Joel Hannahs
Photo by Tristan Savatier/Getty Images

The trades alternative

Education | Parents are reluctant to hear it, but college may no longer offer the best path of opportunity for a great many young people
by Joel Hannahs
Posted 3/26/12, 05:21 am

IOWA and ILLINOIS-The conventional wisdom says a 21-year-old should have a college degree to have the best shot at landing a job in a tough job market. But today's unemployment landscape is hardly conventional. It may be that your high-school classmate who tinkered in the garage and became a mechanic might have been on to something.

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Associated Press photo by Seth Perlman

Deficit beyond D.C.

Economy | Politicians faced with belt-tightening in Illinois are shopping for new belts
by Joel Hannahs
Posted 2/27/12, 01:03 am

CHICAGO-While much of the national press follows Washington deficits, the red ink is spilling over in this blue state in America's heartland. Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has repeatedly sounded warnings about the state's constantly shifting shortfall, as unpaid bills reached about $8 billion at the end of 2011.

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Associated Press

Taking a stand

Black History Month | Quentin Smith and 100 other African-American officers in 1945 refused an unjust order and got the attention of a president
by Joel Hannahs
Posted 1/30/12, 03:18 am

Perhaps the defining day in Quentin P. Smith's life was the day the young Tuskegee airman defied a direct order and helped to integrate the U.S. military. Now 93, he has had a close-up view of U.S. history from desegregation to the Barack Obama presidency.

During World War II, Smith was stationed stateside as a pilot, flying out of Moton Field from the base near Tuskegee, Ala. Then, in early 1945, at a small base in Seymour, Ind., he took a stand against segregation along with other African-American officers. The incident is known by the name of their airstrip, Freeman Field.

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