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Local Columnists

TALKING POINTS: Winter wonderland

Winter finally arrived in Starved Rock Country earlier this month covering the landscape with several blankets, rather heavy blankets in some areas, of snow.

While fall is often spectacular in this part of Illinois winter can be downright beautiful and unfortunately dangerous to those who don’t respect Mother Nature.

Slick roads, sub-zero wind chills and thin ice are the main hazards, along with those who ignore the conditions.

Props to all of those who clear the roads around the clock, first responders and tow truck operators who respond when called.

And a special thanks to those who clear their residential neighborhood walks, nearby fire hydrants and maybe the walks and driveways of neighbors unable to do so for themselves.


OK governor, legislators, department heads and others in charge of fixing the broken parts of our state government, it’s been over 10 days and little if anything has been accomplished.

Oh sure, go ahead and do a little politicking here and there just to let your supporters and big contributors know you’re still thinking about them and will always have their best interests in mind before the hard work begins.

The rest of your constituents probably aren’t expecting miracles, but maybe in a week or two you’ll get started to try and make the impossible, possible.

Thank you.


Nice to see some local candidates have their signs up for the April election as the excitement builds for those seeking to serve our communities and their potential constituents.

Anticipation is growing for local candidates to begin detailing their plans to tackle the serious issues facing the communities they hope to serve or continue to serve.

While the area’s local election campaigns aren’t quite as entertaining as Chicago’s they do deserve your attention.

Snow birds are encouraged to either apply for absentee ballots by mail or return home in time for the April 2 election. Yeah, snow is sometimes still on the ground when March turns to April, but you’ll deal with it.


It’s time to get it together for your 2018 state and federal income tax returns.

Filing is getting underway. Here’s hoping you come out even or ahead with the new tax rules and regulations.

Locally the income tax season is followed in several months by the property tax season.

Is this a great time of year or what?

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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