When you hear a statement like, “No I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.”, what is the first thing you think of?  That some store owner has not paid their periodic “bill” for their protection to the Mafia (if it still exists)?  How about the IRS saying that you are required to pay your taxes?  Or did you wonder about who is “them” in this statement before anything else?

I was initially supporting Christie Cox for coroner simply because I’ve known her for many years and always found her to be a person of integrity. 

According to USDA about 97% of the United States’ 2.1 million farms are considered family farms and 88% of all U.S. farms have a gross cash farm income of less than $350,000 annually, putting them in the small family farm category.

(Paid letter) Dear editor, I have known Chad Horner for over 30 years. I had the distinct privilege of working with him for 19+ years during my career at Ogle County Hospice, now Serenity …

As I sit and shiver through the rest of winter, I know it will be only a few weeks into the distance that Spring planting season will be upon us. I’m sure in machine sheds across the corn belt that many farmers have already begun the process of getting equipment ready for the season. That means one thing for sure: Plenty of busted knuckles.

Last summer, I was among the cadre of American attorneys who accompanied the Most Reverend Edward J. Burns, Roman Catholic bishop of Dallas, on a pilgrimage to England centered on the life of St. Thomas More. 

Americans believe two things about immigration. One is that a nation must be able to guard its borders from unwanted outsiders. The other is that immigrants are good for the country and should be encouraged to come here.

Lucille was born in Rochelle in 1892 and attended school in the three-story brick school at Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street. The school housed all grades from elementary through high school. It was 1910 when Lucille was a featured soloist at the school’s Thanksgiving Festival and graduated from Rochelle High School. For Lucille this was only the beginning of her education. 

Over the next five years, millions of dollars could be funneled into efforts to help farmers rotate their crops, preserve their soil, improve how their animals are fed and, along the way, significantly reduce the 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions that come from agriculture.

The work firefighters do is among the most essential, needed, but hazardous jobs worldwide. Firefighters not only save lives when a fire breaks out but are often the first responders in other emergencies, too. The job comes with many risks to their life and health, such as heat stress and associated cardiovascular disease, accidents, exposure to various toxic chemicals, and consequently, an increased risk of developing certain job-related cancers.

One of the primary issues on farmers’ minds in 2024 will be reauthorization of the federal farm bill. We all depend on agriculture’s success, so it’s important for farmers and ranchers to be supported by strong farm programs as they face weather disasters, high supply costs and inflationary pressure.

There still seems to be a large swath of voters that feel the 2020 election was stolen.  Even though every challenge to the results was deliberated in the courts and found to be baseless. 

There are many things we take for granted; turn the tap and water comes out, flip the switch and the lights come on, call for help and the police or fire departments are on the way. What few consider is that all of these, and more city services, are directly impacted by the city’s utility department.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  At the library, we love books and reading.  So many people in our community share our love of reading. 

Being in recovery, especially in the early stages, has its ups and downs. Dating is not necessarily a top priority for everyone, but it’s nice to have companionship.

Finding and affording labor are among the top challenges Illinois farmers, suppliers and processors tell me they face in 2024.

The Republicans seem to be okay with Former President Trump saying that if he were elected president again, he wouldn’t be a dictator “other than day one”.  Some believe that this was said in jest, a joke of some type, I guess. But if we believe he would do this, what would he be on day two through day whatever?  Explicitly, there is no answer in his comment.  Implicitly, if you are dictator on day one, then you are obviously a dictator.

Among the four different types of technology, production technology is the knowledge, tools, machines, and processes that we humans use to produce the artifacts we need and want to improve our lives.

It appears that the migrant crisis has hit the fan recently, even though it has been happening since 2020. The reason why there is currently such a discussion concerning migrants entering the U.S. is that virtually every state is now affected. In the past, it was the border state's problem, i.e. “not in my backyard.”

For years, enrollment in Illinois’ public schools has been on the decline, but the number of English Learners (ELs) – students in PreK through 12th grade who require additional programming to develop academic English enabling their full participation in school – is on the rise. From 2010 to 2011 to SY2020-21, the EL population in Illinois has more than doubled, from 156,888 to 245,592 students. These students require qualified bilingual educators to succeed. Without such teachers, vital lessons in math, science, and reading fall by the wayside.

Mapping out a succession plan to keep a farm in the family and family members on the farm is important. Farm family members must adopt a vision for keeping their farm operation in the family to pass onto future generations.

I am writing to lend my support to Chad Horner for Ogle County Coroner. first met Chad through his wife, Dionne. Dionne became employed by me as a freelance court reporter, and we worked together for nearly 12 years. During that time, I got to know them on both a professional and personal level.

There’s a hunger in America for civility. I hear it again and again from people who follow this column. They mourn its decline because they understand a crucial fact: Democracy dies when civility disappears.

The “State of Our Educator Pipeline 2023” report by Advance Illinois underscores the challenges in Illinois' education system and the urgent need to address the teacher shortage comprehensively. While recruiting more teachers is important, addressing teacher attrition, responsible for 90% of the demand, requires a deeper examination of root causes and strategies to retain high-quality educators.

Whether you began in January or are starting later in the month or February, it’s never too late to give yourself a month of abstaining from alcohol. It’s a great way to kick start the year and give yourself mental and physical clarity.

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