Paul Wood

Paul Wood

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.

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.

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.

Those Who Served | Marine fighting for 'a more perfect union'

PAXTON — Talking with one tough Marine, it's impressive that Hazel Peterson was in the first class of women to be able to enlist to help in the World War II effort.

She grew up on the South Side of Chicago, four miles from Lake Michigan, and she was taught patriotism from her grade school days.

From Russia with (puppy) love: UI researchers examining how dogs got to Americas

URBANA — Your poodle may have a French pedigree, but Siberia played a major role in introducing dogs to the Americas.

That's part of the research conducted at the University of Illinois and the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, based on dog remains, including two dogs buried back to back in an Illinois site just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

Wired In: Deborah Thurston

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood talks with a different high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet DEBORAH THURSTON.

Getting Personal: Justin Thorlton

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, staff writer Paul Wood chats with 40-year-old Danville native Justin Thorlton, the new principal at Garfield Elementary School in his hometown.

What are your plans for Garfield?