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Small outbreak of deadly parvovirus

[AUG. 24, 2001]  Puppy a little puny? If you have a pup that’s acting quiet, not puppylike, you may want to have it checked by your veterinarian. Best Friends Animal Hospital has seen an increased number of cases of the deadly parvovirus this year.

Veterinarians Lara Borgerson and Ron Pierce treated five cases just this week in what appears to be a small outbreak. Lincoln Animal Hospital reported that they have not seen much increase, though they saw a particular outbreak earlier this year that was associated with a litter from Springfield.

The highly communicable disease is most often seen in the spring of the year when everyone starts getting out and going places more often. Your dog does not need to go to the source of the virus to pick it up. The virus could easily come to him or her. It is spread by contaminated feces. Anyone could unknowingly track the invisible virus into the home or yard where your puppy lives, and he or she could pick it up. The virus is long-living and highly virulent. It can be killed on contaminated surfaces with a 10 percent bleach solution.

The virus affects dogs between the ages of a few weeks up to 8 months. It is most often seen in 3-, 4- and 5-month-olds. The incubation period (the time when the virus is in the body before symptoms show) for the virus is one week.

It requires hospitalization of two days to about a week for the patient to recover. If not caught early enough and treated, up to 70 percent of puppies die from it.

There is a test for parvo.

Symptoms of parvovirus include:

•  Depressed (quiet, not much energy)

•  Vomiting

•  Bloody diarrheas

The best advice from the veterinarian is to make sure your dog’s vaccinations and boosters are kept up to date and to watch your dog’s behavior. Puppies need a series of four vaccinations up to 5 months of age. If your dog seems a little under the weather or is just not acting like himself or herself, contact your veterinarian.

You can find more information at these websites:



[Jan Youngquist]


[to top of second column in this article]

Animals for Adoption

These animals and more are available to good homes from the Logan County Animal Control at 1515 N. Kickapoo, phone 735-3232.

Fees for animal adoption: dogs, $60/male, $65/female; cats, $35/male, $44/female. The fees include neutering and spaying.

Logan County Animal Control's hours of operation:

Sunday    closed

Monday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday    8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday  –  8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Saturday  –  closed

Warden: Sheila Farmer
Assistant:  Michelle Mote
In-house veterinarian:  Dr. Lester Thompson

Big to little, most these dogs will make wonderful lifelong companions when you take them home and provide solid, steady training, grooming and general care. Get educated about what you choose. If you give them the time and care they need, you will be rewarded with much more than you gave them. They are entertaining, fun, comforting, and will lift you up for days on end.

Be prepared to take the necessary time when you bring home a puppy, kitten, dog, cat or any other pet, and you will be blessed.

[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies donated by individuals and Wal-Mart.]  

Warden Sheila Farmer and her assistant, Michelle Mote, look forward to assisting you.

[These two girls are looking for a good home.  They are 8 weeks old and a mixed breed.  They would both be good family pets.]

[This is one of three husky puppies that are up for adoption.  All of them would be good family dogs or would feel right at home on the farm.]

[This German Shepherd is looking for someone with a strong personality to channel his energy.  He is a very smart 2- to 3-year-old and needs someone to lead him in the right direction.]

[This medium-size female would be a perfect family dog.  She is very sweet and just looking for someone to love.]

[Say hello to Zeus.  Zeus is a full-blooded Great Pyrenees, 2-3 years old.
He would be a great farm dog or family dog.]

Ten reasons to adopt a shelter dog

 1.  I'll bring out your playful side!

 2.  I'll lend an ear to your troubles.

 3.   I'll keep you fit and trim.

 4.   We'll look out for each other.

 5.   We'll sniff out fun together!

 6.   I'll keep you right on schedule.

 7.   I'll love you with all my heart.

 8.   We'll have a tail-waggin' good time!

 9.   We'll snuggle on a quiet evening.

10.   We'll be best friends always.


[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies donated by individuals and Wal-Mart.]  

Warden Sheila Farmer and her assistant, Michelle Mote, look forward to assisting you.

In the cat section there are a number of wonderful cats to choose from. There are a variety of colors and sizes.

