Digital Access

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

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.

Outdoor adventures: The unmistakable splendor of spring

Well, it happened again. Another boat-ramp encounter with another person who miraculously likes my writing.

It still takes me by surprise, the meetings I have with people who read this outdoor banter. For about 2 years now, I have stumbled through this deal here, just trying my best not to completely embarrass myself. I haven’t always succeeded, either.

But running into people I don’t know and hearing good things is....well...a good thing. Everyone likes a little encouragement from time to time, right?

Well, onward we go, trudging into the winter-spring transition, and that little glow you can see is definitely the light at the end of the tunnel.

Things are changing fast. Just seeing those 60-degree temperatures in the forecast seems to change a person’s whole outlook. Being able to walk outside in the morning wearing what you just slept in and take a deep breath of fresh air? Man, that’s the ticket.

There is a switch that seems to flip from the day-to-day winter blase to a new sense of freedom that comes with spring and summer.

Soon I will be stomping around the countryside looking for fresh morel mushrooms and gathering fresh live bait in search of that first giant flathead of the year. Pictures of my buddies’ big gobblers will start to roll in and, yes, the sounds of lawnmowers and the smell of fresh cut grass.

Travis Tritt had it right. It’s a great day to be alive.

The dingy gray hue of winter is gone, and it’s time to throw open the doors and windows and air out the stale air.

This past winter really wasn’t all that bad. It just seemed really, really long. The deer hunting was very, very good, and the fishing wasn’t bad, either.

I think it was just the fact that we got all this winter weather so late that made it seem so never-ending.

It seems all we need is a little more rain to clean the inordinate amount of salt off our roads and just a little more warmth, and it’s on. Campfires and catfishing and cocktails get the point.

Anyhow, here is to another great warm season, everyone.

Go Catfish!

Loading more