BRIGHT FUTURES New directions for IPA membership 2 School board secrecy exposed by paper 6 Remembering Bernie Judge 8 Richwoods H.S. media adviser honored 14 Member Spotlight: Illinois Farm Bureau 16
s The Illinois Journalism Education Association has named its 2019 All-State Journalism Team. Meet (front, from left) Samuel Weinheimer, Elese Smith, Emma Brown and Sydney Moore; and (back, from left) Trenton Butler, Isaac Goffin, Riley Murphy and Emma Trone. PAGES 12-13 (Photo by Dave Porreca of Elmwood Park CUSD 401)
Diversifying, growing IPA membership
’m a firm believer in building relationships – that’s a lesson I learned from my many years as a publisher. The unique relationships with readers, advertisers, elected officials, local leaders, worthy causes and the entire community are the real value of newspapers. It is what our business was built upon, and ultimately our future depends on our ability to maintain and build those relationships, In April, the Association board recommended for approval at the annual meeting at convention a new direction with respect to membership for the IPA. It gives us the ability to reach outside our industry to build additional relations. The regular membership remains the same; what was the Associate membership was renamed Allied; and a new definition for Associate membership give us the ability to reach out to those who want relationships with our member newspapers. Additionally, we’ve created an academic membership to build upon the already strong relationships we have, especially through the Foundation, with journalism educators and students. Having more future journalists as part of the Association is critical, as they are, after all, our future. Before the change, we had 443 general newspaper members, one digital and two personal members. I’m happy to report that we now 457 general member newspapers with the addition of 22nd Century Media and The South Suburban News. We also have our first Associate member – the Illinois
Farm Bureau. (Check out the Member Spotlight on the Illinois Farm Bureau on Page 16 of this edition.) Over the next few months, we’ll be reaching out to prospective members in every category. Below is a definition of the new member classifications. REGULAR MEMBERSHIP (voting member) SAM FISHER Includes establishments President & CEO engaged in publishing a newspaper in the State of Illinois, or in states bordering Illinois, provided that such newspapers can verify a substantial circulation and commitment of resources in Illinois. Must qualify as a legal newspaper in State of Illinois. ALLIED MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member) Includes any firm, corporation or organization engaged in furnishing machinery, supplies or services to publishers, or commercial printing establishments, in the State or otherwise, and is interested in the promotion of the interests of the newspaper industry. ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member)
900 Community Drive Springfield, IL 62703 Ph. 217-241-1300, Fax 217-241-1301 www.illinoispress.org Illinois PressLines is printed and distributed courtesy of GateHouse Media, Inc. in Peoria and Springfield.
Ron Wallace | Chair Quincy Herald-Whig
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David Bauer Hearst Newspapers, Jacksonville
John Reed | Treasurer The News-Gazette Group, Champaign Wendy Martin | Immediate Past Chair Mason County Democrat, Havana
For non-allied businesses, association or organizations who wish to cultivate or extend a relationship with the newspaper industry in Illinois. The classification includes those entities that want to establish and maintain contacts with the decision-makers at more than 400 publications statewide. ACADEMIC MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member) Any high school, college, university or other campus newspaper or digital edition published by full-time students as well as associations representing them. DIGITAL NEWS MEDIA MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member) Digital News Media membership shall apply to an organization that posts news and information of a local character, using digital media that may include the internet, websites, mobile and tablet technology within the State of Illinois. PERSONAL MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member) Open to individuals not employed by a member newspaper or by an organization which otherwise would qualify him/her for membership in another class. HONORARY MEMBERSHIP (non-voting member) Honorary membership is awarded by the Board of Directors to people who have distinguished themselves in the Illinois newspaper industry.
Don Bricker Shaw Media, Sterling Chris Fusco Chicago Sun-Times Paul Gaier Gatehouse Media
Darrell Garth Chicago Citizen Newspaper Group Margaret Holt Chicago Tribune Media Group, Chicago Sandy Macfarland Law Bulletin Media, Chicago Jim Slonoff The Hinsdalean, Hinsdale Sue Walker Herald Newspapers, Inc., Chicago
Sam Fisher, President & CEO Ext. 222 – email@example.com
IPA STAFF | PHONE 217-241-1300
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ILLINOIS PRESSLINES (USPS 006-862) is published bimonthly for $30 per year for Illinois Press Association members by the Illinois Press Association, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. Jeff Rogers, Editor © Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Volume 25 March/April 2019 Number 2 Date of Issue: 3/18/2019 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to ILLINOIS PRESSLINES, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. Periodical postage paid at Springfield, Ill. and Peoria, Ill.
Public notices among 2019 legislative victories
he 2019 spring legislative session was full of wins for the Illinois Press Association and its members. Just as we have seen during previous legislative sessions, the IPA defeated several proposals that would have removed or eliminated public notices from newspapers. Those attempts came primarily from one legislator in particular this year, Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove). Oberweis sponsored six pieces of legislation to remove notices from newspapers, ranging from virtually every notice in the Municipal Code to assessment notices found in the Property Tax Code. The IPA testified against most of these measures in committee and was able to ensure that they didn’t move to the Senate floor for a vote. The following measures from Sen. Oberweis were all defeated this legislative session: Senate Bill 189, Status: Dead (Would have eliminated ALL newspaper notices from Municipal Code) Senate Bill 1059 FA #1, Status: Dead (Would have eliminated assessment list publication) Senate Bill 1059 FA #2, Status: Dead (Would have eliminated assessment list publication) Senate Bill 1061 FA #1, Status: Dead (Would have eliminated assessment list publication) Senate Bill 1061 FA #2, Status: Dead (Would have eliminated assessment list publication) Senate Bill 1061 FA #3, Status: Dead (Would have eliminated assessment list publication) That’s a lot of bills to propose during one session, the majority of them being filed after May 15. School Statement of Affairs House Bill 2485, sponsored by Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton), sought to eliminate the publication of the school statement of affairs in newspapers. This bill was defeated in committee after failing to garner the requisite number of votes to proceed. Severin sponsored an identical measure last year that received only 29 votes in favor of passage on the House floor, less than half of the 60 votes required to advance to the Senate. Plastic Bag Tax The IPA was also involved in discussions regarding taxes on plastic bags. As none of our customers like receiving the newspaper after it has been ruined by weather, the IPA is firmly against any tax that will add to our members’ bottom line as they distribute their product. The IPA was supportive of Senate Bill 1240 sponsored by Sen. Terry Link (D-Indian Creek), which called for a 7-cents-per-bag tax. It provided 2 cents to the retailer, 2 cents to wholesalers, and 3 cents to the
state. The IPA supported this legislation because it specifically excluded newspapers from the tax and it would prevent local home-rule governments from enacting their own regulations on objects like plastic bags or Styrofoam containers. The measure was never called for a vote in the Senate. JOSH SHARP The IPA remained neutral Executive Vice on House Bill 3335, sponPresident & COO sored by Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago). This bill would have imposed a 10-cent tax on bags. Of that, 3 cents would be returned to the retailer, with the rest being split among various environmental programs. While this legislation seemed to exempt newspapers, although not as specifically as Senate Bill 1240, it doesn’t provide for home rule preemption regarding additional taxes that could be placed on plastic bags. The IPA is in agreement with the business community that there is real need for a uniform statewide standard regarding this matter and that a patchwork of taxes and regulations related to plastic bags across Illinois would not be in our members' best interests. This bill was not called for a vote in the House. Social Media Definition/Mugshots The IPA was ultimately successful in the passage of Senate Bill 1699, sponsored by Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) and Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford). This measure was initiated by the IPA as a trailer bill to mugshot legislation signed into law in 2018. While the news media was exempted under the previous bill, and still is according to this measure, the Chicago Police Department took the rather peculiar position (to put it nicely) that its forward facing public website could have been construed as a “social media” website under the new law and thus removed all mugshots from public view and quit sharing that type of information with the news media. Most of this problem was caused by Illinois’ law lacking a firm definition of what constitutes a “social media” website. What Illinois does have, however, is a very clear definition of what constitutes a “social networking” website and that term will now take the place of the rather amorphous “social media” website used in the previous iteration of this statute. This should close the loophole the Chicago Police Department was using to not post mugshots on its public website and
keep this information available to the news media. FOIA The IPA was also actively involved in negotiations on two bills related to the Freedom of Information Act. Senate Bill 1929, sponsored by Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove) and Senate Bill 2135, sponsored by Sen. Terry Link (D-Indian Creek), were both flagged by the IPA as restricting access to certain information held by law enforcement. Both bills moved out of legislative committee with the caveat that the sponsors come to an agreement with the IPA before proceeding any further. The IPA appreciated the efforts of both Sens. Curran and Link to work with us on these bills and to make sure that there were no unintended consequences resulting from the changes they were seeking. Manufacturers Purchase Credit (Graphics Arts) Lastly, as many Illinois Press Association members are aware, IPA staff worked very hard during the 2017 state budget battle to advocate for and ultimately pass a permanent reinstatement of the Graphic Arts and Machinery Equipment sales tax exemption. As part of our efforts during that time, graphic arts production was once again recognized as a manufacturing process, thereby allowing those in the graphic arts profession to take advantage of the same tax credits used by other Illinois manufacturers. Despite our efforts during that heated spring legislative session almost two years ago, the Manufacturer’s Purchase Credit, or MPC, remained expired and unavailable for commercial printers to help offset other production costs. Rules for utilizing the “old” MPC were difficult and hard to understand for most newspapers and commercial printers. Record keeping related to the credit was a nightmare and became an area often targeted by auditors. Those days are gone. The MPC has been reinstated and modernized, with the passage of Senate Bill 689. Beginning on July 1, the MPC will function as a straightforward sales tax exemption. This means that Illinois manufacturers, now defined to include graphic arts production, will no longer pay state or local sales tax on items consumed in the manufacturing process such as lubricants, coolants, fuel, oils, adhesives, and other such products. The new modern structure eliminates the old convoluted process for obtaining an MPC and replaces it with a permanent and straightforward sales tax exemption, making it far easier for printers to utilize.
