Online Features

  • Real Estate

    Affordable decorating tips to take your home from ho-hum to high style

    (ARA) - Feeling uninspired in your space? Updating the decor in your home is an easy way to add more color, style and personality to rejuvenate your residence. Whether you're making a few updates, like new artwork or wall colors, or renovating an entire room with a completely new look, decorating should be fun, not stressful. With a few simple tips, you can up the design ante in your home without breaking the bank.

  • Kitchen Bed Bath

    Greening your home: Start at the tap

    (ARA) - In today's environmentally conscious times, it seems we're surrounded by the need to shop, act and live "green." Some of our choices are easy and small, while others can be big and costly. But one thing is for sure - each choice can make a significant difference.

  • Home Improvement

    Look up to spectacular ceilings in a basement remodel

    Finishing a basement is an ideal way to expand your living space without expanding your house. Since your basement already has the basics of a room in place - walls, floor, ceiling - it doesn't take a lot of time, effort or money to turn that generally unused space into something functional and enjoyable for your family.

  • Bridal

    Planning a wedding? Financial tips to ease your budget and mind

    While a wedding is a joyous occasion that both brides- and grooms-to-be eagerly anticipate, the financial aspects of planning and hosting a large, complex event can be completely overwhelming. Getting to the big day without breaking the bank might seem like an impossible task, but with a few smart steps before, during and after the ceremony, you'll ensure your bank account will remain as strong as your love for each other.

Top Story

Gene Jones named NFHS Coach of the Year 2013-14

Metamora High School Cross Country Coach Gene Jones was recognized and awarded the 2013-2014 National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) as Boys XC Coach of the Year. IHSA Sports Administrators selected Coach Jones from XC Coaches throughout Illinois.  He was chosen for this prestigious award based on positive work with his athletes.

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Recent Headlines

Wednesday 11/27/2013
Washington girl survives tornado in her car
Updated: November 27, 2013 - 12:02 pm

Emily Carlock considers herself lucky to be alive after the tornado on Sunday, November 17. Carlock narrowly avoided serious injury in her Ford Focus on Gillman Avenue in Washington. Her car was tossed into the road an unconfirmed distance from her father’s driveway. The car interior and roof were simultaneously crushed. Carlock escaped relatively unscathed considering the damage around her.

Wednesday 07/25/2012
What it takes to make school a safe place for students with diabetes
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - When children head off to school, it's assumed that they'll be in a safe place where they'll be well taken care of. For the most part, that's the truth. But for children with diabetes, the school environment can pose a serious health risk if there's no one on site to help them manage their disease.

Youth safety around the farm: tractors are tools, not toys
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - The warm summer months into the fall harvest season are some of the most beautiful times on the farm. Crops are in full-swing, fruit is abundant and families often make annual trips to local farms and festivals during this time. Whether you live on a farm or plan to visit one this season, now is the perfect time to remind children about important safety tips for working and playing around equipment.

Small business, big opportunities: Tips for women focused on managing their small businesses
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - It's no secret small businesses are essential to the economy. The latest U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners reported women owned 7.8 million businesses and accounted for 28.7 percent of all businesses nationwide. These small business firms generated $1.2 trillion in receipts. Given the challenges facing small businesses overall in this current economic climate, now more than ever women are navigating work-life demands, business management and talent retention issues.

Parents: For Back-to-School Shopping, Do Your Homework
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NewsUSA) - Once again, millions of parents and kids are hitting stores for the annual back-to-school shopping season, complete with long lines and even longer receipts. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average person spent about $603 on everything from school supplies and apparel to electronics and footwear for back-to-school last year.

Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NewsUSA) - For teens, peer pressure or wanting to escape emotional stress can often lead to prescription drug experimentation, which in turn can lead to abuse, addiction and sometimes a drug overdose.

Send Your Kids Back to School With Their Vaccines Up to Date
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NewsUSA) - Back-to-school season is here. It's time for parents to gather school supplies and backpacks. It's also the perfect time to make sure your kids are up to date on their vaccines.

