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home : news : arts & entertainment November 12, 2019

Festival of Trees begins November 23
The 30th annual Memorial's Festival of Trees will be held Nov. 23 to Dec. 1 at the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

The festival's hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 23, Nov. 25-27 and Nov. 29-30; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 24 and Dec. 1; and 4-8 p.m. Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving Day).

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Collectors are welcomed to join club
The Mid-State Collectors Club will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at Maverick Steaks and Spirits in Litchfield. Attendees are asked to arrive prior to 7 p.m. and to eat dinner before the meeting begins. Following the Collectors Club meeting an interesting program will be presented to those in attendance.
Monday, November 11, 2019

Event to explore anti-slavery movement
Illinois may have been a free state, but its anti-slavery forces were far from united in the years leading up to the Civil War, as a historian will explain Nov. 14 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Monday, November 11, 2019

APL annual fall trivia night is Friday
The Animal Protective League (APL), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting ill, injured and abandoned homeless animals, will hold its annual Fall Trivia Night Fundraiser on Friday, Nov 15th at the Knights of Columbus Hall on 2200 Meadowbrook Rd, Springfield. Doors open at 6 p.m. Trivia begins at 7 p.m.
Monday, November 11, 2019

George Orwell New Mexico exhibit bares 'doublespeak' legacy
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)  War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.
Saturday, November 9, 2019

Canoe Sangamon River with conservation district
Enjoy fresh fall air and colorful autumn leaves on a guided canoe trip down the Sangamon River with Macon County Conservation District staff on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Millikin to host annual literary festival this weekend
Millikin University will host its 17th annual Literary Festival and High School Writing Contest on Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9. The 2019 Literary Festival is open to high school and college students, and the general public. The festival includes workshops, readings and sessions with featured writers. The event gives students the opportunity to work directly with professional writers and receive feedback.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Memorial's Festival of Trees seeks volunteers for event
Memorial Medical Center Foundation seeks volunteers for the 30th annual Festival of Trees, which will take place Nov. 23 to Dec. 1 in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Monday, November 4, 2019

Sensory film event Nov 9 at Orpheum Theatre
Eisentraut Theatres and TASC/The Autism Support Connection have joined together to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities “Sensory Friendly Films”. Our movie event for November will actually be held at 1 pm Saturday, November 9th at The Orpheum Theatre in Hillsboro. This month’s movie will be the newly released live action feature, “Playing with Fire”. With Sensory Friendly Films, the movie theatre lights are left up and the sound is turned down. 
Monday, November 4, 2019

Decatur Artist featured at Flourishes
Bonnie Rideout makes baskets in Decatur and will fill the Library area at Flourishes Gallery and Studios for the next two months.  Her show opens Sunday, November 3 from 1-4 at 140 ? E. Main, Shelbyville, elevator available. She welcomes viewers to see and learn about her handmade baskets. Not only will Bonnie be an available artist, but other artists also with opening shows will be available including Rae Nell Spencer (Decatur), Jamie Rutherford (Shelbyville), Carol Kessler (Shelbyville), and students and family from the Shelbyville Schools. All will be on display through January
Monday, November 4, 2019

Lincoln Presidential Library honors American's Veterans
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will honor the sacrifices of America's veterans with special events throughout November, including a display telling the story of the "Fighting Powells."
Monday, November 4, 2019

The realism of Harvard's Glass Flowers is still dazzling
Tucked inside a museum on the Harvard University campus is a gallery teeming with plants so lifelike in appearance you'd be forgiven for swearing they're real.

But this foliage is glass  really old glass.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Choose your airport wisely
When booking a flight to a city with more than one airport, how do you know which one to choose? If you’re like a majority of Americans, you’re guided in part by your wallet.

More than 7 in 10 U.S. airline passengers (72%) say ticket price is a key deciding factor when choosing an airport to fly into or from, according to a 2019 survey commissioned by NerdWallet and conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 1,800 U.S. adults who have ever flown on an airplane.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Going somewhere? How about a trip to the unknown
When Dena Espenscheid answered an advertisement on social media offering a weekend vacation to an unknown destination, her sister warned her she was going to get kidnapped.

As it turns out, not only was the offer legit, Espenscheid said she "had a blast."

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Set of steps in the Bronx now a tourist attraction after 'Joker'
Move over, Rocky, there’s a new stairway to climb.

A set of outdoor steps in the Bronx has become a tourist attraction in recent weeks since the release of the movie “Joker.”

