An oak-hickory woodland behind the school becomes an outdoors classroom for students in Chatham, Illinois. Local conservation groups volunteer to lead 350 fourth-graders on nature walks the week of May 2-6, 2011.
Illinois River mallard count of 108,310 greenheads is well off the 10-year average of 214,901 for this time of year. Mississippi River duck numbers also lagging behind average for most species. STORY & COMMENTS
A concealed-carry gun deal brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan cleared a House committee Thursday, but its prospects were unclear across the Capitol in the Senate because of the way it would curb existing local gun laws. STORY & COMMENTS
River fishing is very slow most places due to high, muddy water. Catfish are biting well if you can get access to flooded river areas. Elsewhere bluegill are the top species right now, still on the beds in many lakes and ponds in central and northern Illinois. STORY & COMMENTS