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home : news : arts & entertainment April 10, 2020

Good to read: Lynn's new memoir chronicles unbreaking bond with Cline
Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn only knew each other a short time before Cline’s death at the age of 30, but the friendship formed between two trailblazers of country music is enough to fill a book.
Thursday, April 9, 2020

Itching to dig in the dirt? Try planting the 'Sun King' perennial of the year
The Perennial Plant Association has announced the 2020 Perennial Plant of the Year. Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ is a fabulous high-impact perennial that brings a bold pop of glowing color and texture to the shade or part shade garden.
Thursday, April 9, 2020

Is your grill the centerpiece of your non-traditional Easter dinner this year?
Unless you are a year-round griller, the warmer weather signals the start of the grilling season. This spring, especially, as millions of us are told to stay home, a trip outside to the backyard or patio is a welcome change.

If you have a new grill or have taken one out of winter hibernation, you’ll need to clean and season it before you cook.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

'Wow, No Thank You' offers comic relief in essay collection
With “Wow, No Thank You,” the incomparable Samantha Irby offers yet another laugh-out-loud masterpiece.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Illegal smile: Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died, coronavirus
John Prine, the ingenious singer-songwriter who explored the heartbreaks, indignities and absurdities of everyday life in “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There” and scores of other indelible tunes, died Tuesday at the age of 73.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Whether you're new to hosting or simply looking for ideas to make Easter entertaining easier than ever, there are plenty of ways to save time and stress in the kitchen.

 Go with what you know. Trying out new recipes is fun, but it can also add stress when they don't turn out like you expected. Stick to tried and true dishes you can prepare and serve with confidence and save the experimenting for another time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Bocelli giving livestreamed performance on Easter
From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Chicago saxman's latest both spirited and spiritual
Change is a constant on jazz saxman Jimmy Greene’s new album, “While Looking Up.” The 68-minute set flies by because of the way he varies the performing cast and mood.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Take your kids to the kitchen for a teachable moment
With a lot of parents facing the challenge of keeping housebound kids happy and healthy, this is the perfect time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and eating right.  Consider these simple suggestions:

Healthy Snack Time Taste Tests - Sometimes it feels like kids can snack all day long on easy-to-grab crackers, chips or cookies. Next time they reach into the snack pantry, try incorporating a taste test or food critic activity to encourage something different and more nutritious. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Teens will enjoy making, decorating bunny butts
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Say hello to entertainment this week
This week’s entertainment offerings have a decidedly familial feel to them, and not the Force Family Fun kind. On television, viewers have the chance to say goodbye to the Roses of “Schitt’s Creek” and visit one last time with the “Modern Family” crew. “Parasite,” the Oscar best-picture winner, arrives on streaming this week, while “Trolls: World Tour” - which had its theatrical release quashed by the coronavirus pandemic - arrives for home rental. The Strokes are back with their sixth album, this one produced by Rick Rubin, while a host of friends including Christopher Guest helps Joe Satriani on his 18th record.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Winfrey chooses 'Hidden Valley Road'
Oprah Winfrey’s new book club pick is Robert Kolker’s “Hidden Valley Road,” an in-depth account of a 1950s family in which six of 12 children were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Winfrey says she will continue picking books during the coronavirus outbreak, and will seek new ways to engage readers.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Reissue of Nina Simone disc a work of contrasts
(AP) — Nina Simone’s “Fodder On My Wings” is an album of contrasts and extremes - personal traumas and world sounds, joy and despair, harmony and defiance, the carnal and the spiritual.
Saturday, April 4, 2020

Books: In Koontz's novel, a very intelligent dog
(AP) — In this vast universe, Dean Koontz notes, two species have formed an unbreakable bond: dogs and human beings. And this bond, he predicts in his new thriller, “Devoted,” is about to become even stronger.
Saturday, April 4, 2020

'Lean on Me' singer Bill Withers dies
(AP) — Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “ Lean on Me, ” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to The Associated Press. He was 81.
Friday, April 3, 2020

'Captain Underpants' author launching new series for kids
NEW YORK (AP) - Dav Pilkey is going to the cats.

The million-selling author of the “Captain Underpants” and “Dog Man” series is starting the “Cat Kid Comic Club,” Scholastic announced Thursday. The first book will be released Dec. 1.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Fleeing virus for resort homes, some find welcome mat yanked
Some city folk have been fleeing to their second homes in resort areas to ride out the coronavirus outbreak near the beach or the ski slopes. But neighbors in many of those places are yanking the welcome mat  fearing infection and the overwhelming of already stretched resources in sleepy shore and mountain communities.

