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Latest from Tom Stafford

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Springfield group dies into archaeological secrets
 The Standing Stones of Stenness, Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar sound like names written in runic type on maps J.R.R. Tolkien drew for his Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are, in fact, ancient archaeological sites on the Orkney Islands off the northern coast of Scotland, and what researchers are learning there may be changing the map...

Posted: 4 days ago

The Standing Stones of Stenness, Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar sound like names written in runic type on maps J.R.R. Tolkien drew for his Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are, in fact, ancient archaeological sites on the Orkney Islands off the northern coast of Scotland, and what researchers are learning there may be changing the map...
Stafford: Anthropologist remembers Springfield colleague
 On March 31, Ph.D. Michael Blakey will visit Wittenberg University to tell students about the history he and other archaeologists found written in the bones unearthed, examined and reburied at the historic African American Burial Grounds National Monument in Lower Manhattan. Earlier this month, the scientific director of the project and the...

Posted: 10 days ago

On March 31, Ph.D. Michael Blakey will visit Wittenberg University to tell students about the history he and other archaeologists found written in the bones unearthed, examined and reburied at the historic African American Burial Grounds National Monument in Lower Manhattan. Earlier this month, the scientific director of the project and the...
Springfield tied to the mother of modern CSI work
 Benjamin Warder left Springfield a lovely library on a prominent hill, and Asa Bushnell’s stately stone mansion stills stands on High Street. But John Glessner, the third partner of local manufacturing giant Warder, Bushnell & Glessner, moved to Chicago in 1870 to represent the company’s interests, then went on to become an officer...

Posted: 18 days ago

Benjamin Warder left Springfield a lovely library on a prominent hill, and Asa Bushnell’s stately stone mansion stills stands on High Street. But John Glessner, the third partner of local manufacturing giant Warder, Bushnell & Glessner, moved to Chicago in 1870 to represent the company’s interests, then went on to become an officer...
Stafford: Communication complex, but kindness can alleviate anxiety
 For people my age, the term audio-visual conjures up memories of metal Bell & Howell movie and film strip projectors being pushed around hallways by fellow students who seemed to be headed either nowhere or to what would become Silicon Valley. So I raised an eyebrow the other day when I double-clicked on an Internet clip in which the eminent...

Posted: 24 days ago

For people my age, the term audio-visual conjures up memories of metal Bell & Howell movie and film strip projectors being pushed around hallways by fellow students who seemed to be headed either nowhere or to what would become Silicon Valley. So I raised an eyebrow the other day when I double-clicked on an Internet clip in which the eminent...
A walk through a D.C. neighborhood
 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Waiting at the crosswalk on Columbia Road NW at 18th Street, in the heart of Washington’s Adams-Morgan neighborhood, I heard two young men engaged in one of those early 20s arguments that, to the compromised ears of this 62-year-old drummer, sounded a bit like toddlers arguing over which Mutant Ninja Turtle...

10:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Waiting at the crosswalk on Columbia Road NW at 18th Street, in the heart of Washington’s Adams-Morgan neighborhood, I heard two young men engaged in one of those early 20s arguments that, to the compromised ears of this 62-year-old drummer, sounded a bit like toddlers arguing over which Mutant Ninja Turtle...
Stafford: Health care coverage costs concerning
 This may not be sweet. It will be short. You likely have seen the commercial. It’s one of those, “What’s in your wallet?” ads for Capital One and has the usual message. Dear Consumer: If you’re piling up bonus cash while using your charge card, you shouldn’t be cheated by some company that places all kinds...

1:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017

This may not be sweet. It will be short. You likely have seen the commercial. It’s one of those, “What’s in your wallet?” ads for Capital One and has the usual message. Dear Consumer: If you’re piling up bonus cash while using your charge card, you shouldn’t be cheated by some company that places all kinds...
Stafford: Service served as reminder of News-Sun colleague
 Most time capsules try to encapsulate a single moment. Tucked into building cornerstones, they’re filled with newspaper clippings, yearbooks, photos and maybe a program from a building’s dedication day. They’re passed on as a kind of keepsake in hopes of giving future generations some feel for the community that came together...

10:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017

Most time capsules try to encapsulate a single moment. Tucked into building cornerstones, they’re filled with newspaper clippings, yearbooks, photos and maybe a program from a building’s dedication day. They’re passed on as a kind of keepsake in hopes of giving future generations some feel for the community that came together...
Stafford: Letting go to become fluent in music
 I try not to obsess about our 4-year-old grandson. I check out the occasional Facebook post with picture and sometimes scan the photos attached to his pre-K class teacher’s email thinking about what roles he and his classmates might play in a present-day production of the Little Rascals. Similarly, I don’t worry about the progress...

5:00 PM Saturday, Feb. 04, 2017

I try not to obsess about our 4-year-old grandson. I check out the occasional Facebook post with picture and sometimes scan the photos attached to his pre-K class teacher’s email thinking about what roles he and his classmates might play in a present-day production of the Little Rascals. Similarly, I don’t worry about the progress...
92-year-old Springfield woman still swimming, takes life lap at a time
 Clear-eyed and energetic, Springfielder Jean Braun turns 92 on Sunday. She swims half a mile three days a week and, come April, plans to complete her 30th annual mile-long swim to raise money for diabetes prevention and care. It’s worth underscoring that she began this lengthy tradition at age 62. These essentials of Braun’s story...

11:00 AM Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017

Clear-eyed and energetic, Springfielder Jean Braun turns 92 on Sunday. She swims half a mile three days a week and, come April, plans to complete her 30th annual mile-long swim to raise money for diabetes prevention and care. It’s worth underscoring that she began this lengthy tradition at age 62. These essentials of Braun’s story...
Stafford: News-Sun morgue alive at Heritage Center
 The morgue is alive again. It’s not alive in quite the same way it was when I habitually slipped in and out of it on the third floor of the News-Sun Building. Still, in the roughly 100 boxes shelved in the Clark County Heritage Center library, the largest body of its material is available to the public. Those who aren’t arthritic...

3:00 PM Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017

The morgue is alive again. It’s not alive in quite the same way it was when I habitually slipped in and out of it on the third floor of the News-Sun Building. Still, in the roughly 100 boxes shelved in the Clark County Heritage Center library, the largest body of its material is available to the public. Those who aren’t arthritic...
Husbands, time to plan your annual spousal performance review
 This column is for husbands only. I can cite no study, of course, but I’d still claim that first sentence is virtually guaranteed to swell the readership of this week’s column among wives – and maybe even more among ex-wives. Given their commitment curve, the line could even draw a few millennial readers. They likely would...

1:00 PM Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017

This column is for husbands only. I can cite no study, of course, but I’d still claim that first sentence is virtually guaranteed to swell the readership of this week’s column among wives – and maybe even more among ex-wives. Given their commitment curve, the line could even draw a few millennial readers. They likely would...
Springfield resident finds comfort playing piano
 Her memory isn’t what she’d like it to be. Her glasses don’t seem to work as well as they once did. And there are those pains that arrive with the cold fronts. At age 92, none of that prevents Irene Davenport from having a following. They find her at four places in Oakwood Village: The dining room of the care center, where...

1:00 PM Saturday, Jan. 07, 2017

Her memory isn’t what she’d like it to be. Her glasses don’t seem to work as well as they once did. And there are those pains that arrive with the cold fronts. At age 92, none of that prevents Irene Davenport from having a following. They find her at four places in Oakwood Village: The dining room of the care center, where...
Stafford: Here are my predictions for the New Year
 With my column scheduled to appear today, a day on which our minds turn to predictions for a New Year, I figured it was time to do a little poking around about doomsday cult legend, astrologist and numerologist Nostradamus. Roughly translated, Nostradamus means Dude of Notre Dame, and is the Latinized name by which Michel de Nostradame, the...

6:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016

With my column scheduled to appear today, a day on which our minds turn to predictions for a New Year, I figured it was time to do a little poking around about doomsday cult legend, astrologist and numerologist Nostradamus. Roughly translated, Nostradamus means Dude of Notre Dame, and is the Latinized name by which Michel de Nostradame, the...
Stafford: Learn how to pull off a Christmas shopping miracle
 During most of the calendar year, when it comes to shopping, my wife is our household’s commander-in-chief. During the Christmas season, she is our Vladimir Putin. Nothing can happen without her being aware of it. And that, frankly, is the way it should be. With moderate supervision, support and a large crayon with which to circle items...

3:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016

During most of the calendar year, when it comes to shopping, my wife is our household’s commander-in-chief. During the Christmas season, she is our Vladimir Putin. Nothing can happen without her being aware of it. And that, frankly, is the way it should be. With moderate supervision, support and a large crayon with which to circle items...
Springfield taxidermist retires from storied career
 The rattler under the chair. The spider in the air. The salmon in the pipeline. The buffalo that terrorized Catawba. The dead lion at the front door. The alligator behind the stove. As someone who first dabbled in taxidermy at age 11, 81-year-old Bob Anderson knows better than anyone that it’s a laborious and taxing undertaking. RELATED...

10:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016

The rattler under the chair. The spider in the air. The salmon in the pipeline. The buffalo that terrorized Catawba. The dead lion at the front door. The alligator behind the stove. As someone who first dabbled in taxidermy at age 11, 81-year-old Bob Anderson knows better than anyone that it’s a laborious and taxing undertaking. RELATED...
Stafford: Updated takes on classic Christmas carols
 Come, they told him, Ta-rum-pum-pum, pump. You are the president, Ta-rum-pum-pum, pump. Next White House resident, Ta-rum-pum-pum, pump. For once be pleasant Ta-rum-pum-pum, pump Rum-pum-pum, pump Rum-pum-pum, pump. Welcome to the annual Christmas carol column. More carols in a moment, but first, this breaking news. RELATED: Stafford: Nothing...

3:00 PM Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016

Come, they told him, Ta-rum-pum-pum, pump. You are the president, Ta-rum-pum-pum, pump. Next White House resident, Ta-rum-pum-pum, pump. For once be pleasant Ta-rum-pum-pum, pump Rum-pum-pum, pump Rum-pum-pum, pump. Welcome to the annual Christmas carol column. More carols in a moment, but first, this breaking news. RELATED: Stafford: Nothing...
Stafford: Never-ending presidential election drags on
 I’m 62 now. As best I can remember, the current presidential campaign started when I was 4, maybe 5. I place its beginning sometime around the birthday when I held a clothespin to my forehead and, leaning over, tried to drop it in the mouth of the glass milk bottle that sat on the basement floor. That was shortly after the day my parents...

5:14 PM Saturday, Sep. 24, 2016

I’m 62 now. As best I can remember, the current presidential campaign started when I was 4, maybe 5. I place its beginning sometime around the birthday when I held a clothespin to my forehead and, leaning over, tried to drop it in the mouth of the glass milk bottle that sat on the basement floor. That was shortly after the day my parents...
Springfield partnership shows promise for heroin-addicted moms, babies
 In 2015, the number of babies who went through methadone-aided withdrawal in the Birthing Center at Springfield Regional Medical Center doubled to 14. Through the end of August this year, that number stood at six — five of whom were in treatment to lower their dependency when they gave birth. The changes are largely the result of a...

8:00 PM Saturday, Sep. 10, 2016

In 2015, the number of babies who went through methadone-aided withdrawal in the Birthing Center at Springfield Regional Medical Center doubled to 14. Through the end of August this year, that number stood at six — five of whom were in treatment to lower their dependency when they gave birth. The changes are largely the result of a...
Springfield therapist: Moms who get clean ‘superheroes’
 When she felt solid in her own recovery, Kathy Maddy decided to dedicate her future to helping others to reclaim their lives as she had reclaimed hers. But, deep in her being, the McKinley Hall therapist knew there was one group of addicts she could never work with: Women who used drugs during their pregnancies. Maddy now calls some of those...

4:00 PM Saturday, Sep. 10, 2016

When she felt solid in her own recovery, Kathy Maddy decided to dedicate her future to helping others to reclaim their lives as she had reclaimed hers. But, deep in her being, the McKinley Hall therapist knew there was one group of addicts she could never work with: Women who used drugs during their pregnancies. Maddy now calls some of those...
Recovering Springfield heroin addicts piece lives together again
 By the time they’re ready to endure a withdraw from heroin, addicts have lost so many possessions, burned so many bridges and spent so many endless days sacrificing everything to the altar of addiction that they’ve grown uncomfortably numb. Then during and right after withdrawal, things turn painful, said recovering addict Erin...

10:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 03, 2016

By the time they’re ready to endure a withdraw from heroin, addicts have lost so many possessions, burned so many bridges and spent so many endless days sacrificing everything to the altar of addiction that they’ve grown uncomfortably numb. Then during and right after withdrawal, things turn painful, said recovering addict Erin...
200 items
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