Secondary Feature

Take two pets, and call me in the morning

“Petting, scratching and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.”       -Dean Koontz As you approach your house, you hear the familiar taps of nails on the tile floor. When you slowly open the door, you […]

Lights out!

“Where were you when the lights went out?” became a catch phrase more than 50 years ago, when The Great Northeast Blackout occurred. It was joked about in popular TV shows of the day like “Green Acres” and “Bewitched.” But to utilities and policy makers on both sides of the Great Lakes, the blackout was […]


The search for the perfect tree

Whenever I think about the annual search for a perfect Christmas tree, the image from Christmas Vacation of the Griswold family heading out into the country in their station wagon, while Clark and Ellen sing Christmas carols, always comes to mind. Clark says, “We’re kicking off our fun old-fashioned family Christmas by heading out into […]

White triumphs in Women’s National Hot Air Balloon Championship

Cheri White, general manager of Illinois-based Cooperative Balloon Associates, LLC (CBA), won the U.S. Women’s National Hot Air Balloon Championship title during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM in October. White, who hails from Austin, Tex., has held the title since she won the first national women’s championship 17 years ago. White is […]

Coal plant sulfur improves soil and corn production

Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC) has truly turned lemons into lemonade. Under EPA regulations, SIPC is required to reduce the sulfur dioxide emissions that come from burning Illinois coal for electricity generation. The generation and transmission cooperative decided to go the extra mile and install equipment that would take the unwanted SO2 gas and turn […]

A call to duty and beyond

The first life-changing call Jared Bullock answered was the call of his nation following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was then that he and his twin brother decided to enlist in the Army, a plan they fulfilled just two years later. This path would lead to other callings. He answered another life-changing […]

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 […]