Protests from the Rev. Cleo Willis' and droppings from the Weather Bird

Poor Rev. Cleo Willis. Apparently no good social-activist action goes unpunished. Veteran protester Willis went to Decatur, Ill., to join the Rev. Jesse Jackson in the hubbub about the adolescents suspended from a Decatur high school for fighting. Willis, like Jackson and others, got busted. But in a "press release" faxed out this week, Willis says, "Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Rev. John Cunningham's charges were reduced. Mr. Mark Allen's were thrown out. However, my charges, which are very severe, have been increased." Poor Cleo. He also claims that the Decatur Herald & Review stated that when "Willis was arrested, he held his arm out and spun in a circle, striking two police officers." Cleo denies being a whirling dervish. "My arms were never out, they were up," says Willis.... Give the Post-Dispatch points for coming clean, if not for knowing its own history. In Sunday's "Pages of History," the history of the Weatherbird was chronicled. Trouble was, the chronicle omitted artist Oscar Chopin, who drew the bird from 1903-10. That correction ran Tuesday. At least it didn't blame an unreliable source.

Give us your feedback by e-mailing "Short Cuts" at shortcuts@rftstl. com, faxing 314-615-6716 or calling 314-615-6711.

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