Friday, December 16, 2016

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, Dec.11 through Dec. Dec. 16

The week began on a sad note and ended on one, too.

On Saturday, our family unexpectedly lost a good family friend, but thanks to a very understanding new boss, I was able to get to hospice, even though I was the weekend editor for two newspapers. Today is the funeral, and the weekend I had planned in a nearby town with my daughter-in-law and two of my grandsons will likely be usurped by low funds and a winter storm, not the way I wanted extra fiction time. But we shall see.

On a glad note, I made all deadlines early again for The Herald-News, but with no reserves of work. Next week will be most interesting trying to catchup.

Last night was the WriteOn Joliet Christmas party at Cemeno's in Joliet, and we had a wonderful time. The staff accommodated last minute, no extra charge dietary restrictions of several of our members (including me) and provided terrific food and service.

As for us, well, to prove we are truly the geek squad, conversations in all corners turned to writing, editing, publishing, and great story lines. Truly a fabulous evening.

And now...

First, the non-bylined work: the health, faith, and arts and entertainment calendars. Three of them can be found at the link below. Gotta Do It, runs each Sunday and often stays on the home page throughout the week.

Feature briefs for Tuesday (health), Thursday (faith), Friday (Arts and Entertainment), and Sunday (People) are also edited (texted and photos) by the lady of this blog, but only the stories have bylines.

I also have a list of Santa Sightings in the Joliet area at

Also, a few weeks ago, The Herald-News began a weekly Mystery Diner feature, a goal of mine that was finally approved. I had promised to post those links this past Monday, which I didn't, so I will do so this Monday. This week's Mystery Diner is below.

Another option: I do post the briefs and calendars on Twitter during the week, so you're welcome to follow me at @Denise_Unland61. And of course, I post curated content relating to the BryonySeries at @BryonySeries.

Just an FYI: On free days, holidays, and Sundays I'm not on call, I only post the blog to my "real" Twitter account, as my company insists we do take time off. I'm less reasonable, so unless I'm on a real vacation, I still post to the BryonySeries accounts.

FYI: videos have not been attaching to my Herald-News stories, although they do run for a time on the home page. If you'd like to watch a video, and it's not showing up for you, message me, and I'll manually attach it.

Thank you for reading The Herald-News.

Joliet churches united last night for community Christmas singalong  (VIDEO EXTRA)

Churches United for Christ hosted ‘Sounds of Christmas Community Sing’ on Saturday

“Christmas songs have a tendency to do something to your spirit,” John L. King, organizer,  said. “They make you feel everything is not so bad, especially people who have suicidal or depressing thoughts around the holidays. We try to bring them out of that low spot. It’s a spirit of giving, the singing, the giving away of free stuff – like a desktop computer and a laptop – and the hot chocolate and the apple cider.”

An Extraordinary Life: Plainfield teacher's lessons for good living immortalized in book
‘Trip’s Tips’ give young people 17 ways to live full lives

Jim  Brown said he’s probably given away more books than he’s sold, but he never intended “Trips Tips” to be an income source, which is why people can download the book for free on its website.

Joliet area churches, organizations address grief, loneliness during the holidays
Blue Christmas services, workshops and senior facilities ease loss during the holidays

But some people may feel isolated regardless of their life situations, Anna Walters, director of health services at Senior Star at Weber Place in Romeoville, said. This perceived isolation – feeling alone in a crowded room – also increases health risk, she added. Part of the solution in all cases lies in creating new opportunities for socialization and new life goals.

Mystery Diner: Chicago Street Pub a festive place to eat, drink downtown

Now back to the tacos. I was pleased with my opening choice (two chicken, one pulled pork). For sure, they were a little messy. But I knew I was going all in on this. So I poured on a little hot sauce, ordered some wings for later and dove in.

When the wings arrived, it was immediately clear they don’t skimp on sauce.

Joliet church premieres 'jazz-infused' cantata composed by 1 of its own
‘Advent for All’ is an original cantata with traditional choral as well as jazz elements

“First of all,” Ken Myers, choirmaster, said, “he’s a jazz guitarist and a very good one. Basically, he started with that jazz background and projected that with what he wanted to do with his music. It gives it very different rhythmic elements from a lot of things I might do. The tonalities of the piece – some are very traditional and some have very definite jazz/blues elements. It’s a neat mix of the two styles.”

Bolingbrook dance company participates in Pearl Harbor 75th commemoration
Nonprofit dance company pays tribute to Pearl Harbor survivors

“Every day, the hotel was filled with people sitting around and listening to the stories of these heroes,” Emaley Losic said. “The gentlemen were very warm and encouraging of the girls to ask questions and talk about the fateful day in our history.”

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