John Foreman: Dollars and sense for Big U

What with presidential campaign rhetoric reaching vomitous levels and state government frozen into insignificance, news junkies may be forgiven a touch of ennui.

If there is lemonade to be made from this, it's perhaps that we can focus our ruminations on matters more local — or what passes for local in this micro-urban 'hood we call home. And we can think big.

Dan Corkery: Sidney's lead blamed on old plumbing

If you have a house that is more than 30 years old, you might have a lead problem.

Plumbing installed before the mid-1980s may have lead-soldered joints, which may be leaching lead into your home's water.

That is one of the likely sources of lead in Sidney's water.

Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk: We need to move beyond 'war on drugs'

Black America has been devastated by the scourge of drugs and the so-called war on them. For the past 40 years, the country has pursued a punitive policy toward drug addiction, treating it as a crime, rather than as a disease. This might seem somewhat surprising since in his July 14, 1969, special message to Congress, President Richard M.

George Will: Battle to save battlefield is not yet lost

PRINCETON, N.J. — One of history's most important battles happened here on a field you can walk across in less than half the 45 or so minutes the battle lasted. If George Washington's audacity on Jan. 3, 1777, had not reversed the patriots' retreat and routed the advancing British, the American Revolution might have been extinguished.

Jim Dey: Hastert charges minor compared with real issue

In August 1995, U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert did what many politicians do — he attended a funeral visitation to express condolences to family members of Steven Reinbolt.

Jim Dey: Elliott continues to challenge limits

At 75, Urbana's Ray Elliott has the look of a man who has been there and done that.

Much of what Elliott has seen, he has included in a series of novels crafted as much for personal satisfaction as for reaching a broader audience.

"It's a catharsis of sorts," he said.

George Will: Badgered and unprepared

"It's not the will to win that matters. ... It's the will to prepare to win that matters."

— Paul "Bear" Bryant

Jim Dey: Peterson will get his day in court

Convicted murderer Drew Peterson is a villain straight out of central casting — an allegedly crooked suburban cop who bumped off spouses who drew his ire.

Nine years ago, the 62-year-old Peterson made big news amid allegations that he had killed two of his wives. The story even prompted a made-for-TV movie starring Rob Lowe.

George Will: It's time to test your baseball IQ

WASHINGTON — Pitcher Jim Bouton said: "Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?" To show how smart you are, identify:

(1) The team that won a record 26 consecutive games (but finished fourth).

(2) Among those with 3,000 hits, the player with the fewest home runs.