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It was the winter when my cousin Diane died that we recognized the severity of the situation. Every situation has a turning point, and this was ours. 

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SPRINGFIELD — Every August, Sandy Fulgenzi shuts down the restaurant she owns with her husband, John, and stands along Sangamon Avenue waving a flag trying to get folks to pay to park in their parking lot.

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The block I grew up on was double-sized. Adjacent to our house was an alley that divided the block, but it had never been rocked or paved, so it was a wide grassy strip that connected all the backyards in the neighborhood. 

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 In 2019, state lawmakers raised taxes on gasoline, tobacco products, parking in Chicago, vehicle trade-ins and online purchases. They also increased fees for vehicle registration and new vehicle documentation. 

I started to reflect on the pivotal moments of this year because it’s December, and that’s what people do in December: they sit down and compose a list of every person, place or thing they’ve crossed paths with throughout the entire year. 

RURAL DEWEY — Thank goodness the weather cooperated for our open house in October at the Society for Hooved Animals Rescue and Emergency.

I knew this day would come. I was hoping it would be a long while yet. But when that little black train rolls into the station, you have to board whether you like it or not.

If you don’t believe in miracles then I really hope you didn’t watch the Illini football game on Saturday. 

 Moweaqua ---— The Fisher Bunnies football season ended in the second round of the IHSA playoffs for the second straight season. The Bunnies fell to Central A&M 69-34. 

My sister, whom has had a long struggle with alcohol, gave up custody of her daughter many years ago to her ex-husband. My niece was four when this happened and since then I have reached out at least once a year with a Christmas card just to let them know I was thinking about them. My niece …

Senate President John Cullerton repeatedly said that he wanted to make an “informed” decision about state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s leadership role before Sandoval resigned as chairman of the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee.

From 1997 to 2017, almost 400,000 people died from an opioid overdose nationally. The number of opioid-induced deaths in 2017 alone was six times higher than 1999. That year, drug overdoses killed a record-breaking 72,300 Americans, more than the yearly death tolls from HIV, car crashes and …

I muse widely, yet my knowledge base in quite narrow. So, I could sure use help from thoughtful readers who know more than I about the topics below, which I am beginning to explore for possible essays. If you have informed thoughts and links to good sources, please email at jnowlan3@gmail.com.

We all are born with the desire to belong somewhere and to someone. It is not a place or person that you have chosen that counts. It is the love and will of the Father that has created you.

You might have been asked recently to sign a petition to put a candidate on the ballot in 2020. It’s that season, and, though a truism, if good people don’t run for office, democracy doesn’t work. You ought to try running. Here’s how.

Due to my cultural heritage and for a very obvious reason I have been always interested in ceramic art and potteries since I came to Illinois. 

Some things never change. I was reading a 100-year-old paper from our archives and the editor was grousing about how everyone wants their events and businesses mentioned in the newspaper but apparently don’t think the editor needs to eat.

Let the sunshine in. The Rantoul City Schools (RCS) has the opportunity to shed light on its future school board meetings. 

Most mornings are spent on thinking about the day ahead and figuring out how it should be. Will it be easy, slow or hard? 

Sir Edward Baldwin Malet was one of Queen Victoria’s most trusted diplomats, representing Great Britain in China, Greece, the Ottoman Empire, Belgium, Germany and Egypt. In his book, “Shifting Scenes,” he tells some of the experiences he had during his career, one of which involved a private…

I switched over to a cigar brand called Mark Twain hoping they would help provide inspiration. A box and a half later, all I’m inspired to do is to buy a better brand of cigars.