Illinois Ancestors: Newspapers full of research data

Many researchers seek old newspapers mainly for the obituary notices they provide. Such publications should also be sought for the other important family data they offer, as well as the clues they supply for further research.

My Amish Home: From snow to spring: A new sunny outlook

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17

Civility rules the day at workshop

CHAMPAIGN — No fights erupted. No booing broke out.

All in all, it was a successful civility workshop.

The makeup of the audience helped. The 50 or so attending "Civility in the Workplace" at the Champaign Public Library included civil servants so mannerly that the librarians never had to shush them.

Tom Kacich: N-G was launchpad for rising star named Ebert

Everybody's got to start somewhere, and the late multimedia prodigy Roger Ebert started at The News-Gazette, with a little help from his east Urbana neighbor, Harold Holmes.

The Eberts lived at 410 E. Washington St., and Holmes, who was city editor and later became The News-Gazette's executive editor, lived a block away at 503 E. Washington.

First Citizen banquet set in Danville

DANVILLE — The 80th annual First Citizen Banquet honoring Sybil Stern Mervis will be held April 30 at Turtle Run Banquet Center, 332 E. Liberty Lane, Danville.

A cash bar and reception will be held at 6 p.m., and a dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 apiece, payable at the door.

This teen doesn't just drive — he drives to win

Oakwood 16-year-old brings home Champion sponsorship grand prize

OAKWOOD — At the age that most people start driving, Bobby Pierce of Oakwood is already one of the nation's top Super Dirt Late Model race car drivers.

Life Remembered: Shields 'respected and a real gentleman'

Colleagues remember Lyle Shields as a gentleman who was easy to work with on the Champaign County Board.

Mr. Shields, who died Friday at the age of 89, served on the Champaign County Board for 41 years, including 10 years (1986-1996) as its chairman.

Relay for Life of Champaign County surfing for fundraisers

CHAMPAIGN — There's no place to go surfing around here, except on the Web.

But you may be seeing surfboards at some local businesses for the next couple of months.

It's part of an American Cancer Society fundraiser for the upcoming Relay for Life of Champaign County, for which this year's theme is Surfing for a Cure.

Reluctant Townie: In defense of the man behind Shrimpgate

On Tuesday of last week, local website Smile Politely ran an amusing story about Champaign City Council member Michael La Due, which was relayed to them through an anonymous Craigslist posting.

Letter from Birdland: Big moon offers promise of springs to come

Good morning from Birdland! Last night, the spring moon bounced off the snow and lit up the sky like daylight in a dream. Sometimes a big moon can keep me awake, but this time it was really calling to me.

I was sleepy — yet wanted to wander out into the silvery fields and dance by the light of the moon just like a Buffalo Gal.