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The annual Candlelight Walk at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site will be held on Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, from 7-9 p.m. each night. New Salem features a reconstruction of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood, and the Candlelight Walk offers the only opportunity to see the village at night. 

The grounds at New Salem include a recreated 1830s village of log buildings, and during the Candlelight Walk visitors will find a place of warm campfires, flickering candles, and swirling glow sticks. There will be live music each night, and staff and volunteers will be dressed in clothing of the 1830s era. Interpreters will also be on site talking about 19th century life in Illinois inside the log homes and shops. Seasonal favorites such as gingerbread cookies and cider will be served.

New Salem is located in Menard County just outside of Petersburg, about 20 miles northwest of Springfield. Lincoln spent six years in New Salem, engaging in a variety of activities. He clerked in a store, spit rails, enlisted in the Black Hawk War, and served as postmaster and deputy surveyor. Lincoln was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1834 and 1836. 

The grounds at New Salem include 12 log houses, the Rutledge Tavern, 10 workshops, stores, mills, and a school where church services were held. The furnishings were actually used by the people of New Salem during Lincoln’s time and were assembled and donated by the Old Salem Lincoln League. The collection includes 19th century articles such as wheat cradles, candle molds, cord beds, flax hackles, wood cards, dough and cornmeal chests, and early American pewter. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site - Tour (

“Come see history in real life during the Candlelight Walk,” stated Rep. Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville). “Seeing the New Salem village at night is a truly unique and one-of-a-kind experience. This is a fun and family-friendly event to be enjoyed by all ages.”

“New Salem is a true gem that attracts visitors from all over the state and country,” stated Rep. Mike Coffey (R-Springfield). “These two nights offer an incredible look back into history and what life was like in the early 19th century.”
The Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides a state income tax credit equal to 25 percent of a project’s Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures, not to exceed $3 million, to owners of certified historic structures who undertake certified rehabilitations. These substantial investments are creating jobs in Illinois, stimulating local economies, and revitalizing historic structures and neighborhoods. The program took effect in 2019 and has been extended through 2028. 


Starting this week, Illinois courts may no longer hold hearings or operate a process that requires cash bail for criminal defendants.  Although 49 U.S. states continue to have a process in place that seeks to ensure the good behavior of criminal defendants prior to trial through the use of financial incentives, Illinois is no longer one of them.  Under a new law that went into effect on Monday, September 18, Illinois courts can no longer impose cash bail on defendants after a due-process hearing.  The Prairie State is the only one of the 50 states where the courts  no longer have pretrial powers falling into this category.

The web of alleged deceit, lies, and corruption tied to Illinois House Democrats has been well-chronicled in the last several years, with the latest example being the conviction of former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Chief of Staff Timothy Mapes on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in August. It was during that trial that another scandal was uncovered, as a top Democratic strategy firm was found to have been advising Madigan while at the same time providing support to the woman who accused one of his aides of sexual harassment and his inner circle of retaliation. 

Did you know southern Illinois is home to a cypress swamp? The nearly 15,000-acre Cache River State Natural Area in Johnson, Massac and Pulaski counties is composed of three distinct management units – Little Black Slough, Lower Cache River Swamps, and Glass Hill. These areas provide food, cover, and water for a vast array of plant and animal species, more than 100 of which that have been listed as endangered or threatened. The site offers a wide variety of recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, and seasonal hunting programs. 

There is no sugarcoating the reality that Illinois’ public pensions are the worst-funded in the nation. State and local pension debt in Illinois now sits at $211 billion, with both debt to GDP (21 percent) and funding ratios (50.8 percent) the worst in the nation, according to a report by Equable Institute. The top five states in the nation with unfunded liabilities have a shortfall of $787 billion, just slightly larger than the rest of the country combined ($778 billion). More than one-third of national unfunded liabilities are in California and Illinois combined. 

Genome editing, also called gene editing, is a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to change an organism’s DNA. These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome. Ever since scientists realized that changes in DNA cause cancer, they have been searching for an easy way to correct those changes by manipulating DNA.