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WOW was I wrong. Not totally wrong but wrong nonetheless. What can I say? COVID-19 is still a major part of our lives like it or not. But I’m an optimist, a person who believes in people.  

WASHINGTON — In speeches during the 1960 presidential campaign, John Kennedy addressed Americans’ anxiety about national lassitude at the end of eight years under Dwight Eisenhower by mildly saying: “I believe we can do better.” Joe Biden, responding to national embarrassment about the least…

It’s been nearly two months since I’ve been to the cigar shop due to the pandemic quarantine. I have plenty of cigars but a big part of the enjoyment of cigars is being in the shop bantering with the others.

The coronavirus crisis has exposed critical fault lines in our nation’s bedrock, which must be addressed. I identify three below, but there are others, such as fiscal sufficiency for Social Security and Medicare, both programs taking a hit from the virus and our spending to combat it.

After weeks of sheltering in place, I’ve started to run out of interesting ways to waste time while sheltering in place. So I Googled “things to do while sheltering in place.”

The prestigious Moondance International Film Festival has named local author Kenny Chumbley’s script, "The Goblins and the Gravedigger," a 2019 winner in the written works category.Chumbley’s work is a retelling of a forgotten Dickens story ("The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton") tha…

By KENNY CHUMBLEYRantoul Press columnistIt’s easily the most horrific tale of child abuse I’ve read.Ruth was part of a large family raised on a dairy farm in a strict religious community in Pennsylvania; big house, big oaks, fields of corn and hay — an idyllic setting where things like what …

By PAULINE POREMBARantoul Press columnistI thank all the people who took the time to wish me a happy 77th birthday. Bless all of you, and thank you.Now I am not sure if the group that sent the cute post cards out that said you vote for whomever, you want, just don’t vote for the  two that th…

The Bradley Braves will be doing something the team hasn’t done in about 13 years, going to the NCAA Tournament. The team had to win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Sunday to get in the tournament. That’s quite an accomplishment, especially considering how small of a school Brad…

By HEIDE FOGALRantoul Press columnistDEWEY — Thank goodness March has arrived. After weeks of cold, wind, snow and rain we can hope that spring is almost upon us.

By LEATRICE PACERantoul Press columnistIt is time to tell the truth. Truth still is the No. 1 reason to do the right thing, say the right thing and behave in a manner worthy of being trusted.In life we all fall short of the glory of God, but that does not mean you have to continue in shortco…

By IAN WANGRantoul Press columnistCurrently I am halfway through teaching an OLLI class on the Art of Collecting Art. I have to say one of the most rewarding parts of collecting art is the opportunity to learn from the art collected.

By AUSTIN BERGFor Rantoul PressGov. J.B. Pritzker took his first steps toward axing Illinois’ flat income tax protection this week. His administration began building a roll call on what will be one of the toughest Statehouse votes in years, with the House of Representatives as the battleground.

By DAVID PORTERRantoul Press columnistBad news for kids these days. The tooth fairy has reduced her rates by 14 percent from last year.I don’t know how these numbers are tracked, but a group called Delta Dental apparently polls its young patients, or perhaps they have a direct line for the t…

By DAVID PORTERRantoul Press columnistI called my 4-year-old grandson on the phone. Here’s the brief conversation:"Hi, Ben.""Hi, Grandpa. Where’s Grandma?""She’s right here. Do you want to talk to her?""Yes."

By SCOTT REEDERRantoul Press columnistSPRINGFIELD – Political courage is a rare commodity in Springfield. And new ideas are rarer still.When politicians face challenges, they usually dig out the same tired political play books and take the path of least resistance. In regard to funding state…

By KENNY CHUMBLEYRantoul Press columnistIn Marc Connelly’s wonderful 1930 play, "The Green Pastures" (wherein heaven is viewed through the eyes of African-Americans in the Deep South), there’s a scene involving Pharaoh and his head magician.

By SHERRIE FAULKNERRantou Press columnistMy mother is 83 years old and lives by herself. I am constantly worrying that she is going to hurt herself or go without something she needs because of her limited mobility. I really want her to go to a nursing home, but she refuses. What can I do?