Journalism students provide a dose of enthusiasm, energetic glimpse at the future of the craft T here is plenty to be pessimistic about in the newspaper industry these days. But I won’t dwell on that in this column, because my intention is to focus on the bright future for journalism. Yes, you read that correctly. If you ever need to regain a proper perspective and enthusiasm for JEFF ROGERS something, I’d recommend Director of Foundation spending a little time around young people who have their whole lives in front of them. Their possibilities are as endless as their enthusiasm. I was reminded of this attending the national Journalism Education Association convention late last year in Chicago. The most recent reminder came when the Illinois Journalism Education Association had its annual luncheon at the Illinois Press Association/Foundation office in Springfield. This year’s luncheon included the awarding of the All-State Journalism Team. This year, it also included a passing of the torch from IJEA Executive Director Sally Renaud of Eastern Illinois University to the organization’s new leader, Linda Jones of Roosevelt University. If you ever need testimony of how being around journalism students can keep veterans excited and enthused about what they do, talk to Sally or Linda some day. Anyway, I was dragging a bit when I showed up for the IJEA event at 9 a.m. on June 1. In addition to being the director of the Illinois Press
Sydney Moore (left) and her mother, Sheila, are all smiles as they pose for photos at the Illinois Journalism Education Association luncheon and awards ceremony June 1 at the Illinois Press Association and Foundation office in Springfield. Sydney was honored as a member of the 2019 All-State Journalism Team. She was the editor-in-chief of the Meridian High School Moments Yearbook. Her mother was also her adviser at the school. (Photo provided by Dave Porreca of Elmwood Park Community School District) Foundation, I have been serving as bureau chief of Capitol News Illinois. The state legislative session had been scheduled to end May 31, so when the IJEA event was planned I thought June 1 would be a day of celebrating the end of a busy few months with Capitol News Illinois. I figured it would be a day to exhale and breathe a little easier. But state government rarely cooperates with the schedules of us folks out in the real world, and this legislative session was no different. May 31 ended up being a day lawmakers met past midnight, and June 1 (and June 2) was an additional day of the ex-
tended session. So, I got a brief nap in after Friday’s coverage was wrapped up and before Saturday’s IJEA event began. I know, I know. Suck it up, Rogers. Journalists work like that all the time! Truth be told, I didn’t necessarily need a jolt of enthusiasm that Saturday morning. You see, I find just about every aspect of our work at Capitol News Illinois to be rejuvenating. But, yeah, I was tired. I spoke to the group for 15 minutes or so about Capitol News Illinois. That perked me up a bit. Then, during lunch I had the opportunity to talk
briefly with Trenton Butler, who was sitting at our table. Trenton was co-editor-in-chief of The Advocate student newspaper at Washington Community High School. He was excited about his next adventure in life, as a student at the University of Georgia. Trenton was there because he was one of the members of the 2019 AllState Journalism Team. Eight of the 14 All-Staters attended the luncheon, with their parents and in some cases their advisers. As they were being honored after the lunch, I learned of Isaac Goffin’s enthusiasm for covering
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Illinois Press Foundation Director Jeff Rogers holds up a shirt that was given to him as a gift for speaking at the Illinois Journalism Education Association's annual luncheon June 1 at the Illinois Press Association/ Foundation office in Springfield. ((Photo provided by Dave Porreca of Elmwood Park Community School District)
sporting events at Conant High School regardless of the weather conditions. I heard about Elese Smith picking up additional assignments as editor-in-chief of the Jersey Community High School yearbook after some students left the staff after the first semester. Emma Brown, managing editor of The Sentinel student newspaper at Marist High School, wrote, edited, shot photographs, assigned stories and coordinated news conferences. Emma Trone, editor-in-chief of the U-High Midway at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School, was one of only three students responsible for all aspects of the print and online editions. These kids, just like you, are battling the elements, taking on additional responsibilities, and doing a little bit of everything to do their jobs well. And they are enthusiastic about it. And speaking of enthusiasm, boy,
did Brett Elliott bring it! Elliott, the principal of Richwoods High School in Peoria, was named the 2019 IJEA Administrator of the Year. He has helped the Richwoods broadcast, newspaper and yearbook staffs thrive. And hearing him speak about his passions for education, journalism and life in general, it was easy to see how well he motivates students. If there was a theme for the day, it was that journalism is alive and well. The demand for quality journalism is as strong as ever, it just looks different these days than it did for the many of us who have been practicing the craft for decades. There are plenty of examples of that shift on digital and social media platforms. Heck, even Capitol News Illinois is an example of the changes occurring. My wish is that we all can embrace those changes and opportunities the way these students and educators have!
Piscia next director of the UIS Public Affairs Reporting Program Republished from University of Illinois Springfield SPRINGFIELD – Jason Piscia, digital managing editor of The State Journal-Register, has been named the new director of the University of Illinois Springfield’s renowned Public Affairs Reporting master’s degree program. He will replace longtime director Charles N. Wheeler III, who is retiring after leading the program for 26 years. “I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the program that jumpstarted my career,” said Piscia, a 1998 graduate of the Public Affairs Reporting Program. “PAR means a great deal to me personally. I’m looking forward to building onto the program’s rich history by guiding students toward fulfilling careers in journalism.” Piscia, who lives in Springfield, has worked at The State Journal-Register for 21 years, starting work there im-
mediately after earning his master’s degree from UIS. He began as a reporter covering crime, city government, state government, business and higher education. In 2005, he was proJason Piscia moted to digital editor, in charge of managing the newspaper’s website. In 2015, he was named digital managing editor, second in command in the newsroom, directing coverage for both the SJ-R digital and print editions. “We are excited to have Jason Piscia on board to lead this signature graduate program at the University of Illinois Springfield,” UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said. “Public Affairs Reporting grads from UIS include a host of award-winning journalists and, with Jason’s leadership, I’m confident
the PAR program’s outstanding reputation will continue to grow.” Piscia says one of the main reasons he wanted to lead the Public Affairs Reporting Program is to help better train reporters in today’s new media landscape. “I’ve been on the front lines as newsrooms have weathered numerous changes and challenges,” he said. “One thing hasn’t changed, however. Journalism needs solidly trained reporters who can fairly and accurately report the big stories in a way that will connect with readers and viewers to help them understand the world around them.” In his role at the SJ-R, Piscia has helped to mentor and ultimately hire several Public Affairs Reporting Program alumni. “I know firsthand the value this program has to news organizations, especially those in Illinois,” he said. “On their
first day of employment, PAR graduates are ready to contribute hard-hitting work that makes a difference.” The PAR Program was founded in 1972 by the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon. PAR is a one-year, professionally oriented master’s degree program designed to prepare its graduates to become working reporters covering public affairs. The program has two main components, instructional classes and a six-month internship working as a full-time reporter for a news organization at the Illinois State Capitol. The Illinois Press Foundation’s state government news service, Capitol News Illinois, had one intern from the program this legislative session. Piscia, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Illinois State University, is expected to officially start as director of the PAR Program Aug. 5.
Violations, then vindication Newspaper publisher in Pinckneyville exposes school board’s secrecy By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association PINCKNEYVILLE – Sometimes, you have to scribble your Freedom of Information Act request on whatever’s handy. For Jeff Egbert, publisher of the Pinckneyville Press, that was the back of the printed agenda for the May 28 meeting of the local high school board. The board, as ordered by the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor’s Office, had just voted to serve a social studies teacher with a notice to remedy – meaning the board had Jeff Egbert determined the teacher had done something that needed to be remedied. It was the second time this year the Pinckneyville Community High School District board had taken the vote. The first vote, in January, was voided by the PAC’s binding opinion dated May 17 that the board had violated the Open Meetings Act when it failed to adequately explain what it had discussed in closed session and then voted on in open session. The rare binding ruling from the PAC was the result of a complaint Egbert filed when the board did not disclose what the teacher had done to warrant a process that could lead to job loss. Still, when the board voted again in May, it continued to refuse to disclose to Egbert what the teacher had done to warrant the discipline. “They just stared at me, just shot daggers at me, and went forward with their vote,” Egbert said. “So I turned the FOIA in before I left [the meeting]. I actually wrote it on the back of the meeting agenda.”
