County lost good elected official in Gouker

Good elected officials are hard to come by. And I mean that for all levels – local, state and federal. I have covered them all, and have met a few good ones and some really bad ones. But my job as a journalist is to cover government, and so I have had to deal with the good and the bad over the years.... more


Read books, don't ban them

I love to read. I read every day. Yes, you could argue that I am a professional reader, as I work with words daily. I read them, write them and edit them and have for nearly three decades now.... more


America is no place for discrimination

My parents taught me from the beginning to treat all people the same. If that person earns your mistrust, fine. But don’t automatically judge people by the way they look.... more


Was smoking ever cool? It certainly isn't now

I see an older man many mornings on my trip to work. He is usually coming out of a store, very slowly. He does not appear to be very steady on his feet. But as soon as he can, he grabs a cigarette and lights up. That, ladies and gentlemen, is addiction.... more


Our healthcare crisis is reaching critical condition

I am very thankful that my wife and I have good medical insurance coverage. Without it, I would live in fear like millions of Americans. This is a reality that we must face – we clearly have a crisis in this country when it comes to medical costs. They are bankrupting people across the country and tearing families apart.... more


I think I'll just keep watching movies at home

When was the last time you went to see a movie? And by that, I don’t mean going over to a friend’s house to watch “Field of Dreams” for the 46th time on his giant 4K TV as you try not to blubber too much as father and son have a catch near the end of the movie.... more


Are we going to sue every time a kid gets hurt?

Being a kid can be dangerous. First, you have pretty much zero sense of your own mortality. Second, you have no fear. Third, you are a kid and honestly, just aren’t that smart.... more


We need another big moment to unite us

My mother was bugging me, and I was not too happy about it. It was Aug. 20, 1969 and we were visiting friends in Casa Grande, Ariz. My parents had moved from Casa Grande, the city of my momentous birth, in 1967 to Yuma, Ariz., where my dad took a job as an elementary school principal.... more


No one asked for it, so here's another Ask Brad

Since the debut of “Ask Brad” in a late March column, the questions have been flooding in. And by flooding in, I mean I haven’t gotten any questions. Not a single one. But I won’t let a lack of questions stop me from following my dream of becoming an advice columnist. Look around you – you don’t have to be qualified to do anything these days.... more


Glad to see kids can still be total brats

Let’s be honest here – most people don’t like yard work. We all love to have a great looking yard, but the mowing and weeding and trimming can get to be a pain after a while. I will admit that having a riding lawnmower has made it much better, but it is still sweaty work.... more


Hate Illinois? Just leave already

A new day, and a new reason for some people to hate Illinois. Hating the state you live in is a pretty strange phenomenon, but a popular one in Illinois. In fact, I think of it more as a self-hate, honestly. People whine and moan and complain about Illinois loudly and often. And these are people who were born here and have lived here their entire lives.... more


'Live PD' shows the best, and the worst

I love the TV show “Cops.” It is an adrenaline rush of a show, and one that highlights some of the best police officers and some of the dumbest criminals on the planet.... more