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Studio Visit: Mark Enslin

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, Mark Enslin, 59, of Urbana, a composer, performer, activist and teacher, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

You are involved in so many creative activities. What was the first one you took up?

AUDIO: remembering Marilyn Monroe's stop in Bement

A small Piatt County village later this week will celebrate the 60th anniversary of a Holllywood star visiting the community. And some people in the town still have plenty of memories of her brief time there. Michael Kiser reports.

Chuck's Classics: "The Usual Suspects" (1995)

Bryan Singer's modern film noir is a brilliant exercise in audience manipulation as the viewer is dropped into the middle of a mystery involving five questionable characters, including Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey, in an Oscar-winning turn), who's been arrested after surviving a mysterious massacre that's left 27 dead.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, Aug. 2, 2015

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

The following is just one of three fine poems John Drury, who lives and teaches in Ohio, has written about the summer jobs he had when young.

Many of us have thought, with him, "So this is experience," though we might have added a question mark.

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Check out this show

Farm Aid: UI organizer's journal details inaugural event

John Graham remembers the weather in Champaign on Sept. 22, 1985, was mostly cloudy with occasional light rain.

Oh, and there was the biggest musical event to ever hit Champaign — by far. Sixty major acts played the first and best Farm Aid.

"That damp, soggy afternoon had little effect on the spirits of 80,000 Farm Aid fans gathered at the Memorial Stadium," he recalls.

Here's what's happening in the area's ...

Music scene

Rossaroo coming soon to Watseka

WATSEKA — The 11th annual Rossaroo Music Festival will take place Friday and Saturday in rural Watseka, featuring 26 bands on two stages in a wooded area.

Odds are that 'Lucky Strike' is a hit

According to Bobbie Pyron's super-smart character, Genesis Magnolia Beam, the odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 614,759.

And the odds of being struck by lightning on a clear day at the Paradise Beach Goofy Golf mini course on your 11th birthday? That's too astronomical to measure!

Freshman jumped at creative opportunity

CHAMPAIGN — Urbana High School freshman Lillian Hall twice entered the Young Authors contest for schoolchildren, winning once.

She enjoyed that experience but finds Pens to Lens, in which scripts written by local students are adapted to film by local movie makers, far more exciting.

Library events, Aug. 2-9, 2015

Selected events at local libraries:

Champaign Public Library

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

At 9:45, 10:15 and 10:45 a.m., Monday at the Main Library, introduce your baby to the joy of reading with stories, songs and bounces for children from birth to 18 months of age.