By LEATRICE PACERantoul Press columnistIt is important to let your light shine in this dark world. It is really hard to let it shine brightly.So many circumstances invade your life and cause your light to dim. But be of good cheer. The Lord has overcome the world already.

By CARISSA NELSONRantoul Press columnistCooking when your main audience is children is high highs and low lows. It’s like sometimes they’re scraping the plate, and sometimes they’re rejecting your dinner for literally no reason.

I’m still settling in here as the sports editor at the Rantoul Press as I enter my third week. I feel like I am still catching up and trying to figure things out. I hate disappointing people, whether it be my bosses or the people who read the newspaper. So bear with me where I am going with this.

By HEIDE FOGALRantoul Press columnistDEWEY — Society for Hooved Animal Rescue and Emergency managed to survive the polar vortex, but not without some expected issues.The horses are all in their stalls with extra hay, heated water buckets, and the older inhabitants had on cozy blankets. Thing…

By SCOTT REEDERRantoul Press columnistSPRINGFIELD — Last Tuesday was my birthday, and it was also Abraham Lincoln’s.If you grow up in Illinois, sharing a birthday with our state’s martyred saint, expect to be thoroughly indoctrinated in Lincoln lore.

By LEATRICE PACERantoul Press columnistIt all began years ago, but the preparation time has been extensive. I am not sure why it has taken so long, but God knows for sure. His timing is never too early or to late.

By SCOTT REEDERRantoul Press columnistSPRINGFIELD — I walked into a Springfield McDonald’s the other day and saw a long line standing in front of the teen-age clerk taking orders, so I ordered my breakfast on a touchscreen.Customers rather than employees can peck away at screens and send the…

By LEATRICE PACERantoul Press columnistI just want to bring some insight from an American black woman’s perspective. I would have never known there was a difference if I had never entered public school back in the ‘60s.

By SCOTT REEDERRantoul Press columnistSPRINGFIELD – "I want a "smart refrigerator," Daddy."My 10-year-old Anna made that pronouncement as we stood in front of a row of 20 refrigerators last week at a Springfield appliance store.The salesman said, "Wouldn’t you like to see some of our Maytag models?"

By CARISSA NELSONRantoul Press columnistCaptain’s Soup is an easy peasy cold weather dinner that cooks up in the slow cooker and is ready to go the moment you hit the door, which is a recipe I use often because my children are still in a phase of wanting to eat within five seconds of arriving home.

By DAVID PORTERRantoul Press columnistA lot of people think the internet is killing newspapers, and maybe they’re partly right. But for smaller, community papers, most things we do are not dupliscated on the internet.

By KENNY CHUMBLEYRantoul Press columnistHoward came from a broken home, and school was bad news for him from day one. He never seemed to share his teachers’ theory of education; the minute they left the room, he would put on a show.

By LEATRICE PACERantoul Press columnistAt the heart of the matter is loveCollecting all the memories, thoughts and plans that a person can make in one life time, it is truly amazing that one person can have so many thoughts.

By AUSTIN BERGFor Rantoul PressIllinois House Republicans are out with an independent mapmaking plan. And Gov. J.B. Pritzker is on the record saying he’ll reject a legislative map drawn under political influence. The 2020 census is just around the corner, after which Illinois must redraw its…

Stephen Pastis got a great deal of attention from his "Pearls Before Swine" cartoon Sunday strip that appeared in Jan. 13 newspapers. It focuses on the role of newspapers as watchdogs over local government, and how that future could be jeopardized by the internet.

By DAVID PORTERRantoul Press columnistTime got away from me, so I’m recycling a column from 2013. Recycling is good, right?I’m not suggesting that this was the best column from the recycling bin, but it was the first one I grabbed:

SPRINGFIELD – Twenty-five years ago some folks were offended when Gov. Ann Richards attended a performance of the "The Vagina Monologues" on Broadway.Prudish, mostly conservative individuals found the idea of women talking about their private parts, well, disconcerting.  

For those of you who truly know me, then I know you truly see me as I am.I am a person with a great desire and passion for helping others in need. I strive daily to be obedient to the Word of God and live a life that is a righteous example that comes from following Christ Jesus.