Top of the Morning, July 22, 2017

The state's most famous hog-caller is practicing hard for his 26th consecutive appearance at the Illinois State Fair.

Go ahead and wish CHRIS KARR good luck at this week's Champaign County Fair, where he'll be working the swine barn.

Entertainment listings, July 20-27, 2017


This weekend


What: Traditional fair events including queen pageant, demo derby, wild World of Animals, horse shows, livestock, Nick Lynch Band, 4-H, tractor pull and talent show.

When: July 20-24.

Where: Fairgrounds,1390 E. 2000 N. Road, Watseka.

Pet Talk: Beware of the big three bugs

UI College of Veterinary Medicine

Ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. Nobody wants these bugs on their pets or in their house. But the reasons for keeping these bugs away go beyond just avoiding pests.

Letter from Birdland: Another trip south to hone my craft

I'm sitting in the arboretum in Murray, Ky., with my friend Anne. She is working on a poem. It's a warm day, but we are sheltered by a pavilion and cooled by a grove of large oaks and hickories.

In a botany course, I once learned that a large tree has the cooling power of a 10-room air conditioner, and I believe it.

Entertainment listings, July 13-20, 2017




Band holds fundraiser to feed horses injured in fire

PLAINFIELD (AP) — A school band in suburban Chicago is raising money to feed horses that were injured in a barn fire that killed 18 other animals.

Twelve horses survived the fire last week at Del Real Stables near Plainfield. Since then, stable and horse owners have been helping care for the animals.

Pet Talk: Raccoons a danger to dogs

UI College of Veterinary Medicine

Letter from Birdland: Desperately seeking Susans

There is trouble in Birdland. On our morning walk last week, me with my goose watering can, Michael with his hose, both of us sipping coffee, my husband spotted it first and called me over. The aviary, fringed by white lilies and variegated hostas, had had a disturbance.

Pet Talk: Dangers lurk on the Fourth of July

UI College of Veterinary Medicine

For Americans, the Fourth of July is a day of celebration, fireworks and finding hundreds of ways to incorporate the American flag into food, outfits and decorations. For our pets, it's a random hot day full of strangers and lots of good-smelling food, accompanied by inexplicable loud kabooms.

Letter from Birdland: 'Castle' made a lasting impression

Birdland is having a chilly, mild spell after the mad drought of the past six weeks or so.

Our yard and garden paths stayed green, thanks to Michael's faithful watering. My husband waters all the flowers morning and night.