In southern New Jersey, Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton asked summer home owners, who make up nearly half the property owners, to stay away for at least two weeks.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Review: Book makes readers think about dying in a new way
Due to a clerical error made by Death himself, 23-year-old Daisy Cooper dies decades before she is scheduled to do so.
Saturday, March 28, 2020

Virus sends a nation of restaurant-goers back to the kitchen
Last Tuesday night in Tennessee, bluegrass musicians David and Virginia Blood were busy making sandwiches. In Pittsburgh, real estate agent Michelle Bushee was stirring a pot of homemade black-bean chili in her kitchen instead of shepherding curious buyers through potential dream homes. Marty Prudenti, whose nights are usually spent working backstage at New York City’s Lincoln Center, was in his Long Island backyard grilling burgers for his twins.
Saturday, March 28, 2020

All day cake
If you are looking for a cake that you can eat for breakfast, with tea, as a snack or dessert, this is the cake for you. And it also happens to be gluten-free. This lemon polenta cake is moist with olive oil and drenched in lemony syrup. The result is a moist and dense cake, bursting with citrus and with a nutty, toothsome texture, thanks to the polenta and almond meal. It's also not an overly sweet cake, which may lead you to munch on it all day long. For the record, no one will judge you for that.
Saturday, March 28, 2020

What 'Walden' can tell us about social distancing and focusing on life's essentials
Seeking to bend the coronavirus curve, governors and mayors have told millions of Americans to stay home. If you’re pondering what to read, it’s easy to find lists featuring books about diseaseoutbreaks, solitude and living a simpler life. But it’s much harder to find a book that combines these themes.
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Author uses Shakespeare to take the pulse of America on hotbutton issues
America: land of the free, home of the brave, known for Route 66, Silicon Valley . and Shakespeare? Yes, and from colonial days onward. Back then, the Bard wasn’t even considered high culture - his plays were as familiar to ordinary folks as the King James Bible.

In his new book, “Shakespeare in a Divided America,” James Shapiro makes the case that arguments about the Bard’s plays have long reflected our conflicted beliefs as a nation about hot-button issues like immigration, adultery, homosexuality and interracial love.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Museum slated up the river and through the wall at infamous Sing Sing
Busting out of Sing Sing has been a dream of inmates since cell doors started clanging shut along the Hudson River in the 1820s. Now there’s a plan to usher visitors inside the high walls well known in the past to gangsters, Hollywood stars and prisoners condemned to the electric chair.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Kidzeum to provide educational activities for kids online during closure
Kidzeum of Health and Science, located at 412 E. Adams St. in downtown Springfield, will now be closed, effective Sunday, March 15, 2020. They will continue to follow the state government and Springfield School District 186 in regard to closures and will keep the public up to date with new information as the situation evolves.

Beginning next week, Kidzeum will release online educational activities for kids to do while they are out of school. These activities can be done with everyday, household items and will also contain printable worksheets and activities that parents and kids can do together. “This is a challenging time for families. Kidzeum will continue to serve our community as creatively as possible through online content that will help parents keep kids in learning mode, even while school is out,” said executive director, Leah Wilson. Once available, these resources can be found at

Monday, March 16, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Poach boneless chicken breasts for flavor, tenderness
This time of year, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are my go-to protein. You can add them to a grain bowl, a green salad or Caesar, or shred them to make chicken salad, soup, casseroles, one-pot meals, etc.
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Welcome spring with a lemony risotto
Here is what I think about risotto: A good risotto should be creamy, but not gummy or soupy. The rice should be tender, with a little give to each bite (al dente). Any accompanying ingredients should be minimal without muddying, and ideally, they should reflect the season. This risotto checks all of those boxes.
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Exhibit of artifacts from last US slave ship
The state of Alabama will provide artifacts from the last slave ship to dock in the United States for a special public exhibition later this year, officials said Tuesday.

The Alabama Historical Commission, in a statement, said an exhibit named for the slave ship Clotilda is set to open this fall in Mobile, where the schooner arrived with African captives in 1860.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Should I use points and miles to book wedding travel?
You have no excuses now that the holidays have ended: It’s time to book travel for the wedding(s) you agreed to attend in 2020.

