click to enlarge A Sangamon County jury has awarded $750,000 to the family of Eric Jones, who was 16 in 2007 when he drowned in Lake Springfield while trying to save his brother. A 2015 trial ended with an award of slightly more than $1 million. The city, contending that Jones’ family deserved nothing, appealed to the Fourth Circuit Appellate Court.
A Sangamon County jury has awarded $750,000 to the family of Eric Jones, who was 16 in 2007 when he drowned in Lake Springfield while trying to save his brother. A 2015 trial ended with an award of slightly more than $1 million. The city, contending that Jones’ family deserved nothing, appealed to the Fourth Circuit Appellate Court.

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FORGET APPEAL

I went to the Lake Springfield beach frequently with my daughter ("City hit with six-figure verdict," May 20). The lifeguards rarely paid any attention to the water. I was there the day Eric Jones drowned, leaving shortly before the drowning. The lifeguards were not paying attention. The city needs to forget the appeal and move on.

Amy Cryer Shreve
Via Facebook.com/Illinoistimes

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PARENTS RESPONSIBLE

My son worked at the beach the last year it was opened; people would drop a car full of kids off and leave for the day, expecting free babysitting. While it's horrible to lose a child, I would never leave a kid who couldn't swim.

Katy Broglin
Via Facebook.com/Illinoistimes

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NOTHING OWED

The family should have got nothing. Eric Jones was where he should not have been. Do you think that every family that has someone drown at an ocean beach collects? What happened to the concept of assuming responsibility for your own actions?

Norm Koefoed
Via Facebook.com/Illinoistimes

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PAY UP

Twice now, CWLP has been found guilty. The city made this family wait all these years – the system is lagging, to say the least. Now please pay them, and let them move on and stop reliving the nightmare.

Darcy Woodrum
Via Facebook.com/Illinoistimes

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EXELON DONATES

The Exelon Foundation gives annually to the Illinois Environmental Council, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Faith in Place and other groups who agreed to support Exelon rate hikes as part of the 2016 energy bill ("The nuclear option: Politicians embrace reactors," May 13). Exelon also sponsors tables at organizational fundraisers for several of these groups.

Will Reynolds
Via Facebook.com/Illinoistimes

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BAD CALL ON SPORTS COMPLEX

The city leaders have voted to spend $25 million on a sports complex in Legacy Pointe. They also voted to add taxes to our overburdened hotels and motels fighting for their continued existence coming out of COVID.

As to sports complexes, there are some scattered throughout the state, unused and falling into disrepair, constructed on the predicate, "If you build them, they will come." But as in zero-sum games, not all are going to be successful, because those using them tend to sign long-term contracts to garner discounts. Unfortunately, some cities are still paying to retire bonds floated for unused facilities.

The truly sad part is Legacy Pointe was built on the premise it would become a large business center around the Scheels anchor. Now a quarter of it is foreclosed from economic development, with its property and sales taxes abated, never to see small businesses develop. If Scheels bails because of a lack of business development around it, it will become an albatross for decades.

A better place for a sports development would have been the 40 undeveloped acres in back of the Springfield Racquet & Fitness Center. It is accessible from the interstate with infrastructure already developed.

That being said, I hope the complex succeeds. I would rather see kids out there sweating hard than sitting around playing with smartphones.

Bill Klein
Springfield

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