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Student Art Featured
K-12 Art by Shelbyville students will be on display until January 4 at Flourishes Gallery and Studios in downtown Shelbyville.  Mrs. Cole presents her student works titled "Ocean Adventures" and Mr. Mathis has student work as well.  The opening reception is Sunday, November 3 from 1-4 at 140 1/2 East Main, Shelbyville.
Saturday, November 2, 2019

Add a little fruit and fiber to your morning muffin
I don't bake muffins often, but when I do, I try to make them healthy and have them on hand for an easy breakfast or a snack. My issue with muffins is that they often resemble mini-cakes, packed with sugar and fat. To some extent, this can't be avoided if you wish to eat a muffin that doesn't resemble a hockey puck or bird food.
Saturday, November 2, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers List
Saturday, November 2, 2019

Erivo is vivid presence in first major film about Harriet Tubman
Legendary American heroine that she is, there are certain things for which Harriet Tubman is overdue. One is her spot on U.S. currency: Google “Tubman” and “$20” and “Trump.” Another is a major feature film based on her life: Google “Tubman” and “Hollywood” and “why so long?”

Well, that $20 bill has been delayed, but finally there’s a Hollywood film, “Harriet,” that seeks to honor Tubman and her extraordinary place in the anti-slavery movement.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Scorsese's melancholy "The Irishman' grapples with life in and after the mob
The runtime is the most boring aspect of Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman “ to dwell on.

There is no question that three hours and 28 minutes qualifies as a long movie. And in a landscape where some films can make two hours seem bloated and overindulgent, it’s at least understandable why one might be wary. But Scorsese has earned the benefit of the doubt and “The Irishman” keeps you rapt from the first winding tracking shot through a staid retirement home — a flashy cinematic show in the most un-cinematic of places — through the melancholic end.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Books: New Stritch bio reveals vulnerability behind the moxy
As the curtain rises in a new biography of Elaine Stritch, the scene is the actress' New York memorial service, attended by some of the biggest names in the theater world, with eulogies by Tony-winning actor Nathan Lane and famed producer Hal Prince, both throwing out zingers for laughs and to honor the woman who made so many lines shine.
Thursday, October 31, 2019

John Legend co-writes new take on "Baby, It's Cold Outside'
John Legend and Kelly Clarkson, his fellow coach on “The Voice,” have joined forces on a reimagined version of the oft-criticized Christmas classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
Thursday, October 31, 2019

"Raised in Captivity" (Penguin Press), by Chuck Klosterman
Chuck Klosterman seems like a great hang. He’s the guy at the party who has everyone spitting out their drinks as they laugh while trying to swallow — the one who is never at a loss for words in a game of “Would You Rather?”
Saturday, October 26, 2019

NYC library exhibit offers glimpse into Salinger's life and work
As he worked on early drafts of “The Catcher in the Rye,” a novel which proved both scandalous and life-changing, J.D. Salinger considered adding his generation’s idea of a trigger alert.
Saturday, October 26, 2019

NYC: Sept. 11 exhibit stages hunt for bin Laden
Declassified U.S. government documents and artifacts will be part of a new exhibit about the decade-long search for Osama bin Laden at the site of the New York terrorist attack he masterminded.
Saturday, October 26, 2019

New York City: Discover a revamped Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art’s new $450 million, 47,000-square-foot expansion offers visitors more than much-needed elbow room. It emphasizes new juxtapositions of works to encourage broader perspectives and new narratives.
Saturday, October 26, 2019

Mt. Pulaski Christmas on Vinegar Hill Nov. 23
For 31 years, “Christmas On Vinegar Hill” has taken place on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and 2019 is no exception with this special event at the Mount Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site on Saturday, November 23. 
Saturday, October 26, 2019

One-Pan Cooking For Full Flavor
There are one-pan dinners, and there are sheet-pan dinners. They both make sense. By limiting the cooking action to a single pan, there is less to wash up, which is a definite bonus at the end of a long day. But there's a more important advantage: One-pan cooking ensures that every ingredient mingles together during the cooking process, sharing the spices and flavorings while contributing to the pan juices, which, in turn, promises a very tasty and comforting dish.
Saturday, October 26, 2019

American Dream: 2nd largest mall in nation opens
More than two decades ago when a mega entertainment and shopping complex was being conceived on a vast swath of swamp land in New Jersey, the iPhone didn’t exist, Amazon was only selling books online and malls were where you went for all your shopping needs.
Saturday, October 26, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best Sellers
Saturday, October 26, 2019

Carol Burnett among panelists for discussion about memoirs
For at least one night, Carol Burnett was a writer among writers.

