SIU Students Create Second Book on Harrisburg

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By WSIL Reporter

HARRISBURG -- Students with SIUC's School of Journalism have finished a new weekend destination book about Harrisburg. They're calling it a tribute to the city, a reflection of how far it has come since the Leap Day tornado.

"We've come full circle in many ways. The city of Harrisburg is growing, Southeastern Illinois is growing. We've got several new businesses," says former mayor Eric Gregg.

SIU assistant professor Mark Dolan and his students were responsible for creating the book "4:56 a.m. The Story of the Feb. 29, 2012 Tornado,"  chronicling the aftermath of the storm.

The new book, "A Weekend in Harrisburg," captures everyday moments in the town's schools, churches, businesses and homes.

"When you look through it and you realize it's all students' work, and it was all done over the course of one single weekend, well it's beyond impressive," explains Dolan.

Dolan and Gregg say they don't think of this book as a continuation of the first, they only see the positive message it sends about the town's residents.

"It's a good reflection on how they've rebounded," Dolan says.

"We're good people. We're hard-working people, and this book certainly reflects that. There's a lot of smiles in this book," adds Gregg.

"A Weekend in Harrisburg" will be available for purchase from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, May 17 at the Harrisburg Library. The cost is $20.

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