School Bus Safety Tips
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—More than 26 million children ride the school bus every day. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, school buses are the safest form of transportation for getting children to and from school, with most serious school bus incidents taking place when children are outside of the bus.

Learning Skills To Match Today's Work- force Needs
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Did you know that the average American worker holds between seven and 10 jobs in their lifetime? Because of our rebounding economy, the U.S. is seeing a skills gap—a mismatch of open jobs with skilled workers.

Getting The Most Out Of Online Class Experience
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Whether you’re a first-time college student or well into a degree program, chances are you have considered taking an online class. You’re not alone. According to Pew Research Center, more than three-quarters of college presidents say that their institutions offer classes online and an estimated half of all those who graduated college in the last 10 years say that they have taken an online class.

Gear Up For School With Education Technology
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—One of the best investments parents can make when it comes to equipping their kids for school is to give them tools that encourage success in math and science.

Take Your Movie Collection With You
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—No matter where you travel, you can easily take your favorite movies along.

Finest Fragrance
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—With each product in a new scented collection, users are taken on a voyage to the source of the ingredients—the lush countryside of Provence, a desert oasis in Morocco, the dense jungle of Uganda and the tranquil gardens of Japan.

Buying And Saving Tips
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)It may come as a surprise to some, but real estate experts report that in many places it can be less expensive to buy a home than to rent one. Despite record affordability conditions, however, some people still face certain obstacles in their path to homeownership.

"Competitive" Bidding May Hurt Seniors
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Many Americans are taking their health care into their own hands in a surprising way.

Chocolate And PB: Nutritious?
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)Chocolate and peanut butter are a great match for many taste buds, but they can offer nutritional benefits, too. The key is in which varieties you consume.

More Flavor, Fewer Calories
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Good news for many people who feared they had a slim chance of enjoying great food while on a diet.

Go NUTS For Healthy Snacks
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Eat nuts as a healthy source of protein, according to research published by the Harvard School of Public Health.* Researchers looked at the diets of more than 37,000 men and 83,000 women to see if they could find a link between diet and increased risk of death from heart disease or cancer. They found that replacing one serving of red meat with one serving of nuts was linked to a 19 percent lower risk of premature death or total mortality. The study reinforces the role of nuts as an important part of a healthy diet.

To Solve The Nursing Shortage, Employers And Educators Must Partner
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—By 2020, an estimated 1 million registered nurse jobs in the U.S. health care system will go unfilled—but that doesn’t have to happen. To care for a growing population of older, sicker patients, nursing schools, health care employers and technology innovators must work together to close this gap.

On The Road To Better Health
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—The warmer months are a great time to pick up new healthy habits. With longer days and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables in season, it’s easier to fit in physical activity and savor colorful, healthy meals with family and friends.

Help Protect Yourself Against Pneumococcal Disease - Talk to Your Health Care Professional About Vaccination
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)Do you know there is a vaccine that can help protect you from pneumonia and other serious diseases caused by a common bacteria called pneumococcus (pronounced noo-mo-ka-kus)? These bacteria are a common cause of pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, but they can also cause other serious infections that affect thousands of people in the United States each year. In fact, more than 300,000 people are hospitalized each year with pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common pneumococcal disease among adults in the United States.

Five Suggestions To Simplify Your Daily Life
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Life can be a little less complicated if you consider these hints to help simplify daily life:

Going Online To Learn About LASIK
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Social networks and blogs have taken the information-rich resources of the Internet and made them a part of everyday conversation: According to a recent Pew Internet study, 80 percent of Internet users, or 59 percent of U.S. adults, look online for health information. Networks like Facebook, review sites such as HealthGrades and Yelp, and comments and questions posted online are extremely useful tools for researching personal health matters. Popular topics of inquiry include learning about procedures, specific medical conditions, understanding treatment options and finding a doctor. When considering an elective procedure, such as vision correction with LASIK, having access to online resources can make becoming an informed patient much easier.

