Understanding Illinois: Political Polls Have Consequences

NowlanOctober 29, 2014

by Jim Nowlan
Outside Columnist

Ever since the Literary Digest poll of 1936 infamously predicted that Alf Landon would smother Franklin D. Roosevelt in that year’s presidential election, pollsters have been working to refine their art.

This column looks at why polls have become more difficult to do well and of the consequences the polls can have for election outcomes.

When I commissioned polls in the 1970s and ’80s for U.S. Senate and other candidates I was working for, we had the gold standard of random digit dialing of the universe of nearly 100 percent of households that had telephones. The pollster was confident he could achieve a sample of voters that was representative of the whole population. Read More

I Agree with Doan on Sales Tax Issue

October 29, 2014

This letter is in response to Mr. Doan’s letter to the editor (the October 15th issue) regarding the proposed 1% sales tax hike in Moultrie County that would go to help maintain our school facilities.  Mr. Doan brought up many good points about the proposal. Though I’m not sure I would call it a “no brainer,” I would say that I agree with him that this tax is a good thing for our school and ultimately our community.  I believe Mr. Doan did a nice job of explaining why the tax would not hurt local businesses, but I would like to expound on why it is needed and how it will help our communities.   Read More

Let Us Decide

Bill Bailey, WIUOctober 22, 2014

by William C Bailey
Professor, Western Illinois University

It was an email, sent by a student from Oquawka, which brought into focus an on-going issue that could affect Illinois food consumers. Oquawka, by the way, is the home of the first monument to an elephant in Illinois, and, perhaps, the United States. Taylorville and Showman’s Rest, in Forest Park, also have elephant monuments.

The student, recalling that I like to read labels on the food I purchase, alerted me to a label she recently saw. The label, on imported soymilk, advertised it contained no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Read More

LTE: 10.22.14

Oktoberfest Enjoyed

  I would like to say to the Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development that the Oktoberfest was a great idea. Oktoberfest is a good idea that gives people who have been working all week something to enjoy over the weekend. Read More

Understanding Illinois: Expert Says “No” on Amendments

NowlanOctober 22, 2014

By Jim Nowlan
Outside Columnist

We should always be careful about amending the Illinois Constitution because if problems arise later, the document is very difficult to change.

Voters will face two proposed amendments on the November ballot. Both sound like motherhood and apple pie provisos, yet a constitutional law expert thinks both are flawed and should be rejected. Read More

Letters to the Editor: October 15, 2014

An Argument for School Facility Sales Tax

What do the counties of Shelby, Douglas, Macon, Christian and Champaign all have in common?  Each of them is collecting large funds as a result of having the county school facility sales tax in effect for each one of their schools and most of them border Moultrie County.  That means each time we shop in any of these counties we are contributing to the funding for their school buildings.  I encourage all of us to drive by and check out the new schools and/or new additions in Macon, Maroa, Decatur, Arthur, Champaign and other districts because you have invested in each of them. Read More

Farm Bureau Update: Student Outings a Success

HarveyOctober 15, 2014

By Tyler Harvey
Mo-Do Farm Bureau Manager

I have to say I am glad I am not asked to give reports on the weather. The temperatures the last two weeks of September were as good for drying the crops as it could get; however it seems Mother Nature has officially turned on the faucet here in the last week or two. Going around both Moultrie and Douglas counties, I can tell many crops have been taken out, but for the crops still in the field, I hope drier weather will be on the horizon. Read More

Newspapers Are Community

AndersonKeithOctober 8, 2014

by Keith Anderson,
Director of news, ECM Publishers, Coon Rapids, Minnesota

There are hundreds of beautiful towns in the United States. And each of them has a claim to fame. Whether it’s the Fire Hydrant Capital of the world in Albertville, Alabama, the giant statue of Paul Bunyan welcoming visitors to Brainerd, Minnesota, or the giant ice cream sundae statue in LeMars, Iowa, every city has a desire to be known for something.

It’s part of what makes living in a community so special. Everyone wants to have a sense of home, a place where they can be involved and where getting to know neighbors is a blessing, not something to be avoided. Read More

Your Living, Breathing, Community Newspaper

WILLIAMSOctober 8, 2014

By Robert M. Williams, Jr.

What do you care most about in life?

Most of us would put family at, or near, the top of such a list. Friends would be there. So would our jobs or businesses, our livelihoods. Our homes. Maybe our pets. Our hobbies and pastimes. Add in those around us: Neighbors, the community, etc.

That’s our world, our “sphere of influence.” Whatever happens to those who inhabit that place in our hearts and lives means something to us. Read More