The towboat Mt Vernon was making its way north on the Mississippi River at Grand Tower late last Friday morning. Mississippi River water was lapping at the edge of what I think is a boat launch area along the river. The water in the river had been stirred up by the towboat’s passage. The towboat was going under a landmark natural gas pipeline bridge which crosses the river.
Oh...to be able to string together a few words like fellow journalist Mark Twain...
While wandering around on a daily walkabout last Sunday afternoon, the photographer was lucky enough to spot a bunch of dragonflies. “Bunch,” by the way, is a scientific term for “a whole bunch.” These were just a couple of them...
Last Sunday afternoon, the sun was shining and, as far as could be determined, the heat index was not 109 degrees. That was quite an improvement over what we experienced in our little corner of the world on Independence Day.
This egret couldn’t wait for the fish fry...so it had sushi instead. The picture was taken last Friday afternoon at a local farm pond.
Finally...after all of the build up and excitement...I heard my first cicadas last Sunday evening while sitting out on the front porch.
Here comes the next round...for the second afternoon in a row, strong thunderstorms swept through the Union County on Monday. Strong storms also happened Sunday afternoon. The storms were accompanied by strong winds, lightning, thunder and very heavy rain. Power outages were reported on both days in parts of the county. The photograph was taken Monday afternoon in Anna.
Once again...so many things to ponder...and so little time... First up...a message to drivers from an Old Guy who gets Grumpy about such things: PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN. PUT BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL. That is all... 
Southern 7 Health Department environmental health staff members are collecting ticks in each of the lower seven counties in Illinois. Photo provided.
Vectors are insects, ticks, rats, mice, birds and other creatures that transmit disease-producing organisms to humans. 
It was a night for newcomers at the Shawnee Hills Arts Council’s Second Friday Open Mic on June 14.   Six strings,  four strings, vocal cords and a yarn or two were strung amongst a night of the most performances yet since the beginning of the Anna Arts Center’s monthly event this past March.   A wide musical range was brought to the stage by the younger crowd and included original songs and renditions of many of their favorite artists on acoustic and electric sets, as well as the recently tuned piano.   In
It was a night for newcomers at the Shawnee Hills Arts Council’s Second Friday Open Mic on June 14.  
The towboat Mt Vernon was making its way north on the Mississippi River at Grand Tower late last Friday morning. Mississippi River water was lapping at the edge of what I think is a boat launch area along the river. The water in the river had been stirred up by the towboat’s passage. The towboat was going under a landmark natural gas pipeline bridge which crosses the river.
While wandering around on a daily walkabout last Sunday afternoon, the photographer was lucky enough to spot a bunch of dragonflies. “Bunch,” by the way, is a scientific term for “a whole bunch.” These were just a couple of them...
This egret couldn’t wait for the fish fry...so it had sushi instead. The picture was taken last Friday afternoon at a local farm pond.
Here comes the next round...for the second afternoon in a row, strong thunderstorms swept through the Union County on Monday. Strong storms also happened Sunday afternoon. The storms were accompanied by strong winds, lightning, thunder and very heavy rain. Power outages were reported on both days in parts of the county. The photograph was taken Monday afternoon in Anna.
Southern 7 Health Department environmental health staff members are collecting ticks in each of the lower seven counties in Illinois. Photo provided.
It was a night for newcomers at the Shawnee Hills Arts Council’s Second Friday Open Mic on June 14.   Six strings,  four strings, vocal cords and a yarn or two were strung amongst a night of the most performances yet since the beginning of the Anna Arts Center’s monthly event this past March.   A wide musical range was brought to the stage by the younger crowd and included original songs and renditions of many of their favorite artists on acoustic and electric sets, as well as the recently tuned piano.   In
The mission of Southern 7 Health Department, S7HD, is to promote a safe and healthy environment by providing preventive health care, family support services and child development programs.  On July 1, the staff at S7HD celebrated the department’s 45th anniversary...not just by looking back at fond...
Back-to-school vaccinations are underway throughout the region and once again Southern 7 Health Department is teaming up with Dairy Queen for its annual “Ice Cream for Vaccines” program. Illinois state law requires certain vaccinations for children enrolled in child care, Head Start, pre-...
Moths and the flora of a Southern Illinois county will be featured at upcoming programs scheduled at the visitors center at Giant City State Park near Makanda. Both of the programs are free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register, or for more information, call the visitors...
In early July, a familiar face began traveling around Southern Illinois helping Read SI celebrate the launch of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in the region.  The familiar face is a life-size cutout of the singer, songwriter and philanthropist, and one of its next stops is planned later in...
In early July, a familiar face began traveling around Southern Illinois helping Read SI celebrate the launch of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in the region.  The familiar face is a life-size cutout of the singer, songwriter and philanthropist, and one of its next stops is planned later in...
With a federal deadline approaching in just over a year, Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is encouraging Illinoisans to “Get Real” and obtain a REAL ID. Giannoulias announced the launch of the office’s “Get Real Illinois” campaign, which is designed to raise awareness throughout the...
A free food box giveaway is planned Saturday, July 13, in Alexander and Pulaski counties. The Fowler Bonan Foundation, ADM Cares and Laborers Union Local 773 will be working together on the effort to increase food security in the region. The following stops are scheduled: Olmsted City Hall, 150...
The Illinois Department of Public Health, IDPH, has announced an expanded list of high-risk ZIP Codes, increasing mandatory testing for lead exposure of children who live within those areas.  A total of 148 new Zip Codes, representing parts of 60 Illinois counties, including Union County, have been...
The impact of a recent water outage on a local business was on the agenda at last week’s regular meeting of the Anna City Council. The meeting was Tuesday evening, July 2, at Anna City Hall. Davie School Inn owner Lyle Woodrum said issues related to work on the city’s water infrastructure system...
Union County’s Hotel Operators’ Occupation Tax, or HOOT, has been updated. An ordinance amending, restating and codifying the tax, sometimes referred to as the hotel/motel tax, was approved at a recent regular meeting of the Union County Board of Commissioners. The meeting was Friday morning, June...

