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Watchdog journalism by the Herald & Review

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After years of population decline, Decatur is annexing hundreds of properties. Here's why.

City leaders are looking to stem a possible population loss in the upcoming U.S. Census by bringing more properties into Decatur limits through annexation.

Why are these buildings empty? New Decatur effort focuses on filling vacant sites

Anyone driving the city’s main corridors might see an empty retail spot or former restaurant and wonder: Why is that still empty? Reporters Kennedy Nolen and Analisa Trofimuk look at the causes — and a new city effort to help. 


Compelling insights from the heart of our community.

Mount Zion Del's Popcorn Shop plays part in movie recipe — featuring Ed Asner

From the outside, it looked like an ordinary day at Del’s Popcorn Shop in Mount Zion.

For these Central Illinois communities, post offices play critical role

For far-flung communities and rural areas, these humble government buildings remain an essential communal link in an otherwise distant world of email and social media, a quaint part of the American landscape facing rapid changes from technology and e-commerce.

Christmas story: How Decatur's religious architecture has the faithful looking up ⛪

Church architecture, both inside and out, has changed over the years, but older churches still often feature a steeple rising high to mark the building as a house of worship. 

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