Local Commentaries

The opinions expressed in these commentaries are not necessarily those of Tri States Public Radio or Western Illinois University. Diverse viewpoints are welcomed and encouraged.

My Time on the Other Side of the Microphone

Jul 23, 2015
Jamie & Jason Parrott

The powerful windstorm that hit Quincy on Monday, July 13 brought down hundreds of trees and knocked out power to thousands throughout the city.  It's the type of moment when a journalist thinks, "It's time to get to work" -- unless one of the homes that's been damaged is your own.

Reaching Across Party Lines

Jun 21, 2015
AmosDoyle/Wikimedia Commons

The members of the McDonough County Interagency Council, which is a networking group of social service agency providers, annually schedule a meeting with our Illinois State Senator and Representative.

A Welcoming & Inclusive Environment

Apr 22, 2015

On Thursday nights at 6:30, in the University Union’s Sandburg Lounge you’ll find full tables, laughter, students hugging, and Unity Executive Board members welcoming General Assembly members to our weekly meetings.

In Praise of a Liberal Arts Education

Mar 19, 2015
Rich Egger

This is an open letter to State lawmakers Norine Hammond and John Sullivan:     

As an alumna and faculty member of Western Illinois University's College of Arts and Sciences, I ask you to consider my testament to the value of Western's liberal arts-based education. 

I am an educator and a parent with daughters in the 7th and 8th grades in the Macomb Public Schools.  Like many others schools - although not all - throughout the nation, Macomb schools will be administering the PARRC exam this month to its students.

Breaking Out of the Testing Trap

Feb 22, 2015

Like many Macomb parents, I’m not pleased with high-stakes testing. 

Personal Stories of Combat and Peace

Feb 9, 2015

In the bottom drawer of my desk are among my most valuable possessions—the letters my brothers sent when they were active duty Marines.

A Dark Anniversary

Feb 5, 2015
Dickson Mounds Museum

My brother Chad disappeared Feb. 8th, 1998 in the Spoon River at the Bernadotte dam.

Warner Bros.

A couple of weekends ago, my husband Michael and I did something we haven’t done in years.

I'm a Person, Not a Place

Jan 22, 2015

I never had an abortion, but I should have.  I am sure of this after reading Katha Pollitt's highly acclaimed book, Pro:  Reclaiming Abortion Rights

A New Year’s letter to my son

We, Too, are Bidden

Dec 17, 2014
Wiki Commons

A personal hero, newspaper columnist and labor activist Heywood Broun, was known for his progressive views and his passionate interests – from sports and books to poker and Christmas.


Time magazine recently had a cover story bashing teachers that was not just one-sided, but as misleading as less-respected voices on talk radio and cable TV.

Abby Wendle

Illinoisans disappointed because the U.S. Senate didn’t pass the Keystone XL pipeline measure letting multi-national corporations bring tar-sand Canadian oil down through the Great Plains above major water sources to get crude to refineries to export: Take heart. Another pipeline is planning to plow through 12 Illinois counties after digging up Iowa and the Dakotas.

Wiki Commons

For this Thanksgiving, last winter’s “polar vortex” became this season’s “bomb cyclone” – meteorologists’ trendy term for an intense, fast-moving storm resulting from the jet stream shifting and sending frigid air roaring south into the United States, icing the roads and causing wind-chills to flirt with zero.

But the cold can’t last forever.