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Articles written by Dan Stevens


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  • Point To Ponder

    Dan Stevens|Apr 17, 2024

    They say that fish and family both go “bad” after three days, well my cousin Chuck moved in with us last March – and it has been quite a year to say the least. Now, I love my cousin, and I’m certain that he had to “adapt” to the little things my wife and I do during his stay – as did his wife – but … when it’s your house, and you tend to do things a certain way … I think it would be best if I simply gave examples. The Television OK, I have a tv in my office, which I use for background noise,...

  • Helping Kids Around The World

    Dan Stevens|Apr 17, 2024

    Students involved in Servant Leadership from 13 area High Schools all congregated inside the Freeport High school cafeteria for one special purpose last Saturday – trying to help feed the World's hungry. "Servant Leadership partnered with Kids Around The World," said organizer Dan Dick. "The goal today is to pack and ship 55,000 meals." Each meal costs 27 cents, and those funds were raised by the students over the course of the year. A meal consisted of rice, lentils, dried vegetables and v...

  • Scene Stealing Abounds At EPC's Annie

    Dan Stevens|Apr 10, 2024

    While you would expect to see some strong performances at any EPC production, two main themes stood out in their most recent production of the classic musical Annie. To begin with, Director Jamie Graf, pulled out all the stops by expanding the cast to Herculean proportions. But the biggest story of the night was the massive amount of scene stealing that was going on as some performers really stood out. Technically, EPC still has some issues, but lighting miscues and microphones that weren't...

  • Point To Ponder

    Dan Stevens|Apr 10, 2024

    What you are reading right now is both my greatest treasure, as well as the biggest bane of my existence. “I love your column!” If I had a dollar for every person who said that … well … I might be able to buy lunch. (At least a Happy Meal) But, in all seriousness, I know a lot of people read this, and it is for that very reason that it causes me so many headaches – I don’t want it to suck. (Admittedly, it often does – I know that.) I have used my column to go off on a personal tirade agains...

  • I'm Not Letting This One Go

    Dan Stevens|Apr 10, 2024

    As many people who read our story regarding the recent Freeport City Council meeting knows, Larry Sanders openly said for all to hear “Ask Ms Stacy to text me back before Number seven” which was the agenda item for the proposed 1% sales tax increase dedicated to roads. Anyway, we filed a Freedom of Information request – FOIA – asking for any and all text messages between Mr. Sanders and Ms. Stacy that occurred during the meeting. The initial response was: “The City is in receipt of your FOIA...

  • Point To Ponder

    Dan Stevens|Apr 3, 2024

    I owe a lot of people an apology. As many know, I was sick as a dog after coming back from Arizona. I felt fine there, but my daughter’s family all came there sick, and how do you tell a three year old not to kiss you goodnight? – So, as expected, both my wife and I got sick when we got home – but she was only bad for a day or two – for me … we’re talking ten days of bad chest congestion and constant coughing as I tried to cough up the crap lining my lungs. The main point being, it took me out o...

  • Point To Ponder

    Dan Stevens|Mar 27, 2024

    Dan came back from Arizona sick as a dog, so in order to make sure we got a paper out this week, we allowed him to take a week off and picked one of his old columns to re-run. We think it's a pretty special one, so ... enjoy. “Daniel Lewis Stevens you should be smacked!” I would typically get that greeting on the phone about once a month or so. “You do not run “bear” naked. You run “bare” naked. I swear you make more mistakes with your synonyms …” Having a mother who held a PhD had its’ mome...

  • Doing The Right Thing

    Dan Stevens|Mar 27, 2024

    “I cannot believe that we are tied on something that is so important to every citizen in this community,” Mayor Jodi Miller snapped after the final vote concerning the 1% sales tax increase dedicated to the construction of roads ended in a 4-4 tie. Leaving her in the position of breaking the tie. And while it was fully expected that there would be three “no” votes, the fourth one was – for lack of a better word – cowardly. Larry Sanders, Rachel Simmons and Cecelia Stacy were expected to...

