Anthony Zilis

Anthony Zilis

'Just peaceful': Pond, gazebo, waterfall transform Glenn Park into mini-oasis

CHAMPAIGN — Robert Counce took a seat on the rock next to the cascading waterfall at Glenn Park early Monday evening as he looked off into a pond filled with around a dozen ducks.

A few people walked by, mostly with their dogs scampering beside them. A few bicyclists coasted past.

But to Counce, it was as if he was alone as he sang along to the music blasting from his earbuds.

'She's the personification of access to your library'

CHAMPAIGN — Growing up on the north side of Champaign in the 1950s and '60s, Essie Harris rarely got a chance to visit the library.

While she fit the profile of a library-goer as the daughter of a mother who made sure her kids read and kept up on their studies, the downtown library was miles away, and that made it difficult to access.

Underground Illinois: It takes a delicate hand to get masterpieces on display

When Walter Wilson and Tim Fox are at their best, the general public perusing Krannert Art Museum won't notice the work they do in the basement of the building, where the design and installation specialists craft mounts for the artwork displayed throughout the galleries.

Hero from Mahomet getting his due

MAHOMET — Very easily, Jason Seaman's story could have turned into a tragic one instead of the one that's ended with national recognition, on-field acknowledgment at professional sports games, and a happy life with his wife, 2-year-old son and 2-month-old daughter.

CUTC selects top dogs for upcoming production of 'Annie'

CHAMPAIGN — The decision between the three actors was quick after Monday's audition at the Virginia Theatre.

Two actors showed they were well-controlled. They didn't make noise or distract from the stars of the show.

Although they both wandered off-stage aimlessly a few times during the audition, they calmed down quickly and didn't react adversely to cheering.

Dr. Howard alums say their goodbyes at farewell ceremony

CHAMPAIGN — Margaret Stillwell knows Dr. Howard Elementary has issues — like the basement that fills with water when it rains — but she still held out hope that the century-old school wouldn't be torn down.

"I was in hopes that they would sell it and maybe make it apartments or something," Stillwell said shortly after speaking at the school's farewell ceremony Thursday night.

Hohenstein stands tall as Bulldogs advance

CHAMPAIGN — The whistle sounded on overtime of the Class 2A Centennial Regional Final with the game tied 1-1, and Meredith Johnson-Monfort had tears in her eyes.

Leap of faith: From a chance meeting in Haiti to a home in Urbana

It was a connection made out of the rubble of Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake, and Chris Roegge still can't quite explain why he and Stevenson Jean Baptiste were drawn to each other.

UPDATE: UI releases pelican where it has 'some friends to hang out with'

URBANA — In the wild, a pelican’s large, curved beak is quite useful for killing fish and scooping them up.

In our world, it’s more of a hindrance. That was the case when the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic released a pelican that had been under its care for the last two weeks.

“No big deal,” said Katie Dowell, a team leader at the clinic, “but it’s embarrassing.”

Illini baseball team not in ‘Dark Ages’ when it comes to analytics

CHAMPAIGN — Two weeks ago, just before an Illinois baseball team practice, Charlie Young was on the roof of the Illinois Field press box, fiddling around with the small box mounted on a tripod that the Illini baseball team hopes will revolutionize its data collection and use of advanced analytics.