Rambling through central Illinois, happy to report the bluebells are starting to poke through the leaf litter and promise to put on a fantastic show later this spring.
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Callers have been wondering if we will have stories about political races before the April 4 election. Yes! Watch for stories on the Brimfield and Williamsfield school board elections and the contested race for Farmington mayor in the next two editions. … Anyone who saw Elmwood get thumped by Illini Bluffs (32-5) in the sectional had to be impressed by IB. Some even pondered whether IB had what it takes to win it all. Seems they did, if not for a last-second 3-pointer that handed IB a 45-44 loss to Waterloo Gibault in the supersectional. Gibault beat Scales Mound for the Class 1A state title over the weekend, 65-45, and also won easily in the semifinals against Bloomington’s Cornerstone Christian Academy, 70-46. The only consolation for IB is that nearly the entire roster returns next year, including 6-foot-9 Hank Alvey. That’s not such good news for the rest of the ICAC, though.
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Once upon a time, I had a nice leather recliner. OK, it was pleather, but real high-quality pleather. For a few weeks I loved that chair. Then our cat decided she loved it too. Before long, the pleather was decorated with long white streaks where the cat’s claws had proved her love for the arms of the chair. I mention this after reading a story about veterinarians who support Illinois House Bill 1533, a state law that would ban the declawing of cats. These vets are going against guidance of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, which encourages its members to oppose HB 1533. Vets against declawing say it “often increases biting and house soiling,” proven reasons for cats to be put up for adoption, or worse. Hmmm. Seems that was the exact choice presented to the family when our Rosie got cat-scratch fever. No claws, or she goes. An inside cat, Rosie now has no front claws. Even though she still scratches away every day, the furniture is safe and – while she is still a weird little animal – there’s no more talk of Rosie leaving.
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Stark County led Illinois in corn yield this year with an average of 240 bushels per acre, followed by Woodford and Ogle counties. That’s according to USDA figures. McLean County had the largest corn crop, with nearly 71 million bushels produced, according to the USDA. Overall Illinois had the top five corn-producing counties in the country but ranked second to Iowa in total corn production. McLean County also led the nation in soybean production. Worth noting is that McLean is the largest county in Illinois and is actually larger than the state of Rhode Island. … Not all is kudos in the Prairie State, though, as MoneyGeek rates Illinois as the least tax-friendly state in the country. According to MoneyGeek’s analysis, families in Illinois pay an average of $14,778 per year in taxes, or nearly 17 percent of their household income. Compare that to the most tax-friendly state of Wyoming, where residents pay about $3,438 per year in taxes. And then tell me, “Why do I still live here?” Ah yes, it’s so the state can tell me I can’t have my cat declawed. … Parting shot: Driving north Tuesday afternoon, we saw numerous tell-tale plumes. Burning season is here – fun for everyone but firefighters.
Contact Jeff Lampe at (309) 231-6040 or email@example.com