Digital Access

Digital Access
Access and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

News, features, sports, opinion and more!

Email Newsletters

Sign up for MyWebTimes email newsletters and stay in the know.
Local Columnists

TALKING POINTS: How's your winter so far?

Wow! A polar vortex and everything that goes with it, you certainly can’t beat that, even in Northern Canada.

School closings and other cancelations were the order of the day last week. Some old timers like to point out that’s how winter used to be back in the day when they went to school no matter what. Don’t believe a word of it. Schools and other activities were canceled 50, 60 years ago too, although in some cases it might have taken a little harsher winter weather than it does these days.

What “global warming” you say? That’s always a debate for those who enjoy debating for the sake of it.

Those of us staying or as some like to whine, “stuck in Illinois,” we’ll just have to deal with it, snow birds excepted.

Spring is less than two months away meteorologically, but only Mother Nature knows for sure.


Administrators, other educational experts, school district boards of education and legislators across the country have begun looking at keeping classes going with “Digital Learning” days for students at home because of frightful winter weather outside.

Now there’s a way to keep students caught up and it might save a few hot late spring or early summer days trying to make up for lost snow days during the winter.

Another idea, already fashionable in some parts of the country involves year-round schooling with breaks throughout the year.

And there’s always home schooling.


As the 2020 census approaches the move to try and remove politics and politicians from drawing state and congressional legislative district boundaries is heating up again.

Seems the political party in power always has the upper hand in drawing district lines to favor the re-election of their party faithful every cycle. The minority party always cries “foul.”

A non-partisan commission backed by the State Supreme Court that is elected politically? Good luck with that.

Chicago politics

Is the political corruption circus in the big city entertaining, a total turn off or what?

For many downstate Illinois citizens it can be entertaining or disgusting. However, for those totally turned off, don’t leave Illinois just yet. The comedic corruption drama has been around for decades.

For those of us outside the Chicago metro area isn’t it nice to live in a part of the state free from any hint of corruption?

Although…oh, never mind.

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

Loading more