The PAC wasn’t needed this time, however. Egbert received a response to his FOIA request a few days later. The teacher, Robert Simpson, had missed numerous days of work - many without calling in. After the teacher resigned, Egbert said, the Pinckneyville Police Department put out a news release saying Simpson had been picked up at a local hotel on a Jackson County warrant for meth charges. That’s the sort of stuff the public needs to know, Egbert said. “In all honesty, I didn’t want to write about this,” he said. “I thought it would be one story, one-and-done and over. In my mind, I was trying to save [the board] from themselves, but they wouldn’t listen, so I turned them in to the AG.” The school board’s president, Greg Thompson, deferred to the board’s attorney, Stuart Morgenstern, who
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How to submit a request for review
If a member of the public believes that a public body has improperly denied his or her FOIA request, or that a public body has violated OMA in the way that it conducted, or failed to conduct, a public meeting, then the member of the public may submit a Request for Review to the PAC. In the case of FOIA, the Request for Review is a formal way of asking the PAC to take a look at the original FOIA request, as well as the public body’s response, and determine if a FOIA violation has occurred. In the case of OMA, the Request for Review is a formal way of asking the PAC to determine if the actions of the public body in connection with a public meeting violated OMA. (5 ILCS 140/9.5(a); 5 ILCS 120/3.5(a)) The OMA Request for Review must be made in writing, be signed by the requester, and include a summary of the facts supporting the allegation. In a FOIA Request for Review, the member of the public must also include a copy of the original FOIA request and any responses from the public body. (5 ILCS 120.3.5(a); 5 ILCS 140/9.5(a)) A Request for Review must be submitted to the PAC within 60 calendar days after the denial of the FOIA request or the conduct that is alleged to have violated OMA. (5 ILCS 140/9.5(a); 5 ILCS 120/3.5(a)) A Request for Review may be submitted to the PAC by either electronic mail or U.S. Mail. By U.S. Mail, address it to: Sarah Pratt Public Access Counselor Office of the Attorney General 500 S. 2nd Street Springfield, Illinois 62701 To submit a Request for Review by electronic mail, please e-mail the request to Sarah Pratt, Public Access Counselor, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Request for Review does not need to follow any particular format. However, sample FOIA and OMA Request for Review forms are available on the Attorney General’s website at www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov for those who would like to use them. Source: Illinois Attorney General
VINDICATION Continued from Page 6 also declined to comment for this story. Superintendent Keith Hagene did not return messages left requesting comment. Transparency ‘a constant source of aggravation’ The PAC office handles, on average, about 4,000 requests for review each year, about 10 percent of them regarding OMA violations. Lack of staff means far too many cases don’t get fully investigated, let alone result in a binding opinion, according to attorney Don Craven, who represents the Illinois Press Association and its member newspapers. “They don’t weight in with binding opinions nearly as often as I’d like, but it’s a matter of people,” Craven said. He said virtually every case that results in a binding opinion requires an extension beyond the 60-day limit the PAC has to investigate – as was necessary in Egbert’s case. Often, those who file requests end up resorting to filing lawsuits because the process gets drawn out too long, with cases collecting dust in attor-
neys’ and counselors’ backlogs. In each of the nine years since the PAC was formed, more than three-quarters of the requests for review have been filed by Don Craven members of the public. So it isn’t just journalists who see their pursuits of the truth languish. “Government is supposed to be open, and people are supposed to be able to understand what the hell it is their public bodies are doing,” Craven said. “It’s public business, not private business.” Egbert is grateful for the PAC’s swift action in his case – after he gave the school board a month to turn over the resolution discussed in closed session. It didn’t deliver, so he enlisted the PAC. “I can’t say a bad word about the PAC in this case,” he said. “The light was shined in this case because of the Public Access Counselor.” Egbert said at their roots, the many FOIA requests he’s filed are not only
about shedding light on malpractice, but even saving public bodies from themselves. “They sure didn’t thank me,” he said of the school board, laughing. “I thought maybe they’d thank me for helping them do things right, but no.” A binding opinion’s fallout Craven said he’s grateful for a state full of journalists who doggedly pursue the truth and transparency. “I deal with journalists day in and day out who are continuing the fight,” he said. He said if public bodies simply followed the rules and didn’t hide information, it would save everyone a lot of stress and time. “How much a public body has to say when it comes out of closed session, and how much they have to explain to the public on what they’re doing, is a constant source of aggravation – probably on both sides of the table,” he said. Egbert, who was born and raised in Pinckneyville, said he never set out to be a watchdog in his com-
munity of just more than 5,000 people – until he started asking more questions and getting fewer answers. “I’m related to half the town, and sometimes I have to write about friends and family; that can be stressful,” Egbert said “I didn’t really start the paper with this [mentality]. I asked what I thought were fair questions with the leaders in the county and the city. Roadblocks were automatically thrown up. I just thought it was really odd.” He said apart from the resulting tension with members of public bodies, some remain bitter enough to pull advertising. For example, he said the board’s president, Thompson, also a local Country Financial agent, told Egbert he will no longer buy advertising in the Press. “There’s a lot of bitterness over this binding opinion, and if they’d only done things right from the start, none of this would’ve been necessary,” Egbert said. “None of this is personal.”
Inland, SNPA to merge on Oct. 1 CHICAGO – Members of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the Inland Press Association have approved a plan to consolidate the two associations, effective Oct. 1. The consolidated association is crafted to be the champion of the newspaper industry and a proactive voice that promotes the value and contributions of newspapers to the communities that they serve. “The industry has seen a significant change in the last decade,” said Doug Phares, this year’s president of Inland and co-chair of the merger planning group. “There has been a migration to larger groups and an exiting of many long-term family owners. It has also seen a seismic shift in the business model and long-held practices have been upended.” Phares said the boards of both associations saw a critical need for an industry association that
“provides voice, focus and function equal to the challenges of our new reality.” PJ Browning, the current president of SNPA, said the boards were also mindful of the culture and history that has attracted loyal and engaged members to both associations for more than 100 years. “While we are proposing a new association with a new focus, we are also committed to preserving the networking, the camaraderie, and the idea-sharing that are hallmarks of SNPA and Inland,” Browning said. The first board will consist of nine representatives from the current SNPA board, nine from the current Inland board, three R&D partners and four officers – a chair, president, vice president and treasurer.
Colorado Springs Gazette Publisher Chris Reen, who co-chaired the merger planning group, will be the first president of the new association. Reen was president of SNPA in 2017. Other officers will include: • Alan Fisco, Seattle Times • Nat Lea, WEHCO Media • Cory Bollinger, Hoosier Times/GateHouse Media A national search is underway for a new chief staff executive, whose title will be CEO. The new association will be staffed by the members of the current SNPA and Inland staffs. Members of both associations received ballots on June 7. An overwhelming majority of members from both associations returned their ballots by the June 28 deadline with votes to approve the merger.
Remembering 'Skipper' Colleagues, friends talk about how Bernie Judge impacted their lives, careers fire, under pressure, and probably did exactly what Bernie would have done." Judge kept Gorman on the John Gacy case for three weeks. He put him on a 14-day series on elder care issues. Titled “Growing Old in America,” it was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize, Gorman said. Two projects Judge oversaw at the Tribune did, in fact, garner the prestigious Pulitzer in 1976: one on abuses in Chicago federal housing programs, and another on conditions at two private hospitals. Judge made Gorman’s career possible, he said. He even remembers the date Judge hired him: Sept. 13, 1974. But what stands out most was Judge persuading Gorman to stick around and be his assistant when Gorman said he was considering throwing his hat in the ring for a job with the Chicago Tribune’s Atlanta bureau. "He said, 'Yeah, you could do that, but how would you like to be an assistant city editor?"
By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association CHICAGO – John Gorman will never forget the time Bernie Judge “gushed” over his reporter’s remarkable performance under great duress. Judge, a longtime editor and model of investigative journalism, died at his Chicago home June 14 of pancreatic cancer. He was 79, and 54 years removed from the beginning of an illustrious career when he joined the City News Bureau of Chicago. He’d go on to become the top editor of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago SunTimes, before serving as editor and publisher of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin from 1988 to 2007. He was appointed in 2012 by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as commissioner of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Sandy and Brewster Macfarland, the owners of Law Bulletin Media, issued a written statement mourning Judge’s death. “We are saddened at the loss of Bernie. He was a legend in the newspaper industry, revered by many, including judges and lawyers. As editor and publisher, Bernie increased the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin editorial coverage of the Chicago legal community and he was also instrumental in acquiring the Chicago Lawyer magazine. We fondly remember Bernie, who retired in 2007, dispensing wisdom he learned from a tough, old editor at the City News Bureau: ‘If your mother says she loves you, check it out.’” ‘High praise, and enough praise’ Back in 1977, Judge was the city editor, and Gorman was working midnights as a general assignment reporter at the Chicago Tribune. Shortly after the sun rose, and as his shift neared its end, a corrupt Chicago police officer was shot to death on the Northwest Side. As Gorman cranked out the officer’s backstory and re-wrote the murder details from the reporter in the field, word came in about four more bodies found in Park Ridge. Gorman burned up the phone lines. “I called the Park Ridge Police Department, who told me to call back in a couple of years," Gorman recalled. "I called the coroner, who didn't know anything. I called the sheriff's police and the State Police, and they said they didn't know anything." So he called General Hospital in Park Ridge,
Bernie Judge, who died at the age of 79 on June 14 in Chicago, was the top editor of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times before serving as editor and publisher of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin from 1988 to 2007. where he got a nurse to tell him the bodies were coming, and where they were coming from. Then Judge walked in, got his coffee, and sat down to start his shift a few feet from Gorman. “So I'm working right underneath his nose,” Gorman said, with a tone that still notes a desire to make Judge proud. Gorman grabbed the reverse number phone book and found 15 numbers at 6714 N. Northwest Highway. He called the numbers at the office building and finally reached not only a worker, but the guy who was met by the bodies outside the elevator. "He said when it opened up, there were four dead bodies stacked like cordwood," Gorman said. "I wrote about eight paragraphs just before the deadline erupted at 8:30, and Bernie looks over at me and says, 'Nice job,’ Gorman said, laughing. “High praise, and enough praise. I don't think that hurt my career, since he saw me work under
A newsman’s newsman Jerry Crimmins, who first worked with Judge 49 years ago at the Tribune, said Judge was “the most unphony person you ever met.” “Bernie had no attitude or pose, such as some young men adopt as a new supervisor if they secretly lack confidence or are uncertain,” Crimmins said. “He was a straight guy. He was an aggressive newsman.” They’d both worked for the City News Bureau and shared the same news judgment, training and ideas, Crimmins said. Judge’s subordinates never had to wonder where they stood, and they never found themselves without backup, according to another longtime colleague, John McCarron, who wrote a letter to Judge shortly before he passed away. “Peel away that Studs Lonigan shell (How else to command 200 know-it-alls?), and here was a guy who would back you without fail,” he wrote in the letter. “... You always took care of yours. It’s a lesson we’d do well to pass on to ours.” Judge was known as “Skipper” in the newsroom - and not just because he encouraged Crimmins to set up the dayside-versus-nightside summer softball picnic.