Whether you’re going to an exotic destination wedding or just flying back to Cincinnati for your awkward cousin’s nuptials, wedding travel can get expensive in a hurry. A weekend trip can easily cost over $1,000 in airfare and lodging — or much more if you’re traveling with family.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Review: New NUMA Files story is a nonstop thrill ride
In 1074 B.C., an Egyptian fleet heads out to sea and vanishes from sight and history. In 1927, a pilot attempting to make a transcontinental flight disappears. And in the present, a boat sinks with a secret cargo in the Clive Cussler and Graham Brown novel “Journey of the Pharaohs.” In typical Cussler fashion, the three seemingly disparate events are actually related, and an act of kindness to rescue the men on the vessel that is sinking throws Kurt Austin and his partner and best friend, Joe Zavala, into a deadly conspiracy.
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Late-night comics adjust to shows without an audience
Due to the new coronavirus, late-night comedians — Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Pete Buttigieg — are taking to the stage without the affirmation of adoring audiences.

Wait a second. Pete Buttigieg?

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Authors look at 'The Greatest Year at the Movies'
What was the greatest year in cinema history? Among film fans and critics, 1939 has long been a favorite pick. Hollywood’s studio system was at its peak that year and cranked out an astonishing number of crowd-pleasing, star-studded films including “The Wizard of Oz,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Ninotchka,” “Stagecoach” and “Dark Victory.” At the top of that formidable heap was “Gone with the Wind,” which won eight Oscars, including best picture.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

On Broadway: The shows will go on
The new coronavirus has reached Broadway, but the shows on the Great White Way are scheduled to go on as planned.

A part-time usher and security guard who worked at two theaters in recent days tested positive for COVID-19 and is under quarantine, according to the Shubert and Nederlander organizations, Broadway’s largest theater chains.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Rachelle Garniez stylishly remembers Bowie, Aretha
Rachelle Garniez’s musical world is as wide and wonderful as the range of recently-departed artists she pays tribute to on “Gone to Glory,” from David Bowie and Della Reese to Glen Campbell and Aretha Franklin.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Unusual tale of Civil War Soldier to be told at history forum
Hundreds of women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War, but for most it was a temporary transformation. This was not the case with Albert Cashier, whose story will be told March 12 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Shelby County art show is April 4th
Thursday, March 19 is the deadline to register art for the 2020 Shelby County Art Show held annually for the 54th year.  Brochures are available on Facebook-Shelby County Art Show 2020 or by email from
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Historic fashion exhibit to open at state museum
There is perhaps no more intimate connection to the women of the past than the clothing they left behind — garments that were once worn on a living, breathing person going about her daily business; garments that were soiled and washed and mended and altered; garments that expressed her aspirations and reflected her condition.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sesame's Count wants to get young children counted in census
No other age group was under-counted more during the last once-a-decade census than children under age 5, researchers say. Sesame Street is hoping to use Count von Count to change that.
Monday, March 9, 2020

Affleck extraordinary in quiet drama 'Way Back'
There is nothing particularly extraordinary about director Gavin O’Connor’s “ The Way Back,” except perhaps for Ben Affleck’s performance. This is a quiet drama about a lonely alcoholic who gets a lifeline when he’s asked to coach a high school basketball team. It’s the kind of movie people like to say “Hollywood doesn’t make anymore,” which is only partly true. It’s also the kind of movie you might feel like you’ve seen before (also partly true).
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Music: K-pop's NCT 127 brings it on, turns it up

NCT 127’s sophomore album has something for everyone. It’s a little bit sexy, a little bit warm, a little bit wild, a little bit of a hellion on the dancefloor, and a whole lot of unusual twists and swerves in the musical lines.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Books: 'Grace Kelly Dress' redefines classic storybook ending
Three generations of women, each one reflective - and dare I say, ahead of her own formative moments in pop culture - take a turn wearing a wedding dress that was originally fashioned as a copy of the gown that Grace Kelly became a true princess in 1956.
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Bond book supplies fans with dossier worthy of Her Majesty's Secret Service
Three words — “Bond ... James Bond”— changed film history when 1962’s “Dr. No” introduced the British super-spy 007 to the silver screen. Originating in Ian Fleming’s Cold War espionage novels, the globe-trotting, gadget-equipped chick-magnet, who liberally applied his license to kill, set the archetype for Hollywood action heroes.
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

In the documentary 'Hillary,' Clinton candidly surveys her ups and downs
Since losing the 2016 election to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has released a memoir about that defeat, launched a political action committee and penned another book about “gutsy women” with her daughter, Chelsea. But Clinton’s most prominent return to the public eye has come in the form of a new candid four-hour documentary series.

Some, Clinton is aware, thought she would slink away after 2016.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Review: A real-life Cinderella story set in Gilded Age
Adam Hochschild is among the most readable of historians. With his latest book, “Rebel Cinderella,” he has latched on to an extraordinary love story, with echoes of the classic fairy tale, set in a time of enormous social upheaval during this country’s first Gilded Age.

