Westphalian Wildcat.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
THE NUMBERS GUY By CARL BIALIK
Just How AmazingIs Jacqueline Gagne -- And Her 10 Golf Aces?May 18, 2007; Page B1
Jacqueline Gagne has had 10 once-in-a-lifetime experiences in less than four months.
Since Jan. 23, the 46-year-old from Rancho Mirage, Calif., has hit 10 holes in one, or just eight fewer than were hit on the entire Ladies Professional Golf Association tour last year.
Her local paper, the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif., has corroborated Ms. Gagne's feat, running notes alongside articles from editors saying they're just as skeptical as readers, but everything has checked out.
The paper also asked a local statistician, Michael McJilton of the College of the Desert, to compute the odds against the feat. The result, which headlined the article: 113,527,276,681,000,000 to 1. And that was after just seven aces. I asked Mr. McJilton to repeat the computation after Ms. Gagne hit three more in the following couple of weeks, over a total of just 75 rounds. He returned the astronomical number of roughly 12 septillion (12 followed by 24 zeroes) to 1. Such an unlikely event should never happen. It's like winning the lottery four straight times. No wonder David Letterman came calling.
Is there an explanation for Ms. Gagne?
The numbers deserve scrutiny, and her feat isn't as improbable as it seems, though the odds against it are very steep. Probability may not explain it.
Mr. McJilton -- who says that as the only statistician at a local college, "I got the call" -- was using the Desert Sun's assumption that it takes the typical amateur golfer 5,000 rounds to hit a hole in one -- or 20,000 par-3 holes, since there are typically four shorter holes per round, and acing longer holes is so rare it can be ignored.
That estimate turns out to be pessimistic. There are data on millions of attempts at holes in one from events awarding prizes for aces. Two insurance companies that specialize in writing coverage for these basically agree on the odds for the typical amateur: Once every 12,750 shots on par 3s, says Mancil Davis, director of golf operations for National Hole in One Association; 1 in 12,500, according to US Hole In One.
The former, more-conservative estimates translates to roughly a hole in one every 3,200 rounds. That, in turn, leads to odds of 133 sextillion to 1 against, about a 99% reduction from Mr. McJilton's 12 septillion.
Mr. McJilton also assumed that no two holes in one could come in the same round, a safe assumption for most mortals but not for Ms. Gagne of late (though she hasn't yet doubled up). Allowing for magic striking twice in 18 holes, as David Boyum, co-author of the book "What the Numbers Say," suggests, reduces the odds against by a further 38%.
Still Ms. Gagne persists in defying the numbers. She has a seven handicap, better than the typical amateur. But the democratizing feature of a hole in one is that it isn't that much more common for Tiger Woods to ace than for an average duffer. The average winner of a hole-in-one prize is a 17 handicap, says Mr. Mancil. Pros hit holes in one about once every 3,750 par 3s, while the best amateurs ace one of every 7,500 -- half as often.
Let's say we apply the latter rate to Ms. Gagne (though Mr. Mancil says she's not quite yet in that group). We'd still get odds of 670 quintillion to 1 against.
How about the holes she has aced? Eight of the 10 are between 100 yards and 140 yards, but shorter holes aren't as easy as you might think. Both insurance companies say their rates rise by 10%, at most, for shorter holes.
There are three possible qualitative explanations for the feat. One, that the feat didn't happen, fits the principle of Occam's razor -- the simplest explanation tends to be best. But Ms. Gagne's story has checked out, with witnesses, in the Desert Sun's investigations.
Another is the notion of a hot hand, popular among basketball fans but not among researchers. They have found little evidence of streakiness as a factor in predicting whether the next shot will go in -- or how long any streak could last. Ms. Gagne's 10th ace caromed off a tree before sinking into the hole, which makes it neither illegitimate nor explainable by a hot streak.
Forty years ago, Mr. Davis had a hot streak: three aces in a week, five in a month and eight in a year. He has 51 career holes in one, considered by some the world record. He offers a third explanation: He aims for the hole. "Maybe because I made several early in my career, my brain focuses a lot better on the ultimate target," he says.
Mr. Davis says doctors measured his brain activity at the tee for par 3s and found it similar to that of golfers staring at long putts. He and some researchers also interviewed hundreds of Texas golfers, none of whom said they aim at the hole. Nor do most pros, who instead set up the best birdie putt.
