I’m a freshman again, but a real life one this time. I’ve spent one day in Chicago and I’ve already made the mistake of walking way too far to a place and had to pay to Uber back, because there’s no way I was about to do a 40 minute walk twice. It’s a very similar feeling to that of being a freshman in college. It’s a really weird, surreal feeling. Everything is new again and I have to start over in a sense. College this time is the job, and the people who are employing me are my professors, and the final grade is me keeping my job. I think it’s also the same in that a lot is going to change from the time I’m 22 to 26. I’m going to go from never having a full year of employment to 4 years of it. I think the thing that I’m going to love the most are all the different and new restaurants. That was arguably my favorite part of Bloomington-Normal as well, so I’m glad that I’m continuing on to a place that has great food, and a good variety of it as well. If anyone has any recommendations for places to try in Chicago I would be open to trying them. Another plus up here is this time instead of a Division 1 college team I get to step into a city rooting for some of the best professional teams in the business. It’s nice to get another 4 year look back on life and seeing what you did well, and seeing what you need to improve on and making the next 4 that much better than the previous. Aaron Boma DTHS and ISU Graduate

The Cubs

I said I was done, but maybe I’ll do a few more, I’m a pretty indecisive person, so it was probably kind of dumb to say that I was done for good, so I guess I’ll do a few more…

Last Column?

This might be my last column ever, it remains undecided if I will continue to do these after I graduate from college, which is coincidentally this week. I did it! I’m going to graduate from college, and earn a degree…




The very unfortunate passing of the musician Prince happened last week and his death took hold of everything media-wise and really brought it to a halt to look back and celebrate his life. There have been a few really notable celebrities who have passed this year, the other most notable being David Bowie, and it’s interesting to see how each passing of an icon is handled differently.

Even looking back just a few years ago with the passing of Michael Jackson, who is arguably the single biggest performer of all time, was handled differently. At the time Michael passed away he was on every TV channel a lot, but this was before social media had really taken off, so there wasn’t as much talk of him during that time on those platforms.

If you compare that to the recent deaths of Bowie and Prince I think a lot of the conversation of these two has moved to Facebook, Twitter, and forums, allowing fans of these artists to come together and share memories, or favorite songs from the artist. This is a thing that hasn’t always been around. It allows for the full celebration of an artist who has affected so many in a positive manner with their music.

It could just be the outlets and everything that I follow, but I felt like he was everywhere in my media feeds, and on TV over the last week or so. It’s a good thing. It’s nice that these artists can get a proper send off, and it’s easier than ever for people who connected with them to connect with each other over the mutual interest of their music.

Aaron Boma DTHS Graduate and ISU Senior

Boston Marathon

Today I came across a story about a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing that took place a few years ago. The person being talked about now has a prosthesis (leg) and decided to run the race this year, and…


Newspapers are the best place to work, it’s been decided. I’ve basically spent the last 8 years of my life at least somewhat involved with the day to day operations of a newspaper and there’s nothing else quite like it.…


Dwight area bassethounds will be wagging their tails with pride in a few weeks thanks to an honor bestowed on Veterinarian Dr. Lou Cronin of Dwight.
Cronin will be presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Guardian Angel Basset Rescue at its annual auction, Saturday, April 16.
GABR was started 18 years ago by Dwight residents Larry and Emmy Little and Fran Gray. Gray passed away five years ago but the Littl
es carry on the tradition.GABR’s mission is to rescue bassets who are abandoned, at shelters, left along the side of the road, or belong to people who can no longer take care of them.

Dr. Cronin has been providing services to the organization since its inception, Larry Little explained. “Everybody loves him,” Little said of Cronin. He was referring to the pet’s owners, not just the pets.
“He tol
d us if we need help to call him anytime,” Little added. Little said there have been occasions when Cronin was called out of bed at 3 a.m. for an emergency. “He [Cronin] knows the business inside and out,” Little said. “He treats them all like family. And he’s one of the best human beings I have ever met.”
The award given to Cronin will be part of the organization’s fund-raising, in which more than 1,000 donors contribute to the cause.
“We have basset friends all over,” Little said.
During the past 18 years, the organization has rescued 4,000 bassets, paying for “an awful lot of Veterinarian bills.”
Each dog averages $600 in medical costs, but the GABR charges people just $250 for the dogs, thus the need for fund-raising.
“We have had some medical bills that far exceed that cost,” Little said.
He told the story of one basset hound run over by a car and the owner could not afford to pay to save the dog. So instead, the vet purchased the animal and gave him to the GABR to be adopted by a new owner.
The Paper readers may be more familiar with the famous basset waddle held as part of the Harvest Days parade in September each year.
Little said he chose bassets because everyone or every living thing, needs help sometimes.
“My thing about life — everyone needs a charity,” Little added.
The event will be held at Jennifer’s Garden in Morris, April 16. The doors open at 5 p.m .
For further information call Little at (815) 584-1044.


katilyn harlowWhen Kaitlyn Harlow, of Kinsman, decided to enter The Great Lakes Floral Expo, a national professional florist contest held in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 4, she had no idea she would come home with a first place.“I thought there’s no way I was going to win,” she told The Paper last week.She entered in the “Memorial for a Gardener” themed contest, pitted against professional florists, mostly based in Michigan. This theme was for the Professional Division of Blooming Memorials at the contest.

To create her winning design, she melded flower and vegetable gardeners into one concept.

Memorial to her meant a “tripod” held wreath.

She recalled the tools often used at her grandfather’s farm, the bright flowers her grandmother would plant on the edge of the family garden.

The design includes orange, red, and yellow circus roses, purple radicchio cabbage, green kale, orange tulips, asparagus, purple mums, brussels sprouts and parsley and bright orange carrots to dangle as a ribbon.

At the event the third place and second place winners were announced, and her “heart sank” as she believed she did not win.

Then the announcement came that the first place winner was Kaitlyn Harlow of Joliet Junior College, and she said she and her teacher “screamed like blooming idiots.” Pun intended.

Harlow, who currently resides in her grandmother’s home in rural Kinsman, was the adjunct floral teacher at JJC. She attended JJC under the direction of Donna Theimer, American Institute of Floral Design, who attended with Harlow.

Harlow has an associates in Floral Design and Interior Plant Scapes from JJC and a bachelor of education and a minor in horticulture from Kansas State University.

“I just find arranging flowers effortless and the key is don’t over-think,” she said in a news release issued to The Paper.

“But I tell you, there was no other arrangement like mine at the contest,” she continued. “Dang, Maybe I should have over thought a little,” she joked.

The criteria for the category was to have at least three years professional experience, and create a design using two design techniques.

She decided to use techniques she learned under the direction of Donna Theimer.

“Donna has been an incredible mentor, and encouraged me to enter into this show, with our floral design students,” Harlow said.