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COBDEN, Ill. — Growing tomatoes is a race for Union County farmer Bill Bass. First, it’s a race against time and then it’s a race to have the first natural-light tomatoes for sale at market.

The Christmas tree was a scrub cedar hacked from the edge of the woods that bordered our farm. Big-bulbed lights, strung in barber pole fashion, generated almost as much heat as the nearby woodstove.

I like the fall season with cooler temperatures and the fall tree colors. However, this season also creates a sense of urgency that I am running out of time to complete maintenance projects around my home before cold weather arrives.

Two types of collectors bid for a porcelain figure of a well-dressed French couple that was sold at a Southern auction in 2016. A 14-inch-high Asian sorcerer and his companion wearing brightly decorated clothes were “nodders.” The heads moved and looked as if they were nodding “yes” when the figures were moved.

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MARION, Ill. — 4-H members found a giant science project waiting for them Aug. 21 at the University of Illinois Extension and 4-H Eclipse View…