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Local Columnists

TALKING POINTS: Heed the warnings

Some folks question the need for the frequent dramatic weather and disaster alerts and warnings issued almost daily.

“Over 250 million people are in the path of a massive life threatening heat wave with temperatures near 100 with a heat index approaching 115.”

Yeah, folks didn’t used to have air conditioning and survived, but excessive heat is dangerous and precautions can save lives.

Then there are all those weather watches, warnings and forecasts of damaging conditions that scramble all those fancy “storm cruising” vehicles and big city TV reporters to roam the highways looking for severe weather.

Occasionally the severe weather never fully develops and regular summertime thunderstorms make for dramatic video.

Severe weather has destroyed enough property, taken lives and upended families over the years in Starved Rock Country for folks locally to take any watches or warnings very seriously.

In 2018 you really can’t say you won’t be warned and hopefully all that drama will get your attention.


The good old summertime is usually family vacation time, but over the years it’s been reported that Americans take less time off than those in the rest of the civilized world.

Making a living, supporting a family and in some cases job survival are sometimes tops in mind, but a little time off here and there can help clear your mind and make you more productive, according to the experts.

“Whoops, sorry boss, yes I understand the bottom line and profits, but can I have next Sunday off?”


Patching efforts have helped ease the situation somewhat this summer and road crews are or will be getting to the potholes as quickly as possible.

The 4th of July came and went with many streets, roads and parking lots still as rough as the original Oregon Trail.

Everybody in favor of earlier resurfacing next year, raise your hand.


Professional sports are certainly big business and those who play the games best are rewarded big time.

Oh sure, LeBron James, the new Los Angeles Lakers basketball star reportedly generously gives back to his home community in the Cleveland area and elsewhere and yes he’s right to earn what the market will provide.

Most professional athletes probably do play for the love of their game while they’re earning all those big bucks and in most cases they generously give back.

JIM FRENCH, of Ottawa, is retired after 43 years in radio broadcasting, including 33 in Ottawa. You can reach him through The Times by emailing

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