Industrial food chain crashes; local food rises

Harold Wilken

Gaping holes on America’s grocery store shelves reflect panic buying and underlying weaknesses in the industrial food chain. Filling those voids are the local farmers and processors who supply seasonal food, meat, eggs and dairy to shops that promote local…

A warden, an inmate and a friendship

Keith Nelson

Retired prison warden Keith Nelson will tell you right off the bat, he’s not soft on crime. He’s a strong, imposing man and can meet your eyes with a stern look. Peoria artist Jonathon Romain will tell you right off…

COVID-19 fear grips Gaza

Wafaa A. ALUdaini

BY WAFAA A. ALUDAINI Being a journalist in Palestine means you have a story every day of oppression and brutality due to the occupation. In stark contrast, you also have stories of resilience and steadfastness by vulnerable people of Gaza.…

Bill Knight | Being coroner during COVID-19

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood

It’s common to praise first responders, especially in the pandemic. What of “last responders”? Coroners. On Illinois’ deadliest day in the global coronavirus outbreak, Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood reflected on first realizing the potential challenges ahead. Months ago, the…

Real Talk | Surviving COVID-19

Last month I wrote this column about how I was managing sheltering in place. Little did I know at the time, that I was also surviving COVID-19. In March and April, I was hospitalized –– both times with chest pain,…

The Watch | Voting and COVID-19

A few months ago, if you said public officials were zooming, it might have been an insult. During a pandemic, some public bodies aren’t meeting at all. Springdale Cemetery Authority Board, for example, cancelled its meetings for March, April and…

Nature Rambles | Treasure hunt

Common Yellowthroat Warbler

May was a month that all birders enjoy. This spring was no different. The peak of songbird migration usually occurs mid-May, and usually lasts only a short time. Many of the species that birders enjoy seeing only spend a couple…

Inland Art | Angela Dieffenbach

Pharma Farma Series: Aunt Dolly

In the recent Central Time Ceramics exhibition at Bradley University Angela Dieffenbach’s entry from her “Pharma Farma Series” deadpanned a bit of veiled theater. “Aunt Dolly” an earthenware lamb’s head secured at eye level was an interloper in the midst…

Art & Justice | Michael Adams

Michael Adams

The power of an image can foment social change. Images can depict reality opposed to stereotypes, can promote understanding and whittle away at entrenched racism. Peoria artist Michael Adams understands that power. He drew on his experiences as an African…

Science Briefs | June 2020

Green economic recovery from COVID-19 Companies worth more than $2.4 trillion are calling for a green economic recovery from the global pandemic, according to Bloomberg Law. Two-thirds of these 150 companies signing a statement calling for a green recovery are…

Serendipity | Day by day

Growing older doesn’t bother me as it happens with or without my approval. Favoring the more positive, romantic approach, I bought into the idea popularized by poet and playwright Robert Browning. In an 1864 published work, he wrote, “Grow old…

West Peoria News | Fourth of July parade canceled

It has been a season of cancellations, and sadly I announce the cancellation of the 50th West Peoria Fourth of July parade, ceremony and festivities. Typically, the event attracts hundreds/thousands to our community and involves the efforts of many West…

Labor Roundup | June 2020

Meatpacking plants must remain open despite COVID-19 sickening workers. The virus forced some plants to close, but they reopened under an order from President Trump using the Defense Production Act. Employers haven’t properly safeguarded workers with the tests, protective gear…

Environmental collapse triggers pandemics

frog census

Nature is shouting out warnings of pandemic tsunamis barreling down upon us, but repeated warnings are repeatedly ignored. Angelo Capparella listens to frogs for warnings. Jen Walling reads warnings in ongoing dismantling of environmental regulations. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema sees loss…

My Truth

BY LESTER B. MASON My eyes have witnessed many changes throughout the nearly 40 years of being incarcerated in the Illinois prison system. My name is Lester Mason inmate #64349 at Pontiac Prison Facility. I have been granted an opportunity…