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editor's pick

Growing up in Egypt I was surprised to realize that I had more than 100 uncles and 200 aunts. It took me a while to understand that every man in our neighborhood was an “uncle” and every woman was an “aunt.” That was the way we, as children, addressed all the friends and acquaintances of our…

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editor's pick

Friday was the last day at the EDN for reporter Kaitlin Cordes. While Kaitlin was earning her journalism degree at Eastern Illinois University, she interned with us for two summers before joining the paper full-time. Her most recent beat was covering Effingham City Hall and Unit 40 schools. …

Now that it's becoming undeniable that Joe Biden has a substantial – and seemingly durable – lead on Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election, references to the supposed polling problems of 2016 are being made with increasing frequency.

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. From the “right” comes concerns that those leading and s…

editor's pick

Roses to the Effingham County Dive and Rescue Team for averting what could have been a tragedy early Friday morning. As EDN reporter Charles Mills reports, a mother and daughter called 911 from the roof of a van that had been washed off the road and were rescued by the team. The pair were re…

editor's pick

During the 2014 governor’s race in Illinois, I saw yards in my hometown with a “Vote for Bruce Rauner” sign alongside a “Pray to End Abortion” sign. I couldn’t help but shake my head. My suspicion is that those folks were unaware of Bruce Rauner’s “pro-choice” view on abortion.

editor's pick

Roses to the return of Major League Baseball. Your EDN editor is writing this hours before his Chicago Cubs were scheduled to take the field against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. Win or lose, he’s just glad to have baseball back. But here’s hoping for a win in the first game of this…

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As one who scribbles largely about things Illinois, I feel almost obligated to observe on the bombshell (certainly for the small fraternity that follows Illinois politics) news that utility ComEd has agreed to pay a $200 million fine for bribery of Illinois officials. The announcement by the…

editor's pick

A couple of weeks ago there was a story in the New York Times entitled ”I couldn’t’ do anything” about a brilliant, compassionate and competent emergency room physician, Dr. Lorna Breen, who was treating patients with COVID-19 when she herself got infected. Her infection was severe, but even…

My only goal was to keep up with Ray in the row beside me and not fall behind. The corn leaves sliced across my face, arms and legs. Foolishly, I had on a short-sleeved shirt and shorts. Ray, on the other hand, had every inch of skin covered, save for his face, and even there he had a net to pull down over his eyes and nose.

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It’s looking thorny for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who has held that position since 1983, except for a brief stint from 1995 to 1997. On Friday federal officials announced that Commonwealth Edison, Illinois’ largest electric utility company, has agreed to pay …

As I walked a country road near my rural town this past week, a local slowed his pickup alongside me. “We’re moving to Florida, Jim.” He paused, then: “Illinois is not well managed, you know.” Three weeks ago, a hugely successful commodities trader friend, who lives in splendor on a big swat…

For months, we have witnessed in awe the resilience displayed by our students, families, and school staff as they navigate the COVID-19 crisis that has shuttered our campuses. Although many school buildings remain closed through the summer, educators and parents around the state are working …

editor's pick

It seems nearly every day now the Effingham County Health Department is reporting new cases of COVID-19. For months, we seemed to be relatively isolated from positive tests of the coronavirus. But people young and old are now testing positive. The seven new cases that local health officials…

Dear never-Trump Republicans: Would you adopt me? I’m a centrist with left-leaning tendencies. I get along with cats, dogs and most libertarians. But I’m best off in a political home without small children.

editor's pick

The Effingham Park District has kept its recreational finances in the red by just a few cents. That’s a roseworthy accomplishment in these economically difficult times. Effingham Park District Board Treasurer Anita Broom told the board this week that the recreation side of the park district …

In 1785, when the United States was a young nation, after returning from a trip to Europe, Thomas Jefferson wrote to his friend, James Monroe: “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessing they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy. I confess I had…

