April 19, 2014
Local Columnists
Decimal point creates conflict

The swimming pool election was a success, 1,188 to 627, but there was opposition as was taken from a page in the Beardstown Park District History:
This is a personal story regarding the friendship of Alford Dick and Roy Roberts, yet it also includes a big part of the history of the Beardstown Park District History.

The Deep Freeze of 2014

Greetings from the Ridge.
I was reading a brochure on our church’s upcoming couples’ retreat when the lights went out. We all have our stories of the Deep Freeze of 2014, and the fact that I’m alive puts me ahead of most folks, I suppose. But in spite of living in the 21st Century with the advantages of cordless vacuum cleaners and four-ply bathroom tissue, Mother Nature can still send us back to the Ice Age in the blink of an eye or the snap of a power line.

Cold temps make planting decisions difficult

I’m begining to wonder if I read the Farmers Almanac wrong. What’s with this snowy, cold-cold, winter weather we’re having? My son and I were discussing it, and he couldn’t remember these kind of temps. Of course he doesn’t, I don’t even remember any thing this cold. On the morning show I believe they had 1904 as the last temps this low. That would be the year before my Mother was born. That’s a longtime ago for sure.
Since the two youngest boys work outside, it’s putting a damper on their working, and that's not good on the old purse strings.

Rebirth of an Illinois treasure

Standing in the center of downtown Springfield is a building that once heard the voices of Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Richard Yates and many others.
Sangamon County acquired the Old State Capitol building to serve as its county courthouse after the state moved out in 1876. Over the years, the county made significant changes to the building’s interior. In 1899, the county began construction of a new first floor. This would significantly alter the building’s appearance.

Beardstown votes for a pool

Not many remember that there were problems 60 years ago when Beardstown was trying to get a swimming pool. Now it is that time again with the park director trying to get the town a pool. Not many recall that in trying to get that first pool, the Park Board was sued and the law case went all the way to the Supreme Court before we could build the swimming pool.
The History of the Park District isn’t completed, but those early years are ready for the printer, and for the next few columns I will use parts of that history.

Use senses, not cameras, to record memories

Greetings from the Ridge.
I knew someone would prove this since I’ve suspicioned it for years. Farfield University sent students to a museum to spend a half-day perusing the artwork. Half the group was allowed to take their smartphones to record whatever they liked, and the other half was asked to leave all cameras at home. The next day they got a test that confirmed what I’d learned at Coonridge college years ago. The students who took pictures remembered less of what they’d seen.

Square One to raffle Oldsmobile

What a difference a week makes! Last week we were recovering from the polar vortex and its extremely cold visit and this week, temperatures in the 50s. Welcome to Illinois!

Thank you to all who donated toys

The Cass County Star-Gazette wishes to thank everyone who donated toys to Santa’s Workshop this year. Your generosity helped make Christmas special for many children this year.
May God bless you and again, we thank you for your giving spirit.
Staff of Star-Gazette

Merchants should be held accountable

As has been reported in  newspapers, the Target data breach has affected millions of consumers by compromising their credit and debit cards, once again raising the issue of a retailer’s responsibility in securing sensitive information for card transactions at their stores. How many millions of cardholders have to be harmed by financial data breaches before Congress enacts legislation to hold merchants accountable?

Thank you for your generosity

Christmas is over, but let’s pray that the spirit continues throughout the year. I have many to thank for helping me and providing the needed toys for a Merry Christmas for many children. We furnished toys to 2,431 children this year by distributing nearly 5,000 toys in a seven-county area.