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Letter: Some traits of a small town

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Editor’s Note: The following words were written by Clarence “Pete” Hughes as a tribute to small towns like the one he grew up in, the Stark County village of La Fayette (current pop.: 160), north of Peoria.

One of four children, Hughes lost his father at a young age, and his mother worked strenuously to raise the family. Pete went on to graduate from La Fayette High School in 1954, then earned a degree from Blackburn College in 1958, where he served as student marshal and became the school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball.

Hughes has been married to Carol Nielson, a college classmate and longtime educator, for 64 years. They raised two children while he built his own successful career in education, both on the high school and college levels. In his later years, he established an international mission that touched countless lives.

But Hughes never fell out of touch with his old hometown, and cherishes the influence that little La Fayette had on his life. The words below reflect life in small towns that many people, then and now, will remember with a smile.

SOME TRAITS OF A SMALL TOWN

By Clarence “Pete” Hughes

1. The place everyone knows everyone.

2. The place one can charge their groceries and pay later.

3. The place when you go to visit grandma, it is in the paper.

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4. The place everyone knows everyone’s car.

5. The place all know who is doing what, but read the paper to find out who got caught!

6. The place where all know who is “expecting.”

7. The place where everyone knows the dog of all families.

8. The place where all know those in the service.

9. The place all kids can be on the basketball team.

10. The place where every kid can be in the school play.

11. The place where we know who got a speeding ticket.

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12. The place where all can go to a funeral.

13. The place where all go to the hall after the funeral and eat potato salad.

14. The place one knows the basketball team will lose often.

15. The place where if the team beats the rival, the season is great!

16. The place where there are more good people than bad people.

17. The place where some people go to church only on Easter and Christmas to keep their souls in GREAT shape!

18. The place where we know all who go to college.

19. The place where we all know who was sent to the principal’s office.

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20. The place we all liked as kids but never returned to live.

21. The place where there are no more stores.

22. The place where Walmart has taken over.

23. The place now filled with old folks.

24. The place that has abandoned houses that are a sad sight.

25. The place of the cemetery where we will spend eternity.

26. The place where only the rich kids went to college – sons of farmers.

27. The place where you could get a summer job detasseling corn.

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28. The place a farmer at the end of the day asked what he owed you.

29. The place a farmer would never think of giving you a “tip.”

30. The place where grocery stores sold July 4 sparklers.

31. The place where you did not pump your gas in the car.

32. The place where you memorized a poem for the Christmas program.

33. The place where kids visited the Baby Jesus in their dad’s bathrobes.

34. The place where the church was full to see the Christmas program.

35. The place where the new kid in town was harassed.

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36. The place where a good kid defended the new kid.

37. The place where only a few homes had flush toilets.

38. The place where single women teachers were courted by local bachelors.

39. The place where an ice storm meant NO SCHOOL!

40. The place where everyone knows who had the new car.

41. The place where on had an eccentric person no one bothered.

42. The place where all knew who drank too much.

43. The place where there was a guy who was seen as a “fighter.”

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44. The place where one got new clothes for Easter.

45. The place where your mother told you to “Be good” when you left the house.

46. The place where going to a movie, any movie, was a big treat!

47. The place where a family had kids who smoked walking to school.

48. The place where the kid smoking wore a T-shirt in the winter.

49. The place where the smoking kids rolled the cigarettes in their sleeve.

50. The place that was our World – it was home and it was safe to us!

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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Time for Republicans to rally around President Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump will formally accept the Republican Party nomination for President at the Republican National Convention next week.

America is a country divided and by virtue of accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for president, half the country will embrace him while the other half will want nothing to do with him.

The divide between Democrats and Republicans is nothing new, but what is new is the use of lawfare to target political rivals. Here in Illinois, the moment President Trump and his delegates filed their paperwork to be on the ballot in the Land of Lincoln, a group of far-left radicals immediately filed an objection to the filing. The objection was an outlandish legal charge that President Trump was the instigator of the events on January 6th, 2021, and was therefore not eligible to be on the ballot.

In the end these bogus accusations went nowhere. Even legal experts who were no fans of the 45th President thought the objection was ridiculous. But this is the state of affairs in politics today. Instead of putting ideas on the ballot and campaigning on the merits of those ideas, the far-left radicals are weaponizing our courts and targeting people solely on the basis of political ideology.

Donald Trump is without a doubt the most famous person in the world and like all famous people, he has his fans as well as his detractors. He is not “literally Hitler” as the extremists on the left claim. He is not the enemy of Democracy. He is a candidate for office like any other candidate. His ideas of a strong border, a strong military, low taxes, reduced business regulations, trade deals that protect American interests and a desire to protect America’s interests abroad have been a part of the public discourse for a long time. The notion that these ideas are an “assault on our Democracy” is just nonsense.

