Follow the Smoke Signals to BBQ

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And the barbecue scene in Starved Rock Country is igniting. Locals have long known the places to go for breaded pork tenderloins or fried chicken and ravs, with families developing their tastes and traditions of what’s best or most authentic over the years. Recently, there’s an up-and-comer to the restaurant scene as the region…

Utica shop offers craft classes, customizable home decor

On a Thursday evening, a group of friends and strangers gathered around a table in the back of a small corner shop in Utica, looking to flex their creative muscles while sharing some rollicking laughter, fun and even a little wine. They were brought together by the event, “String Art Thursdays,” featuring an up-and-coming trend…

Where to drink tea and make memories

“The path to heaven passes through a teapot.” In Starved Rock Country, it seems certain two places where patrons would agree with that ancient proverb are Letty Mae’s Tea Room in Morris and the Lock 16 Cafe in La Salle. Both have developed followings for their tea services and the delectables served with them in…

Get moving this winter in Starved Rock Country

Ice and snow can be a bummer … if you’re not in Starved Rock Country. From scenic cross country skiing to snowmobiling and even ice climbing, you can take your pick of winter activities. Here are some of our favorites: Cross-Country Skiing Trails for cross-country skiing enthusiasts are available at Matthiessen State Park (at the…

Winter Wonderland: Tips to hike the tranquil trails at Starved Rock

Starved Rock State Park is a popular tourist destination throughout the summer season, but for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle, there’s no better time to hit the serene trails than in the winter. “It’s a whole different world out here in the winter,” said hiker Joe Jakupcak. Jakupcak has been a guided…

Tavern takes you back in time

Patti Hall likes to step from the La Salle business she runs, Rudy’s Nip ‘n’ Tote Liquors, and through a portal into another time dimension. She’ll drop a quarter into the 1963 Wurlitzer Stereo Model 2700 jukebox and watch as an arm inside lifts a 45 record into place against a needle, then feel the…

UK author shines with book on ‘Radium Girls’

The long, sad history of Ottawa’s infamous clock dial factories — along with the personal stories of women workers poisoned by radium — are examined in detail in Kate Moore’s “The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women.” Post-nuclear generations need no reminder that radioactive materials such as pure radium are highly hazardous….