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TALKING POINTS: This alert test sponsored by...

Did everybody get their Presidential Alert as part of the Wireless Emergency Alert system cellphone test last week?

You’d think such an alert message would be a gold mine for social media advertisers and if the real thing was ever sent they could charge a premium for ads.

Surprisingly, some broadcasters don’t routinely offer test alert adjacencies to potential advertisers.

It’s an election year. Just think of all the potential for raking in even more ad revenue.


Many communities across the state have been celebrating Illinois’ 200th birthday this year.

A big birthday gala is being organized in Chicago at the United Center for the official observance on Dec. 3. According to media reports lots of celebrities are being lined up to attend. Iconic sports heroes and other famous Illinois folks will also be making appearances.

While most of the state’s citizens live in and around Chicago and its metro area, why couldn’t the organizers have picked a more central location with a large venue for the event?

After all, it could be challenging for average Illinois citizens to brave December weather to travel to Chicago from south of Interstate 70 or even I-74.

Just sayin’.


My 2011 Ford Fusion and its aching struts and ball joints are relieved that work on smoothing out washboard Illinois 23 on Columbus and La Salle streets through Ottawa began last week.

In communities all across Starved Rock Country you can catch the sweet odor of newly laid asphalt on some streets, roads, alleys and highways.

To those crews and engineers still out there on the job this fall: Be safe. To the taxpayers footing the bill: Thanks a “million.”

Maybe we could start these projects a little earlier next year?


Sorry Cubs fans, despite being eliminated from the playoffs so quickly you’re still going to have a lot to “root, root for the Cubbies” again “next year.”

Some of you might be blaming the White Sox for that 10 to 4 drubbing back on Sept. 21, forcing the Cubs into the one game playoff loss to the Brewers and then the loss to the Rockies, although there were lots of other losses during the regular season that might have gone the other way.

White Sox fans feel your pain, and remember, spring training is less than six months away.

JIM FRENCH, of Ottawa, is retired after 43 years in radio broadcasting, including 33 in Ottawa. You can reach him through The Times by emailing

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