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Tom Stafford

Tom Stafford has worked at the News-Sun and lived in Springfield for 30 years, covering most of the newsroom beats. For 28 years he has written a weekly feature column and for about 15 years has explored the area's history in a weekly feature called Looking Back. A graduate of Wittenberg University, his personal interests include playing music, in-line skating on area bike trails and reading.

Latest from Tom Stafford

Stafford: Blunder during island trip provides time to reflect
 Most of my mistakes either turn out badly or make me laugh at myself. But every often, I have blunder I’m really proud of. And last week, in this space, I may have made — thank you very much — my Best Blunder of 2017. MORE:
                Spending time with grandchild special The column was about my walks around the block...

Posted: 3 days ago

Most of my mistakes either turn out badly or make me laugh at myself. But every often, I have blunder I’m really proud of. And last week, in this space, I may have made — thank you very much — my Best Blunder of 2017. MORE: Spending time with grandchild special The column was about my walks around the block...
Stafford: Spending time with grandchild special
 Our 4-year-old grandson Atticus and I are in the full heat of fierce combat. He’s about to come to full giggle while locked in a vice grip from which I tell him he can never escape – and in which his ribs are ripe for the tickling, not that I’d do such a thing. At such a crucial juncture in the struggle, I could say &ndash...

Posted: 10 days ago

Our 4-year-old grandson Atticus and I are in the full heat of fierce combat. He’s about to come to full giggle while locked in a vice grip from which I tell him he can never escape – and in which his ribs are ripe for the tickling, not that I’d do such a thing. At such a crucial juncture in the struggle, I could say &ndash...
Urbana artist paints ‘skyscapes’
 URBANA — From habit, we call them landscapes. In truth, the wheat fields, corn fields and pastures, the churches, barns and railroad crossings, the school buses, largely empty roads and grain bins, make mostly cameo appearances in Leigh Ann Inskeep-Simpson’s paintings now on display at TeaBaggers Coffee, Wine and Tea on North...

Posted: 17 days ago

URBANA — From habit, we call them landscapes. In truth, the wheat fields, corn fields and pastures, the churches, barns and railroad crossings, the school buses, largely empty roads and grain bins, make mostly cameo appearances in Leigh Ann Inskeep-Simpson’s paintings now on display at TeaBaggers Coffee, Wine and Tea on North...
Springfield business owner remembered as tough, but with a soft side
 Cassandra Guyton and her sisters wanted a concrete truck to lead their father’s July 11 funeral procession for an obvious reason. Concrete is what Cleo Guyton had always done, she said. For his part, Jack Littlejohn, manager of the Ernst Concrete plant on Mitchell Boulevard called providing one of the cleanest of the company’s...

Posted: 23 days ago

Cassandra Guyton and her sisters wanted a concrete truck to lead their father’s July 11 funeral procession for an obvious reason. Concrete is what Cleo Guyton had always done, she said. For his part, Jack Littlejohn, manager of the Ernst Concrete plant on Mitchell Boulevard called providing one of the cleanest of the company’s...
Stafford: Helping a friend and looking into the future
 If Clark State Community College awarded honorary degrees in mechanical ineptitude, I would have asked my wife to hang mine over the fireplace for me by now. You’ve heard of Mr. Handy? I’m so unhandy my nickname should be “Wrists.” So a couple of weeks ago when my friend Denny recruited me to help bleed the air from...

12:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 22, 2017

If Clark State Community College awarded honorary degrees in mechanical ineptitude, I would have asked my wife to hang mine over the fireplace for me by now. You’ve heard of Mr. Handy? I’m so unhandy my nickname should be “Wrists.” So a couple of weeks ago when my friend Denny recruited me to help bleed the air from...
Updated Clark County Fair logo weaves family, fair history together
 Twenty-five years have passed since the Clark County Fair logo was created so the time seemed ripe to wash it down, brush it off and groom it like an animal headed for the show ring. That the groomer is artist Jerid Smith, who raised the fair’s Grand Champion Hog in 1990, seems fair, in both senses of the word. That he used his favorite...

3:15 PM Friday, Jul. 21, 2017

Twenty-five years have passed since the Clark County Fair logo was created so the time seemed ripe to wash it down, brush it off and groom it like an animal headed for the show ring. That the groomer is artist Jerid Smith, who raised the fair’s Grand Champion Hog in 1990, seems fair, in both senses of the word. That he used his favorite...
Clark County shooting club works to gain new members, grow sport
 Bob Fralick, president of the Clark County Sportsman’s Club, says skeet shooting is generally on the wane. But the club at has been tuning up target trajectories in three skeet fields reasoning that night-time shooting — skeet under the lights — might attract a summertime following. The wobble stand is a bit of a novelty...

2:00 PM Saturday, Jul. 15, 2017

Bob Fralick, president of the Clark County Sportsman’s Club, says skeet shooting is generally on the wane. But the club at has been tuning up target trajectories in three skeet fields reasoning that night-time shooting — skeet under the lights — might attract a summertime following. The wobble stand is a bit of a novelty...
Springfield church to close after 129 years
 The Order for Closing a Congregation to be followed in services today at Springfield’s Fifth Lutheran Church is mercifully brief and relatively straightforward. As the appropriate words are spoken, the candles and vases are removed, then the altar book and missal stand. Next come the paten, chalice and communion cups and the pulpit...

12:00 AM Sunday, Jul. 09, 2017

The Order for Closing a Congregation to be followed in services today at Springfield’s Fifth Lutheran Church is mercifully brief and relatively straightforward. As the appropriate words are spoken, the candles and vases are removed, then the altar book and missal stand. Next come the paten, chalice and communion cups and the pulpit...
Stafford: Springfield High School reunion to celebrate classmate
 Jim Ingledue isn’t an objective judge. Nor does he claim to be when he argues that Dick Shatto “was probably the finest athlete ever to matriculate through the Springfield system.” MORE: Stafford happy to be grounded Ingledue, after all, was not only the late Shatto’s teammate on the Wildcats football, basketball and...

4:15 PM Saturday, Jul. 01, 2017

Jim Ingledue isn’t an objective judge. Nor does he claim to be when he argues that Dick Shatto “was probably the finest athlete ever to matriculate through the Springfield system.” MORE: Stafford happy to be grounded Ingledue, after all, was not only the late Shatto’s teammate on the Wildcats football, basketball and...
Stafford happy to be grounded
 I didn’t know it Thursday as I was driving south on Fountain Avenue, crossing the tracks at the Heritage Center and making a left into the parking lot next to the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center. But for the first time in years, I was about to be grounded. MORE: Stafford: Distractions can turn thoughts in new directions The grounding...

2:00 PM Saturday, Jun. 24, 2017

I didn’t know it Thursday as I was driving south on Fountain Avenue, crossing the tracks at the Heritage Center and making a left into the parking lot next to the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center. But for the first time in years, I was about to be grounded. MORE: Stafford: Distractions can turn thoughts in new directions The grounding...
Stafford: Distractions can turn thoughts in new directions
 I sat at one of my usual column-writing spots, feeling a little weary. Make that weary and distracted. It was a mood I was treating in the usual fashion, with warm caffeine, when a bearded man sat down at the nearby piano and started playing. RELATED: Stafford: Appreciating the beauty that life has to offer I expected further distraction...

2:00 PM Saturday, Jun. 17, 2017

I sat at one of my usual column-writing spots, feeling a little weary. Make that weary and distracted. It was a mood I was treating in the usual fashion, with warm caffeine, when a bearded man sat down at the nearby piano and started playing. RELATED: Stafford: Appreciating the beauty that life has to offer I expected further distraction...