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Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:00 am

After beating string players twice his age, Springfield's Clayton Penrose-Whitmore moved on — to Chicago, Detroit and Carnegie Hall

T here must have been scores of kids who, like Clayton Penrose-Whitmore, found themselves enjoying a snack in the Ethnic Village at the Illinois State Fair, just as a group of Suzuki vio
Dusty Rhodes: Fresh Ink
Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:00 am

Nosy writer has been inspired by place where the powerful sometimes trample the innocent

Just about seven years ago, I moved here from Texas to find out whether I could still do journalism. I had worked for major mainstream newspapers in Dallas and in Anchorage (yes, Alaska),
Dusty Rhodes: Fresh Ink
Thursday, July 16, 2009 12:00 am

Former SPD cop learns her mother’s Burr Oak­­­ grave was likely plundered, resold

The first time Renatta Frazier heard about massive grave robbing at an Alsip cemetery, she didn’t give it a second thought. A tiny village on the southwestern tip of Chica
Thursday, July 9, 2009 12:00 am

Deal’s new contract with Illinois Symphony frees her to roam

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra has renewed its commitment to Maestra Karen Lynne Deal, announcing a new multi-year contract with the conductor at the ISO board of directors’ annual meeting in
Dusty Rhodes: Fresh Ink
Thursday, July 9, 2009 12:00 am

Friends of bicyclist who died in a crash are haunted by new DUI charges against motorist

Mark Jennings spent more than 20 years serving his country in the U.S. Army Airborne. When he retired around 2002, “Sarge,” as he was known, enjoyed gardening, cooking out and
Thursday, July 2, 2009 12:00 am

Mentally ill Tamms inmate dies in solitary confinement

On June 8, Robert Foor filed a grievance with the Illinois Department of Corrections seeking a transfer out of Tamms Correctional Center and into a mental health prison, plus proper treatment and me
Dusty Rhodes: Fresh Ink
Thursday, July 2, 2009 12:00 am

A view inside opposing camps of the gizmo revolution

Two years ago, Todd Green was happy with his Blackberry. Or so he thought. Then he went to his son’s basketball practice, where another dad hanging out in the bleachers was showing
Thursday, June 18, 2009 12:00 am

Illinois supermax prison with no way out

On paper, Michael Johnson fits the profile of dangerous inmate. Reputedly a high-ranking El Rukn gang leader, he was a few months into a 35-year sentence for kidnapping and murder when he
Dusty Rhodes: Fresh Ink
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 12:00 am

Young state police director changes troops’ attitude, but not much else

It’s been less than three months since Jonathon Monken became director of the Illinois State Police, but already he has jolted the agency. Which is sort of what troopers were hoping he would d
Dusty Rhodes: Fresh Ink
Wednesday, June 3, 2009 12:00 am

Hope Institute and its neighbors are talking. There’s hope for the world.

I now believe there will be peace in the Middle East. I also believe that the Illinois legislature will someday ratify a budget before the fiscal year ends, and Dick Cheney will appear on


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