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Bernie Judge ((left) and Lanning Macfarland Jr. present the Person of the Year award to then Chief Judge Donald O’Connell of Cook County Circuit Court Law Division. He was the first recipient of an annual award Judge started to promote excellence in the legal profession, one of many policies and programs he started at LBPC, a member of the IPA. Macfarland was active in IPA leadership. "He had moxy," Gorman said. “Even at work, especially as night city editor, Bernie was a social guy, like the captain of a sports team,” Crimmins said. Crimmins said when Judge was promoted to city editor for the Tribune in 1974, he had to get tough in order to guide 100 reporters and beat deadlines. Judge’s contemporaries agree that while he was direct and demanding, he was also indisputably likeable, and that he genuinely liked his peers, too. “I never saw him in hot anger; I don’t think a lot of people did,” Crimmins said. “You could tell it was in him, but he generally kept it under wraps.” Unless someone wronged someone in Judge’s bunker. “I did hear him once loudly and fiercely scold a lawyer who had lied to us,” Crimmins said. In 2007, Judge was a recipient of the James C. Craven Freedom of the Press Award, an award established in 1993 by the Illinois Press Association to honor the legacy of former Illinois Appellate Court Justice James C. Craven, a crusader in the areas of media issues and voting rights on behalf of blacks and Hispanics. "The thing about Bernie was that
he knew everybody, and it seemed most everybody knew and respected Bernie," said Don Craven, James Craven's son and the legal counsel for the Illinois Press Association. "Dad and I have been working with the Press Association since the early 1980s, and have the opportunity to work with journalists across Illinois, at newspapers large and small. There were two 'go-to' guys in the editorial realm that were unmatched. Bernie was one, John Foreman was the other. When faced with a dilemma, Bernie was always willing to listen, turn problems upside down, shake it around, and would always come up with a solution. And, if you needed somebody who knew something about something in greater Chicago, Bernie would know somebody. Best of all, he had stories that would make you laugh 'til you cried. "He touched an untold number of lives in the world of journalism, and left each of us better than we were before." Legacy lives on When Judge’s son-in-law, John Schott, spoke at the open mic reception following Judge’s funeral, the
message resonated with Gorman. “He said Bernie told him he was proud of him,” Gorman said. Again, it was the highest praise a guy could get. "Bernie wasn't throwing around compliments willy-nilly," Gorman said. "When he said that, it really meant a lot." Judge’s colleagues met his children, Bernie R. Judge, Jessica Schott and Kelly Goldberg, when they were just kids, when about a half-dozen co-workers were invited to Judge’s home after the summer picnics. Judge, along with his wife, Kimbeth Wehrli Judge, were wonderful hosts, Crimmins said. “They were a fun couple, and Kimbeth would devise all sorts of clever games,” he said. “Or we might sing Irish songs in their kitchen for an hour or so.” Judge was an immigrant’s son, born Jan. 6, 1940, on the South Side to Bernard A. Judge and Catherine
Hallorn Judge. He attended John Carroll University in Ohio, but didn’t get his degree, and later did a tour of duty in the Army before working at the U.S. Steel South Works plant on the Southeast Side. He is also survived by his wife and children; daughter-in-law, Gina Judge; sons-in-law, Schott and Michael K. Goldberg; five grandchildren, Declan, Henry, Ava, Daniel, and Isabella; and two sisters, Mary Supina and Cathy Judge Gallagher. According to an obituary penned by Crimmins for the Daily Law Bulletin, Michael Goldberg, managing partner of Goldberg Law Group, called his father-in-law “a legend in the legal community.” “Everyone assumed he was a lawyer because of how perceptive he was about the law,” Goldberg said. “More important, he was my friend and I loved him.”
‘Local, local local’ Editors offer pro tips for contest season success By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association Putting readers first and putting plaques on the wall are not mutually exclusive for two of the state’s perennial powerhouse newspapers. The annual Illinois Press Association editorial contest juggernauts are polar opposites in terms of size and frequency. But the 25,000-circulation daily Champaign News-Gazette and the 5,000-circulation weekly Galena Gazette are driven by the same mantra. “Local, local, local,” said Hillary Dickerson, editor of The Galena Gazette, which has won the IPA’s editorial sweepstakes in its division for three years running. “That’s what we’re all about.” The News-Gazette in Champaign takes its show on the road, meeting with subscribers – although you don’t have to be one to take part – at Meet the Editors events. “We basically give people a chance to vent, to complain and give constructive criticism,” said Jeff D’Alessio, editor of The News-Gazette, which won its fifth straight sweepstakes this spring. “It’s unique to speak with readers face-to-face, talk things out, and that back and forth has been tremendously useful.” A buddy story It’s no coincidence The News-Gazette’s sweepstakes run began in 2014 – shortly after Jim Rossow became vice president of news. He dug in his heels and said he’d take the helm only if D’Alessio, his longtime friend and colleague, came along as editor. “It’s been a fun ride,” Rossow said. They both vividly remember attending the awards banquet in 2013. “We got it handed to us,” Rossow said of the paper’s contest performance. “It was an ass-kicker,” D’Alessio said. So they re-racked the contest submission process – planning further in advance, working closer with staff and submitting in previously neglected categories. A renewal of focus is hardly innovative. No, the innovation lies in the way the paper has taken a fresh approach to storytelling – from story structure to merging with a former rival, NewsTalk
Newsroom staff members of The News-Gazette celebrate the first of five consecutive sweepstakes victories in the Illinois Press Association's annual editorial contest. This photo, taken in January 2016, was provided by The News-Gazette. WDWS 1400 AM. Thanks to the collaboration, radio reporters’ deep dives became A1 stories on Sunday – written by those longtime broadcast talents. The third installment of the “Cold Cases” podcast, produced by longtime WDWS News Director Carol Vorel, led to an arrest. Print reporters hopped on the air and took to the mic with ease. “We made last year the year of the podcast,” Rossow said. He said since the merger, it’s become secondhand to “cross-promote like the dickens.” The paradigm shift landed another honor: The News-Gazette was recognized this year as one of Editor & Publisher’s 10 “Newspapers that Do It Right.” The paper’s print circulation has been halved in recent years, but online subscriptions keep taking
off, Rossow said. Monetizing the digital content is still a challenge, so the newsroom in Champaign is shrinking just as most others. “We’re not getting any bigger, and we’re being asked to do more,” Rossow said. So it’s important to work smarter, not harder, by incorporating the five counties the paper covers into regional, deeper dives, rather than having a presence at each community’s council and board meetings. D’Alessio said providing variety – and levity – in coverage keeps staff happy, and that it’s crucial to check in with everyone every day. Each year, at least one reporter attends the awards banquet to reap the spoils. “The most rewarding part of all these awards is they all had a hand in it,” he said.
See LOCAL on Page 11
LOCAL Continued from Page 10 Surviving May in Galena At 9 a.m. May 29, Dickerson exhaled and sat down for an interview. Her editorial staff consists of her, a full-time reporter and a part-time sports person. Her husband, the former editor who now heads up advertising, designs the sports pages and the news section’s cover. Needless to say it doesn’t take long for her to check in with staff. Now’s a good time, though, after the litany of May events in the charming tourist town. “There are times of the year when Hillary Dickerson it’s definitely hectic,” Dickerson said. “May is crazy.” There’s a misperception, she said, that people don’t actually live in Galena, which serves as the Jo Daviess County seat. “There’s a lot more going on than tourism,” she said. She conceded that the readership is on the older side, making the print product vital. “We work on what’s eye-catching, and what’s important.” She said the key to great journalism is fostering relationships throughout the community – from the courthouse to City Hall to the football field sidelines. “We’re very aware of the importance of building relationships in the community,” Dickerson said. “Those are relationships with people who are in all sorts of roles in the community. “People trusting us is so important.” It helped her pen her favorite project to date: a series on 17 immigrant families dubbed “Coming to Galena.” “There were stories where we had to take a break in the middle of one of the interviews,” she said, citing one woman who spoke about leaving Hon-
duras after seeing uprisings of gangs and people being killed. The keepers of those stories won’t be around forever. “We basically told their stories – what their life was like in the country they came from and what brought them to the United States, what brought them to this area, and their life here,” she said. “People just thoroughly enjoyed learning, and
I think it made people pause and think about the immigration issue.” With May in the rear-view, she can get back to such passion projects. She said apart from the daily grind, planning and producing compelling series and deeper dives is vital. “We’re not afraid to think outside the box, in terms of our reporting, and explore in-depth stories and series,” Dickerson said.
State's attorney mulls FOIA request on prosecutor accused of sexual harassment ST. CHARLES – The Kane County State's Attorney's Office is considering a response to a recent finding by the Illinois Attorney General that it improperly withheld some documents from a Freedom of Information Act request. The request was made by Jeff Ward of Geneva on Oct. 11, 2018. Ward asked for all sexual harassment complaints against a former prose-
cutor during his time at the office, all responses and dispositions, and paperwork on why he was paid 10 weeks after leaving the office. The first two were denied, citing exemptions that sexual harassment reports are confidential. The third request was granted, but there were no documents to provide. The June 14 nonbinding letter from Assistant Attorney General Teresa Lim
of the Public Access Bureau requested that the denied documents be provided. "The disclosure of information that bears on the public duties of public employees and officials shall not be considered an invasion of personal privacy," according to Lim's letter. "There is a legitimate public interest in information concerning the claims against him and how the State's Attorney's Office addressed the matter."
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said his office was in the process of reviewing the letter to determine a response. The Freedom of Information Act does not exist in a vacuum, McMahon said, as other laws govern personnel records, including the Personnel Record Review Act and the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, among others.
