Features - 51
Julie Martin has reported in the midst of some intense storms and their aftermath. She’s seen flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes, and she’s told the heart-breaking stories of those affected by these disasters. (Photos provided)
Julie Martin, Storm Chaser

She laughs in the face of danger – or at least tries not to think about it, as she reports from the sites of hurricanes, floods and other severe weather events. It’s all in a day’s work for this Rockford-area native.

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Fields of Stone: What Cemeteries Teach Us

Ghost stories and goblins aside, cemeteries are a goldmine for history lovers who enjoy piecing together puzzles of the past. Jon McGinty leads you on a trek through several, profiling the most interesting inhabitants.

The quiet, serene Sugar River. (David C. Olson photo)
The Life-Sustaining Sugar River

Several factors combine to make the Sugar River an extraordinary sustainer of life to a staggering variety of creatures – including many weary migratory visitors. Learn what makes this river special, what threatens it, and who’s protecting it.

Stronghold Castle, lit up at sunset.
Stronghold Castle: An Orphan’s Tribute to Family

In 1929, Chicago newspaper magnate Walter Strong built a castle that inspired the imagination of his family for the next 30-plus years. Today, it remains a bastion of renewal and personal growth that’s enjoyed by more than 12,000 people annually.

A view of the Kishwaukee River. (David C. Olson photo)
Our Kishwaukee River: A Lovely, Vulnerable Gem

Long recognized as a sanctuary for diverse plant and animal species, the Kishwaukee is one of the highest-quality rivers in Illinois. Learn how the ‘Kish’ is vulnerable to encroaching development and how we can protect it.