Obama, Bush, Clinton Say They're Willing To Get Coronavirus Vaccine On Camera

Who better to promote a product than a former president? How about three? Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are willing to lend their star power for a good cause, saying this week that they would publicly take a coronavirus vaccine, once it's available in the U.S., to encourage skeptical Americans to do the same. Obama said that if Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, thought the vaccine was safe and effective, then he would get his...

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Perspective: The Underbelly Of Democracy

8 hours ago

Mirror, mirror on the Wall, who’s The Greatest of Them All?

For years the mirror told us, “Why of course America, you’re the greatest!” Now the mirror has a different answer -- not you.

The Winnebago County Health Department reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.

This brings the total number of cases in Winnebago County to 18,804. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell also said there were seven new deaths.

“We must remember that as we go through all of this and we look optimistically to the vaccine, that it’s through this pandemic we have lost a significant number of our residents,” she said. 

Photo provided by CFNIL.

The cost of higher education seems to rise every year and it can be difficult to understand how to pursue financial aid. Jennifer Smith is the engagement director with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. She said there is a virtual community scholarship fair especially for graduating high school seniors who live in the region.

"It's a great opportunity to meet directly with local scholarship providers," she said, "and talk about the scholarships they offer."

Perspective: Weakening Democracy

Dec 2, 2020
Dwilliam / Unsplash

Like many of you, I grew up with the mantra the United States is the greatest democracy in the world. But what I never realized is how precariously fragile our democracy is. We've taken this for granted, as we have always comfortably assumed that no one would willfully poison our democratic waters, least of all the president.

Yvonne Boose

This first day of December is Giving Tuesday and one northern Illinois organization is asking for help -- so they can help others.

Major Mark Martsolf is the Winnebago County coordinator for the Salvation Army. He said the organization served way more families this year than last.  

“I've been a Salvation Army officer for 40 years. I've just not seen the need so pronounced,” he said. “First time recipients, people who have to rely on support services that never had to before, perhaps they're laid off from their jobs.”

Perspective: Celebrating Soil

Dec 1, 2020
Walkersalmanac / Pixabay

December 5th is World Soil Day. Why does something as ordinary as soil deserve a day of celebration?

Soil grows our food and is a source for medicines and vaccines. Soil filters water, removing pollutants and excess nutrients. Soil recycles air and locks up greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change.

Photo provided by U of I Extension.

If you are trying to avoid extra stress and pounds this holiday season, the University of Illinois Extension is offering “Health at Home Holiday Edition” webinars. 

Diane Reinhold is a nutrition and wellness educator with the Extension. She said the webinars are an opportunity to help people deal with seasonal challenges.

"Often we feel overwhelmed with the holidays," she said. "So taking 30 minutes out of your day to gain some skills and maybe laugh and have a little fun is our goal."

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

Center for Burma Studies established (1986)

Perspective: My Virtual Travel Companions

Nov 30, 2020
Paula Garrett

As it turns out, this is a sequel to my previous perspective. Before Bluella, my VW Golf, delivered me back home, I was already contemplating Road Trip part two to spend more time with my family before the holidays and the onset of winter road conditions.

My soundtrack this time was a collection of essays by a favorite writer, Tim Winton. In one he describes how we begin a journey -- setting our GPS and expecting to arrive intact and on time, and when we don’t, it’s like a blow to the head. Well, that was my experience, literally.


It's not too late to sign up for the 3rd Annual Dasher Dash 5K. You have until one minute before midnight on Friday, Nov. 27, to register.

Because of the pandemic, spokesperson Melissa Pratt said there isn't a designated course this year, so anyone can participate.

"First and foremost, we want people to be really safe," she said, "and being able to run in their small group that they're used to being around or, you know, running on their own, is definitely safer."

Pratt added that she hopes people who don't necessarily live in Rockford know they are welcome.


News From NPR

In a last-minute push, the Trump administration announced Thursday that it will auction off drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in just over a month, setting up a final showdown with opponents before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

After initially saying he didn't do anything wrong, Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas, says he now realizes he "set a bad example" by traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for vacation last month.

Gitanjali Rao, a Colorado teenager who invented a mobile device to test for lead in drinking water, is Time's Kid of the Year for 2020. The magazine announced the award Thursday, citing Rao's ability to apply scientific ideas to real-world problems — and her desire to motivate other kids to take up their own causes.

Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai was charged with fraud and denied bail Thursday, ensuring that one of the region's loudest pro-democracy voices will be behind bars until at least spring. On Thursday a Hong Kong court, finding that he was a flight risk, ordered him to stay in custody until his next hearing, currently expected in April.

Illinois marked what Gov. JB Pritzker called “a solemn milestone” Wednesday when public health officials announced 238 deaths from COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, by far the highest single-day fatality number since the pandemic began.

Although part of that number may have been attributable to reporting delays caused by the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Pritzker said the rising number of new cases and hospitalizations indicated that the state is still in the middle of an infection surge.

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