CELEBRATING THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM The Illinois Journalism Education Association honors All-State Journalism Team, Administrator of the Year during its annual luncheon
TOP LEFT: Matthew Troher, editor-in-chief of The Omega at Downers Grove North High School, accepts his award for being named Illinois Journalist of the Year Runner Up by Brenda Field, a member of the Illinois Journalism Education Association Board of Directors and the JEA state director. TOP RIGHT: Dan Kerns (right) hugs Brett Elliott as Elliott is named Administrator of the Year by the IJEA at its annual luncheon June 1 at the Illinois Press Association/Foundation office in Springfield. Elliott is the principal of Richwoods High School in Peoria. Kerns, who is the IJEA vice president, is a teacher at Richwoods and is the student newspaper's adviser. MIDDLE LEFT: Outgoing IJEA Executive Director Sally Renaud, a journalism professor at Eastern Illinois University, speaks after receiving an award for her years of service to the organization. MIDDLE RIGHT: Emma Brown (left), managing editor of The Sentinel student newspaper at Marist High School, is recognized as a member of the 2019 All-State Journalism Team by John Gonczy, IJEA president. Gonczy also is a journalism teacher and student newspaper adviser at Marist. BOTTOM RIGHT: Sydney Moore (center), editor-in-chief of the Meridian High School Moments Yearbook, poses for a photo with her mother, Sheila, and IJEA President John Gonczy after being named to the 2019 All-State Journalism Team. Sheila also is the yearbook adviser at the school. PHOTOS BY DAVE PORRECA FOR ILLINOIS PRESS ASSOCIATION
Trenton Butler (left) and Elese Smith (right) are honored as members of the 2019 All-State Journalism Team during the IJEA annual luncheon June 1 at the Illinois Press Association/Foundation office in Springfield. Butler is the co-editor-in-chief of The Advocate student newspaper at Washington Community High School. He's pictured with his adviser, Jennifer Reiser. Smith is the editor-in-chief of the Jersey Community High School yearbook. She's pictured with IJEA President John Gonczy. PHOTOS BY DAVE PORRECA FOR ILLINOIS PRESS ASSOCIATION
Emma Trone (left) and Isaac Goffin (right) receive their plaques for being named to the 2019 All-State Journalism Team. Trone is editor-in-chief of the U-High Midway at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School. Goffin is sports editor for The Crier newspaper at Conant high School. Riley Murphy (center) of Huntley High School is named to the 2019 All-State Journalism Team, while her adviser, Dennis Brown, (right) is named the 2019 James A. Tidwell Award for Excellence in Scholastic Media Education winner during the IJEA luncheon June 1 in Springfield. Murphy is a staff writer, photographer and the arts/entertainment editor of the Voice student newspaper.
Samuel Weinheimer (center) is joined by adviser Elizabeth Levin after being named to the 2019 All-State Journalism Team. Weinheimer is the features editor of The Omega at Downers Grove North High School. Also pictured is IJEA President John Gonczy.
Giving power to the pen Richwoods High principal, media adviser honored by IJEA By CHRISTOPHER HEIMERMAN For Illinois Press Association PEORIA – All the news that’s fit to print. It’s a decision-making process not unlike the game of Othello: A minute to learn and a lifetime to master. Richwoods High School Principal Brett Elliott, still a relative newbie to the journalism world, is somehow making it look easy. Just ask his students, the person who oversees the school’s student media, and the Illinois Journalism Education Association. The IJEA recently named Elliott its 2019 Administrator of the Year. “Brett gives us the freedom to take calculated risks, to try new things and not be afraid to fail,” said Dan Kerns, who in addition to teaching at the high school is adviser of the student paper, The Shield, and the yearbook, Excalibur, as well as the Richwoods Broadcasting Society. Kerns was recently inducted into IJEA’s Hall of Fame, and Lila Mura leapt at the chance to explain why. A senior, Mura took on the role of editor-in-chief for The Shield and quickly learned how overwhelming it is to find stories and then plan and design an entire paper. “[Kerns] taught me that you can push past challenges,” she said. “He’s always been very flexible and supportive. Journalism is very hard, especially if you’re organizing an entire paper.” A lot of tough decisions go into planning each edition, and Kerns and Elliott have had countless closed-door discussions over what to print and what not to. “I’ve never told him not to do something, but we’ve been able to have conversations and keep perspective,” Elliott said. For instance, he said The Shield did not – and will not – follow up on a story about a teacher who had inappropriate relations with a student. “The local media covered it well, and an article from The Shield would have done more harm to that young lady, compared to what they were hoping to accomplish,” Elliott said. “Since I’ve been here, when Dan knows they’re touching on a sensitive topic that could blow up, he not only talks with his students, but he also comes and gets my opinion. We take it one story at a time – always looking at what’s best for the school, while giving
Richwoods High School Principal Brett Elliott and students celebrate World Hijab Day, an opportunity for the school to celebrate and support its diversity. The day is marked each Feb. 1 in 140 counties worldwide. (Photo submitted by Richwoods High School) the students their First Amendment rights.” That goes for the Opinions page, too. Students regularly write editorials. “I don’t always agree with it,” Kerns conceded, “but I try to help them write the best they can.” Opinion isn’t a one-way street – something his students have learned when they use Elliott as a source. “He trusts them to do the right thing, and he always makes himself available for interviews, and the broadcasts,” Kerns said. “He’s going to give them his views, even though they might not always be what they’re looking for.” Elliott, 47, was born and raised in Peoria, and has completed his third year at Richwoods after being principal at Peoria High School for five years. He said he’s proud that student media not only provides coverage, but also an inclusive, encouraging environment. “It’s a philosophy where we want to make sure every kid feels valued,” he said. “That’s always there for athletes and popular kids, but other groups might not feel valued or validated. When you see the culture we’ve created here, and to see
See POWER on Page 15
Students celebrate with Elliott his honor of being named the 2019 Administrator of the Year by the Illinois Journalism Education Association. “Brett gives us the freedom to take calculated risks, to try new things and not be afraid to fail,” said Dan Kerns, who in addition to teaching at the high school is adviser of the student paper, The Shield, and the yearbook, Excalibur, as well as the Richwoods Broadcasting Society.
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Brett Elliott, principal at Richwoods High School in Peoria, speaks during the Illinois Journalism Education Association annual luncheon June 1 at the Illinois Press Association/Foundation office in Springfield. Elliott was named the 2019 IJEA Administrator of the Year in recogniation of his unwavering support of scholastic journalism. Elliott has helped the Richwoods broadcast, newspaper and yearbook staffs thrive, and he has brought a renewed sense of professionalism to the student media program. (Photo by Dave Porreca for Illinois Press Association)
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the kids emulating that in their writing, it’s great to see them celebrating diversity and inclusion. Our message is it doesn’t matter your race, color or sexual diversity, you’re welcome here at Richwoods.” “The best part is that Mr. Elliott is very humble about the way he interacts with the student media,” Mura said. “He lets us do our own things. That helps us have our own voice and tell stories we want to tell.” Kerns, 56, also lives in Peoria and has taught at Richwoods for 23 years, after teaching at Bradley University for four years. In his time at Richwoods, he’s seen his students scoop the local media and advance such hotly debated topics as policy on class rank. The last Shield of the 2018-19 school year was recently printed, and Mura marvels at how far she’s come in her three years under Kerns’ direction. “I’ve always been the kind of person
who doesn’t like to bother other people with my problems or ask for help,” Mura said. “This year, he helped me learn to speak up, use other people’s talents, and time management has been very important, too. Over Dan Kerns time, the paper has improved because of it.” She said one of the pieces she’s most proud of is one on renovations at the school, and where the money comes from – something most students should care about, but might not think about if not for student media. “We’re able to write stories from a student’s perspective, which local media doesn’t really do,” she said. “And then for Principal Elliott to receive his award, it shows across the state, our newspaper can have an impact.”
Member Spotlight: Illinois Farm Bureau The Illinois Farm Bureau recently became the first Associate member of the Illinois Press Association. Associate members are non-allied businesses or organizations that wish to cultivate or extend a relationship with the newspaper industry in Illinois. WHO IS THE FARM BUREAU? It's a grassroots membership organization made up of people who support farms, food and families in Illinois. Its members recommend new polices, which in turn are voted by fellow farmer-members. Non-farmers who believe in the Farm Bureau's mission may also join. Membership also means added value through member discounts and services from the "Family of Companies." Members join at the county Farm Bureau level, and also are members of the Illinois Farm Bureau. Illinois Farm Bureau represents our state as a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Together, they demonstrate strength in numbers and ensure the voice of agriculture is heard. The Illinois Farm Bureau, formed in 1916, is made up of five divisions: Governmental Affairs and Commodities, Finance, General Counsel, Member Services and Public Relations, and News and Communications. The organization serves more than 400,000
Jim Muir publishes book BENTON â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jim Muir has been a lot of things: He is known as a local radio personality, a columnist and reporter for The Southern and currently serves as Franklin County circuit clerk. He can now add published book author to that list. His book, "Offerings," released nationally in late June, was published by Oregon's Deep River Books. Muir noted this was not just some you-send-itwe-publish-it clearinghouse. He had to submit a
members. Farmers meet each year and elect a board of directors that guides the organization. Learn more at 222.ilfb.org. WHAT THE FARM BUREAU DOES * Advocates for farmers. Speaks out for agriculture: Farm Bureaus of Illinois bring together the diverse voices of Illinois' farming community. Its united, nonpartisan and trusted voice speaks to decision-makers in Washington, Springfield, and your own backyard. * Promotes the values and quality of life that we in Illinois hold dear.: Its members come in all walks of life, yet it's rooted in common values like family, goodwill and honesty. Farm Bureaus of Illinois ignite local and state initiatives that promote youth education, rumanuscript for approval, which to him exemplifies the book's quality. Muir describes "Offerings" as a daily devotional guide. It has 365 small essays centering on a positive quote, meant to be read daily. "I just want three minutes of your time," Muir said, saying each essay takes about three minutes to read. The idea started small. Muir said one morning he woke up and checked his Facebook account and found himself reading a long, foul-mouthed diatribe. He thought to himself, "There's got to be
ral development, charitable giving, a healthier planet, and wholesome food. * Revs up Illinois' largest economic engine - agriculture.: Agriculture is a tremendous economic engine, fueling working families in both rural and urban communities. Farm Bureaus of Illinois rev the engine by providing tools and creating a business climate that family farmers need to lead the economy. Nearly 25 percent of Illinois jobs are related to agriculture, whether it's growing food, serving food, or something in between. * Connects the farming community with the general public. * Creates value in membership.: Illinois Farm Bureau means good deals on great benefits. From information-packed seminars to discounts on theme park tickets, it offers members opportunities for education, information and exploration. HOW THE FARM BUREAU DOES IT * Embraces Grassroots: It's member-driven. * Finds Solutions: It's respected for its ability to bring groups together. * Stays Engaged: It's responsive to its members' needs. * Builds Relationships: It increases its influence and credibility with open dialogues. a better way to start the day than this." So, he found a nice quote and wrote a few paragraphs about it, something positive he hoped a few friends would get something out of. The response was so good, he kept doing it. Two days turned into three pretty quickly, and weeks and months went by. After getting quite the collection together, someone recommended he put them into a book, which is when he started looking for a publisher. After 18 months, Muir got his shipment of books. "It's proven to be an unbelievably rewarding experience," Muir said.
