Feature

Hope for the hungry

One in four Illinoisans go hungry. This is especially true in rural areas of the state. The faces of hunger aren’t always those you expect, and many are facing food insecurity for the first time due to COVID-19. Molly Delaney, Eastern Illinois Foodbank (EIF) vice president of development, shares the story of Lewis. Lewis, a freelance […]

Reindeer Games

While central Illinois may not be home to the most famous reindeer of all, it is home to Vixen and Blitzen, as well as other reindeer you may not have heard of including Shazam, Hallelujah, Sugar Plum, Snowball and Griswold. “You don’t know how many adults think reindeer are fictional,” says Julie Hardy of Hardy’s […]

Cookies-1st Place

2020 Cookie Contest Entries

Cookies and the holidays just seem to go together! Our contest proved to be very popular with well over 200 entries received. A favorite of young and old alike, cookies appeal to the Cookie Monster in all of us. It was a difficult decision narrowing down the choices and the ultimate winners. Judges commented that […]

Saluting Vice Admiral Brown

Nancy Brown, or more properly known as Vice Admiral Nancy Brown, U.S. Navy (retired), could be described as a veteran’s veteran. Just from her military achievements and accomplishments alone, fellow veterans admire the rural Marion native. But it is her ongoing and unwavering support and service to other former sailors and soldiers that continues to […]

Cruise the colors of the Great River Road

Miles of breathtaking views along Illinois’ western border, 550 of them, offer a wide variety of options to stop and explore. Absorb the views of towering bluffs, rolling countryside, sweeping panoramas of river communities, and the mighty Mississippi along the Great River Road. The green and white paddlewheel logo of the Great River Road marks the […]

Getting to the core of craft cider

To Brad Genung, cider is not just his business, it’s his passion. Like so many small businesses, his cidery was born of necessity. The story begins more than two decades ago and a world away from the rolling hills of Union County in southern Illinois. As the 1990s drew to close, Brad grew tired of […]

Balloons in the sky

Soaring to new heights

“I think we always have a dream to fly,” says Lisa Kempner, sales director of Lindstrand Balloons USA. “That ability to leave the earth … there’s an excitement of not knowing where you’re going because you’re moving with the wind. I think it opens our imagination.” Kempner, along with company president Phil Thompson, founded the […]

A league of their own

When 90-year-old Helen Wyatt sits in the stands at Beyer Stadium, she is more than just a casual observer. When she cheers on the hometown Rockford Starfires, her connection with the team goes beyond that of any normal fan. Her very presence in the stands serves as a source of inspiration to the Starfires – women […]

Through the lens of Geoffrey Mikol

On a typical morning, with a Nikon dangling from his neck, 25-year-old Geoffrey Mikol strolls down Galena’s picturesque Main Street to pick up his morning iced tea. Along the way, he pauses to say good morning to fellow business owners and may stop and visit for a while. If something catches his eye, he’ll hesitate […]

Dana-Thomas House

The Wright Stuff

Michael and Sarah Petersdorf’s home near Hampshire is like many farm homes across Illinois. It has been passed down from generation to generation. The Petersdorfs now live in the house originally built for her grandparents in 1951, not far from the barn on the former family farm. All in all, the Muirhead Farmhouse is much […]