Secondary Feature


All politics is local.

Next month, Americans will go to the polls and cast votes for a president, 34 senators, 435 members of Congress, 12 governors, 5,920 state legislators and countless other local races. While the presidential race is at the top of most voters’ minds, it is the state and local races that have a more direct and […]

Bunnies and hatchets and whip-purs, oh my!

Eagles, bulldogs and tigers are the three most common high school mascots in the United States. Each sound equally strong. But not all high school mascots in Illinois sound quite as intimidating. Just as you’ve likely heard, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” so it can be said about each anomalous mascot. Many come […]


Welcome to Chester

While the name Popeye is known throughout the world, the same is not true for the name Elzie Segar, the man who inked the comic strip of the muscle-bound, spinach-eating sailor. It is also unlikely you know Segar was born in 1894 and raised in Chester, allowing the small southwestern Illinois town the right to […]


Don’t get up to your neck in septic system problems

Every homeowner that uses a septic system for wastewater treatment should clean their septic tank every one to three years. This type of maintenance must be done to remove scum and sludge that builds up in the tank. If this material builds up too much, it will plug up the drainage field lines, creating a […]


Turning coal waste into a valuable resource

Coal generated more than half the nation’s electricity as recently as 10 years ago, but that share has fallen to one-third. The decline of coal generation will continue as new environmental rules are set in place and prices for natural gas remain relatively low. So it’s curtains for coal, right? Not so fast. The Environmental […]


Register and vote

Election season is in full swing. Some of it can drive you crazy – the commercials, the robo calls, etc. But as candidates head out to engage voters in their communities, it’s vital they know that millions of electric cooperative members will cast their ballots in 2016. That means you need to register to vote, […]

Photo by Tom Foster

Traveling with grandchildren

I  became a grandmother January 12, 2015 when Ainsley Hazel Moore arrived. One of my dreams for this sweet little girl is for her to enjoy the excitement and adventure of travel like I do and I think she has a pretty good start. She visited eight states her first year! As a travel writer, […]


Humble and kind

Hardworking, honest, passionate, generous, positive, present, a role model, friends, family and faith. These are all words from the top-10 list Amy Smith used to describe her father Jon Lang, the 2016 Illinois Country Living Father of the Year and Rock Energy Cooperative member. “I’m flattered by this, but the biggest honor for me was […]


Chocolate runs in their blood

You can feel a nostalgic ambience as you step into the doors of Lagomarcino’s and see the long glass cases of brightly colored candies and a multitude of hand dipped chocolates. Look a bit further and the handcrafted dark mahogany wood of the original back bar, with its shelves of soda and sundae glasses, and […]

Anthony Bowman, Education Outreach Coordinator with the McLean County Museum of History, presents the What’s Cookin! Gadgets from around the Kitchen to a group of seniors at Luther Oaks, Bloomington. In this photo, ­participants share their memories while Bowman ­displays a Carnival Glass candy dish.

Filling the holes in memories

By Meredith Bollinger History is important. Through time it has taught us ­lessons and embedded momentous occasions deep within our memories. However, we still take for granted what the past means to us through our local or personal histories. Generally speaking, we can remember what toys we used to play with, what clothes we used […]