The beloved entertainer was among three panelists Thursday for “An Evening of Memoir,” presented at the MacDowell artist colony’s intimate event space in Manhattan. With some 50 people in attendance, many MacDowell officials and supporters, she was joined by the retired Princeton University historian Nell Painter and the author and literary event host Amanda Stern. Their backgrounds differ greatly, but they identified with each other as memoir writers and through more common life experiences, whether conflicts with their parents or the struggles of writing itself.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Family Halloween event tomorrow night at Old State Capitol
Families are welcomed to a special night of trick-or-treating for local youth at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in downtown Springfield on Saturday, October 26. 
Friday, October 25, 2019

Neil Young back in his ragged glory with 'Colorado'
Neil Young is back with his old band Crazy Horse in all their ragged glory with "Colorado," a beautiful, rambling, chaotic howl against climate change, division and hate.
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Ringo's peace and love fills up new album
With enviable energy and the simple, persistent message of "peace and love," Ringo Starr has become one of humanity's quintessential goodwill ambassadors. "What's My Name," his 20th studio album, is another bundle of positivity and cheer, with a handful of good tunes to boot.
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Genre-bending bio of Thomas Edison is highly illuminating
The late Edmund Morris, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer known for his willingness to brush aside the norms of his genre if it suited his narrative ends, does it again in his final book: a fresh look at Thomas Alva Edison, perhaps America's most prolific and consequential inventor.
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Sue Monk Kidd's next novel imagines a married Jesus
Sue Monk Kidd’s next novel is very much a work of fiction.
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Gallery walk in Decatur November 1
The November First Friday Gallery Walk in downtown Decatur will take place on Friday, November 1 from 5-7:30 pm. Two downtown Decatur art galleries will be open.
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Thinking Ahead For The Holidays
There is something magical about roasted butternut squash. Its orange flesh softens into sweet, nutty squidginess, which is easily transformed into a puree.
Saturday, October 19, 2019

Chemistry Club at LLCC sponsors haunted lab
The Lincoln Land Community College Chemistry Club will host the seventh annual "Haunted Lab" Friday, Oct. 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in upper Sangamon Hall on the LLCC-Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road.
Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ghost hunter's work gets TV afterlife in 'Holzer Files'
Ask the daughter of paranormal researcher and “Ghostbusters” inspiration Hans Holzer whether she’s got any scary Halloween memories to share, and Alexandra Holzer doesn’t disappoint.
Thursday, October 17, 2019

'Patsy and Loretta' delves into bond between singers
Writer-director Callie Khouri is drawn to stories about female friendships and country music, and her latest television film “Patsy and Loretta” combines those passions into the true story of a friendship between two of country music’s most powerful voices.
Thursday, October 17, 2019

'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' smartly teams Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer
For a moment, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” seems poised to turn into a wonderful take on “Father of the Bride” only with fangs and wings.
Thursday, October 17, 2019

'Y'all ride freight?': Trainhoppers speak of experiences as itinerant 'train kids'
Long before he ever reached for a moving train, Jeff Spiteri did homework. For two years, Spiteri, a teenager in suburban Detroit, researched freighthopping: Where to sneak on, what to pack, and how to evade police.

At the local railroad tracks he spent afternoons ascending graffiti-plastered boxcars. Online, he watched videos on illicit boarding techniques and messaged veteran freighthoppers for advice on living as an itinerant "train kid."

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers list
Saturday, October 12, 2019

A tale to two children and brussels sprouts
If you have more than one child, you may understand this tale. I have two children. One is an adventurous eater, and one is not. One loves fish, and the other can't stand it (although I don't recall her ever tasting much of it). One adores butter and milk, while the other would prefer not to be seated at the same table with dairy products.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

Fun fall day trips for the family
If you're looking for something fun to do this Halloween season there are many local activities available, or some just a short drive away.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

Ghostly fun at Lincoln presidential museum
Creepy characters will take over the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Oct. 19 for the annual “Spooktacular Evening with Abe,” a night of games, music and costumes to welcome the Halloween season.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

A trip to find the past
When the air begins to carry a cool bite and the leaves start to dress in dazzling hues, that can only mean one thing. Autumn has arrived, bringing with it all the things people love. Sweater weather, pumpkin spice everything, flannel - the list could go on. For some people, the fall season is a time to enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures: Antique shopping.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

From the eccentric to modern, Makanda, southern Illinois, has something for everyone this fall
With the trees turning bright shades of orange, brown and yellow as the fall season arrives, southern Illinois puts out the welcome mat for visitors to enjoy the cool, crisp season. A good place as a destination to anchor any trip is the village of Makanda, located east of U. S. Route 51 in the southeast corner of Jackson County in deep southern Illinois. Makanda, also known as the “Hippie Town,” the nearly abandoned village had a Renaissance starting in the late 1970’s as artisans from nearby Southern Illinois University in Carbondale started to gravitate to its location due to low real estate prices.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

Take A Central Illinois day Trip
Saturday, October 12, 2019

'I've got one!' Hunting neon scorpions in the Arizona desert
As the setting sun left a yellow tinge on dirt-colored cactuses as far as the eye could see, park ranger Anna Roberts gave us a lesson on what we were about to hunt.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