Yet, Mr. Davis had an 11-year drought before hitting his 51st last month, at age 52. It made news before Ms. Gagne stole headlines. Ms. Gagne, meanwhile, says she just missed her 11th ace in four months by mere inches last week. "The only thing I thought about was the hole in one," she told me. "I didn't think of my surroundings. It was the perfect shot." Then, reconsidering, she adds, "If it was the perfect shot, it would have been a hole in one.
Welcome to the good life, Luke.
Hello Wapella folks,
Tonight I received a phone call from Bernadine Lord, (the mother of Ronnie, Alan, Mary Alice, Rick, Linda, & Mark - gosh did I name them all?) anyway her "class" is celebrating their 60th class reunion at the home of Chuck & Marilyn Underwood and they want to invite everyone who graduated, worked, or taught at any of the Wapella schools.
It will be Saturday, June 9, 2007 @ 5:30 PM at Chuck & Marilyn Underwood's house.
About 3-4 miles East on the Farmer City Blacktop & a big white house on the North side of the road (I think where Cooper's used to live).
If you would like to come, PLEASE CALL & LET THEM KNOW (217) 935-3236 and BRING:
Hot dogs & buns
1 covered dish
They will furnish drinks & table service.
Please pass this on to all the Wapella folks you can to get the word out.
Sounds like a great way to get everyone together. Call your classmates & pass the word - but don't forget to RSVP. Can anyone get this on the Wapella Website ? and in the Church bulletins ?
Judy (Schmid) Mowery
Chuck and Marilyn, do you know what you are getting yourself into here? Given this great opportunity to visit with other WHS Grads, I am projecting 500+ Wildcats will attend this reunion.
Come one, come all! to Chuck Underwood's WHS Reunion.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
By Pantagraph staff
HEYWORTH -- Officials were at a rural Heyworth residence Wednesday where they found dozens of cats, some in cages and some running free.The McLean County Department of Health, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Human Society of Central Illinois and McLean County sheriff’s olice were at the scene, which they left late Wednesday afternoon."
Monday, May 7, 2007
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Read through their biography, which is generally pleasant, then the typical Wildcat firecracker goes off about 1/2 way down:
"John or his cousin John W. Scott was indicted for assault with a knife in Dewitt county in October, 1851."
Notice that he was never convicted, just indicted. As this photo was taken in 1898 or so, it looks like JW Scott came out all right.
Friday, May 4, 2007
She is survived by her children, Wildcats Donny Cain, Jane Ann Thomas, and grandchildren Wildcats Brad Thomas, Sarah Holt, and Bruce Thomas, and Susan Thomas, Lt. Col Jeff Cain, Downey Gregory, Callan Cain, Ryan Beck and Rob Pollock and 14 Great Grandchildren.
Our condolences to the family of Irene Cain.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Wapella.com comment policy.
1) Meandering thought are welcomed. They cannot be much worse than what the editors already post.
2) Works of historical fiction presented as fact are generally encouraged.
3) You use vile language? We reserve the right to edit your purple prose, and throw in more obscenities, if it fits well.
4) Personal attacks are generally goaded on. But no attacks will be tolerated on other Wildcats. Maroons, Hornets, Blue Devils are fair prey.
5) Goat attacks are generally personal. No attacks on Nanny, Billy or any other Goats.
**Oh My wrote on April 24, 2007 8:41 PM:
"This is the craziest town, this is not the place to fight
I like the admonishment about spatting (a 152 year tradition in Hog City, mind you), then the realization that Wapella is intractable, so go ahead and "fight in ur town"
Couple-Three thoughts come to mind
1) Wapella is a Village not a Town. Call Blago if you want to change it. Get his wife a real estate commisision and he can probably arrange it.
2) "Ur" was an ancient city in southern Mesopotamia, or present day Iraq. Could this Pantagraph comment be a coded message to insurgent in Iraq?
3) Could Adlai Stevenson's Pantagraph sink any lower than publshing harping such as "get some lives people"? Anyone know how to do Pulitzer Prize nominations?
Norm Simmons of Wapella aced the 150-yard, No. 4 hole Tuesday using a 5-iron. Witnesses were Terry Robinson, Bob Laramee, Charles Davenport and Tom Daughtery. It was Simmons’10th career ace..
Glad to see Principal Davenport, one of the legendary athletes in Central Illinois Varsity Sports, recognized as a reliable witness to Athletic Feats.
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