Farm cats available for free!

[The "three musketeers" need a home.
The two females and one male are looking for some mice
to chase and would love a new home on a farm.]

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Part 3

Metropolis: Home of Superman

By Penny Zimmerman-Wills

[JUNE 25, 2001]  Metropolis is worth a weekend visit just to see Superman, or at least a larger-than-life bronze statue, but he’s not the only attraction. You can also try the excitement of a riverboat casino, visit one of the nation’s northernmost cypress swamps and tour the site of a historic fort.

[Click here for Part 1]

[Click here for Part 2]


If a walk in the swamp isn’t your idea of entertainment, try your luck at the hottest place in town — the Players Island Casino. Since opening in 1993, the gaming boat parked on the Ohio River has brought a lot of tourists and revenue into the area. Now the city’s largest employer, as well as the biggest tourism attraction, the casino generates $4.5 million in annual tax revenue for the city.

The 27,000-square-foot Las Vegas-style gaming boat holds 1,650 passengers and features slot and video poker machines, blackjack, craps and poker tables, roulette wheels, two restaurants, a lounge, live entertainment and hotel accommodations. There’s more coming, however, with a major expansion of the casino complex.

There is also a Riverboat Hotel, located across from the Players Casino and adjacent to the Merv Griffin Theater, which offers complimentary breakfast bar served fireside, an indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna overlooking the Ohio River.

Quilt museum

If you have time for a short side trip during your stay, drive across the river to Paducah, Ky., and visit the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society. The workmanship of the beautiful textiles displayed will amaze you. The national quilt museum draws visitors from around the world to see the changing exhibits of more than 150 new and antique quilts and the history associated with them. The museum offers several programs throughout the year, including quilt workshops, seminars and an annual Arts in Action Festival. The museum is open Monday through Saturday year-round and on Sundays from April through October. More information is available by visiting the website at www.quiltmuseum.org.


Among the modest choices for dining in Metropolis, senior citizens seem to prefer dining on the casino or just a few blocks away at Farley’s, located at 613 Market St. The cafeteria is open from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and offers home-cooked items such as turkey and dressing or fried chicken. Fast Eddie’s Bon Air Bar & Grill is the place to go for peel-and-eat shrimp at 29 cents a tail and for half-pound Fat Eddie hamburgers at $1.49.


[to top of second column in this section]

While these options are close to most tourist attractions, if you’re in the mood for a real local treat, I would recommend Bill’s Bar B Que. Bill’s is about as simple and understated as you can get but serves the best lunch in town. The aroma begins drifting through the air before the sun comes up, when the doors open at 4 a.m. You will smell what the fuss is about before you even notice the tiny (about 15-by-36-foot) blue concrete building at 1105 E. Seventh St. Besides the small sign, the exterior decor consists only of a few black-and-white ceramic pigs parked by the front door. Inside, there are nine bar stools, two small tables and a few black-and-white photos tacked to the walls. But most customers get their grub to go, which is usually barbecue sold by the pound with sauce. Hungry customers take it home in recycled bread bags.

Another local favorite for dinner is The Fortress, located just across from the state park. This isn’t the place for vegetarians, but if you like a good, thick rib-eye and baked potato, this is your place.


A few highlights and recommendations when you visit Metropolis:

*Have your picture taken with Superman, located on the town square.

*Lunch at Bill’s Bar-B-Que. Open Tuesday through Friday, 4 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*Take a walk at Massac State Park or visit during the encampment in October.

*Stay overnight at Isle of View Bed and Breakfast, 205 Metropolis St. A double room Sunday through Thursday is $65. The restored Victorian mansion features private baths, five large guest rooms and claw-foot tubs. It’s one block from the casino and a short walk to Superman Square.

*Take a short drive over the bridge to Paducah to visit the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society.

[Penny Zimmerman-Wills]



Part 2

Metropolis: Home of Superman

By Penny Zimmerman-Wills

[JUNE 16, 2001]  Metropolis is worth a weekend visit just to see Superman, or at least a larger-than-life bronze statue, but he’s not the only attraction. You can also try the excitement of a riverboat casino, visit one of the nation’s northernmost cypress swamps and tour the site of a historic fort.

