Paul Wood

Paul Wood

Station Theatre's 'Women of Lockerbie' is a modern-day Greek tragedy

URBANA — Greek tragedy plays out every time there's a school shooting or a plane crash.

In this case, "The Trojan Women" becomes "The Women of Lockerbie."

Tonight is the Station Theatre premiere of the drama written by Deborah Brevoort and directed by Mathew Green.

Those Who Served | Changing plans in a time of war

URBANA — Don Uchtmann served in the Coast Guard, started law school while in the service and became a professor at the University of Illinois.

Lt. Uchtmann, now 72, grew up in Sparta, Ill., not far from the Mississippi River.

But he's mostly a landlubber.

In the Coast Guard, "I learned to sail a desk quite well and to respect the seamanship skills of others," he said.

Wired In: Donald Ort

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a different high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet DONALD ORT, the Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Science and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He is the principal researcher in a project to see if yields can be greatly increased by getting around a chemical glitch in plants.

Getting Personal: Matthew Kelly

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, staff writer Paul Wood chats with 40-year-old MATTHEW KELLY, who co-chairs the Champaign-Urbana Initiative for Labor Diversity. He became a journeyman plumber/pipefitter for UA Local 149 and now is its business manager. He enjoys the occasional cigar.

Printer racing to get 2019 Illinois Marathon shirts ready

URBANA — Race shirt collectors can look forward to a piece of Illinois history for the 2019 Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon weekend, which promises to be a big one.

T-shirts for the marathon and associated races are different every year at Campus Ink. The first to be screened-printed this time around: the 5K.

Powerhouse ventriloquist comedian raising all his voices at State Farm Center

CHAMPAIGN — Given that the name of his tour is "Passively Aggressive," does Jeff Dunham think of himself as one or the other?

"Not this show. For stand-up comedy, it's pretty tame," he said. "Escapism is what entertainment is all about."

So, "I stay away from politics," he said. "I don't think the country has been this divided since the Civil War."

2019 Athena Award winner: 'I'm used to being the nominator, not the nominee'

CHAMPAIGN — A longtime University of Illinois Foundation leader is the 2019 Athena Award recipient.

Christy Devocelle, senior vice president and chief financial officer of the foundation, was named by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

Wilco's Tweedy coming to Virginia

 CHAMPAIGN — Jeff Tweedy, the singer and guitarist of the band Wilco, brings his solo sets to the Virginia Theater April 18. Tweedy has Illinois roots in alt-rock Uncle Tupelo and Wilco. On this tour, he performs songs from “Warm,” a solo album of all new material, with help from some of his usual collaborators, Spencer Twe

USS Indianapolis documentary premieres Tuesday night on WILL-TV

URBANA — "USS Indianapolis: The Final Chapter" premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday on WILL-TV.

The documentary tells the story of ill-fated World War II cruiser as experts reconstruct the ship's dramatic final moments and the discovery of the wreck site 70 years later.

Those Who Served | Marine's new mission is to combat veteran suicide

URBANA — About 22 military veterans commit suicide every day.

Marine Sgt. Mike Sandone, 40, is a physical fitness expert with a Marine background who cares about veterans who have taken their own lives.

One of those lost was Sandone's friend, who took his life a few days ago.