Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor for The Herald-News in Joliet. A full-time freelance features writer since 1998, Baran-Unland joined The Herald-News as employee in January 2014. She covers a variety of human interest stories about art and entertainment, food, faith, health, people and pets. She also writes the long-time weekly tribute feature “An Extraordinary Life about local people who are no longer living but had lived interesting and/or inspiring lives. She studied journalism at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, now the University of St. Francis.