  • Beautiful Bikini Bottom Day

    Dan Stevens|Mar 20, 2024

    OK, I admit it, having raised two daughters who loved Spongebob Squarepants, I was NOT, in any way shape or form, looking forward to sitting through Lena-Winslow's musical production of the cartoon show. But, I am very happy to report, that not only was I pleasantly surprised by what the Panther theater department pulled off, but there were some things that were truly exceptional. You have to start with the costuming, and it was strong. While most of the characters were decked in brightly...

  • Point To Ponder

    Dan Stevens|Mar 20, 2024

    Ever feel like you’re a burden to your team? Normally, my evenings are spent covering a sporting event throughout the region. But that all changes in the Spring when Softball and Baseball tend to end before seven o’clock at night, so I actually get to see my wife and spend some time at home. And with bad weather canceling games … we actually had time to go out and “do” something – an activity which is normally relegated to the Summer months when school is not in session. Anyway, one of the event...

  • Voices All Area Boy's Team

    Dan Stevens|Mar 20, 2024

    The coaches have released their all-conference selections, so once again it is time for us to reveal our picks for the Voices All Area Team. We apologize to players such as Cooper Hoffman of Pecatonica, and Connor Glasgow of Galena – because our "area" is only made up of the nine school districts we cover. So, while we thought there were some amazing players throughout the region – we only choose from the school districts in our primary circulation area. With that being said, let's get right dow...

  • Wasted Money

    Dan Stevens|Mar 13, 2024

    Freeport City Council members are paid $3800 a year to represent their respective ward, and with that in mind – some of them are lucky they don't get arrested for grand theft. Exhibit 1A – Larry Sanders in Ward 5. Now, for the past two months the Council has been dealing with how they are going to set up a plan to pay for road repairs and infrastructure – we know, we've been covering it. And after months of maps, and homework where the council members selected the worst roads in their distr...

  • Voices All Area Girls Team

    Dan Stevens|Mar 13, 2024

    The coaches have released their all-conference selections, so once again it is time for us to reveal our picks for the Voices All Area Team. We apologize to players such as Elaina Rager of Pecatonica, and Gracie Furlong of Galena – because our "area" is only made up of the nine school districts we cover. So, while we thought there were some amazing players throughout the region – we only choose from the school districts in our primary circulation area. With that being said, let's get right dow...

  • Point To Ponder

    Dan Stevens|Mar 13, 2024

    By the time you read this, my wife and I will be in Arizona for Spring Training Baseball. I’ve never been to Spring Training, so when our daughter Caitlin asked because they were going to go out – it was more than tempting. My wife has also never seen the Grand Canyon in person, so that is on the schedule as well – and all of us will be staying at an Air-B-n-B – another thing I’ve never done, so it will be a trip of firsts. But the big attraction for me, aside from warm weather and the chance to...

  • NCAA Tournament Challenge Time

    Dan Stevens|Mar 13, 2024

    On page 11 of this week's issue you will find our annual NCAA Tournament Challenge contest. Simply tear out the page and fill in the teams when the NCAA Tournament field is announced this Sunday on television. Complete it, and drop it off at one of the locations listed for your chance to win – it's that easy. But I am also pleased to announce our annual NCAA Tournament Party which will take place on Tuesday, March 26th at the Pearl City Park District Building. For those who don't know where i...

  • Cougars Turnover Another Win

    Dan Stevens|Mar 6, 2024

    At halftime, the sectional semi-final between the Eastland Cougars and South Beloit Sobos was locked up at 21-21. But behind a smothering second half defensive performance Eastland held the powerful Sobos to a grand total of only 14 second half points to punch their ticket to the Sectional finals 50-35. The key was the third quarter, which didn't start right away because the referees were late. But once they got there, the Cougars put South Beloit on lock-down. Parker Krogman opened the half,...

  • Does Aquin Have A Future?

    Dan Stevens|Mar 6, 2024

    When word of the vote by the NUIC to deny the Girls Basketball co-op between Orangeville and Aquin first came out – like so many other people I heard from, my initial reaction was one of anger. Why would it be voted down? How could ANY school that participates in any form of co-op vote against another school trying to do the same thing? How could they vote to approve Boys Basketball and deny the girls? Was this private school hatred, or maybe even a Title IX violation? But like many things in t...

  • Pecatonica Prevails

    Dan Stevens|Mar 6, 2024

    Fans who made it into the packed River Ridge Brad Albrecht gymnasium to witness the Sectional championship between the top ranked Pecatonica Indians and Eastland Cougars were treated to two very different contests – one in each half. "We missed a few easy shots early and I think that got us out of sync," said Eastland head coach Tyler Zumdahl. "We lost some of our intensity on defense." Eastland was just plain 'off' in the first half, and if not for the magnificent play of senior Trevor Janssen,...

  • Coach Benson Steps Down

    Dan Stevens|Mar 6, 2024

    After 21 years coaching varsity basketball for the Lena-Winslow Panthers, head coach Kyle Benson is stepping back in order to devote more time to his family. Benson has been the Boys Varsity Basketball coach for the last 12 years – compiling a record of 219-132, with two Regional crowns. Before that, he was the Girls Varsity coach for nine years, where he captured his first Regional title. And while he still plans to be manning the sideline for the Varsity football team as their offensive c...

  • Point To Ponder

    Dan Stevens|Mar 6, 2024

    I lost my man card last week … again. My wife and I make for an interesting pairing – in fact, you could almost say that quite often our roles are reversed. When we go out to dinner, and order a Diet Coke with fried shrimp, and a ribeye steak with a beer – the runner bringing us the food almost always gets it backwards – handing me the steak and beer, and my wife the shrimp and pop. Well, when it comes to doing odd jobs around the house, which is usually a “guy” thing – she takes care of that...

  • Calm Down

    Dan Stevens|Feb 28, 2024

    The River Ridge Wildcats came in with an excellent game plan, and attacked the Lena-Winslow 1-3-1 zone effectively in the first half. With a high low combination of Joe Winter and Seth Nicholas working the inside, the Wildcats got some easy baskets when they were patient and got the ball inside to their big men. Meanwhile, the Panthers were struggling to get anything going. While the first quarter was close in spite of shooting 0 for 5 from the outside, repeated turnovers in the second quarter l...

  • On A Different Level

    Dan Stevens|Feb 28, 2024

    Throughout the entire Girl's Basketball season, the Galena Pirates had been ranked #1 in 1A ... and for a reason. On Tuesday, at the Lena-Winslow Sectional, the Pirates flexed some muscles early in the second half to make what had been a major contest, into a controlled win against an Aquin team that was good ... really good ... just not good enough. Throughout the first half, it was anybody's ballgame as both teams played solid defense – forcing some turnovers – while struggling against the...

  • Clock Strikes Midnight On Cinderella Cats

    Dan Stevens|Feb 28, 2024

    Neither team was supposed to be there, but for different reasons. Rockford Lutheran is a 2A school, but due to the convoluted IHSA rules, failure to win at the 2A level allows them to drop down into the 1A tournament – much to the chagrin of teams like Orangeville, who deserved far better to end their season. And then you had the RR/SM Wildcats. A team that had struggled mightily during the season – losing at home to Stockton at one point, and getting run off their own floor by the Eastland Cou...

  • A Lengthy Problem

    Dan Stevens|Feb 28, 2024

    The Lena-Winslow 1-3-1 zone defense has given several teams fits this season, but in the Regional semi-final at East Dubuque Wednesday night the opponent was none other than the Scales Mound Hornets. The state ranked, been to the state finals for two years in a row, Hornets, put up one hell of a fight, before seeing their magical post season run come finally to an end 52-51. Early on, Scales Mound was picking the zone apart with sharp passes into the interior where a dump pass to the block...

  • Size Matters

    Dan Stevens|Feb 28, 2024

    With 5:00 to play in the second quarter, the South Beloit Sobos threw a pass down low to their star big man, Ross Robertson, who had sealed off Jaylen Rakowska on the block and put up the inside layup. As Cobryn Lynch went to in-bounds the ball he looked at Rakowska who simply said, "He's 6'8", what am I supposed to do?" Lena-Winslow played their hearts out against the Sobos, and fought back from a 39-31 deficit to claim the lead at 40-39 with 4:05 left in the game. But every time the Sobos had...

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