[Click here for Part 1]

Fort Massac State Park

The oldest state park in Illinois features a re-creation of the fort used in 1757 during the French and Indian War. Abandoned by the French, the fort was later burned and then rebuilt in 1794 to protect the U.S. military and commercial interests in the Ohio Valley. The last time U.S. troops were stationed at the site was during the Civil War, when the fort briefly served as a training camp. The park now offers fishing, hiking, camping and playground facilities in addition to special events.

One of the best times to visit the park is during October, when the annual Fort Massac Encampment re-creates the lifestyles and atmosphere of the late 1700s and attracts more than 100,000 people during the two-day event. The encampment pays tribute to the state’s rich frontier heritage. Visitors can watch realistic re-enactments of maneuvers by French, British and American troops that occupied the fort. Set among military camps, buckskin lodges, craft and food displays are people demonstrating their skills turning wood, clay, leather and fabric into practical and decorative items. The sounds of bagpipes, fifes and drums fill the air as squads of soldiers march. But there are softer sounds, too: the scrape of a carpenter’s chisel, the crackle of a campfire, the laughter of children playing with handmade toys.

The encampment — the largest tourism event in southern Illinois — is educational and entertaining even if watching military battles isn’t your cup of tea. You can shop for homemade jams, fresh dried herbs and crafts while munching on fire-cooked food and looking out at voyageur canoes on the river. An on-site museum features actual artifacts from the period and video presentations.

(For more information on Fort Massac State Park, click here: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/

Cache River State Natural Area

I have visited southern Illinois many times, but only recently took the time to explore some of its natural beauty. If you’re like me and didn’t realize there was an Illinois bayou, make sure to visit this endangered wetland and rich swamp which is home to 250 species of birds, ancient cypress trees and a state-champion cherrybark oak tree.




[to top of second column in this section]

The Cache River State Natural Area in Belknap is situated in a flood plain carved out by glacial floodwater of the Ohio River. Among the outstanding natural features of the area today are massive cypress trees — many are 1,000 years old — sporting flared bases with a circumference of 40 feet. This region of the state is where north meets south and east meets west. The diversity of soils, bedrock and landforms is why this unique river valley contains four distinct ecological regions.

There are two National Natural Landmarks within the borders of the area, Buttonland Swamp and Heron Pond. There are also three state nature preserves, with a majority of the area’s 12,000 acres registered with the state’s land and water reserve program. There are more than 18 miles of designated foot trails within the area and most are easy to walk.

On a recent visit, my in-laws took my husband and me to see the area. I was amazed at the swamp — eerie and surreal, carpeted with a thick layer of emerald duckweed spiked with protruding, massive brown cypress trunks.

We walked a short trail that took us over the burbling Cache River and then to a floating boardwalk into the middle of the cypress swamp. The boardwalk, which winds its way into the heart of the forested swamp, gave us a chance to observe wetland and aquatic ecosystems that have remained relatively undisturbed for thousands of years.

A word of warning: Bring your mosquito repellent, because tree frogs and snakes aren’t the only creatures that make their presence known rather quickly. When we walked the trail in early spring, the pesky insects were out in full force.

Also bring your camera, because you will feel like you’ve stepped back in time (or at least another region of the country) and will want to capture the moment. Early settlers drained swamps to convert the land into residential and agricultural use, and as a result, about 90 percent of the wetland area was drained and destroyed. This natural landmark is definitely a treasure worth discovering.

(For more information on the Cache River State Natural Area, click here: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/

(To be continued)

[Penny Zimmerman-Wills]

[Click here for Part 3]

Part 1

Metropolis: Home of Superman

By Penny Zimmerman-Wills

[JUNE 15, 2001]  You’ve heard of Metropolis. You know — the big city where a mild-mannered reporter named Clark Kent moonlights as Superman. It’s one of the most famous fictional cities in history. But it’s also real.

Metropolis facts

* Located along the Ohio River at the southernmost tip of Illinois, halfway between Nashville, Tenn., and St. Louis, Mo.