AROUND THE STATE
Illinois Business Journal bought by Better Newspapers Inc.
EIU/IPF Journalism Camp students visit Capitol
EDWARDSVILLE – Greg Hoskins says his growing company aims to make the best newspapers better. His firm, Better Newspapers Inc., based in Mascoutah, has bought the Illinois Business Journal, based in Edwardsville, from owners Alan J. Ortbals and Dennis Grubaugh. The sale was finalized on May 31 and brings to 21 the number of papers owned and operated by Hoskins, including several serving the Metro East market. No significant changes are anticipated, he said. The Illinois Business Journal prints 18,700 editions a month as a newspaper mailed to nonresidential addresses in Metro East. It also operates the news and advertising website, ibjonline.com, and publishes a weekly newsletter, IBJ Digital News.
Small announces sale of Minn. paper ROCHESTER, Minn. – Forum Communications has acquired the Rochester (Minnesota) PostBulletin from the Small Newspaper Group, the owner of the Daily Journal in Kankakee. Forum Communications is based in Fargo, North Dakota. The company owns 36 newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, including the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The Small family has owned the newspaper since 1977. Len R. Small, president of Small Newspaper Group, said the sale allows the company to focus all of its energies on the Daily Journal and other projects here.
Altamont printing plant adds newer, faster presses ALTAMONT – Following a two-week-long installation process for 10 new-used Goss Community press units and an upgraded SC Goss Community folder, the Better Newspapers press plant in Altamont offers additional flexibility in color printing and higher print quality for the 20-plus newspapers it prints every week. Pressman Mark Hoskins, interviewed on the final day of the installation process, comments that the new press units, produced in the 1980s, are
State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, posted this photo on his Facebook page of him with students in the Eastern Illinois University/Illinois Press Foundation annual Journalism Camp. The students in the 7-day camp visited the Capitol in Springfield on June 27. EIU journalism professor Joseph Gisondi led the workshop, with additional instruction from journalists like Marco Santana of the Orlando Sentinel, Dann Gire of the Daily Herald, Jeff Egbert of the Pinckneyville Press, David Porter of the Lebanon Advertiser, Greb Bilbrey of the (Robinson) Daily News and Ben Meyerson of the Chicago Tribune. While the students were at the Capitol, they met with reporters from Capitol News Illinois, the Illinois Press Foundation's news service that provides state government coverage to Illinois' daily and nondaily newspapers. “significantly advanced” over the previous units, which were all produced in the 1950s or 1960s. Previously, the press included 15 units, operated at top speeds of around 14,000 copies per hour, and could produce one color lead (or up to four color pages) as the first two and last two pages of a newspaper section. The upgraded press, consisting of 17 units, tops out at 22,000 copies per hour and can produce three color leads for a total of 12
color pages in a section, with greater flexibility over where those color pages are placed in the page order. Overall, “there’s more flexibility in the ways we can run,” says Hoskins. Additionally, the press can now handle up to eight webs, allowing for newspaper sections of up to 32 pages; previously, the press could handle only five webs, or 20-page-long sections.
AROUND THE STATE
Chicago Defender ends print edition, goes fully digital Republished from The Chicago Defender CHICAGO – The Chicago Defender, launched in 1905 by John Sengstacke Abbott, was originally a four-page, six-column handbill. Producing news of interest to the black community, it became a vocal advocate for issues of the day, including the migration north, anti-lynching legislation, and for integrated sports. And it was the first newspaper to have a section devoted to children, the Bud Billiken Page. The Defender had its ups and downs, its slowdowns and rebirths across the century. It was at one point the largest African-American newspaper in the world and the first to achieve national distribution in the country. It went from a weekly publication to a daily, and back to a weekly. John Sengstacke, nephew of the founder, took over the paper. He was a mover and shaker in the community: he brought together the publishers of African-American newspapers and organized them into the NNPA; he acted as a counsel to presidents, and was instrumental in advocating for integration in the armed forces. After his death in 1997, the paper was bought by Real Times Media. The Defender was always in the forefront of the struggle for racial equality in Chicago and beyond, and it continues that role today and will in the future. The Chicago Defender is now embracing the next generation for media, moving toward a digital platform. Real Times Media, which acquired the Chicago Defender in 2003, announced that on July 11 the paper would evolve from a printed newspaper and relaunch as a digitally-focused content platform dedicated to online editorial, premiere events, custom publishing, and archival merchandising. “It is no secret that the media and publishing
landscape has shifted drastically and the pace of change continues at dizzying speeds,” said Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer of Real Times Media. “That is why, over the past few years, we’ve made significant investments in digital media. The Defender already has a digital daily edition, one that reaches hundreds of thousands of readers weekly. We are just continuing that trajectory for the Defender.” Readers of the Chicago Defender will be able to get their news daily online, rather than waiting for the weekly paper to come out. Research has shown that those who look to the Defender for news, en-
tertainment and information want the flexibility of receiving that content when and how they want it and digital is the preferred format. “We understand that to some of our loyal readers, this rite of passage is a painful one. However, we are committed to preserving the legacy of the Chicago Defender and are excited to be making this bold step to ensure its vitality for the next 100 years,” Jackson said. “We remain committed to being an iconic news organization, but we must double-down in the areas where we are seeing growth. Ceasing print operations allows us to do that. And readers of the Defender are now all over the city, reaching them online is a win-win for all of us.” Although the Chicago Defender will no longer print a weekly edition, it will continue to highlight pivotal moments via special print editions to create more capacity to actively engage with the community. With this transition, the publication will retain its existing editorial and management staff and continue to offer its signature events — Men of Excellence, Women of Excellence, the relaunch of Who’s Who in Black Chicago, and activities surrounding the Bud Billiken Parade. Additionally, the money saved by not producing a print edition will go back into developing more content on a daily basis. The Defender printed 16,000 weekly papers, but it has almost half a million unique monthly visitors to its website. “There is so much opportunity for the Chicago Defender, on a digital platform, to grow nationally and become a premier player in the African American media space,” adds Jackson. The Defender’s final weekly issue (pictured) in print hit newsstands on July 10. The brand seamlessly began publishing daily content of interest to the Chicago community on July 11 at www.chicagodefender.com.
Herald & Review names Gould as VP DECATUR – A newspaper publisher who has held positions in Texas and Mississippi has joined the Herald & Review as vice president of sales and general manager. Alexander Gould, former publisher of The
Meridian Star in eastern Mississippi, started in Decatur in June. He is a graduate of Waynesburg University in western Pennsylvania and has also worked in media-related positions in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. He was publisher of the Meridian newspaper since 2016. Before that, he worked for three years at Advocate Digital Media in Longview,
Texas. Gould held several positions there, most recently integrated sales director. In Decatur, he replaces Joel Fletcher, who left the position to become a philanthropy specialist for the HSHS St. Mary's Hospital Foundation. He and wife, Jennifer, have twin 9-year-old daughters, Phoebe and Dakota.
Pantagraph editor retires BLOOMINGTON – Mark Pickering, editor of The Pantagraph since 2006 and deputy regional editor of the Lee Enterprises' Central Illinois Group, retired May 31. Pickering, 62, spent more than 37 years with the newspaper, in roles from reporter to metro editor to editor to depuMark Pickering ty regional editor. Along the way, he met his wife, Jane, who is the newspaper's day desk editor. Pickering is credited with making the initial connection with downtown landlords Robert and Vicki Varney, into whose building at 205 N. Main St. The Pantagraph moved in spring 2018. It was during his tenure that the newsroom began producing its online content on multiple platforms; moved its page production to a regional design center; and transitioned from an in-house press to a contract arrangement with the Peoria Journal Star. Pickering was a reporter and editor at the Mount Vernon Register-News before joining The Pantagraph in late 1981, back when reporters shared video display terminals on swivel platforms and used "bag" cellular phones to call in stories from the newspaper's fleet of orange-and-black cars. He also saw the transition from the old CityLine call-in news update service to the company's widely respected and award-winning website of today. Pickering also is a longtime board member of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association, Illinois Press Association and The Pantagraph Goodfellow Fund. He has no immediate plans in retirement, other than watching Cardinals games in their entirety and enjoying the summer with the couple's college-age children, Thomas and Caroline.
