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Barn Yarn: From horses to hardwood

 Jeff and Lisa Edwards of Arcola have converted their former horse barn into their home. 

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

A star at Sundance

Missouri author pens a winner

Everyone loves a good old-fashioned murder mystery with an amateur sleuth, and "Anonymously Yours" by Shirley McCann is no exception. This Springfield, Mo., author has penned a winner, which is sure to be the first book in a successful mystery series.

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry, Dec. 14, 2014

For every one of those faces pictured on the obituary page, thousands of memories have been swept out of the world, never to be recovered. I encourage everyone to write down their memories before it's too late. Here's a fine example of that by Margaret Hasse, who lives in Minnesota.

Truant

Our high school principal wagged his finger

over two manila folders

Ask 'Mimi' Dec. 14, 2014

What's the latest on Ariana Neal, who played Oscar Grant's daughter in "Fruitvale Station"?

That's entertainment: Spotlighting events around the area

Star Theatre production

Several artists have collaborated on the original script for the musical "Love Beyond Blood," being presented at the Star Theatre this and next weekend in Villa Grove.

A small slice of ... otherworldly elements

As I've mentioned before, I don't read a lot of titles that would be categorized as science fiction/fantasy. I have a hard time keeping the names and technology straight.

Cuddle up with a good mystery this winter

Mysteries — I love them! If that genre ranks as high with your readers, this month brings you a wonderful treat: Kate Milford's "Greenglass House."

Milford uses a real setting for her multilayered tale. Greenglass House really is a bed and breakfast perched on a summit close to the smugglers' town of Nagspeake. (Read more about it at nagspeake.com).

Studio Visit: James DeBoer

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, James DeBoer, 64, of Danville. The retired family practice physician and artist recently chatted with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

How old were you when you started making art?

Who lives here? Dec. 13, 2014

Each week, The News-Gazette will show a screen shot of a home from a movie or TV show and ask readers, "Who lives here?"