'This Side of Night' is suspenseful, thought-provoking

In Texas’ Big Bend country, Sheriff Chris Cherry, the protagonist of J. Todd Scott’s previous two novels, may finally have run into more than he and his smattering of small-town peace officers can handle.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

THS Choirs to present 2019 Fall Concert
The Taylorville High School Choirs in cooperation with the South Fork High School Choir will present the annual Fall Demonstration Concert on Thursday, October 17 beginning at 7:00pm in the THS Cafeteria. This first concert of the year serves as a demonstration of the learning process that the students go through while preparing for the performance. In addition to several finished songs, the THS/SFHS Combined and THS Concert Choirs will present some of the warm-up and vocal flexibility exercises that are used in the classroom.
Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Lumineers create a stunning album in 'III'
Films, movies, television, books: They all tell stories that allow audiences to see glimpses of themselves. The Lumineers have told their own story in “III,” a 10-track concept album composed of three chapters that follows the fictitious Sparks family.
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Lively 'Queen Meryl' crowns Streep as acting's best
The sort of book that would make its subject blush and her fans gush, “Queen Meryl” affirms Meryl Streep as the greatest actress of her generation — maybe of either gender and of any generation. That she’s not one to take herself so seriously as to believe there is anything heroic or legendary about her life is another reason to celebrate her.
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Film: In 'The King,' Chalamet inherits the throne
Shakespeare adaptation without all that Shakespeare stuff, David Michod’s “The King” goes once more unto the breach only to come up short.
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Kiss will perform under the sea for great whites and guests
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Having played nearly every corner of the Earth in a nearly 50-year career, the rock band Kiss is taking its show to a new place — under the sea, where they will perform for great white sharks and eight fans separated from them by a small submarine.
Thursday, October 3, 2019

Historic Bethel School Open at Friends Creek
There will be two opportunities to explore the past at Friends Creek Conservation Area near Argenta, Ill. on Saturday, October 5: A Preschool Peepers program and open house hours at Historic Bethel School.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Children invited to learn and create at state museum
Children and their families will enjoy employing their powers of observation at two Illinois State Museum programs in October.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Back to Chiapas 25 years after covering rebel uprising
We rode up to the mountain towns of Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas and straight into the aftermath of an army shootout with rebels.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Leaning in to Puttanesca
It took me a long while to make puttanesca sauce, the feisty Italian tomato sauce packed with sharp, pungent and briny flavors. I admit it was the anchovies that gave me pause. While I don't mind anchovies in moderation, I don't liberally cook with them, either, foolishly reverting to a childhood bias against their salty fishiness. I should know better.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Prince Harry walks through Angola mine field, echoing Diana
A body armor-wearing Prince Harry on Friday followed in the footsteps of his late mother, Princess Diana, whose walk through an active mine field in Angola years ago helped to lead to a global ban on the deadly weapons.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Race, family and history converge in 'Heaven, My Home'
Race, family and history converge in Attica Locke’s second intense novel about African American Texas Ranger Darren Mathews. In this new series, as she has done in her previous novels, Locke skillfully packs “Heaven, My Home” with realistic and, at times, uncomfortable situations as she depicts complicated characters.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Versatile Forest Whitaker goes from crime boss to music man
Forest Whitaker plays a real-life crime boss in Epix’s new drama series “Godfather of Harlem” with the commanding intensity expected from him. What’s less expected is the movie musical he filmed in London this summer, a U-turn for the actor who started out a singer.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

IDNR Announces State and Federal Sites to be open for 2019 Youth Waterfowl hunting seasons
A number of Illinois state parks, fish and wildlife areas, conservation areas and recreation areas will be open to youth waterfowl hunting during the 2019 Youth Waterfowl Hunting Seasons, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. Federal sites that fall under the IDNR waterfowl administrative rule that will be open for the youth hunts also are listed below.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Spooky Story Program at Dickson Mounds, Oct. 3
At Dickson Mounds Museum’s Tot Time on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 9:30 a.m., the program will be “Spooky Stories” presented by Mike Anderson. Tots and their caretakers will enjoy spooky, silly, funny and thought-provoking stories and songs that will deliver a shiver! Spooky face-painting and crafts will also be part of the morning’s activities.
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers list
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Adult singers invited to join community choir
The Lake Land College Community Choir will begin its fall rehearsals Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 7 - 9:30 p.m. in the Lake Land College Theater.
Friday, September 27, 2019

Pretenders Chrissie Hynde takes a jazz turn
Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde brings much of the same qualities to “Valve Bone Woe” — her latest collection of tunes, mostly orchestral jazz — to her rock performances: attitude, commitment and expressiveness.
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Mister Rogers quotes fill new coffee-table book
If you need something to hold you over between the Mister Rogers documentary and the upcoming biopic starring Tom Hanks, a new coffee-table book of his quotes is now in bookstores.
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Zellweger's dazzling performance as Judy Garland makes her an Oscar front runner
For Renee Zellweger, the task of becoming Judy Garland was too daunting to contemplate all at once. Such a character needed to be assembled piecemeal: a bit-by-bit metamorphosis starting with the voice, followed by workshopping the songs and then building in the mannerisms, the hair, the make-up, the stage presence, and so on.
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead's poetic lyricist, dies
Robert Hunter, the man behind the poetic and mystical words for many of the Grateful Dead’s finest songs, has died at age 78.

Hunter died Monday at his Northern California home with his wife, Maureen, at his side, former Grateful Dead publicist Dennis McNally told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The family did not release a cause of death.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

In a fast moving age, botanical illustration persists
(AP) — Think of botanical illustrators, and you might envision a world of medieval herbalists, tulip or orchid collectors, or affluent young women of the 17th and 18th centuries making detailed drawings and watercolors of garden plants.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

October 2019 archaeology talk at Dickson Mounds focuses on historic bead collection
The Illinois Valley Archaeological Society (IVAS) will meet Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at the Dickson Mounds Museum beginning at 7:00 p.m. Featured speaker will be Brooke Morgan, Curator of Anthropology at the Illinois State Museum Research & Collections Center, Springfield, who will present a talk titled “The Frost Trade Bead Collection at the ISM”. This event is free and the public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be available following the presentation.
Monday, September 23, 2019

Paranormal investigator author at Dana's Saturday
TAYLORVILLE — On Saturday, September 21, 2019 Dana’s Book Exchange, 109 W. Main Cross in Taylorville, will host paranormal investigator and author Larry Wilson, who will be signing copies of his latest book, “Where Evil Lurks.”
Friday, September 20, 2019

'Letters from Hollywood' is a movie nerd's dream
Paul Newman passes on an offer to co-star with Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl,” saying he can’t carry a tune or dance.
Monday, September 16, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-sellers
Saturday, September 14, 2019

Oktoberfest began as something of a wedding reception
Beer lovers who also like to travel no doubt include attending Oktoberfest in Munich on their bucket lists. The annual festival in Munich begins in late September and lasts for 16 days, during which people from across the globe gather to celebrate Bavarian culture.
Saturday, September 14, 2019

It's All About Leftovers
My inspiration for making soup is often a convergence of too many vegetables in the refrigerator with homemade stock and leftovers from a roast chicken. This recipe is not an authentic tortilla soup, as I managed to empty most of the contents of my veggie drawer into it. It's chock-a-block full of corn, beans, zucchini and peppers, simmered with a few must-have aromatics (onion and garlic) and pantry staples (canned Italian plum tomatoes and black beans).
Saturday, September 14, 2019

Lots to sample on a weekend visit to Pittsburgh dining scene
When celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich decided to open a restaurant in Pittsburgh's Strip District in 2001, she arrived in a neighborhood filled with warehouses and factories.

This narrow stretch of streets in the shadow of the city's downtown office towers had long been home to food purveyors like Wholey's Fish Market and the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, known to locals simply as Penn Mac.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Local Agribusinesses to sponsor free showing of "Silo" September 26
In today’s society, advancements in technology help to make agriculture production easier, safer, and more time efficient. Nonetheless, even with so many advancements, farming still ranks in the top 15 for America’s most dangerous jobs (USA Today), with grain bin related injuries being one of the most prominent.
Saturday, September 14, 2019

Review: A captivating new novel about word-obsessed twins
Cathleen Schine's captivating new novel, "The Grammarians," centers on a pair of identical twins named Daphne and Laurel, after the Greek myth of transformation, and their obsessive love of language. It's also about their family, and what happens to them as they grow older and some die.
Saturday, September 14, 2019

It's judgment day for Huffman in college admissions scheme
Felicity Huffman returned to court Friday to be sentenced for her role in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal.
Saturday, September 14, 2019

A suicidal Madame Butterfly, Otello and Desdemona all in new world premier
A suicidal Madame Butterfly bids farewell to her son, who morphs into Otello and murders Desdemona twice while singing snippets of Rossini and Verdi. The Tomb Scene from “Aida” segues to Rusalka giving her prince the kiss of death. Then Romeo and Juliet die in each other’s arms.
Friday, September 13, 2019

Enrique Mazzola to succeed Davis as Chicago's Lyric Opera music director
There will be two Italian music directors in Chicago.