President Trump was leading in the majority of the battleground states long before the country saw Joe Biden’s decline in real time during the recent Presidential debate. And the reason he was leading in the polls is because Americans in growing numbers have rejected Joe Biden’s failed policies. The fact that Joe Biden has demonstrated his complete inability to serve has only served to give President Trump even more momentum than he already had ahead of the Republican National Convention.

It is time for our party to rally around our nominee. We cannot afford to continue Biden’s open border policies that are crippling our cities. We need a President who is strong on crime and who will work with state and local governments to keep our communities safe. We need a leader who will put an end to the inflation hurting so many families. I hear all of the time from constituents who are overwhelmed by the price of food and other household necessities. The current Administration won’t fix a problem and in fact they won’t even acknowledge the problem exists.

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I call on everyone who may have voted for someone other than Donald Trump to watch the Convention and rally around our nominee. So-called “Republicans” like Adam Kinzinger who have done the unthinkable and endorsed Joe Biden are not only embarrassing themselves, but they are contributing to our nation’s decline.

We cannot afford another four years of the Green New Scam, the open border policies and the weaponization of the justice department to target political opponents. Joe Biden ran to heal our country and all he has done is fracture us even more. It is time to put America first and Donald Trump will do just that. It is time for Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and moderate Democrats to rally around President Trump and Make America Great Again!

State Representative Adam Niemerg

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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Domestic violence is prevalent in Macoupin County

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Dear Editor,

Domestic Violence within Macoupin County is prevalent. It is destructive and can be both physical and psychological. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. It may include behaviors meant to scare, physically harm, or control a partner. While every relationship is different – domestic violence generally involves an unequal power dynamic in which one partner tries to assert control over the other in a variety of ways. The following statistics are all according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

We can see domestic violence inside the home: through the use and control of household pets. In one study, 85% of survivors who experienced co-occurring animal abuse reported that the behavior of their pets had changed. An even higher percentage of survivors who reported partners had harmed or killed their pet, have also reported their partner for domestic violence. We can also see an increase usage of firearms within the intimate partner violence home. A survey of contacts by the National Domestic Violence Hotline found (of those with access to firearms):  

  • 10% said their abusers had fired a gun during an argument.  
  • 67% believed their abusers were capable of killing them. 

We can see domestic violence inside our schools: as partner violence is not exclusive to the home. There are many instances of violence between dating partners that begin in high school. Nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States are physically abused by dating partners every year. Within those relationships, 13.4% of male high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.  

We can see domestic violence inside our community: Macoupin County provides a specific set of needs for those victims and survivors of domestic violence. There are several complex concerns within a violent relationship that come to light once action has been taken. Safe Families sees a few main re-occurring concerns within the county:  

  • Survivors have fewer financial resources, making them more financially dependent on an abusive partner.  
  • The lack of rental units or other affordable housing options makes it more difficult for survivors to leave spouses or co-habiting abusers.  

The Macoupin County Safe Families program provides support for residents as they journey the emotional endeavors to leave behind domestic violence. As a contributor to that experience, we will be hosting a Domestic Violence Awareness Walk on October 7th on the Carlinville Square. An event shirt will be included with a ticket sale. The online tickets will close 09/29 at 5pm. Tickets will be sold at 9am day-of event at the Safe Families booth. More information about the Awareness Walk can be found on our website at mcphd@mcphd.net. We urge Macoupin County residents to join us and rally against domestic violence together.  

Juliet Wooldridge and Lilly Booth

Domestic Violence Advocate Coordinators
Community Health Worker
Macoupin County Safe Families

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Letter: National Health Center Week is week of August 6

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Dear Editor,

Community Health Centers are the backbone of our nation’s primary health care system. We design innovative, integrated primary care based on what services communities need most — ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare for over 30 million people. In addition to creating jobs and saving lives, collectively we save American taxpayers $24 billion a year in health care costs by preventing and managing chronic diseases.

Community Health Centers are not ordinary medical clinics; we are also problem-solvers who reach beyond the exam room to care for the whole person by providing access to necessities like food, transportation, and housing. Community Health Centers care for everyone, regardless of insurance status. Nationwide during hurricanes, floods, and fires, and locally during the pandemic, Community Health Centers are first on the scene and are vital to keeping America healthy.

The 2023 theme of National Health Center Week is ‘The Roadmap to a Stronger America.’ Community Health Centers serve as the beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. In moments of pain and loss, we offer support and love. In moments of triumph, we offer hope and a vision for the future. This year’s National Health Center Week theme takes us on a virtual road trip across America, highlighting the achievements and amazing work being done at Community Health Centers in every state and territory. Celebrate the uniqueness of our community and get to know others as we journey across the U.S. together!

Each day of National Health Center Week is dedicated to a particular focus area. We will be working with community partners to recognize and celebrate each of the following focus groups in our community.

As part of National Health Center Week 2023, we invite you to support Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc. to celebrate our mission and accomplishments.

Christy Blank
CEO/Public Health Administrator
Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc.
Macoupin County Public Health Department

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