Anthony Zilis

Anthony Zilis

That's the ticket: Sages sell out

Monticello athletic director Dan Sheehan enlisted the help of 11 students on Monday morning to help sell the 1,000 tickets the Sages were allotted for Friday's 4 p.m. Class 3A state championship against Byron.

He's thankful he did.

The tickets sold out within three hours, and the students sold over 400 articles of "state bound" apparel.

On the streets since '09, Tim Stenger simply tries to stay fed — and busy

It's 1 p.m. on a weekday and Tim Stenger is fixing a broken cabinet in the back room of C-U at Home's Phoenix Drop-in Center, an afternoon shelter where homeless people like Stenger gather daily.

"They said, 'Tim, do you want a chore to do?'" Stenger said. "I said, 'Thank you.' I don't like wasting time."

Third try's a charm for new Champaign County auditor

URBANA — George Danos decided he wouldn't be obsessive this time after losing two straight elections for Champaign County auditor, the last by an excruciating deficit of 36 votes.

But early Tuesday evening, a supporter sent him early-voting results from two precincts, and he couldn't help but look into them.

Sluder relies on Wienke's advice in helping Warriors reach quarterfinals

TUSCOLA — Dirt, mud and very few blades of grass lined the middle of Tuscola's Memorial Field on Saturday afternoon.

It's the kind of playing surface that makes pounding the ball up the middle over and over again difficult.

Student turned pit director puts music to Central-Centennial production of 'Shrek'

CHAMPAIGN — Normally, Patrick Duncker's gaze is directed away from the stage during Champaign Central's musicals. The all-state oboe player rarely misses a show as a member of the pit, which faces the audience.

But Central and Centennial's collaboration of "Shrek" this week didn't call for an oboe player. So instead, the Maroons' marching band drum major took the next logical step.

Murphysboro prepping for Trump's quick visit Saturday

MURPHYSBORO — The small southern Illinois town of Murphysboro is best known for two things: the reported sighting of a massive, light-haired creature covered in mud, dubbed the Big Muddy Monster — and barbecue.

Each year, thousands flock to the Big Muddy Brewfest, and brisket and rib lovers from across the country are known to head to 17th Street Barbecue.

Lyric Theatre's 'La Boheme' sets things in motion

URBANA — The story of "La Boheme" revolves around four Bohemian artists.

But in the telling of the story of the Italian opera at Krannert Center, mechanics are heavily involved. Three motors power the automated sets, which move on and off the stage while the curtain is up and the audience watches a choreographed movement of actors and backdrops.

Airfields a boon for small towns, yet keeping them open can be a struggle

Cars line several rows of the parking lot at the former Chanute Air Force Base on a windy Wednesday, but only a few of them are there for the airport.

Across the way, old, decrepit military aircraft sit outside the deserted museum on the Air Force's campus, soon to be disposed of.

Luke Bryan yearns for 'heart-of-the-heartland type of feeling' in Pesotum

PESOTUM — By the time Luke Bryan goes on stage Friday in the middle of a farm field in Pesotum, there might be a bit of a nip in the air.

And for the Georgia native, that's part of what makes traveling to Midwest farms during his Farm Tour special after taking a few years off from the region.

It takes a village: Tiny Pesotum preparing for concert's huge influx

Around 15 percent of the population of Pesotum packed into a little room in the small town's village hall, exhausting the building's supply of chairs.

This Friday, an expected crowd of more than 10,000 people will flow through the village of about 550 and head to a patch of grass just outside of town for Luke Bryan's Farm Tour stop.