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In 1722, Daniel Defoe, the author of “Robinson Crusoe,” wrote “A Journal of the Plague Year.” In 1665, the Black Death hit London and England. Defoe was only 5 years old at the time, but drawing on diaries left by an uncle, he wrote an account of the plague that was both horrific and heroic.

RURAL DEWEY — There are times when special arrangements have to be made and some rules changed just a bit.

Prior to the coronavirus, our kitchen was just a room we had to walk through to get to the laundry. We wondered aloud whether we even needed a kitchen. The dishwasher doubles as a handy filing cabinet.

This year since June, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder our national and local media have been reporting demonstrations and featuring conversational articles on issues of racism and African American experiences in our country.

SPRINGFIELD – Imagine being handcuffed to a table in a police interrogation room for seven hours and not allowed to call a lawyer or even take a restroom break — even though you had done nothing wrong.

Life is such an amazing event. It happens involuntarily, and your body responds and is active all on its own, mostly. There are parts of you that are not involuntary, and you must make choices from your heart and mind.

We have a large, old decorative tin that we keep sewing supplies in. I don’t think anyone in our house knows how to sew, but if we ever learn, we’re well prepared.

I’ve an avid reader of H. V. Morton, who, during the 1930s, became the best-paid author in the world by writing travelogues — “In Search of England,” “In Search of Scotland,” etc. He was a gifted writer who wove history, local anecdotes, legends and an elegant style into all his books.

A couple of weeks ago, the UI and our community lost a legend — Lou Henson (1932-2020), who passed away. Our local newspaper — The News Gazette — ran a front-page story and some additional sections of memorial stories on him

The recent admission by behemoth electric utility Commonwealth Edison that it repeatedly bribed minions of Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan for years (of course, Madigan knew nothing about all this; sure, right) was breathtaking for its brazenness.

I’m wondering if everything good has already been invented. These are some of the worst inventions I’ve ever heard of.

Late-afternoon thunderstorms in the summer remind me of happy times. It brings me back to a time when I was younger. And, perhaps, it started way back when my family lived in the trailer park.

I am hearing a worried buzz about our republic not holding together, something I have never in my long life encountered before. Some (many?) on the “left” worry about President Trump calling the election invalid and holding onto power.

Every teacher I know, every principal and every superintendent, wants kids in school. I don’t know any educator who thinks remote learning is better for kids in preschool to 12th grade.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker made an unqualified demand for state Sen. Tom Cullerton’s resignation after he was indicted on bribery charges. He made an unqualified demand for state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s resignation as a committee chair after his office was raided by federal agents. He made a…

Put me in the blender and press ‘speed.’ I want the events of the past couple of weeks to make some kind of sense. Not this.

Due to the long-needed tower facility maintenance, plus the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, for more than two years I had not heard the UI Altgeld Hall chime music. That was why I was so excited to read in the June 19 edition of The News-Gazette that a special chime concert would be perform…

An effective starting point for reforming the criminal justice system would be allowing law enforcement officers to step down from the “hero” pedestal Americans placed them on after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In a recent column, I averred that the George Floyd death and protests-in-reaction represented a classic case of the powerful “us-versus-them” syndrome that is baked into the human brain. Racism is a subset of this syndrome.

RURAL DEWEY — At Society for Hooved Animals Rescue and Emergency, our aim is to give the rescued horses peace, care, love and the freedom to be a horse.