Enrique Mazzola will become the top conductor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago following the retirement of Andrew Davis at the end of the 2020-21 season. Mazzola joins Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since the 2010-11 season.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Music: Rested, revived, Black Keys return after 5 years
When the Black Keys last played a festival together in 2015, there was no grand plan to go an indefinite hiatus. They just stopped booking shows and they went home to Nashville, Tennessee to sleep in their own beds.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fiction: Stephen King returns with 'The Institute'
The kids are all right again, in Stephen King’s world.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Nonfiction: 'Only Plane' a compelling history of 9/11
People born at least a quarter-century ago probably remember the exact details of what they were doing on that beautiful blue September day when terror was unleashed across the country.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Go ahead, dive inside the mind of Bill Gates. Be sure to strap in
There are some things about Bill Gates that are unremarkable. His favorite food: hamburgers. His favorite animal: the dog. But a few minutes into a new TV series on Gates reveals a fascinating insight.

The Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist is asked what his worst fear is. It’s not family tragedy or personal pain. “I don’t want my brain to stop working,” he responds.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Film review: In 'Hustlers,' Jennifer Lopez steals money, and she steals the show
“Hustlers” is, in itself, a hustle.

It looks like a flashy, glamorous movie about strippers — all sparkle and skin and high-heels. And it is that. But the fleshy, dazzling surface of “Hustlers,” written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, cloaks an empowering feminist tale about a sisterhood of women who turn the tables on a male-controlled industry.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Immigration tale 'El Norte' returns to theaters for 1 day
“El Norte,” the seminal film about a brother and sister who flee violence in Guatemala to seek a new life in the United States, is returning to the big screen for one day this month to commemorate its 35th anniversary.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Turner Classic Movies hires 1st African American host, a U of Chicago professor
Jacqueline Stewart has been named host of Turner Classic Movies’ silent movie program “Silent Sunday Nights,” making her the network’s first African American host in its 25 year history.

TCM on Monday announced the hiring of Stewart, a professor of cinema and media studies at the University of Chicago who has specialized in the racial politics of film preservation. She will make her TCM debut on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Did you lose Downtown Abbey in the British fog? Catch up before epic film
Does it feel like forever since we lost the style, splendor and scandals of “Downton Abbey?”

Well, dust off your jewels and put up the kettle because the twists and turns at your favorite Yorkshire estate in early 20th-century Britain are back with a feature film, to the delight of fans and “Masterpiece,” among others involved in creating the show.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Erik Larson's next book centers on Nazi blitz of London
Erik Larson’s next book tells a story he knows has been heard before
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: David Koepp delivers a chilling first novel
The story line in "Cold Storage" by David Koepp, the screenwriter for films including "Jurassic Park" and Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man," invokes classic horror films such as the 1982 version of "The Thing" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."  Paranoia and mayhem ensue. Koepp's writing gets a bit gruesome at times, but he knows how to invoke chilling scenes with memorable characters. It's clear he has a background in screenplays because the novel has a cinematic flair to the entire tale. It's scary, and a great deal of fun.
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: Woman tackles a mountain in the moving film 'Edie'
In the northwest of Scotland, there stands a glacier-carved mountain called Suilven. Climbing it is not for the timid. But that's not a word that describes the unusual heroine determined to conquer Suilven in the film "Edie ."
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Join APL for 1st Annual Donuts and Dogs 5k Fun Run/Walk, Sept 14th
The Animal Protective League (APL) will present our 1st annual Donuts and Dogs 5k Fun Run/Walk on September 14th at Southwind Park in Springfield, IL from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Race as an individual, family, or team and help raise funds for APL during this one of a kind 5k experience. Donuts, provided by Krispy Kreme, and dog treats will be available on the day of the race. There will be fun on-site activities before and during the race, such as dog and human massages, demonstrations, a photo booth with props, doggie cooling pools, and other activities.
Monday, September 2, 2019

Superhero cookie saves the day
Sometimes, all we need is a cookie. Nothing comforts or pleases more than a fresh-baked homemade cookie. It could be for a simple snack, an afternoon pick-me-up or an impulsive sugary indulgence. Or perhaps there's a need for a soothing sweet diversion from, say, a bout of back-to-school jitters or the end-of-summer doldrums. Heck, maybe you simply read the newspaper and need to take a timeout.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Not just Bali: Indonesia hopes to develop more tourism sites
Hundreds of tourists, many of them young Westerners, sat on gray stone steps atop the world's largest Buddhist temple, occasionally checking cellphones or whispering to each other as they waited for daylight.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Review: Baldacci's latest novel doesn't disappoint
Aloysius Archer fought in Europe for the Allies, and shortly after making his way back home, he found himself imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s released early for good behavior and makes his way to the small town of Poca City, where he’s required to routinely check in with his parole officer.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Abraham Lincoln the inventor
Abraham Lincoln was no Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell, but he did have an inventive mind. He is the only president to hold a patent, for a device to buoy steamboats over shoals.
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers List
Saturday, August 31, 2019