It centers on Rose Pastor Stokes, a penniless Russian Jewish immigrant, socialist and union organizer, who in 1905 married James Graham Phelps Stokes, scion of a wealthy WASP family whose fortune flowed from the Phelps Dodge mining empire, as well as railroads, real estate, and gold and silver mines.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, February 29, 2020

Irish stout stew
There's no better time for a pot of beef stew than winter, and when March rolls around with St. Patrick's Day hype and festivities, why not add an Irish twist with a splash of Irish stout?
Saturday, February 29, 2020

Murder Museum: Oddity shop features Charles Manson's hair
A few strands of Charles Manson's hair. A vintage serial killer board game. A (potentially) haunted last rites kit.

These items may sound like they belong in the home of an Addams Family member, but are actually available for viewing in a small museum located in the back of Offbeat, an oddities and collectibles store in Columbus.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Review: 'Been There, Married That' is entertaining story
Being a book about Hollywood, maybe it’s not a coincidence that “Been There, Married That” by Gigi Levangie seems more like a movie than a novel.
Saturday, February 29, 2020

March Mini Camps exploring foxes
Children ages 1-5 and their adult buddy are invited to Rock Springs Nature Center for Mini Camp: Sly Foxes. This camp for ages 1-5 will be offered Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 12 from 9:30-10:30am.
Saturday, February 29, 2020

Review: 'Broken Faith' looks inside Word of Faith Fellowship
Few religious leaders purport to hear directly from God but those that do seem to draw an unusually rabid following.
Friday, February 28, 2020

Review: Gardiner weaves horrifying tale in 'Dark Corners'
A terrifying killer that targets families by attacking them in the middle of the night tests the abilities of FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix in Meg Gardiner’s latest thriller, “The Dark Corners of the Night.“
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Kids shine as Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' goes big
The cast of “To Kill a Mockingbird” ditched its somber Broadway home Wednesday for the cavernous Madison Square Garden, performing the play for 18,000 school kids in an electric one-time-only performance that one actor called “primal.”
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Music: Moreland goes deep in ways few songwriters can
Singer-songwriter John Moreland could bring an audience to tears singing nursery rhymes.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

'Warsaw Protocol' offers fascinating history of Poland
Poland becomes a battleground between several other countries and only a former agent for the United States has a chance to make things right in “The Warsaw Protocol,” Steve Berry’s latest adventure starring Cotton Malone.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Film: Peter Pan's Wendy Darling no long saddled with Victorian expectations
A Peter Pan story told from Wendy’s perspective sounds either too precious to be true or ripe for a skewering. But in the hands of the filmmakers behind “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Wendy” resides — ever so delicately — in the space between. It is an achingly earnest, feral, transporting and (very) loose reimagining of the classic J.M. Barrie tale about not wanting to grow up.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A diminished Victoria's Secret is sold
Victoria’s Secret, beset by falling sales and uncomfortable questions about its billionaire founder who has run the company for five decades, is being sold.

The company’s owner, L Brands, said that the private-equity firm Sycamore Brands will buy 55% of Victoria’s Secret for about $525 million. The Columbus, Ohio company will keep the remaining 45% stake.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

A CGI canine yearns to be free in 'Call of the Wild'
Does the dog movie have any new tricks? Do we want it to?
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Austen's 'Emma,' humanized but not modernized
There’s beauty to spare in the new screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” from its palatial country estates with their art-filled galleries and manicured lawns, to the exquisitely detailed costumes (those feathered bonnets!), to star Anya Taylor-Joy, whose porcelain skin and blonde ringlets look like they belong in a Botticelli painting.
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Area artist wins prestigious national award
Well-known Central Illinois artist Tracey Maras has been awarded a top prize in the Pastel Journal Top 100 competition. The Pastel Journal is the major international magazine for Pastel painting. Maras’ painting “Cool Drink” won second place in the wildlife category of the competition in which there were 1,500 entries world-wide in that category. The poignant image shows a raccoon taking a refreshing drink from a stream. All 100 winners are featured in the April edition of Pastel Journal which will hit news stands and magazine racks on March 3, 2020.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

St. Louis born AE Hotchner, friend to Hemingway, Newman, dead at 102
A.E. Hotchner, a well-traveled author, playwright and gadabout whose street smarts and famous pals led to a loving, but litigated memoir of Ernest Hemingway, business adventures with Paul Newman and a book about his Depression-era childhood that became a Steven Soderbergh film, died Saturday at age 102.

