April 19, 2014
Local Columnists
Here we go again

By David V. Miller
For the Star-Gazette
For those of you wondering if winter is ever going to end……well… not any time soon. Going around Beardstown just three days after Ground Hog’s Day, I myself, was tempted to make a trip to Pennsylvania, to put a hit on that subterranean guinea pig!

A good time to clean out freezers

I was watching the early news this morning (Mon.).They had two scientists reporting on the sixth extinction coming up. They had a chart of how many species are already gone, and the percentage of many others. One I remember that was shocking was that 50% of the Great Barrier Reef is gone. Could we be far behind if the world becomes unbalanced?

Pioneers discover Illinois is tornado country

Few things in nature are more terrifying or sudden, and none more violent than a tornado.
A tornado, which is part of a thunderstorm, consists of a dark funnel-shaped cloud in which rotating winds can reach speeds in excess of 300 mph. About half of all tornadoes are classed as F1 on the Fujita scale with wind speeds of 73 to 112 mph. By comparison, an F5 tornado has wind speeds of 261 to 318 mph.
The first recorded tornado in Illinois history occurred on a Sunday, June 5, 1805, racing through what would later become known as Tornado Alley.

‘Citizens for Kids First’ favors consolidation

My name is Caitlin Mahoney and I am the vice president of "Citizens for Kids First." This is an organization of parents, students, teachers and taxpayers. We have come together to improve the education of our students and provide a brighter future. I am 100% for consolidation.

Finding love during war

Yeovil is a town in England, a town like Beardstown that has flood problems. Yeovil is about 130 miles west of London, and near the English Channel and experienced an unusual flood during January. The River Severn nearby is full of the winter’s rain and snow, and at the same time there were 75 to 80 mph winds blowing an abundance of sea water up the river from the English Channel, thereby flooding Yeovil and thousands of farm acreage. All of the roads into Yeovil were flooded for a few days.
In better times, this town, which is thousands of years old and first settled by the Romans, has a population today of around 37,000. It was 70 years ago, during World War II that the U. S. Army had built Camp Houndstone at the edge of Yeovil. It was on January 8, 1944, when Charles Chambers, not much more than a teenage soldier, left the family farm near Bluffs Springs, and arrived at Camp Houndstone. Chambers was trained as an Infantry Replacement at Camp Walters, Texas, before  being sent to England.

Bird brains, avian and human

Greetings from the Ridge.
In the annals of the great romantics, you won’t find the name of Herb Crump listed anywhere, and when it comes to sentimentality he doesn’t even rate a footnote. We always try to buy each other a little something for Valentine’s Day and as we’ve aged our gift exchange has turned from roses and chocolates to support hose and thermal socks, but this year the man actually showed just the barest hint of creativity and bought me a bird feeder.

Winter of the ‘Big Snow’ cripples Illinois

Long before the prophets of gloom and doom predicted climate change will usher in both severe and extreme weather, Illinois experienced both severe and extreme weather.
The autumn of 1830, for instance, offered ominous signs of things to come with snows accumulating in the second half of November. Settlers had never seen snow so early. Later they would remember it as the “Winter of the Big Snow.”
On Christmas Eve, the state was hit by the season’s first big snowfall. The six or seven inches of snow deposited on Dec. 24 was but a precursor of the real havoc that awaited Illinois.

Park District needs local citizens to show support for new swimming pool PDF Print E-mail

The middle of winter isn’t the usual time to be talking about a swimming pool. But it is important for the Beardstown community. It was on August 11, 2011, that the inspector for the Illinois Dept. of Public Health told Park Director, Steve Megginson, that the swimming pool would not be able to open the next Memorial Day unless a lot of repairs and construction changes were made to meet new state laws, and they had to be done before the next summer.

Don’t close Brick School

Dear Beardstown Residents:
PREFACE: This letter is in no way intended to imply that Brick School is in any way better than any other school.
As some of you know, the Beardstown Board of Education is seriously considering closing Brick School at the end of this school year. We want you to be aware of this situation.

Sensitivity to others will help us reconnect

Greetings from the Ridge.
If you’ve spent any time around little girls you’ve seen it happen. Four little sweethearts and three of them own the same sort of doll. They bring them to school or church or the playground on the same day and although they don’t mean to leave out little Suzie who doesn’t own such a doll, she’s excluded. No one’s being mean, not a negative word is said, but because the three have something precious in common, Suzie removed an emotional inch or two away from the group. De facto separation.
Sometimes our mouths need a Conceal and Carry law. I have a tongue that I always carry and need to keep concealed more often. When our group meets for coffee every afternoon I am forever spouting about whatever I’ve seen on Facebook that morning and most of our group join in with their own stories, completely forgetting that not everyone has been bitten by the FB bug. This so-called social media has had the opposite effect of actually de-socializing.