Recipe: Healthy and refreshing cucumber-grape salad

Photo provided

FAMILY FEATURES -- Your next snack or office lunch can get a boost of flavor from this Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad, perfect for making ahead of time to pack along for whatever the day might bring your way.

As an easy, versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of recipes, grapes offer delicious taste, texture and color – plus a healthy boost – that make them an appealing addition to snacks and meals.

To find more good-for-you recipe inspiration, visit

Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad

Servings: 6

  • 1 1/4 pounds English or Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup halved grapes from California
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Using rolling pin, lightly smash whole cucumbers to break open. Tear or cut cucumbers into 1 1/2-inch pieces and season with salt. Transfer to sieve and drain 10 minutes.

    In large bowl, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili oil and sesame oil; stir in grapes and scallions.

    When cucumbers are done draining, add to bowl with grape mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

    Nutritional analysis per serving: 70 calories; 1 g protein; 11 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fat (32% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

    Concussion symptoms can show up later than you expected

    by Tim Ditman
    OSF Healthcare

    ALTON -- A January grocery trip for Charlotte Davis turned out to be life-altering.

    The Shipman, Illinois, woman was loading food into the back of her van when she says the hydraulics failed, and the back door slammed into her head.

    While she didn’t lose consciousness or have any visible signs of trauma, Davis doesn’t mince words: "It hurt really bad."

    Davis says she put up with worsening headaches, garbled speech and weakened memory as long as she could.

    "I tried to drive one day. I hit a flower pot, drove through the ditch, missed my turn, forgot where I was going three times," Davis says. "My eight year old granddaughter told her mom, ‘Please don't let Mawmaw drive anymore. She's scaring me.’"

    When a CAT Scan found no brain bleed, Davis wound up at the OSF HealthCare rehabilitation office in Alton, Illinois. She was skeptical at first but now considers herself a prime example of why you shouldn’t just shake off a head injury – whether it’s in a football game or just around the house. Otherwise, serious issues like the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) may follow. CTE is often seen in football players. In July 2022, officials announced the late NFL player Demaryius Thomas had CTE.

    Physical therapist Kelly Bogowith cared for Davis at the Alton office.

    "All concussions are a form of at least mild traumatic brain injury," Bogowith says. "So it’s important to make sure that you get assessed and also ensure that you're not playing sports later that same day. A provider can give you education on how long you should be sitting out from sports and other physical activities, as well. And that might even include work."

    "Sometimes with concussions, we may not have symptoms for hours or even weeks afterwards. So it's important to get checked out by your physician, urgent care, emergency department, or athletic trainer, depending on your setting," Bogowith adds. "But it's not something to shake off. And it can be especially important, too, to not have a second concussion because that can be very dangerous and even deadly."

    Every patient recovering from a head knock receives a specially-tailored plan, Bogowith says. The roadmap could include different types of therapy, like physical or speech language. It will always include at-home activities – stretches for physical therapy or puzzles for speech language therapy, for example. And the OSF HealthCare team encourages you to ask questions along the way.

    Davis’ plan started with massages and stretches to relieve tension. She progressed to walking, then running on a treadmill.

    "I beat that treadmill," Davis says, beaming.

    She beat the non-physical aspects, too. Davis’ memory and speech improved to the point that when she met with speech language pathologist Ashley Brim at the Alton location, it was a one-and-done.

    "[Speech therapy] can range within working on targeting problem solving skills," Brim explains. "So, either really basic problem solving all the way up to reading paragraphs of information. And trying to figure out information that, most of the time, people don't think about. We can just read it and figure it out. But when you have a concussion, and that is impacting you, it makes it 10 times more difficult."

    "We work on a lot of memory tasks," Brim continues. "Exercises for working on memorizing word lists, figuring out different ways to help the patient memorize things better. So they associate the word to something else and then they use those associations to be able to remember what has been said to them and chain it all together."

    What people in Bogowith and Brim’s roles don’t want to see: people relying solely on pills to get through pain. That can lead to addiction and side effects. Therapy is somewhat the opposite, Brim notes. It gives the patient ownership of their recovery.

    Davis agrees with that assessment and says her determination to see therapy through to the end has paid off in multiple ways. Most notably, she can handle playing with her eight grandkids.

    "I want people to know that it's important," Davis says. "I understand that it's a pain. It's not always convenient. There are always other things people want to do. But if your doctor says to do therapy, I 100% will tell you: go to therapy. You don't know how bad you need it until you actually go."

    Guest Commentary: Would Roosevelt have a chance if he was running for office today?

    by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

    One of the greatest Presidents of all time was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He served from 1933 to 1945. He led this country and saw us through some of our toughest years. Many say he stands as the greatest President of all time. Ironically, he had a difficult time standing.