Enjoy More Comfort At Less Cost
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Heating and cooling is the single biggest energy user in a home and accounts for about 40 percent of all the energy consumed by homeowners—but high heating and cooling bills don’t have to get you hot under the collar if you follow a few simple steps to ensure that your equipment operates as efficiently as possible.

Solar Roofing Your Neighbors Will Love
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, heating and cooling costs the average homeowner more than $1,000 a year, or nearly half a home’s total energy bill—but you can reduce utility bills. One of the best ways may be to install a solar roof. In the past, bulky, expensive, rack-mounted solar panels were the only option available to homeowners who wanted to reduce their reliance on traditional electricity sources. And if you wanted a cool roofing shingle, going green meant going white.

Hobbies Help Wounded Vets
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Many American veterans are getting mental and physical therapy—and a lot of fun—from a surprising source.

Train At Home With An All-Star Team
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(NAPSI)—Getting in shape can be fun and games—if you use a game with an interactive sports-training regime.

Tuesday 07/24/2012
Got moles? Take back your yard
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

Most homeowners take great pride in keeping their lawns and yards beautiful. While there are many critters that can become a nuisance in your yard, there is one intruder that can quickly turn a groomed lawn into one filled with dirt mounds and yellowed grass and dying shrubs. Moles can be tricky to get rid of because of their extensive tunnel systems and the abundant food sources, but knowing more about these unwelcome guests can help you kick them to the curb.

Planning a wedding? Financial tips to ease your budget and mind
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

While a wedding is a joyous occasion that both brides- and grooms-to-be eagerly anticipate, the financial aspects of planning and hosting a large, complex event can be completely overwhelming. Getting to the big day without breaking the bank might seem like an impossible task, but with a few smart steps before, during and after the ceremony, you'll ensure your bank account will remain as strong as your love for each other.

Rock-climber with diabetes on a 365-day climbing challenge: With the right tools, gear and attitude, each mountain can be conquered
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

A 1,200-foot mountain, a video camera and a blood glucose monitor. These three things may seem unrelated to most people, but for rock-climber Steve Richert, it is just another day at the office. Richert, a rock-climber and guide is on a year-long journey: facing extreme weather conditions, encountering wild animals and tackling the country's most spectacular mountain ranges. Richert is climbing in locations across the country for 365 consecutive days all while managing a serious chronic disease, type 1 diabetes.

Back-to-school meals made easy with grapes
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - The summertime probably felt like it whizzed by, and now you're getting into the back-to-school mode. Luckily, you can keep a sweet taste of summer in meals and snacks with refreshing grapes from California.

School lunch vs. bag lunch: What's best for your kids?
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - Bag it or buy it? What's healthier and what will they eat? It's a question faced by parents each school year. Often, there's an assumption that bagging is better, but there's also the convenience and choices of school lunch to consider. Good news: both the tray and the tote can be winning meals. A few important facts can help make this year's lunchtime decisions a breeze.

Health alert - picking the right team to tackle opioid painkiller dependence
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

A Silent Epidemic

How do you get people to come to your party? It's all in the invitations
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - It's a story that's been told a thousand times. You're throwing a reception and need to purchase some generic invitations, but you've passed the six week mark. Ms. Emily Post recommends to send them in the mail to your potential guests. Once inside your nearest invitations retail location, you browse the aisles and get a sinking feeling when you realize that nothing truly fits your needs and you're too late to customize something.

River cruises: Allowing travel to lesser known intimate destinations
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

There's a groundswell movement among today's travelers. They are no longer satisfied with seeing the standard sights in the standard way; these travelers are a part of that movement which seeks richer knowledge, new perspectives and one-of-a-kind experiences. Travelers who identify with this type of movement are finding that river cruises are one of the best ways to see the world.

