Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Second issue of Western Illinois Magazine now available

Western Illinois University journalism students have produced the second issue of "Western Illinois" magazine, a new publication showcasing interesting people, places and things in western Illinois.

The free publication, available in Western Courier newspaper racks on the WIU Macomb campus and in various locations in Macomb, Galesburg and Springfield, includes a cover feature on the history and legends surrounding the abandoned Illinois State Asylum for the Incurable Insane in Bartonville, near Peoria.

Other features in the issue include a look at the 1970s “Forgottonia” tongue-in-cheek political movement, which encouraged people in western Illinois to secede from the rest of the state, as well as the bizarre story of the Macomb poltergeist, a real-life firestarter. The issue offers a profile of Western Illinois University quarterback Matt Barr, and spotlights the unique shopping opportunities found on Galesburg's historic Seminary Street.

Additionally, the issue includes articles on: Lisa Welch, Macomb’s "Rug Lady"; Colchester's Bill Combs, a retired WIU professor who collects antique tractors; a kid's eye view of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield; a profile of comic book writer and WIU alum Chris Ward of Springfield; and other topics.

"Western Illinois is probably one of the least exposed parts of the state, so we’ve found there are plenty of stories out there just waiting to be told," said Alyse Thompson, a WIU sophomore journalism major from West Chicago (IL), and editor in chief of the magazine.

The student-run magazine is produced once each semester. Advisers include veteran Illinois journalist and WIU journalism professor Bill Knight and Rich Moreno, director of student publications at WIU and a former magazine publisher.

To receive a free copy, send your name and address to R-Moreno@wiu.edu.