Obituaries

Marcelo Amezquita
Marcelo Amezquita, 41, of Cobden, died Tuesday, July 9, 2024, at his home.  He was born on July 23, 1982, the son of Pastor and Griselda Flores Amezquita. He married Alma Duran. He is survived by his wife, Alma Duran Amezquita; children Jennifer and Elizabeth Amezquita and David Duran; siblings...
Patricia Lou Chandler
Patricia Lou Chandler, 89 of Kenton, Tenn., died Friday, July 5, 2024, in Dyer, Tenn. She was born on Oct. 6, 1934, in Jonesboro, the daughter of Lloyd W. and Verla R. Russell Shelton.  She married Jerry “Jack” C. Chandler on Aug. 2, 1975, in Jasper, Ind. He preceded her in death on March 12, 2002...
Larry Gene Martin
Larry Gene Martin, 77, of Evansville, Ind., and formerly of Anna, died Friday, July 5, 2024, surrounded by his family. Mr. Martin was born on March 8, 1947, in Coffeyville, Kan., the son of Maynard Dean and Dorothy Luella Delight Ellyson Martin. He was married to Karen Faye Frick Martin. She...
Robert ‘Bob’ G. Bittle
Robert “Bob” G. Bittle, 78, of Carterville, died Friday, July 5, 2024, at Herrin Hospital, due to late-stage COPD.  He was born on March 7, 1946, in Anna, the son of Howard R. and Juanita Pauline Frick Bittle.  He is survived by his brothers, Ronald (Peggy Ann) Bittle of Cape Girardeau and Randy (...
Linda Simpson
Linda Simpson, 79, of Springfield, and formerly of Anna, died Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Regency Care of Springfield.  She was born on April 13, 1945, in Makanda, the daughter of Albert R. “Abe” and Cecile A. Perry Craig. She is survived by her children, Craig Simpson, Christy Bivens (Jack Bivens)...

Sports

Following decades of decline, even fewer birds will darken North American skies by the end of the century, according to a new analysis by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign....

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