Secondary Feature

2012 05 GRAPHIC Tornado

Co-op member provides shelter from the storm

Sometimes a tragedy provides a spark of an idea for a ­solution. In 2002 a tornado destroyed several homes near where Don Guymon and his wife, Betty, lived. Members of Tri-County Electric Cooperative in Mt. Vernon, Ill., the Guymons were alarmed by the lack of ­shelters for people who lived in vulnerable housing like mobile and […]



Each year on the last Monday in May, the hauntingly beautiful scenes of rows of pristine white grave ­markers in our National Cemeteries appear in newspapers and on television reminding us it is Memorial Day. Usually the graves are decorated with American flags, helping us recall and honor those who perished in defense of our […]


The worst Civil War tragedy few remember

A lot of family trees have a fork connected in some way to the Civil War. My family tree’s connection was my great-great grandfather, Captain Deming Norton Lowrey and a disaster on the Mississippi River you’ve probably never heard about. The story includes some mystery, scandal and even some Illinois politics and wartime corruption. Capt. […]

The lovely Crenshaw Mansion was the perfect cover for unspeakable slave-trading activity. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Dwain Harrelson.

The Devil’s web:

Panting, he scurried through the brush, his tattered clothes and bloody feet ­evidence of the harrowing journey he’d endured since escaping days earlier. As the sound of men’s voices and baying hounds grew louder, he knew he’d soon be captured, and the brutal whippings on his already scarred and bloodied back would resume. Such was […]


No regrets greenhouses

By Kristen Hannum Like many luxuries once reserved for royalty or the wealthy, greenhouses have come to the middle class. They’ll never be as widespread as indoor plumbing, but as the cost of greenhouses has come down, more gardeners want one for themselves. Karen Higgins bought an 8-by-14-foot greenhouse ­several years ago as a necessity— […]


Eat real and move more

When was the last time your family sat down to eat dinner together? I’m not talking about opening the bag from your favorite fast food restaurant, but actually preparing a meal at home. As lives have become busier, cooking skills have declined. Many parents feel they lack the time and skills to cook a nutritious […]


Efficient water heating technology options

By Thomas Kirk Water heating is the second largest use of energy in homes, accounting for approximately 14 to 18 percent of residential energy consumption. In addition to wrapping water heaters and pipes in insulation, there are many technologies in this market to help lower energy consump­tion and save consumers money. These tech­nologies include heat […]

PupDog Bakery has a very popular peanut butter bar coated in carob with a yogurt drizzle.

Bakery business is going to the dogs

There’s nothing quite like being greeted with joy as you return home after a long day at work. Feeling the love from having someone so happy to see you just lifts the ­spirits, and that wagging tail says it all! That’s right, I’m talking about the four-legged companion that is rightfully referred to as man’s […]


Classroom Empowerment grants receive high marks from teachers

All too often, the news we hear about school finances isn’t good. Budgets have been cut to the bone, and teachers must spend a portion of their hard-earned money on supplies for their classrooms. But here’s good news for a change. Help has come to many Illinois classrooms through Touchstone Energy® Classroom Empowerment grants. The […]


Living securely in a Facebook world

By Dan Gerard Charles Caleb Colton once said, “Imitation is the ­sincerest form of flattery.” However, when it pertains to your digital identity, I would have to disagree. We live in a digital world consisting of Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, online banking, digital ­versions of credit cards, and cell phones that do all this and […]