Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service honors Chief of Maroa Countryside Fire Protection 

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. (WJBC file photo)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Tuesday’s annual Illinois fallen firefighters memorial service honored those who died in the line of duty in 2023: four from the Chicago Fire Department and the chief of the Maroa Countryside Fire Protection District.

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton says she turns to Scripture in times such as these: “Psalms 34:18 says, ‘the Lord is close to the broken-hearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.’

“Today I stand before you in awe and sorrow.”

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…