    Photographs of Roosevelt in a wheelchair are rare but you can find one on the Internet.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt, was our 32nd President but he began experiencing symptoms of a paralytic illness in 1921 when he was 39 years old. His main symptoms were fever; symmetric, ascending paralysis; facial paralysis; bowel and bladder dysfunction; numbness and hyperesthesia; and a descending pattern of recovery. He was diagnosed with poliomyelitis and underwent years of therapy, including hydrotherapy at Warm Springs, Georgia. Roosevelt remained paralyzed from the waist down and relied on a wheelchair and leg braces for mobility, which he took efforts to conceal in public. In 1938, he founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, leading to the development of polio vaccines. Although historical accounts continue to refer to Roosevelt's case as polio, the diagnosis has been questioned in the context of current medical science, with a competing diagnosis of Guillain–BarrĂ© syndrome proposed by some authors.

    We could talk and write about Franklin D. Roosevelt all day. However here are a few of his noted accomplishments from his 12 years of service – longer than anyone. Creation of the emergency banking act to counteract the Great Depression. Establishment of FDIC. Unemployment rate reduction. Setup many institutions to support the New Deal. Created institutions as part of the New Deal. Created the U.S. Social Security System. Established the minimum wage and 40-hour work week. He took action to prohibit discrimination in employment, led America to victory in World War II, and, took part in the creation of the United Nations. He also aided water pollution control and more. (Wikipedia)

    However, would Roosevelt even have a chance today? Can you imagine him trying to conceal his wheelchair or his leg braces? Not in this age. Would The Press and the opposition tear him to sheds as being physically incapable of holding down the job?

    Disabled Americans and people worldwide can point to Roosevelt as someone who dealt with tremendous physical obstacles to accomplish much for our country and the world.

    Americans with disabilities should not be excluded from running for public office. We vote for who we want to vote for but in a free country all citizens should be able to try.

    John Fetterman of Pennsylvania is trying. He has had a stroke, but he’s trying. It has been amazing to witness the amount of support Pennsylvania has given Fetterman. He is in a dead heat race with national celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz whose star power as a long time TV doctor star has surely greatly boosted him in his race with Fetterman for the United States Senate.

    Tragically, Fetterman’s health apparently prevents him from articulating clearly. His mental ability to quickly process what he is hearing is obviously impaired. This has to make it tough for him. Roosevelt did not have this problem. His mind appeared to be sharp and his speech clear and convincing during his years as President. This is where Roosevelt’s situation and Fetterman’s is different.

    Fetterman needs and deserves time to heal. He obviously needs continuing medical treatment and therapy to recuperate from his stroke. He is still a young man. In a year, or two he may be fully recovered and more able to serve. This is unfortunate for Fetterman and his supporters but only makes sense for his personal health. The fact that he is running for such a demanding job in his current state demonstrates that his mental clarity is somewhat impaired. It also demonstrates that people close to him are mentally impaired to have encouraged him to continue in this political contest. He needs time to get well so that if elected he can serve effectively.

    The bottom line is that voters will decide who represents them. This is one right we must continue to cherish, protect and be mentally clear about.


    Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.


    This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to


    Candy-clone Fentanyl warning issued by the DEA


    by Libby Allison
    OSF Healthcare

    PEORIA -- Just ahead of Halloween the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is alerting the public about an alarming new influx of colorful fentanyl that is surging across the United States.

    Since August of this year, the DEA has reported brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills dubbed "rainbow fentanyl" in 26 states. These potentially deadly pills are highly addictive and are made to look like candy.

    Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.

    "It’s 100 times more potent than a milligram of morphine," says Jerry Storm, the senior vice president of Pharmacy Services for OSF HealthCare.

    The DEA calls the colorful pills a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults, and with Halloween and trick-or-treating right around the corner, the emergence of these candy clones has some parents on edge.

    Storm says parents shouldn’t panic at the thought of their kids getting fentanyl in their candy bags. He points out – drug users are not likely to give away narcotics that have cost them money or are worth money. Storm does say parents should remain vigilant, however, and look through kids’ candy to make sure all pieces are wrapped and undamaged.

    "What I would recommend is a parent go through your kids’ Halloween treats if they go out trick-or-treating and inspect them just like we did years ago with [the threat of] razor blades in apples or razor blades in some other types of hard candy. Inspect it and make sure that they haven't been tampered with. If they tried to slip, say [drugs that look like] Skittles into a Skittles package, the package is going to be torn or there's going to be some type of defect in that package," he says.

    More concerning than trick-or-treating, according to Storm, is kids coming across this brightly colored fentanyl in their day-to-day lives, believing it’s candy and consuming it. He says the best way parents can protect their kids is by having open communication about drugs, their dangers, and the importance of never consuming anything without knowing exactly what it is.

    "Be aware of it and have those conversations, with not only the younger child but also the older siblings, because there is a risk that if they do use it and they buy it, then they drop it on the ground, a small child may pick it up thinking it's a Skittle candy and actually consume it and that could be fatal," warns Storm.