*Founded in 1839 by William A. McBane and J.H G. Wilcox

*The hometown of Superman since 1972, when "The Man of Steel" was officially adopted. Superman was the first comic-book character to be adopted by a city.

*Population: 7,200

*Home to Illinois’ first state park, Fort Massac State Park, which encompasses 1,450 acres

*Metropolis Area Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Economic Development Office: 607 Market St., Metropolis. Website: www.metropolischamber.com. Phone: (618) 524-2714 or (800) 949-5740.

The actual Metropolis lies at the far southern tip of Illinois, along the Ohio River. Because my husband grew up there and his father still edits the paper (yes, it’s called the Planet, but it’s a weekly instead of a daily), I have grown used to visiting Superman’s hometown. But many people are shocked to learn that it exists outside the pages of comic books and movie screens.

Metropolis is worth a weekend visit just to see Superman, or at least a larger-than-life bronze statue, but he’s not the only attraction. You can also try the excitement of a riverboat casino, visit one of the nation’s northernmost cypress swamps and tour the site of a historic fort.


Native Americans, of course, were the area’s first inhabitants. Spanish explorers may have visited as early as 1540. According to historians, a French trading post was likely established in 1702 to service the buffalo-hunting and hide-tanning trade that flourished at the time.

In 1757, Massac County began its documented history when the French raised Fort De L’Ascension during the French and Indian War. The fort was soon rebuilt and named Massiac in tribute to France’s Minister of the Marine.

The original mapping of the town of Metropolis was in 1839. One of the founders was a merchant who transported goods on the Ohio River and chose the site because of its location high above the river. The river, from the early days of being used by mills and steamboats to its current use to transport coal, has been important to the city.

Superman attractions

It’s hard to miss "The Man of Steel." At 15 feet tall and 4,000 pounds, the imposing bronze statue of the comic-book hero in blue tights and flowing red cape dominates the north side of Superman Square, next to the county courthouse. The statue was erected in 1993 after a fund-raising effort by area citizens and business leaders made it possible to replace a smaller, less-impressive fiberglass figure of the hero. There’s something about the statue that makes people of all ages want to have their picture taken next to it. On my most recent visit, an elderly couple from California were gleefully snapping photos of each other by the statue.

For nearly 30 years, Metropolis has called itself the Home of Superman, and the decision to adopt the comic-book hero has brought the town worldwide attention. The community is very proud of its link to the fictional hero and promotes it well but also has a sense of humor about the connection. One small road in town was even renamed Lois Lane.


[to top of second column in this section]

On the corner across the street from the looming, muscle-bound giant in tights, the Super Museum is home to one of the largest collections of Superman and comic-book memorabilia in the world. Packed inside the timeworn building are many items actually used for various movies and television shows, including old Superman costumes, props, publicity photos and posters. Besides the impressive pieces of history and trivia, there are also plenty of tacky tourist items, including breakfast cereal and underwear sporting the Superman symbol. The museum, named by AAA Auto Travel as the No. 1 small-town tourist attraction in America, is jampacked with everything Superman. More than 50,000 Superman items are on display, which is only a fraction of owner Jim Hambrick’s collection.

And if the museum doesn’t have what you’re looking for, stop by the Chamber of Commerce office on Market Street, which offers an impressive display of information, souvenirs and even a telephone booth in the corner, like the one Clark Kent used to turn into Superman.

In addition to the statue and museum, nearby there is also a large green kryptonite "meteorite" located on the southwest corner of Third and Ferry streets and a hand-painted two-story mural of an Action Comics cover from the 1930s at 317 Ferry St.

If you have the chance and want to see just how big a deal Superman really is, visit the Superman Celebration during the second weekend of June, when the town rolls out the red carpet for its mythical adopted son. The annual event features classic car shows, music, garden tours, celebrity autograph sessions and a road race. Several celebrities who have acted in Superman movies or television shows have visited the event.

And don’t forget to have your picture taken behind the wooden cut-out figure of Superman, so your head shows above the superhero’s body. Located just behind the Superman Museum, it’s one of the most frequented spots in town.

(To be continued)

[Penny Zimmerman-Wills]


[Click here for Part 2]

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