He died at his home in Westport, Connecticut, according to his son, Timothy Hotchner, who did not immediately know the cause of death.

Monday, February 17, 2020

For the ultimate grilled cheese, use both stovetop and oven
Grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food, an adult treat that harkens back to childhood. I never met a grilled cheese sandwich I didn’t like.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

This recipe is not entirely authentic. I prefer to call it an improvised Ma Po Tofu, because when the craving strikes for this spicy, satisfying Asian soup, but it happens to be a Sunday night in the dead of winter and you happen to be in your P.J.'s, it's time to dig deep and improvise.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

'Looks like a movie!' Traveling back in time to Tombstone
“Bang!” “Bang!” “Bang!”

And several more “bangs!” — the gunshots in this reenacted shootout happened so quickly I couldn’t keep count.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Calamine pink, or Dead Salmon? What's behind paint names
Ever wonder how paint colors get their names? If you’re shopping for pink, say, you’ll find dozens of shades referencing roses, bubblegum and shells. There are some extra-evocative names like Calamine and Dead Salmon. And what about a pink called Harajuku Morning? Modern Love?
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Review: 'Mr. Nobody' is mesmerizing psychological thriller
“Mr. Nobody,” the second novel by New York Times bestselling author Catherine Steadman, is a mesmerizing psychological thriller. A man is found on a beach. He doesn’t know his identity or how he got there. Expert neuropsychiatrist Dr. Emma Lewis is called in to help him regain his memory. This man — the media calls him Mr. Nobody — was found in Emma’s hometown, a place she fled 14 years ago, hoping never to return.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Prosecutor: Weinstein saw victims as 'complete disposables'
Harvey Weinstein considered himself such a big shot in Hollywood that he thought he could get away with treating aspiring actresses like “complete disposables,“ a prosecutor told a jury in closing arguments Friday at his New York City rape trial.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Winter Weekend events at Dickson Mounds Feb. 29-Mar. 1
Dickson Mounds Museum is hosting its annual Weekend Knap-in on Saturday and Sunday, February 29 and March 1 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. both days. The public is welcome to view flint knapping demonstrations. Visitors may learn about the different techniques used by craftsmen and see their stone tool creations.  Flint knappers interested in participating should contact Christa Christensen at 309-547-3721 for more information.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers List
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Twin plots of new Doc Ford novel are far-fetched
Thirty years have zipped by since Randy Wayne White first introduced readers to Doc Ford and his pals in “Sanibel Flats,” and from time to time the mostly solid crime fiction series seems to falter. “Salt River,” the 26th Ford novel, is one of those times.
Thursday, February 13, 2020

'Sonic the Hedgehog' truly a feel-good buddy movie
If the Hollywood mantra for making blockbusters is “faster, faster, faster,” then the creators of “Sonic the Hedgehog” have wisely ignored it.

The little blue alien who can sprint quicker than the speed of light has ironically benefited from slowing it down, taking a pit stop to retool and emerge this month as a total crowd-pleaser.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Huey Lewis and The News 'Weather' may be it
“Weather” is the first album of original songs from Huey Lewis and The News in nearly two decades and it may also be their last.

Lewis has been suffering for decades from an inner-ear disorder that causes afflictions like hearing loss and vertigo, but the condition got much worse just days after the band finished mixing the songs on “Weather” with legendary studio wizard Bob Clearmountain.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Jigsaw puzzles for grownups back in vogue
There are jigsaw puzzle nights at coffee shops and libraries. Puzzle groups and puzzle games online. Hand-cut wooden puzzles that cost thousands of dollars. And puzzle designs that range from edgy, original artwork to your own, custom-ordered family photos.

Jigsaw puzzles for grownups are in vogue.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Primped and poised standard poodle best of show
Primped and poised, Siba the standard poodle owned the ring.

Even with the crowd at Madison Square Garden chanting for a popular golden retriever, the statuesque Siba strutted off with best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Actor-comedian Orson Bean, 91, hit and killed
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Orson Bean, the witty actor and comedian who enlivened the game show “To Tell the Truth“ and played a crotchety merchant on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” was hit and killed by a car in Los Angeles, authorities said. He was 91.
Saturday, February 8, 2020

Sunday News: Guest Lineups
WASHINGTON (AP) — Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows:
Saturday, February 8, 2020

'Cartier's Hope' transports readers back in time
A strong woman pursuing her dream of a career and finding love fights against expectations in 1910 New York in M.J. Rose’s “Cartier’s Hope.“
Saturday, February 8, 2020

Powerhouse roster makes 'Birds of Prey' album fun
The all-female roster assembled for “Birds of Prey: The Album” represent uniquely different worlds, and a variety of music styles, but their message on the movie soundtrack is singular: DON’T MESS WITH US.
Saturday, February 8, 2020

It's easy to let travel rewards go unused. Don't
(NERDWALLET via AP) — Amtrak’s “buy one, get one” spring sale got me started.
Saturday, February 8, 2020

Lincoln library opens its vault in the name of love
History doesn’t always mean treaties, speeches and battles. It can also mean romantic letters, love songs and reunions with loved ones, as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will demonstrate the day before Valentine’s Day.