Back to school, back to fitness
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - No matter how long it's been since you set foot in a classroom, September can still bring a sense of starting over, which makes it the perfect time of year to take stock of where you are and where you want to be with your general health and level of fitness. You can go "back to school" by enrolling in an exercise class or get a new "teacher" by hiring a personal trainer.

High temperatures increase health risks for people with diabetes
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - For the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes, high temperatures and increased sun exposure can pose particularly dangerous health risks. During warm weather, experts caution that people with diabetes must take extra care to avoid serious, heat-related conditions.

Enhance your wedding with memorable aromas
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - Weddings are a feast for the senses. Anyone who's been part of planning a wedding knows that every detail of the sights, sounds and tastes of the event are given attention. But what about the aromas? You can make your special day even more memorable by using the clean, natural scents of pure essential oils to create the perfect atmosphere for your celebration.

Monday 07/23/2012
Tips to provide your child with a fun, nutritious school lunch
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - School is back in session and parents and children alike are gearing up for a new year and all the fun and chaos that go along with it. Whether it's your child's first ever school day or the last year before college, it's important to take a moment to check off all the things they will need for a great year - and a healthy lunch is right at the top.

A woman's 'rare' journey: life with an uncommon disease
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - Everyone has a rare quality or a characteristic that sets him or her apart from others - a special talent, a unique interest or, for some, a rare disease. A disease is considered 'rare' if it affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. There are 7,000 known rare diseases affecting 30 million people, or one in 10, Americans. For comparison, one common disease, diabetes, affects more than 25 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Top five back-to-school organizing tips
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - The start of a new school year is like a fresh box of crayons - full of possibilities.

Make food prep easy this summer by going raw
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - The hot days of summer are the perfect time to relax with friends in the backyard and sample delicious fruits and salads while sipping chilled drinks.

Traveling? How you can stay entertained with mobile TV options
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

Even when you're having fun on vacation, sometimes you long for the comforts of home. Or if you're on the road for business and not for pleasure, you may wish that after a long day of work, you had access to your favorite show on DVD to unwind. The good news is with new mobile TV options, you don't have to worry about missing that particular piece of home anymore.

Sunday 07/22/2012
Setting the tone for your wedding: Start with invitations
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - You might have had a vision for your wedding as a kid, but that's likely changed - and dramatically so - over the years. Your style changes, and then you meet your spouse-to-be, who brings a whole other perspective into the mix. But as you plan for your wedding day, keep in mind that finding a balance and infusing your wedding with personality are important factors in making the day memorable.

Smart tips for staying safe while studying abroad
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - For students who want to go beyond the usual college experience, study abroad is an appealing option. A semester or year spent studying overseas can be both personally enriching and attractive to future employers seeking workers who are well-versed in the global economy.

Pack a school lunch they won't want to trade
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - Packing school lunches filled with healthy, appealing and creative foods is an excellent start to encouraging children to make sensible food choices now and in the future. But if lunch items you pack are less than appetizing, it could be the next item of trade in the cafeteria: a risk not worth taking in the age of nutrient-deficient and calorie-heavy school lunches.

Save money, even when you splurge
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - We keep hearing the words "bad economy," and while views differ on the strength of the recovery, the reality is that most people are still feeling the aftermath of the recent recession. The good news is that you have control over your own personal economy. More than ever before it's easy to save money and manage your finances. With the abundance of online tools and free apps, consumers can find the best prices and keep track of their spending in mere seconds - they just have to make a concerted effort.

Could acorns lead to an up 'tick' in Lyme disease?
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - This year's tick population, including the increased number of the treatments throughout the Mid-Atlantic, has a somewhat surprising cause ... acorns.

How to improve your YouTube videos: Five tips from professional filmmakers
Updated: October 09, 2012 - 9:49 am

(ARA) - More than 4 billion videos are viewed each day on YouTube, according to statistics from the online video site. This means it's a great place for aspiring filmmakers to showcase their work to a large, international audience. However, only 30 percent of all YouTube videos get 99 percent of the views on YouTube, according to media-monitoring authority Cision.

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