Ted Kooser: American life in poetry Jan. 27, 2013

It's wonderful when a very young person discovers the pleasures of poetry and gives it a try. Here's a poem by first-grader Andrew Jones of Ferndale, Wash., who, if we're lucky, will go on to write poems the rest of his life.

The Softest Word

The softest word is leaf

it zigzags

in the air and

falls on the yellow ground

Margo Dill: 'Time Keeper' not in the same league with 'Tuesdays'

Mitch Albom, once a sports writer and now international bestselling author thanks to the popular and heartwarming "Tuesdays with Morrie," has a new fiction novel out: "The Time Keeper." The cover states that it's a "compelling fable about the first man to count the hours. The man who became Father Time."

Between the stacks: You'll be drawn to these books

I must admit, I am a doodler. Not just occasionally. I doodle while on the phone, watching TV and listening to music. If I'm out for lunch, I doodle on the paper place mats or napkins.

C-U Haiku Jan. 27, 2013

Snowflakes floating down,

accompanied by the soft sounds

of honking geese.

— Pat Gallahue, Rantoul

Books for kids: Two picks with a lot of heart

Although Valentine's Day is still a couple of weeks away, you'll want to get these books in advance so you and your children will have plenty of time to enjoy them.

"The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever" is a new book by Illinois author Brenda Ferber (2012, Dial Books, illustrated by Tedd Arnold).

Melissa Merli's Art Beat: CUTC, WEFT make changes

Two local organizations have made significant staff changes at the top.

At WEFT 90.1-FM Radio, the last day for manager Mick Woolf — long the face of the community station — will be Thursday. It's also the final day for membership services coordinator Marty Booth Hodges.

Studio Visit: Kate Fritz

Studio Visit appears in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette.

Exhibit opening, performance Friday

CHAMPAIGN — "Fleeting," a group exhibition on the theme of impermanence, will open Friday, with an artists' reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Indi Go Artist Co-op, 9 E. University Ave.

There also will be a performance piece, "Trim," by Sarah Beth Woods at 7:45 p.m. Friday.

Digital upgrade, family touch give LeRoy theater new life

LeROY— Running a small-town movie theater is a rarity, but when the Hanafin family tackled LeRoy's Princess Theatre in 2006, they fell in love with the business.

'Wednesday night is soccer night'

These women give new definition to the term "soccer moms."

Oh, they've done their share of carpooling and cheering for kids from the sidelines at soccer matches, hockey games and baseball tournaments.

But this is their turf. Er, pitch.