Paul Wood

Paul Wood

Those Who Served | Base store in Vietnam was still in a war zone

CHAMPAIGN — Thomas Behrensmeyer served in Vietnam, where you'd think working in the PX — the base store — would exempt you from exploding trucks and ammo dump mushroom clouds.

Behrensmeyer is from Quincy and graduated from Quincy College in 1965. The future buck sergeant knew the draft was likely.

"The war was hot then," he said.

Getting Personal: Justin Taylor

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, JUSTIN TAYLOR, the owner of JT Walker's in Mahomet, chats with staff writer Paul Wood. He's a Mahomet booster and a self-admitted terrible ice skater.

Where did you grow up?

I am a fourth-generation Mahomet native.

Wired In: Stephen White

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood talks with a different tech expert. This week, meet STEPHEN WHITE of Champaign, the technical manager at Virginia Theatre who keeps all the shows running, with skills that include creating stage flying systems, welding and helping build a concert-quality speaker system.

Those Who Served | Army set her on the path to break down barriers

CHAMPAIGN — Former American Legion Post 559 Commander Anna Wall Scott — a World War II veteran and one of the first Women's Army Corps members — credits her military service with helping her to become a professor and serve in politics, first as a Democrat, then as a Republican.

But whatever her party affiliation, she says patriotism has been a key factor in her life.

Getting Personal: Jaya Kolisetty

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, staff writer Paul Wood chats with JAYA KOLISETTY, associate director of Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services, world traveler and serious cat lover.

Tell me about your mission with Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services.

Wired In: Alex Lipka

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood profiles a high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet ALEX LIPKA, assistant professor of biometry in the University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences and author of a new study in the journal Heredity. His group studies genes in humans and corn using a new statistical approach.

The Way We Were: Christmas

Christmas is the happiest time all year for many little ones, and adults can feel the joy radiating from them. It's also a time to enjoy a day with family and friends, or reach out to someone alone.

Crashing the Gate(way): Braggin' Rights pregame party is place to be

ST. LOUIS — Local Illini fans will be joining with St. Louis-based alumni for some partying at the 38th edition of the Braggin' Rights match-up.

The main event is at 7 p.m. Saturday at the renamed Enterprise Center, but the official alum-sponsored party starts hours earlier.

From 4 to 6:30 p.m., there's a free event at the Tin Roof, 1000 Clark Ave.

Those Who Served | In Iraq, ready for the worst

CHAMPAIGN — In his second deployment to Iraq, Gunnery Sgt. Pete Milinkovic was wounded by shrapnel, but he held on for another deployment.

He is a University of Illinois police officer who came here for officer training in the NROTC program at the university, bringing his wife and, now, three children.

Wired In: William Dick

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood profiles a high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet WILLIAM DICK, president and CEO of Illinois Rocstar, a rapidly growing local business that arose out of research at the UI's Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets.