When the pope talks, world starts interpreting

WASHINGTON — Forget E.F. Hutton. It's P.F. (Pope Francis) these days who, when he talks, people listen.

Executive Mansion: Home or political tool?

Gov. Bruce Rauner promises to renovate the leaky Illinois Executive Mansion with his seemingly limitless wealth — and to live there as well.

Better to utilize the mansion extensively for social events for the political class, especially when the lawmakers are in town, but continue to live in Chicago, where the action is.

2-year, 4-year colleges both play vital roles

By Gene Budig and Alan Heaps

Vermont's Sanders has mountains to climb

WASHINGTON — The young man who answered the phone in the Senate office of Vermont's Bernie Sanders told the caller, a would-be campaign contributor, that it is illegal for funds to be accepted on federal property. He advised the person to contact Sanders' political operation, which might become a presidential campaign.

Dan Corkery: Pioneering spirit behind corn ethanol

Next time you go the gas station and see "contains 10 percent ethanol" on the pump, think of Fred Werts.

The former Sidney farmer and businessman who died last Tuesday at 92 was a determined advocate for "gasohol" — blending gasoline with grain alcohol derived from corn — more than 25 years before Congress passed the first Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005.

Jim Dey: Party favors

Give us your take with a Letter to the Editor here

On Jan. 2, Urbana's Aaron Ammons submitted a request for a gubernatorial pardon to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

The 88-page application made it clear that he needed a pardon, and he needed it fast.

The mushrooming welfare state

WASHINGTON — America's national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:

Jim Dey: Andrzejewski touts power of openness

Adam Andrzejewski is in training for a half-marathon, and he figures to be ready by April or May.

Going halvesies is a far piece from the 26.2-mile jaunts he used to take.

"I've run four Chicago marathons. But I have not run a full marathon since 2001," the 45-year-old Andrzejewski said.

Jim Dey: UI received hundreds of letters about rehiring Kilgore

Hear more from Dey Wednesday at 10 on WDWS.

With the start of the new semester underway, it won't be long before the Peck's Bad Boy of the University of Illinois faculty is back in the classroom shaping young minds.

Dan Corkery: Artist's whimsy evident in work, life

George Norton Foster possessed a spirit of whimsy and playfulness.

And according to his oldest son, Jim Foster of Urbana, George displayed that spirit both in his artwork and his daily life.