A special “Tales from the Vault” session on Feb. 13 will showcase materials from the presidential library’s collections that connect to love and romance. Manuscripts curator Christopher Schnell will explain each item and discuss what historians can learn from them.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Nature program for tots
Young children with an adult buddy are invited to Rock Springs Nature Center for Preschool Peepers: Wild Woodpeckers on Sunday, February 16 at 2pm. Children and their adult buddies will explore these unique birds, and make a woodpecker craft to take home. All supplies will be provided. Preschool Peepers programs are ideal for ages 3-5, but all ages are welcome. This program is free, but you must pre-register online by noon on February 14 at
Thursday, February 6, 2020

'Spartacus' star Kirk Douglas rose from poverty to become a king of Hollywood
He was born Issur Danielovitch, a ragman’s son. He died Kirk Douglas, a Hollywood king.

Douglas, the muscular, tempestuous actor with the dimpled chin, lived out an epic American story of reinvention and perseverance, from the riches he acquired and risked to the parts he took on and the boundaries he defied. Among the most popular, versatile and recognizable leading men of the 20th century, he could will himself into a role or a favorite cause as mightily as he willed himself out of poverty.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

'Bright River' is intense family thriller
Riverhead Books, by Liz Moore The complicated relationship of two estranged sisters who choose different life paths persuasively works as a metaphor for their old neighborhood that is in transition. Deftly plotted with strong, vivid characters, Liz Moore’s outstanding “Long Bright River” works as solid crime fiction and an intense family thriller.
Thursday, February 6, 2020

St. Louis included on Stones tour
The Rolling Stones are returning to some North American cities where they haven’t played in years.
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Unfinished Jane Austen draft source for PBS show
Crystal Clarke could imagine herself playing the heroine of a period costume drama, a genre that regularly makes its way to TV and film screens with potential breakout roles for young actresses. But the African American tempered her expectations.
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Music: Haden Triplets sustain the tradition of sibling harmony
On their new album, “The Family Songbook,” The Haden Triplets sustain the longstanding musical tradition of siblings singing in harmony while also expanding their family’s musical footprint, which goes back generations.
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Amateur scientists globally documenting 'king tides'
Tourists, nature lovers and amateur scientists are whipping out their cameras to document the effects of extreme high tides on shorelines from the United States to New Zealand, and by doing so are helping better predict what rising sea levels will mean for coastal communities around the world.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Conservation group hosting trip to Cahokia Mds.
The Macon County Conservation District is hosting a trip to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site on Wednesday, February 12 from 12-7 p.m. The trip departs from Rock Springs Nature Center.
Tuesday, February 4, 2020

How Pacino and DeNiro were taught to act young
Would you have the gumption to tell Al Pacino to act his age?

That was the unique position Gary Tacon, the movement coach of “The Irishman,” found himself in on the set of Martin Scorsese’s crime epic. On Pacino’s first day shooting, the scene called for the 79-year-old actor, playing a 40-something Jimmy Hoffa, to jump out of a chair as he screams at a television showing the election results for John F. Kennedy.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

'The Age of Entitlement' is insightful look into where America is today
“The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties,” Simon & Schuster, by Christopher Caldwell

This is a sweeping but insightful examination into every social, political and legal decision, movement and trend that leaves us where we are today in a polarized nation.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Watch the Super Bowl halftime show? What you may not know you saw
When the Super Bowl halftime show began, Yol-Itzma Aguirre and her relatives watched with anticipation. The El Paso, Texas, family was curious how Colombian-born Shakira and New York-raised Jennifer Lopez, two of the world’s most popular Latina artists, would seize the stage.
Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Smash musical 'Hamilton' by original cast is coming to a theater near you
Next year, you’ll be able to see the original Broadway cast of “Hamilton” perform the musical smash from the comfort of a movie theater.

