23242970312 31f663aeb5 bAre you in Chicago and looking for some good deep dish pizza? Are you looking for the best deep dish pizza? Then look no further than Pequod’s on Clybourn Avenue. Recently named the “Best Pizza in Illinois” by The Daily Meal, Pequod’s has been serving up Chicago’s signature pizza for 25 years.

What sets Pequod’s deep dish apart from the others you might ask? Pequod’s famous “caramelized crust,” which the Daily Meal described as “chewy, crusty, quasi-burnt cheese crust that forms the outer edge of this cheesy casserole.”

The Daily Meal set out several criteria for their rankings. The rankings looked at over 800 restaurants across the nation whose menu was entirely pizza or had a section completely dedicated to pizza. They then had a panel choose the best location in each state.

This isn’t the first time Pequod’s has been recognized, either. In 2015, the Food Network named Pequod’s one of the top five pizza places in the entire country.

Whether you’re in the mood for pizza, pasta or an Italian beef sandwich, Pequod’s is the neighborhood place to fill up with family. For more information about what Pequod’s locations have to offer, you can visit their website here.

Located on the West Side of Chicago, Garfield Park is a jewel in the “emerald necklace,” a ring of parks and tree-lined boulevards built around what was the western edge of the city in the middle of the 19th century. The goal of this development was to make urban living more active and healthy. Covering about 185 acres of land with recreation facilities, green space, Prairie-style buildings and its famous Conservatory, Garfield Park remains true to the vision put forth by its founders in 1869.


Garfield Park is best known for its conservatory, which has been described as “landscape architecture under glass.” The Garfield Park Conservatory is about two acres in size. It is designed to resemble a haystack, a nod to the Midwest’s agricultural tradition and connection to nature.


The month of April is the height of The Garfield Park Conservatory Spring Flower Show, a yearly exhibition that runs from mid-February to mid-May. In honor of the Chicago Cubs’ recent World Series victory, this year’s theme is “Spring Training.” The exhibition, which features azaleas, tulips, snapdragons and camellias, is decorated with homages to baseball in Chicago. The conservatory is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Wednesdays, when the conservatory stays open until 8 p.m.


With its rare plants and expert landscape design, the Conservatory has drawn people to Garfield Park since it opened in 1908, but there are numerous other attractions and amenities. Garfield Park is home to several statues and monuments, baseball fields, boxing, basketball, gymnastics and fitness facilities, football and soccer fields, multiple playgrounds, a lagoon for fishing and much more. While the conservatory closes early, the park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.


As the weather warms and green leaves return to trees, the emerald necklace begins to take on the green hue that has made it popular for nearly 150 years. There is perhaps no better time to take advantage of all that Garfield Park has to offer.

Every year, seniors in college start to weigh what their options could be if they attend a graduate program. Many factors are considered when making that decision. Illinois schools have tried to take those factors into consideration and have been ranked highly recently for offering some of the best graduate programs in the country.

Recently, the U.S. News & World Report revealed rankings for graduate school programs. The rankings are intended to help prospective students when they are looking for a graduate program of their choice. The disciplines included in the ratings are business, law, engineering, education, medicine and nursing.

Illinois was well represented throughout the rankings.

UChicago Booth SchoolThe University of Chicago Booth School of BusinessThe University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern both ranked in the top five nationwide in schools to receive a master of business administration degree.

Northwestern also received a top 10 ranking for law and education. The University of Chicago joined Northwestern as a top 10 school for a law degree as well ranking No. 3 nationwide.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also was awarded with a top 10 ranking for those looking to get a graduate degree in engineering.

Graduate students across the country and world attend Illinois schools to get a top-notch education. With these most recent rankings, that does not look like it will end any time soon.

headshotSherri Burritt is an artist based in Morton outside of Peoria.

For three decades she created works mainly with watercolor until about six years ago when she started experimenting with oil paints, enjoying the flexibility of the medium.

Her works focus on impressionistic style still lives as she plays with light and texture to create not just a scene but an emotion and feeling.

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Pulliam Hall SIUSouthern Illinois University Carbondale was recently recognized for the outstanding services it provides for non-traditional students. The NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education honored the college with the 2016 Annual Outstanding Undergraduate Adult Learner Program.

The university’s adult learner population is more than 30 percent of its total student population, and SIUC houses the Non-Traditional Student Services (NTSS) office. Deborah Barnett, who works with non-traditional student services, says that the award shows a longstanding commitment of the university.

“SIU has a longstanding history of support for adult learners,” Barnett said. “In addition, SIU’s history of supporting veteran and military-connected students is shown through numerous annual awards and being designated a Military-Friendly School.”

That office provides a variety of services to students who are financially independent, have delayed college enrollment rather than attending right after high school or are returning to college after interrupting their higher education.

One way in which the program has excelled is the way it attempts to communicate with adult learners. The NTSS office communicates through social media providing short videos like the “Monday Morning Minute.”

It also provides study spaces for students with children and an opportunity for family ID cards, which allow family members to receive necessary campus services.

“We have a lot to be proud of at SIU and in the state of Illinois,” Barnett said. “Even though we face challenges in Illinois, SIU is committed to serving students with excellence.”

Excellence in working with non-traditional students has become the norm at Southern Illinois University. It is just one reason it is a top-tier college in Illinois. Congratulations to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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