Paul Wood

Paul Wood

Those Who Served | Armistice: A cause for celebration

CHAMPAIGN — Veterans Day evolved from the armistice for World War I, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — Nov. 11, 1918.

Steve Herold of Champaign still has a precious letter from that day, once called Armistice Day, from his grandfather to his great-grandmother — the shock and joy of that day.

It even called for a special meal.

Military 'poolies' diving in head-first ahead of basic training

CHAMPAIGN — Push-ups, chin-ups and sit-ups.

They're the upside of training for future Marines, who will face greater challenges — hefting ammo boxes full of rocks over their heads and heading out for a brisk 1.5-mile run on a warm fall day.

Getting Personal: Roberta Sparenberg

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 59-year-old Monticello resident ROBERTA SPARENBERG, a 20-year employee of the University of Illinois Press, chats with staff writer Paul Wood. She loves her family and her pets ... cellphones, not so much.

Wired In: Tanay Vardhan

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood talks with a different high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet TANAY VARDHAN, a University of Illinois senior pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering with a minor in computer science. He's passionate about web development and working on a startup called Turkbox.

Tell us about Turkbox.

New YouTube Premium series 'Champaign Ill' raising local eyebrows

CHAMPAIGN — A 10-episode TV series titled "Champaign Ill" — and set in a fictitious version of the local community — is scheduled to premiere next month on YouTube Premium.

Judging by its premise, the series, announced in an expletive-filled trailer and filmed in Atlanta, may not be very flattering for Champaign.

MLK fourth-graders' Indonesian immersion culminates in gamelan concert

URBANA — Drums and brass instruments brought "volcanic" music to Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, where students studying an Indonesian art form gave a gamelan concert.

Lorena Griffin's fourth-graders have focused on the island of Bali in science, music and writing classes, with activities including the creation of volcanoes in the classroom.

New car to bring 'peace of mind' for local veteran with special-needs child

URBANA — A veteran with a special-needs child will receive a new car today to take his son to medical appointments.

Danny Shafer, who joined the Army immediately after graduating from Hoopeston Area High School in 1999, will be presented with the keys to a Ford Fusion.

Roseanne Cash excited to play Virginia after release of 15th album

CHAMPAIGN — Just days after her new album came out, Rosanne Cash is pumped about playing tonight at the Virginia.

Her 15th studio release is "She Remembers Everything," and Cash does, whether it's sharing a stage with her father, writing several books or being a mother of five.

Agatha Christie meets 'Scooby-Doo' in Parkland's new play

CHAMPAIGN — Sure, there are murders, but there's nothing serious about "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940."

The play by John Bishop is directed by Mathew Green and opens tonight at Parkland College's theater.

The play is based on several 1940s mystery movies, not to mention newer comedies like "Clue."

Starting with the musical and the murders:

REO, newly crowned as state's all-time faves, back on the road again at Virginia

CHAMPAIGN — Hometown heroes REO Speedwagon, returning Saturday, have been voted the "Top Musicians in Illinois History" by participants in the Illinois Top 200 project, a part of the state's bicentennial celebration.