The Walt Disney Company said  it will distribute a four-year-old live capture of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s show in the United States and Canada on Oct. 15, 2021.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Rock Springs offers two nature events this month
Join a naturalist to learn about the Predators of the Prairie at Rock Springs Nature Center on Saturday, February 8 at 1pm. After some time indoors, guests will journey outside to try to spot some!  Dress for the weather. This program is free and for all ages, but you must pre-register online by noon on February 7 at
Monday, February 3, 2020

LLCC celebrates African-American history month
Lincoln Land Community College is celebrating African-American History Month during February with various events. The theme for this year’s observance is “Vision 2020: Elevate, Accentuate, Illuminate Your Future.”

Events are open to the public at no charge and held at LLCC’s Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road. The LLCC African-American History Month Committee and LLCC Student Life are event co-sponsors unless otherwise noted.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Birds of prey program for tots Feb. 6
The Tot Time program at Dickson Mounds Museum’s Tot Time on Thursday, February 6 at 9:30 a.m. will be “Birds of Prey” presented by Wildlife Prairie Park.  Participants will get an up-close look at a variety of live birds and learn about what they eat, where they live, and other fun facts.  Tots and their caretakers may enjoy fun crafts to take home.
Monday, February 3, 2020

A look at the some of the best Super Bowl ads
During advertising’s biggest night, Super Bowl Sunday, marketers battled it out to bolster their brands and promote new products. Advertisers paid up to $5.6 million for 30 seconds, and almost 100 million people tune into the big game.
Monday, February 3, 2020

Stark contrast: Adams sends hope to Americans; Beyonce sits out anthem
Grammy-winning gospel legend Yolanda Adams says she feels blessed after performing “America the Beautiful” at the Super Bowl.
Monday, February 3, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best Sellers
Sunday, February 2, 2020

Quick-braised chicken thighs yield slow cooked flavor
Craving comfort? These braised thighs will do the trick.
Sunday, February 2, 2020

Spirit Tourism: Britain sees spike in visits to distilleries
Many people these days are thirsting not just for a drink but for knowledge about where it comes from. “Spirit tourism” is booming across the United Kingdom, with artisanal brands and micro distilleries popping up and many global brands distilled here.
Sunday, February 2, 2020

Review: Moore's book has clever plot, intriguing characters
“Long Bright River,“ Riverhead Books, by Liz Moore The complicated relationship of two estranged sisters who choose different life paths persuasively works as a metaphor for their old neighborhood that is in transition. Deftly plotted with strong, vivid characters, Liz Moore’s outstanding “Long Bright River” works as solid crime fiction and an intense family thriller.
Sunday, February 2, 2020

New Chess Workshop to be held at Dickson Mounds Museum February 8
Dickson Mounds Museum is hosting a new workshop – Experience the Game of Chess – on Saturday, February 8. There will be two sessions. The first session is from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and is for kids ages 9-16 years old. It is a chance for those who are new to chess to learn how to play and for those have playing experience to acquire basic strategies. The second session is from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and is for participants ages 17 years old and up. This second session is a great opportunity for those who already know how to play to find their match and hone their skills.
Saturday, February 1, 2020

February sensory friendly film event
Eisentraut Theatres and TASC/The Autism Support Connection have joined together to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities “Sensory Friendly Films.” Our next sensory friendly movie event will be held at 1 pm Saturday, February 15th at The Orpheum Theatre in Hillsboro. Our movie will be the newly released feature film, “Sonic the Hedgehog Movie.” With Sensory Friendly Films, the movie theatre lights are left up and the sound is turned down. Audience members are welcome to move about and dance, walk, shout or sing.
Saturday, February 1, 2020

Mario meet Hulk: Nintendo park coming to Universal
Harry Potter and Hulk: Welcome your new neighbors, Mario and Pokemon. A fourth park at Universal Orlando is being created based on characters from Nintendo, the park’s owners announced.
Friday, January 31, 2020

Long list of special events at Lincoln library
February brings an array of special events and family-friendly activities to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, including free admission on Lincoln’s birthday.
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Civil War Saturday series begins Feb. 1
The State Historic Sites in Springfield and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are pleased to partner with the Springfield Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society to present two history education programs on the first Saturday of February and the first Saturday of March at the Old State Capitol.  Both programs include free craft activities and share relevant historical information in a fun and relaxed setting.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Dana-Thomas House hosting specialty tour series
Specialty tours to provide visitors the opportunity to enjoy extra time inside the historic Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site in Springfield are planned for February and March, hosted by the State Historic Sites Springfield and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Two different tours will be offered, providing guests with not only an extended tour, but also extra insights into the architectural genius Frank Lloyd Wright.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Actors' union issues standards for sex scene supervisors
The union that represents actors and television performers issued a series of standards and guidelines Wednesday for crew members who supervise scenes involving sex and nudity. The goal is to combat on-set sexual harassment.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Longtime PBS 'NewsHour' host Jim Lehrer dies, age 85
NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Lehrer, longtime host of the nightly PBS “NewsHour” whose serious, sober demeanor made him the choice to moderate 11 presidential debates between 1988 and 2012, has died, PBS said Thursday. He was 85.
Friday, January 24, 2020