Experiment with Halloween bark
Festive Halloween treats can be easily concocted with a little imagination. Crafting a homemade chocolate and candy bark is one way to incorporate many of the candies and other treats synonymous with Halloween in a single delicious bite.
Friday, August 30, 2019

Pana Labor Day Parade Horse Show Monday
The annual Pana Labor Day Parade Horse Show will he held just prior to the parade, September 2, 2019, approximately 9:30 a.m., at the Wallace Bros. Stable (former stockyards) on Cold Springs Rd., 1 block west of U.S. 51 South. The grounds will open at 8:00 a.m.
Friday, August 30, 2019

"Cruise-In Car Show" at Faith Community Worship Center
Saturday, August 31 residents of Taylorville will see classic cars and trucks, antique vehicles, show cars of every type, plus motorcycles heading down South Spresser Street and Highway 40 to the "Cruise in Car Show" at Faith Community Worship Center. Registration is free for the car show, which begins at 10:00 a.m. Lots of prizes will be awarded at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, August 30, 2019

"Pulp Painting Landscapes" by Terry Lacy at Anne Lloyd Gallery
The Decatur Area Arts Council presents an art exhibit entitled Pulp Painting Landscapes: The Handmade Paper Process by Terry Lacy” from September 5-30 in the Anne Lloyd Gallery at the Madden Arts Center, 125 N. Water St. in downtown Decatur.  The exhibit features the art of Indiana artist, Terry Lacy, who “paints” with an unusual medium – pigmented pulp. Using cotton fibers suspended in water (pulp), he adds the color pigments and manipulates the pulp to create the image, sometimes imbedding flat items, embossing, or contouring edges to follow the landscape forms.  Each painting is one-of-a-kind with rich colors and a unique, bold design aesthetic.  For over 30 years, Lacy has been perfecting his technique of this centuries-old hand papermaking process.
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Harvard librarian Hester Thursby returns in 'Missing Ones'
The pain that remains following a traumatic event is never easy to overcome, often influencing one's behavior and life choices, as Edwin Hill shows in his second novel about Harvard librarian Hester Thursby. The intense "The Missing Ones" poignantly looks at the fragility of emotional health and the pitfalls of trying to make a fresh start.
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Review: In 'Brittany Runs a Marathon,' a breakout for Bell
Getting in shape and putting your life together usually, at the movies, passes in a montage. But for many, the non-Rocky legions of us, such transformations require more than inspiring theme music and lifting weights in the snow. And for the Brittany (Jillian Bell) of "Brittany Runs a Marathon," that's especially true.
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Edinburg Labor Day Picnic Schedule
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Josh Holland Band To Perform Friday
Josh Holland Band will perform at the Edinburg Labor Day Picnic on Friday, August 30 starting at 8 p.m. They combine an energetic performance with raw talent.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Pops concert at Decatur lakeshore amphitheater
For the 23rd consecutive year, Decatur says farewell to summer with the annual Labor Day Pops concert from the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO), under the direction of Dr. Sergey Bogza, music director and conductor of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Vince Gill doesn't hold back on weighty topics on his new record 'Okie'
Vince Gill might make people break down in tears when they listen to his vulnerable new record in which he sings about regret, marriage, faith, sexual abuse and hard choices. But then again, so did he.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Books: Lippman's new stand-alone novel is superb
Everyone wants to feel that he or she has an impact on the world or to have just one other person believe — no, know — that what he or she does is important, which is featured heavily in Laura Lippman’s new superb stand-alone novel, “Lady in the Lake.”
Thursday, August 22, 2019

'Ready or Not:' A memorably horrific wedding night
Traditionally, weddings usually lead to some fun and games in the bedroom for the happy and exhausted couple. In the new horror-thriller “Ready or Not,” that’s definitely true — but the games aren’t always fun.
Thursday, August 22, 2019

'Kind of Blue' drummer still keeping time as album turns 60
As legend has it, Miles Davis assembled a super group of jazz musicians in a New York studio and recorded a bunch of songs without retakes. They left Columbia’s 30th Street Studio having no idea that their work would become one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time.

Drummer Jimmy Cobb said that’s mostly correct.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Jett, Underwood to perform at 'Sunday Night Football' opening
Fred Gaudelli knew NBC would have to come up with something grand for this season’s “Sunday Night Football” opener since the NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

It didn’t take long for the show’s executive producer to arrive at something: Carrie Underwood came up with the perfect idea.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Music at the beer tent
The entertainment at the Mt. Auburn Farmers’ Picnic has been set with three great bands performing.

