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Majestic eagles an Illinois Power Point presentation

CLINTON LAKE – A drive to Clinton Lake might be in order if you'd like to see American bald eagles soaring over the local landscape.

There's a nest of the eagles with three little ones – called eaglets – near the Illinois Power Employee Recreation Area.


As usual, Wright got it right when converting family land

Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright in the Midwest are pretty lucky.

There's the astonishing Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, the rich legacy of his home/studio and the other buildings he designed in Oak Park and neighboring River Forest.


News-Gazette writer offers second edition of Illinois travel book

With people feeling the pinch in a tough economy, many area residents are choosing to travel closer to home for their vacations and weekend trips.

News-Gazette staff writer Christine des Garennes offers ideas for fun experiences across the Prairie State in a new edition of "Moon Handbooks Illinois," recently published by Avalon Travel Publishing.


Oakland groups schedule events for Lincoln's birthday

OAKLAND – Preserving, maintaining and exhibiting 175 years of history is a big job. It's so big that the small town of Oakland has two groups dedicated to educating the public about their communal history. The Oakland Historical Foundation and Oakland's Landmarks Inc. are in the midst of planning one of their biggest events yet.

In honor of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, they are hosting an event to showcase the town's connection to the historically significant Matson Slave Trial in Coles County. The "Trials and Tribulations" weekend is scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19, but there's a lot of work to be done before then.


Champaign's Marilynne Davis is a woman of the world

CHAMPAIGN – A decade ago, a miniature schnauzer and a black cat got Marilynne Davis through a lonely stint in Hungary. And when it was time for Davis to return home, she got them back to Champaign. It cost $2,000.

"He got me through a lot of times when there was no one who spoke English," she said of Bogyo, the dog.


Urbana's Maureen Berry is a woman of the world

URBANA – A native of Great Britain, Maureen Berry worked in the late 1940s at the Polish Relief Agency, helping Poles return home after World War II, and at the American Embassy before tackling her career in accountancy.

She traveled with her sister to Los Angeles where they both got jobs as tellers at the Bank of America.


Stopping By: Piatt County bison farm right out of 'Old West'

In Piatt County, just east of Monticello, around the first curve in County Road 1125E and behind a white, two-story farmhouse, passers-by can find a piece of North America's history.

On any given day, drivers traveling past the old house will find bison belonging to grain farmer Terry Lieb grazing on 60 acres of pasture. Twenty of them, to be exact.


Japan House to host bus trip to Chicago concert on March 29

Japan House will host a bus trip on March 29 to the Art Institute of Chicago to hear the Koto Ensemble Kyara performance, "The Essence of Japan."

Scholar and Japan House founder Shozo Sato will be host of the event in Fullerton Hall at the art museum. The concert, co-sponsored with Northwestern University, is part of the museum's "360 Degrees; Art Beyond Borders" series.


Stopping By: Mahomet farm specializes in organic products

MAHOMET –Tomahnous Farm is a true family farm, where Lisa Haynes, Eric Thorsland and their children work together to bring fresh, certified organic products to East Central Illinois customers.

On farmland north of Mahomet, they grow crops such as asparagus and radishes, collect eggs and honey from chickens and bees, and host school groups learning about compost piles and plant cycles.


Armstrong archery team taking aim at national competition

ARMSTRONG – Coach Jerry Kuchenbrod gets a kick out of watching his team members' reactions when he takes them to compete in the Chicago area.

"You ought to see their faces," Kuchenbrod said. "It's a real culture shock to go from small-school Armstrong to big-school Chicago."

But when it comes to competing, it doesn't matter how big or small a school you come from, or what your ethnic background, age or gender is, he said. Each competitor stands on his or her own, relying on the work he or she has put into practicing, contributing individual talents to the team. That's how archery works, he said.