Everyone invited: 'Great Gatsby' copyright to end
For decades, Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and other characters from “The Great Gatsby” have been as real to millions of readers as people in their own lives, exemplars and victims of the American pursuit of wealth and status.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

'Naughty boy:' Monty Python star Terry Jones dies
Terry Jones, a founding member of the anarchic Monty Python troupe who was hailed by a colleague as “the complete Renaissance comedian,“ has died after a battle with dementia.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

James Dean revival spurs debate on raising the digital dead
The men bringing James Dean back to life for a forthcoming film are aiming not just to give his digital likeness a role, but a whole new career.
Monday, January 20, 2020

Downton Abbey creator's new TV show is painfully accurate
The period costumes of a Julian Fellowes drama can be excruciatingly accurate, as an actress in his new series “Belgravia” discovered.

The Epix drama from “Downton Abbey” creator Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame is set in 19th-century London and features Tamsin Greig, who starred in the TV comedy “Episodes,” and Philip Glenister (“Cranford“).

Monday, January 20, 2020

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers List
Saturday, January 18, 2020

The cold season's answer to lettuce
When the weather is frigid, and the garden has hunkered down for the winter, it's time to turn to chicories. These leafy vegetables are our cold-season friends, packed with vitamins and nutrients, and winter's replacement for sweet summer greens. While chicories are also referred to as "greens," whites, reds and purples may be a more accurate description. This broad group of leafy "greens" includes endive, escarole, frisee, Treviso and radicchio.
Saturday, January 18, 2020

The perfect baked potato begins with russets
A fluffy baked potato is a glorious thing, but too often you slice into the potato and it is shiny and waxy, not light and creamy in texture.

Baking a potato is the easiest thing in the world, right? Then why are so many potatoes lacking in texture and flavor?

Saturday, January 18, 2020

To experience New Zealand's rugged beauty, go by camper van
We crested a hill on the winding lakeside road, and there it was: Middle-earth.

Rugged, snow-capped mountains glowed in the setting sun, and dappled green pastures tumbled down to the water's edge. White peaks soared in the distance. The Misty Mountains, perhaps?

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Review: Moore's book has clever plot, intriguing characters
“Long Bright River,“ Riverhead Books, by Liz Moore The complicated relationship of two estranged sisters who choose different life paths persuasively works as a metaphor for their old neighborhood that is in transition. Deftly plotted with strong, vivid characters, Liz Moore’s outstanding “Long Bright River” works as solid crime fiction and an intense family thriller.
Saturday, January 18, 2020

Lincoln Library named one of America's top event venues
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was named the nation's best place to hold events that offer participants a truly unique experience in voting conducted for Unique Venues magazine's 2019 "Best Of" awards.

The library and museum won the "Best Venue for Unique Experiences" category for combining top-notch meeting facilities with access to exhibits, history experts and special activities, such as history-themed scavenger hunts. The magazine also praised the opportunity to hold dinners and receptions in a museum plaza featuring a log cabin on one side and the White House on the other.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Lake Land College to host Academic Challenge
What happens when you take some of the most brilliant minds from area high schools and put them under one roof? Nothing other than an academic face off, where teams are pitted against each other in eight subject areas in order to take home the Academic Challenge regional championship title.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Lincoln, The Great Communicator tours the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area
Looking for Lincoln will host Lincoln, The Great Communicator in eight Looking for Lincoln Communities around the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. The performance combines live period music with conversation and narrative by President Lincoln (using Lincoln’s own words) to explore Lincoln’s use of communication as a personal and political tool and features Lincoln impersonator George Buss and Illinois folk musician and folklorist Chris Vallillo.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

'Joker' tops Oscar nominations with 11; 3 other films get 10 nominations
Todd Phillips’ much-debated supervillain origin story and R-rated box-office smash “Joker” topped all films with 11 Academy Awards nominations on Monday, while Martin Scorsese’s elegiac crime epic “The Irishman,” Quentin Tarantino’s 1960s Los Angeles fairy tale “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” and Sam Mendes’ World War I tale “1917” all trailed close behind with 10 nods apiece.
Monday, January 13, 2020

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