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Thomas Clatterbuck



Students from around Springfield gathered last night to showcase their musical and artistic talents. Students from Springfield High, Lanphier, Southeast, SHG, Lutheran High, and even nearby Williamsville all came out for the friendly competition. The idea for the program came from the students themselves. They noticed that there is a “siloing” effect, where students only really get a chance to interact with others who attend the same school. This talent show was an opportunity to help build those inter-school connections.

In all, thirteen performers and six visual artists took part in the night’s events. Although music was the most common talent, there were also dancers and a juggler. The students performed in a packed room at the Lincoln Public Library. You can watch the full show in the player.

The Youth Council was one of Mayor Langfelder’s initiatives. These students meet with the mayor to discuss issues impacting them. Not all of the performers were members of the council. Developing today’s youth is valuable not only now, but also in ensuring young people wholeave the area for college want to return in the future.

Kennedy Green, SHG

Colin Gwillim, Lutheran High

Zoey House, Lanphier










Although the competition was a friendly one, three winners were selected from the contestants in the performing and visual arts. Colin Gwillim, Kennedy Green, and Zoey House, placed first, second and third in the visual arts. Colton Schmidt (the juggler) and Gerald Cole (dance) were honorable mentions in the performing arts. Sydney Moore placed third, Walker Dial, placed second, and Wynton Gage placed first. All three are singers.

The timestamps for the performers are:

1:12 – Gerard Cole (Lanphier)
7:35 – Walker Dial (Lutheran High)
10:50 – Sydney Moore (Springfield High)
17:15 – Maria Harmon (SHG)
19:10 – Mika Henderson (Lutheran High)
22:40 – Regina Ivy (Southeast)
27:30 – Nia Tiller, Mia White, & Cody Flesch (Lanphier)
32:30 – O.P. Jones (Southeast)
38:44 – Hannah Garrad (Williamsville)
42:40 – Wynton Gage (Southeast)
48:00 – Colton Schmidt (SHG)
53:37 – Gerard Cole & Wynton Gage

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Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.


The Simpsons are no longer what they were: This fan managed to make a graph to find the moment they lost its grace

Staff Contributor



The Simpsons is, perhaps, the most famous series in the history of television. Virtually everyone knows Springfield’s favorite yellow family and has followed his adventures for years and years. In fact, decades. But as we know, nothing lasts forever and that was precisely what happened with the show’s grace: it’s over, although the episodes keep coming out.

At what point did the Simpsons stop being cool?

The truth hurts, we know, but it’s time to face it: The Simpsons stopped being good a long time ago. And in fact, Sol Harris, a fan of those, found the terrible truth, and that is that currently there are already more bad chapters than good ones. Ouch.

He also graphed the whole series – a lot of free time, but thank you – to know at what time and with what events he began to lose his “spark” that we love so much. That’s how things were:


Do you agree? At least we can say that the movie is good, and The Simpsons will always occupy a place in our hearts.

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Former alderman Bill Clutter discusses pollution and corruption in new book

Thomas Clatterbuck



In 1987, CIPS unearthed a coal tar pit in Taylorville, Illinois. Despite being used in numerous consumer products, coal tar is extremely toxic. But despite the risks to the community, CIPS failed to deploy the proper environmental protections, and the town was exposed to coal tar dust and toxic fumes. Shortly afterwords, numerous children developed rare cancers, including neuroblastoma.

The botched cleanup was the cause of these cancers. Cost-saving choices made on the day of the cleanup resulted in ineffective measuring being taken to control the toxins. This lead to neighborhoods being poisoned. While that might seem obvious in hindsight, proving a major corporation was responsible would prove far more difficult. But private investigator and former Springfield alderman Bill Clutter was part of the fight to do just that. In his new book, “Coal Tar: How Corrupt Politics and Corporate Greed are Killing America’s Children,” Clutter shares the saga of fighting both CIPS and the Illinois EPA to prove just how dangerous coal tar really is.

During our discussion of his book, Clutter shared that the Taylorville is just one of many towns dealing with coal tar. Because coal gasification (the process that creates coal tar) was so common in the early 20th Century, coal tar pits are also common. Franklin, Indiana is currently dealing with a similar situation to what Taylorville went though. And a similar cancer cluster in Morgan City, Louisiana helped proved coal tar was the likely culprit in Taylorville as well. One bright point is Illinois has tighter regulations for cleaning up these sites because of the Taylorville case.


Before becoming involved in the Taylorville case, Clutter was a politician in Springfield. He shares local history from his time on the city council, and gives an inside look at the political machines that dominated the city and state during the 1980s and 90s. It also helps showcase how corporations gain influence over the regulators that are supposed to be watching them. CIPS relationship with the Illinois EPA was a large part of the difficulties the Taylorville families faced in getting justice.

Although Clutter was ultimately successful against CIPS, he doesn’t sugar coat how difficult the fight was. Even with a strong community group pushing for answers, and their lawyer Tom Londrigan waving his fee, pursuing the case was still an extremely expensive and lengthy process.

The book

Clutter’s book was published by Investigating Innocence Media. You can purchase the book on his website, or on Amazon. Proceeds from the book will help go to Investigating Innocence, a nonprofit that helps fight wrongful convictions.

You can watch our full discussion in the player above.

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Bookstock coming back to Jacksonville for its third year

Staff Contributor



The Jacksonville Public Library will be hosting its third annual Bookstock concert this weekend, September 22nd. Melanie Devaney, Chad Elliott, and Ben Bedford will be performing during the afternoon. There will also be a children’s concert in the morning with Kevin Farris, Duke Otherwise, and Mike Lockett. Bookstock will also include a craft market for children this year. In addition to selling items, kids can learn about running their own businesses.

These concerts are free to the public, and are part of the Friends of the Library Book Sale. This is one of their major fundraisers. That sale will be going on all day.

To learn more about the events, check out the events on Facebook, or the Library’s website.

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