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Dateline Dixon: Turns out, B for more than Bally

DIXON – If you picked up Tuesday’s newspaper, you might have seen an article I wrote about Jack Bally and his replica B-17 G bomber.

As I wrote here last week, I want to use this column to include information I might not have had the chance to include in an article, but can still be interesting. My interview with Bally is a perfect example of why.

Bally, 73, has spent more than 27,000 hours since 1999 working on his one-third-scale replica of the World War II bomber. He expects and hopes to be able to fly it in 2 years.

The tail of the plane, when finished and painted, will have a triangle with the letter B in the center, which photographer Alex Paschal mentioned in the caption for one of the photos. But there’s a story about that logo that neither Alex nor I had the time or room to include.

As Paschal noted, Bally picked the triangle because he liked the shape. The B in the center is for Bally. But as it turns out, that same logo had actually been used on actual B-17 bombers, Bally said during the interview. It was only after he put it on his plane that he discovered this, he said.

The black triangle was common on the bombers, so Bally, unknowingly, made his replica plane more accurate than he anticipated.


For last weekend’s edition, I wrote about the increase in low-income students in Sauk Valley public schools.

I spoke with many of the superintendents and also with Terri Lawrence, president and CEO of Tri-County Opportunities Council.

The organization, Lawrence said, had lost about 14 slots for the early head start program this year as a result of sequestration and its automatic spending cuts. The Tri-County Opportunities Council, Lawrence said, was cut by $332,000.

There was some good news from Lawrence: Her organization was seeing a shorter waitlist for its services, she said, but was still trying to find its way with a smaller budget.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at or at 815-284-2224, ext. 229. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

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