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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.

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…

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.

This essay is not about who should be elected president in November, but about something arguably as important: How to avoid a sloppy election count, which could throw the nation into chaos.

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Many cultures encourage learning through traveling and reading. Sometimes people find it is more effective and fun to learn through travel than through the written word. For example there is a traditional Chinese saying, “It is better to travel 10,000 miles than to read 10,000 books.”

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There are 4,000 degree-granting colleges and universities in our nation: community colleges, private liberal arts colleges, regional and urban public universities, and graduate research centers. I have taught within each type; each has its strengths and makes distinctive contributions to society.

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.

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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.

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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.