Mark Carlson Joliet’s own Mark Carlson will be umpiring the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays! Carlson, a graduate from Joliet West High School, is making his second World Series appearance.

“It’s an exciting feeling to be chosen to work a World Series event,” Carlson said. “It’s a great feeling.”

Growing up around Joliet, Carlson umpired baseball and refereed basketball and football games as a way to make money. Carlson played high school baseball and later attended Parkland College, where he was a catcher.

Carlson maintains strong ties to Joliet, as his wife and daughters still live in the area.

“Joliet’s been a great part of my life,” said Carlson.

A typical haunted house features actors in creepy masks and spooky costumes, jumping out to startle guests—but there are places in Illinois where the scares aren’t just entertainment. You’re in for a real fright at these haunted homes

Tinker Swiss Cottage, Rockford 

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This unassuming cottage is purported to have served as a home for terminally ill children. Some people claim they hear humming, as well as the voices of the children once housed there. But that’s not all: The spirits of the whole Tinker family are said to linger around the cottage, too.

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FRIENDS LogoUpset that you can no longer watch Friends reruns on Netflix? Don’t worry! Warner Bros. and Superfly have opened the FRIENDS Experience in Chicago to give fans a chance to reenact all their favorite moments from the classic sitcom.

Visitors can walk through twelve rooms and explore set recreations, original props and costumes, and interactive moments. You can even hang out in Joey and Chandler’s apartment or take a seat on the famous orange couch from Central Perk.

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IL Coalition Against DVOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Established in 1978, the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) works to educate lawmakers, professional industries and the public about the challenges domestic violence survivors face when trying to get help.

As a membership-based organization with over 50 members, ICADV works to eliminate domestic violence and provide support and direct service to survivors and their dependent children. In 1982, ICADV helped to write and pass the landmark Illinois Domestic Violence Act, twelve years prior to the first federal Violence Against Women Act in 1994.

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Morton ILI PicturePumpkins are a fall necessity! The pumpkin has been a North American staple since long before the arrival of European settlers, and Illinois farmers continue the big orange squash’s long tradition by growing more pumpkins than anywhere else in the world. Illinois grows 90-95 percent of the processed pumpkins in the U.S. Most of the processing takes place in Morton, Ill. – which has claimed the title of “Pumpkin Capital of the World” since 1978.

In 1967, the Morton Chamber of Commerce organized the city’s first Pumpkin Festival to celebrate the beginning of the pumpkin harvest and canning season at the local Libby’s pumpkin processing plant. Today, the festival includes over 30 special events and venues hosted and organized by over 2,000 volunteers. The festival welcomes an estimated 70,000 visitors every September.

Libby’s Morton plant has about 5,000 acres of fertile farm land devoted to producing pumpkins. In 2012, Libby’s became the official sponsor for the Morton Pumpkin Festival!

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