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Lodging and Dining are as Natural as the Landscape in the Shawnee Forest

This is the scene that will greet you each morning from your deck in the duplex cabins at Cave-in-Rock Lodge, Illinois -- Pat Lindsey photo

This is the scene that will greet you each morning from your deck in the duplex cabins at Cave-in-Rock Lodge, Illinois — Pat Lindsey photo

by Pat Lindsey

If you’re expecting to spend the night in a Holiday Inn or have breakfast at McDonald’s while staying in the Shawnee National Forest, you’ve come to the wrong place. Chain motels and fast food restaurants do not exist in this part of southernmost Illinois, where the Ohio River has cut its channel through some of the most unspoiled country in America. It’s the ultimate destination for peace and serenity amidst lush green forests, trails to caves and rock formations, and sleepy river towns.

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Illinois Ozarks are Found in Southernmost Part of the State

Fall Colors in the Illinois Ozarks

Camel Rock in the Garden of the Gods section of the Shawnee Forest in all its Fall glory. (Photo courtesy of Southernmost.Illinois.com.)

By Bob Lindsey

When we told friends that we were going to the Illinois Ozarks for a couple of days, reactions were mixed. “I didn’t know Illinois had any Ozarks–or even hills.”

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Florissant Parks Host Cross Country, Soccer; LHSN Hosts Girls Volleyball

jim's logo copyBy Jim Wieners

Two Florissant City Parks will be sites for the Oct. 21 District Cross Country meet and the Oct. 21-28 Boys Soccer tournament. Meanwhile, Lutheran High School North will host a Class Two Volleyball tournament Oct. 17, 19.

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Hazelwood Central Football Goes For Conference 6-Sweep Saturday

football field lowangle

By Jim Wieners

Hazelwood Central Football won their 19th consecutive Suburban XII Conference North Division Game Oct. 7 as the Hawks won 32-10 at Hazelwood West and won Hazelwood School District bragging rights for the sixth consecutive year..

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‘Stronger’: Jake Gyllenhaal in Another Stellar Performance

Jake Gyllenhaal turns in a stellar performance as Jeff Bauman, the Boston Marathon Bombing victim who is associated with "Boston Strong" and who helped identify the bombers.

Jake Gyllenhaal turns in a stellar performance as Jeff Bauman, the Boston Marathon Bombing victim who is associated with “Boston Strong” and who helped identify the bombers.

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Pizza, Painting, and More . . . The Dining Divas Stay and Play Locally

by Lisa Kampeter

Lisa Kampeter

Lisa Kampeter

I’m always excited about our Dining Divas nights, but I was super excited for our last gathering. The girls all came to my house for a pizza and palette painting party. Pizza from one of Florissant’s finest long-time establishments and from one of Florissant’s newest restaurants…BJ’s and their neighbor in Old Town, Amore’s Pizza.

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