Heiserman joins Rochelle News-Leader staff ROCHELLE – Andrew Heiserman has joined the Rochelle News-Leader
as a reporter and feature writer. Heiserman, who grew up in Algonquin, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and minored in communications. In addition to his
general duties at the radio station as a student at Northern Illinois University, Heiserman also completed many feature stories and many other short articles, including features in Rochelle.
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20 ILLINOIS PRESSLINES
Bruce, who worked on Open Meetings Act, retires OLNEY – Few men or women reach the position of CEO of a college district with the deep well of experience Terry L. Bruce brought to District 529 23 years ago. Under his leadership, the district's four-college system garnered statewide recognition for affordable excellence in academic and vocational programs. That legacy is the result of Bruce's push for technological modernization, creative partnerships, and innovative programs. Bruce retired June 30, and Marilyn Holt was named as interim CEO. Bruce and his wife, Charlotte, expressed their appreciation by making a "gift back to the district of $20,000 to the four colleges." This is in addition to their $46,000 gift to Olney Central College given in honor of Bruce's parents. Bruce's career involved higher education long
New full-time reporter joins Pekin Daily Times PEKIN – A new full-time reporter hopes to add additional multimedia elements to the storytelling at the Pekin Daily Times. Montana Samuels came to Pekin from the SouthCoast Media Group, where he was the editor of The Fairhaven-Acushnet Advocate, a weekly Montana Samuels paper, and contributed reporting and multimedia content to The Standard-Times, the daily newspaper of New Bedford, Massachusetts. While in New England, Samuels was recognized by GateHouse as one of the company's videographers of the year in 2017, and in 2018 was a runner-up for the company's beat reporter of the year in Division D, the designation for the company's smaller newspapers. Before his time in New England, Samuels wrote about hip-hop and culture for Creative Loafing Atlanta. He is a graduate of Flagler College in
before he was named CEO. He worked closely with founding IECC Chancellor Jim Spencer, serving as legal counsel for District 529 as it was developing the unique four-campus district. Bruce, a native of Olney, graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1969. His early work with the Shumaker and Bruce law firm focused on labor arbitration, community college administration, budget development, and bond issuance. In 1971, Bruce was elected to the Illinois Senate and served until 1985. He sponsored the funding legislation for all the community colleges in Illinois. He was also principal author of major community college legislation. His political career shifted to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1985. There, Bruce spent eight years drafting or authoring a wide range of
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Former superintendent joins Wayne County Press staff MOUNT VERNON – David Mills, who is closing out his tenure as superintendent at Jasper Grade School, has joined the news reporting staff of the Wayne County Press. Mills will assume his full-time reporting duties over the summer. He will be covering news functions in Fairfield and Wayne County as well as writing a weekly column, Post Script. Mills has spent the past 12 years as a school administrator. Mills’ son, Jackson, will be attending Mt. Vernon Township High School where his mother, Courtney Woodrow, is a mathematics teacher.
Barker joins Crain's CHICAGO – Dalton Barker has joined Crain's Chicago Business as a reporter covering consumer products companies, food manufacturers,
legislation. He worked on telecommunications regulation, corporate and government coalitions, restructuring the tax system, and creating the first group insurance plan for state employees and retirees. He redrafted the Illinois Community College Act and handled the appropriation for the 39 Illinois community colleges. Bruce drafted the Illinois Library Act that integrated public, school, and college libraries into one system. He redrafted the Illinois Open Meetings Act and co-authored the Illinois Open Records Act. He contributed to the 1985 farm bill, gained funding for the National Soybean Research Lab, proposed laws to improve health care, especially home health care, rural outreach, and Alzheimer's care, among other issues.
restaurants, media, marketing, the beer and spirits industry and retailing. Barker, 28, comes to Crain's from the Chicago office of Fastmarkets/Euromoney, where Dalton Barker he'd covered the North American metals and manufacturing sectors since April 2015. Prior to Fastmarkets, he was a consultant at Chicago financial services firm Thomas White International and a commodities reporter at Bloomberg News in Chicago.
Free Press hires reporter BRAIDWOOD – Jennifer Glasscock, 22, of Joliet, has been hired as a reporter at Free Press Newspapers. Glasscock will write news and features stories. She graduated from Illinois State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Publishing Studies. In college, she interned as a copy editor for The Vidette and as a production assistant at ISU's Publications Unit.
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Northwestern's journalism school appoints Whitaker as new dean CHICAGO – Northwestern University has named Charles Whitaker the new dean of its journalism school, elevating the longtime professor from the interim leadership role he has served for the past year. Whitaker formally took the helm of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications in July. Provost Jonathan Holloway said Whitaker, who has taught at Medill since 1993, was the Charles Whitaker obvious choice following a national search for candidates. The previous dean, Bradley Hamm, stepped down last year after six years in the post. Whitaker has taught multiple courses at Medill in his nearly three decades at the school, including magazine writing and editing and news writing. Whitaker also has been director of Medill's magazine publishing project, which challenges students to develop a new magazine or work with a publishing company to overhaul the structure of an existing magazine. Prior to joining the Medill faculty, he was a senior editor at Ebony magazine. With his appointment, Whitaker becomes the ninth dean and first alumnus to lead the 98-year-old school. Whitaker expressed confidence in the state of the school but said he also felt it critical for Medill to publicly advocate for the industry.
Shore joins Marion Star team as intern MARION – Victoria Shore, a junior at Marion High School and lifelong resident of Marion, is the newest member of The Marion Star team. Victoria, 16, has been editor of "The Student," a student-run newspaper at Marion High School, which delivers monthly stories about student activities and events at the school. She is involved in a multitude of clubs and activities. In addition to serving as editor of the school newspaper, she is the communications director for the MHS choir, the vice president of FBLA, the community service director of "Tri Hi Y," is a letter girl and varsity member of the MHS dance team, a member of the Marching Wildcat Band and concert band, among other activities. As an intern at Swinford Publications, Victoria
said she hopes to gain hands-on experience in video journalism and reporting. She plans to major in broadcast journalism.
O'Fallon Weekly welcomes new intern O'FALLON – Katherine Stater joined the staff of the O'Fallon Weekly as an intern for the summer. She is a student of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism studying magazine editing. She’s already obtained English and history minors, and said she hopes to use her journalism degree to edit nonf iction novels and history textbooks. Before working for the Weekly, she worked as a reporter for the Missourian and as a writer for Vox Magazine.
Kaylor named IJEA regional director SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Journalism Education Association welcomes Patti Kaylor, yearbook adviser at Glenwood High School, as a new regional director for the 2019-2020 year. IJEA, with more than 150 members, promotes high standards in scholastic journalism and elevates the status of journalism programs in secondary schools across the state. Two regional directors represent each of six sections of the state of Illinois. Kaylor represents the counties of Whiteside, Henry, Rock Island, Mercer, Henderson, Warren, Knox, Hancock, McDonough, Fulton, Mason, Schuyler, Adams, Brown, Cass, Menard, Pike, Morgan, Scott, Sangamon, Greene, Macoupin, Jersey and Calhoun. IJEA also works closely with the Illinois Press Foundation, where its headquarters is housed.
Winningham named managing editor of Macoupin County, Coal Country papers CARLINVILLE – A familiar name has returned to the readers of the Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat and the Coal Country Times. Daniel Winningham of Carlinville has been named managing editor of both publications. Winningham was a sports and news reporter for the publications from 2009 until 2015, when he left to assume a position Daniel Winningham with the South County Publications in Auburn. In his new role, Winningham will be respon-
sible for directing the editorial content for all print publications and the newspaper's website and Facebook pages. He graduated from Perryville High School in Perry County, Missouri, in 2000 and Concordia University Wisconsin in 2004. Prior to joining the Enquirer~Democrat in October 2009, he worked at weekly publications in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Marco Island, Florida. Winningham and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of three children: Cara, 11, Dominic, 7, and Caitlin, 3.
Mitchell joins Press team as reporter FAIRFIELD – Fairfield-raised native Jessica L. Mitchell has been hired as a new reporter for the Wayne County Press. Mitchell graduated from Fairfield Community High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a focus on creative writing at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.
Muhs resigns as State Journal-Register editor, remains in role with APME SPRINGFIELD – Executive Editor Angie Muhs served notice of her resignation May 10 from the State Journal-Register in Springfield, owned by one of the nation's largest publishers, GateHouse Media. When the newspaper's general manager escorted Muhs from the building May 13, the newsroom emptied as editorial employees accompanied her "as a show of respect Angie Muhs and support," staff writer Dean Olsen said. According to Olsen, Muhs explained that her departure was in part "to save money on salaries in the hopes that GateHouse would not attempt more reductions in the newsroom." Muhs has since joined Memorial Health System in Springfield as the organization's manager of communications. I n her new role, Muhs will oversee strategy development and execution of communication plans that support the hospitals, system resources and ambulatory initiatives, hospital spokesman Michael Leathers said. Muhs started the new position on June 17. Despite leaving journalism, Muhs will finish out her term as president of the Associated Press Media Editors, which runs through September.
22 ILLINOIS PRESSLINES
Three named to Telegraph posts ALTON – The Telegraph has introduced readers to three writers: Jeanie Stephens, Dylan Suttles and Ron DeBrock. An Alton native, Stephens decided in Jeanie Stephens Ron DeBrock May to use her skills as a writer and photographer for The Telegraph. Suttles, a feature writer who manages The Telegraph’s community calendar, obits and more, is a Jerseyville native who attended Lewis and Clark Community College in 2014 for two years and Southern Dylan Suttles Illinois University Edwardsville for three years. DeBrock worked as night editor at The Dispatch-Argus in Moline before becoming news editor in 2017.