    Additional resources for parents and the community can be found on DEA's Fentanyl Awareness page. Brightly-colored fentanyl is being seized in multiple forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk. If you encounter fentanyl in any form, do not handle it and call 911 immediately.

    Agriculture tour businesses eligible for new tax credit

    SPRINGFIELD -- Businesses focused on agritourism are now eligible to receive up to $1,000 back on liability insurance costs in 2022 and 2023 under recently-passed legislation.

    The goal of the Agritourism Liability Tax Credit is to reduce the cost-of-doing-business for farm operations open for the public to enjoy. Businesses like pumpkin patches, apple orchards, petting zoos, hayrack rides, corn mazes and more may apply for the funding.

    "As we continue to build back our state's tourism industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this tax credit program will provide our agritourism businesses with the aid they need to sustain operations," said Governor JB Pritzker. "From spooky hayrides and corn mazes this Halloween season to educational exhibits and guided tours, it is our longstanding agricultural tradition that attracts visitors from around the nation and world. Thanks to the leadership and hard work of the IDOA, our agribusiness partners will have the support they need to show more and more people what makes Illinois, Illinois."

    The deadline to apply for the 2022 tax year is February 28, 2023. Farm operations can check eligibility and apply here.

    Slideshow | SJO advances to IHSA football playoff second round

    Ty Pence celebrates SJO TD
    Ty Pence celebrates after scoring on a 22-yard pass from Logan Smith to give St.Joseph-Ogden a 49-27 lead in the fourth quarter. The team's marquee receiver, Pence finished the game with 13 catches for 314 yards and two touchdowns. The senior also nabbed a interception on the second half to help the Spartans win their first first-round playoff game under head coach Shawn Skinner.
    PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    ST. JOSEPH -- With a plethora of offensive weapons at their disposal, the SJO football team (7-3) lit their side of the scoreboard at Dick Duval Field to its highest total this season en route to a 55-39 romp over visiting Robinson (6-4). The first-round IHSA playoff victory marked the first playoff win since St. Joseph-Ogden head coach Shawn Skinner took over the program seven seasons ago.

    "I would be lying if I didn't say it was time for us to get a playoff win under my regime," Skinner said after the game. "I am so proud of these seniors because they made it a point not to be 5-4. They made it a point to get a home playoff game. They made it a point to win a playoff game."

    In his 10th start behind the center, junior Logan Smith completed 17 of 30 passes for 383 yards and threw three touchdowns. He scored twice on two of his seven carries and finished with 35 yards rushing.

    Sophomore Coy Taylor made three catches for 60 yards and with one ending as an SJO touchdown. Justice Wertz, another weapon in the Spartan quiver, ran for 165 yards with his 21 touches. In addition to his solo TD this week, Alex Funk and Tyler Burch also contributed to the team's high-scoring finish with one touchdown a piece.

    "I've said this all year, yes, we can run routes. Yes, we can throw the ball. Not enough credit is given that we don't drop the ball that often."

    See a photo you would like to buy? Click here to order.

    Recipe: Grilled lemon chicken

    Photo provided

    NewsUSA -- The last few weeks of fall are just around the corner and winter weather is on the way. Even as the days get shorter and the temperatures lower, it is still a great time to be outdoors and grill. Add a little zest the next time you throw some chicken on the grill with lemons.

    “With their sunny zest and refreshing juice, lemons aren’t just delicious, they also pack a healthy punch,” says Karen Brux, managing director for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. Lemons are a good source of many key nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. “You could say that lemons from Chile are the unsung heroes of summer,” Ms. Brux adds.

    Lemons are versatile. Try adding lemon juice to marinades, lemon slices to creamy pasta sauces, or featuring fresh lemons in lemon custards or meringues for an ultimate end-of-summer dessert. When cooking with lemons, you can use their zest or juice, but try them grilled, says Brux.

    Grilling intensifies the flavor of the lemon juice. Just put some slices on the grill along with your fish, beef or chicken. Grilled lemon wedges work in cocktails, too!

    Try this easy recipe for grilled chicken with lemon:

    Grilled Chicken with Lemon


  • zest of two lemons

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 6 cloves chopped garlic

  • 5 sprigs rosemary

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • coarse black pepper to taste

  • 4 large chicken thighs

  • Instructions:

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

    In a large shallow baking dish, whisk together the juice and zest of 2 lemons, 1/2 cup olive oil, 6 cloves chopped garlic, 5 sprigs of rosemary, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and plenty of coarse black pepper.

    Add 4 large chicken thighs to the mixture, toss to coat and let the chicken rest for 45 minutes at room temperature.

    Before cooking, be sure the chicken thighs are skin-side up. Cut the remaining zested lemons into halves or quarters, and nestle them among the chicken. Add a final grind of black pepper on top.

    Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until the juices run clear. If you would like extra browning, briefly place the baking dish under the broiler.

    Visit for more tasty recipes, and look for lemons from Chile at your local retailer through early October.

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