The Robbie Mitchell Band is set to perform Friday, August 23 in the beer tent at the Mt. Auburn Farmers’ Picnic from 8 p.m.-12 a.m. They play country rock and a variety of other music.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tom and Leona True are named grand marshalls
Tom True and Leona McGinnis were high school sweethearts, both growing up close to Mt. Aburn; Tom in Grove City and Leona on a farm a few miles West of there.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

133rd Annual Mt. Auburn Picnic starts Thursday
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Preston and Child start a new series 'Old Bones,' historical mystery of the fate of the Donner Party
In “Old Bones” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, archaeologist Nora Kelly gets a visit from historian Clive Benton, who shows her a lost artifact tied to the fate of the Donner Party, the group of people trapped by a blizzard in the Sierra Mountains of California in 1847 that resorted to cannibalism to survive.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Area artists' work on exhibit at Shelbyville gallery
— Artists Sue Goodpaster and Carol Kessler share the Gallery space at Flourishes Gallery and Studios for the upcoming months. The public may view the exhibit which will be on display through October 26. Opening hours normally are on Tuesday from 10-5 and Thursday and Saturday mornings from 10-noon. Call 217-827-5690 for more information or confirmation of opening times as changes sometimes occur.
Monday, August 19, 2019

Florida's iconic palm trees threatened by disease
Florida’s iconic palm trees are under attack from a fatal disease that turns them to dried crisps in months, with no chance for recovery once they become ill.

Spread by a rice-sized, plant-hopping insect, lethal bronzing has gone from a small infestation on Florida’s Gulf Coast to a nearly statewide problem in just over a decade. Tens of thousands of palm trees have died from the bacterial disease, and the pace of its spread is increasing, adding to environmental woes of a state already struggling to save its other arboreal icon, citrus trees, from two other diseases.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Peruvian cuisine: the beloved star at Lima's Pan Am Games
Olympic swimmer Renzo Tjon-a-Joe from Suriname says his "love affair" with Peruvian cuisine began during his recent trip to the capital of Lima for the Pan American Games.
Saturday, August 17, 2019

Everything tastes better on a stick
Here's the thing: It's fun to eat with your fingers. Skewering puts the fun in food, taking ordinary recipes and sticking it to them (pun intended), along with an assortment of dipping sauces -- because dipping a stick in a sauce is half the fun of eating food on a skewer. It's a lively presentation inviting interaction, and it's also a great way to encourage your kids to eat their food, or to feed a crowd with do-ahead cocktail party bites.
Saturday, August 17, 2019

'Raised in Captivity' reveals author's warped imagination

Chuck Klosterman seems like a great hang. He’s the guy at the party who has everyone spitting out their drinks as they laugh while trying to swallow — the one who is never at a loss for words in a game of “Would You Rather?”

Saturday, August 17, 2019

With glut of festivals, hard to match Woodstock magic
Fifty years after Woodstock, the mystical and messy event that gave birth to a myriad of musical festivals, the entertainment industry is diluted with festivals and events like it — some genre specific, some extremely diverse and others offering experiences in addition to music, ranging from food to art, in order to appeal to wider audiences.
Saturday, August 17, 2019

Virgin Galactic reveals futuristic outpost for space tourism
Spaceport America is no longer just a shiny shell of hope that space tourism would one day launch from this remote spot in the New Mexico desert.
Saturday, August 17, 2019

Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers
Saturday, August 17, 2019

Support for the papers of Abraham Lincoln
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has been awarded grants by two important federal agencies for the goal of building a 21st century research tool that can be used by Lincoln scholars and fans around the world.
Friday, August 16, 2019

Lloyd Loar's Hometown Music Festival set for Saturday, August 24
Dickson Mounds Museum is hosting the second annual Lloyd Loar's Hometown Music Festival on Saturday, August 24 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., featuring live music from roots, folk, and bluegrass performers.  Visitors may enjoy performances by Andy Hatfield and Solly Burton, Chris Vallillo, The Rocky Ford Rounders, and The Nathan Taylor Band. The festival opens with guest performances by Carlos Shaw, Sunflower Slim, Erich Schroeder, and Erin Connolly.
Friday, August 16, 2019

'Chrisley Knows Best' couple plead not guilty to charges
Reality television stars Todd and Julie Chrisley pleaded not guilty Wednesday to tax evasion and other federal charges.
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Review: In 'Blinded by the Light,' growing up with the Boss
After starring roles for Freddie Mercury (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), Elton John (”Rocketman”) and the Beatles (“Yesterday”), it’s Bruce Springsteen’s turn to join the mixtape that the movies have lately become. 
Thursday, August 15, 2019












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