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As many of you know, the Illinois State Board of Education shared some guidelines recently about the return to in-person learning for the upcoming school year. Unsurprisingly, most Illinois residents took time to read the whole document, and then discussed the recommendations calmly and with…

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It was certainly roseworthy news this week that signs are pointing to students returning to class in the fall. And roses to the officials from the five Effingham County school districts who met to discuss how that would work. They raised important questions that can’t all be definitively an…

Living in a rural central Illinois town (Toulon, pop. 1,400), I am alert to any forces that might spur relocation to hinterland communities, which are often struggling to maintain population and vitality. Are the pandemic and recent urban, sometimes violent protests such prompts? I conclude …

During this time of year, you might look out your window to see bees and butterflies buzzing around nearby flowers, moving from one plant to the next, pollinating along the way. Many of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy in the summer are a result of the important work these insects do.

As the current school year ends in districts across our state, school staff, from teachers and principals to bus drivers and school nurses, have shown to be true heroes for our students and families in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. These truly essential employees have delivered our com…

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.

editor's pick

Roses, sometimes, are a matter of perspective. The unemployment rate in Illinois fell by 2 percent to 15.2 percent in May, according to the state Department of Employment Security. The drop seems roseworthy, perhaps a sign of better days ahead. But that’s an awful thorny 15.2 percent. Add to…

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In a famous story from the bible, king Solomon was asked by God to name anything he wanted or desired. Solomon thought of the infinite choices that he could ask for but chose only one thing: wisdom. That is what we should be praying for in these turbulent times.

The next time you snack on almonds, add blueberries to your smoothie or eat pumpkin pie, thank a pollinator and thank farmers, ranchers and private forestland owners who work hard to create and maintain their habitat.

editor's pick

A couple thorny announcements arrived on Friday: First was this press release: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. J.B. Pritzker will issue an Executive Order canceling the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs this year. The announcement of the cancellations has prompted the Department …

editor's pick

Glen Carbon, Illinois – As America wrestles with the impact of racism, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois focuses on the solution. Children often learn racism at home. Girl Scouts teaches another perspective: respect for all, inclusivity and equity. Girls of all races experience equal opportun…

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George Floyd’s death at the hands of police seems to illustrate a too often scenario of our culture. Officer Chauvin with an aggressive mindset had no conscience to restrain his power over another individual. The three onlooker officers were of a passive mindset not willing to take a stand; …

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Your last semester in high school has gotten demolished by a global pandemic and it is wickedly unfair. Your graduation is now a drive-thru, your prom is imaginary, and instead of spending your last semester of senior year hanging out with your friends and taking a victory lap, you spent it in your bedroom doing classwork over Zoom and making Tik Tok videos.

editor's pick

Roses to those who intend to gather in downtown Effingham on Saturday to promote a message of peace and unity. Some demonstrations across the nation have been marred by violence. After speaking this week to local organizers and police, your EDN editor is confident that peace and unity will …

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A few months ago, my beloved country, America, was the envy of the world – strong economy, low unemployment and clear prosperity. It has always been the kindest country. A country with a heart. Our wealth and strength gave us a sense of superiority and invincibility. Things were rosy and ful…

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.

editor's pick

It’s a sad Memorial Day when a virus keeps us from gathering to celebrate those who gave all to defend our rights – among them the right to peaceably assemble. But no virus can keep us from still honoring them in our own way. Please pause this weekend to do that. No one has ever bestowed mo…

Since I live in a small out-of-the way county that has had one reported case of COVID-19, a second recently rumored, I have been hesitant to write about The Big Disruption in our lives. I am obviously not sharing the valiant struggles of nurses and their associates, at the side of infected p…

Each spring when introducing the research paper I ask my sophomores how many of them are biased. Most of them don’t move; a few of them slowly raise their hands; there’s always at least one student who shoots up his hand for attention. After a few moments, I raise my own hand and admit that …

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