Journal Star's Anderson named Illinois state editor for GateHouse papers PEORIA – Journal Star Executive Editor Dennis Anderson has been named GateHouse Media's Illinois state editor. He is one of 13 state editors across the country named as part of a project to reorganize and refocus newsroom efforts to better serve readers. Anderson is a board member of the national and state Associated Press Dennis Anderson Media Editors organizations. He led the IAPME and Illinois Press Association Illinois Bicentennial historical series in 2018. In addition to continuing his role as executive editor of the Journal Star, Anderson will lead and coordinate newsroom efforts for the company's 33 Illinois properties, including 14 daily newspapers. Anderson, 57, has been editor of the Journal Star since 2012. A Chicago native, he has worked for newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Kansas.
Bourland joins Gazette as editor MCLEANSBORO – Tyler Bourland has been named editor of the McLeansboro Gazette. A southern Illinois native and a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Bourland also teaches a drama course at SIU. He covered sports while attending St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, and was also on the executive board for the St. Norbert radio station.
Schott named interim editor at SJ-R SPRINGFIELD – Opinion page editor Kate Schott has been named interim editor of the State Journal-Register. Schott, who has overseen the newspaper's opinion pages since October 2016, was named interim editor effective July 8. Prior to joining the SJ-R, she was Kate Schott editor of The HeraldNews in Joliet, as well as its sister publication the Morris HeraldNews.
Chuck Sweeny ROCKFORD – Chuck Sweeny made you laugh with phrases coined to zing those with whom he disagreed. Yet within a few words, he'd school you in the facts, and maybe teach you a little Rockford history, too. Those qualities won him a following across Chuck Sweeny the Rock River Valley. Case in point: "Every year I hear a few CAVE people grumbling that the city of Rockford can't afford such frivolities as fireworks shows," he wrote in his June 6, 2018, column, referring to Citizens Against Virtually Everything. "However, the taxpayers don't buy the fireworks or put on the show. It's a volunteer effort that raises money from the community."
"He was the world's biggest cynic and made puns about everything," his younger sister, Mary Douglas of Carol Stream, said shortly after Sweeny died at age 70 after collapsing at home. Sweeny, a 1966 Auburn High School graduate, had been a reporter and columnist for the Register Star since 1984, specializing in politics. He most recently was senior editor. GateHouse Media owns both the Register Star and The JournalStandard, and Sweeny's columns would often appear in the Freeport paper. Sweeny saw Stephenson County as a leader in regionalism, and often praised leaders there for their efforts to work together to improve the economy for all northern Illinois communities. Sweeny and his wife, Cherene, married in 1973, and have two children, James, 32, of Rockford, and Stephanie, 27, of Atlanta. He suffered a stroke nearly a decade ago, and his
wife was with him when he fell ill before his death. Sweeny was an advocate for all good things having to do with the Chicago Rockford International Airport. Over the years, he railed against any talk of building a Peotone airport nearer Chicago. Sweeny wrote about the airport in his final column, which he filed hours before his death. In it, he wrote that recent news about the Rockford airport getting millions from the federal government to upgrade cargo operations and about the 500 new jobs at a trucking operation there "should snuff out any talk of a south suburban airport for good." Mark Baldwin, executive editor of the newspapers, said Sweeny was "an original as a writer and as a personality. I once told him that he could go from slapstick to Shakespeare in about 10 words. Not many writers can do that."
Jack Morris ENERGY – Jack Morris, 69 of Energy, passed away Saturday, May 18, 2019, at his residence. Jack worked in advertising and sales for The Southern Illinoisan newspaper for many years. He was also the former publisher of The Herrin Spokesman and The Marion Daily Republican newspapers. He formerly owned and operated the Old Pro Sports Bar and Grill and the Fresh Off the Press Printing in Arlington, Texas. Jack attended the Church of the Nazarene at Royalton. Jack was born June 18, 1949, in East St. Louis to Gilbert and Annabelle (Skelcher) Morris. Jack was united in marriage to Kathy Brown on May 7, 1977, in Arlington, Texas. She survives of Energy. Also surviving are four sons and two daughtersin-law.
Robert J. Herguth PORTLAND, Ore. – Robert J. Herguth, 93, was born April 4, 1926, in Chicago and died May 22, 2019, at the assisted living home he'd been living at in Portland, Oregon, for the past year. He moved there from the Chicago area to be closer to his daughter Jeni and her family. Robert Herguth Bob was a longtime reporter, feature writer and columnist at the Chicago Daily News and Chicago SunTimes. He was known for an eternal optimism, a gentle demeanor and a sense of humor that carried a light touch, including many (sometimes too many) puns. That humor was often reflected in his writing. He was a genuinely kind and honest man. His beloved wife Margaret died in 2014. Bob is survived by three children, Amy (Sean), Robert (Sue) and Jeni (Brad), and grandchildren Mila, Annika, Eli, Matthew, Aidan, Luke, Lauren, Ava, Otto, nieces Jan and Jill, honorary daughter Coralie, and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his sister Joan.
Georgie Anne Geyer WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an era when a woman in a newsroom was, as her friend Mike Royko once put it, "as rare as a teetotaler," Georgie Anne Geyer not only made her mark as a foreign correspondent and syndicated columnist, but also became an Georgie Anne Geyer inspiration to generations of women who followed in her globetrotting footsteps. Called "Gee Gee" by everyone from newsroom pals to international potentates, Geyer distinguished herself through her ambition and her
inability to take "no" for an answer, which enabled her to travel to dangerous places and interview a variety of unsavory world leaders including, most famously, Fidel Castro. Suffering for some time from a variety of ailments, including cancer of the tongue, which she contracted more than a decade ago and which seriously hampered her career, Geyer, 84, died May 15 at her home in Washington, D.C. Born on April 2, 1935, and raised on the Far South Side, she attended Calumet High School and graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1956. She then attended the University of Vienna on a Fulbright scholarship and by the end of her academic career could speak Spanish, German, Russian and Portuguese. She began her newspaper life at what was then the Southtown Economist, now the Daily Southtown, and soon was working at the Chicago Daily News covering all manner of stories. Royko would years later write in an introduction to Geyer's 1983 biography, "Buying the Night Flight: The Autobiography of a Woman Foreign Correspondent": "'She's nuts,' we all laughed, in our basso voices, when Gee Gee made clear her intentions to become a foreign correspondent. … We were still chuckling when she managed to get herself assigned to South America." That was just one of the hundreds of stops in her travels, which became more frequent after she left the Daily News in 1974 to become a Washington-based syndicated columnist, with her work carried in more than 120 newspapers. She boldly ventured into many dangerous climes and into face-to-face encounters not only with Castro and a number of U.S. presidents, but also with such world leaders as Argentina's Juan Peron, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, Yasser Arafat and, in the first interview he granted to a Western journalist, Saddam Hussein when he was Iraq's vice president in 1973.
Susan (Burger) Erion PAW PAW, Mich. – Susan (Burger) Erion, 83, of Paw Paw, Michigan, died peacefully on June 23, 2019, at Maple Lake Assisted Living. Susan was born April 4, 1936, in Paw Paw, the daughter of Charles and Mary (Chappell) Burger. After graduating from Northwestern University, she began her career in journalism. As the city desk editor at the Naperville Sun, she proudly won many awards and led her team to win several more. After retiring to Paw Paw, Susan became active in her community. She was a founding member of the Paw Paw Area Rotary Club and Susan embodied their creed of "Service Above Self." She was also instrumental in the campaign to relocate and build a new district library. Susan was preceded in death by her husband, John "Jack" Erion; and an infant brother. Surviving are her children, Frances (Dean) Abbott and Matthew (Ruth) Erion; grandchildren, Jackson and Holly Abbott; brother: Charles (Mary) Burger; brother-in-law, Frank (Marilyn) Erion; and several nieces and great nieces whom she loved very much.
Warren L. “Bud” Courtney Jr. DOWNS – Warren L. “Bud" Courtney Jr., 80, of Downs, passed away at his residence Wednesday, June 19, 2019, surrounded by family. He was born Nov. 1,1938, in Bloomington, to Warren L. and Hazel V. (Bennett) Courtney. Bud married Mabel Loreine Baugh on May 3,1960, in Bloomington; they were married for 59 years. She survives. Bud worked for Chicago Daily News for 14 years, winning several trips with the news carriers. He also worked for Don Stone Ford from 1974 to 1979, then for Bob Dennison Ford-Toyota-BMW from 1980 until his retirement as general manager in
2008. He liked car racing and playing golf, and the Chicago Cubs. He loved making his yard look amazing. He attended the United Methodist Church of Downs. He was proud of his son, Randy, and grandson, Ryan. He dearly loved his great grandchildren. He was one-of-a-kind, was loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Douglas E. Adams ROCKFORD – Douglas E. Adams, 97, Rockford passed away from natural causes on May 30, 2019, at Wesley Willows Health Center. He was born September 27, 1921, in the Clark County, Wisconsin, farmhouse of his maternal grandparents, the son of Felix and Doris (Richelieu) Adams. Douglas graduated from Owen High in Owen, Wisconsin, class of 1939. On Feb. 4, 1950, Douglas married Florine "Renie" Herzog. He worked as a journalist for the Rockford Register Star for over 41 years, retiring in 1986. As part of his leadership role in the Newspaper Guild, Douglas led groups from Brazil and Columbia on U.S. tours as a foreign journalist tours team manager for the U.S. Labor Department. In retirement, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Labor History Society. Douglas estimated that he had written more than 54,000 news stories and 2,000 editorials and opinion columns. In addition to his full-time work for the newspaper, Douglas reported for WROK's morning news and later did public relations for the Rockford Community Chest (now known as the United Way). He also served the Winnebago County coroner as an inquest jury foreman for more than 10 years. When he was given his choice of roles for his final year with the Register Star, he chose to return to reporting where, as he said, he "could again join the princes and pirates of the news business."
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