Polar Plunge 2013

Images from the 2013 Law Enforcement Special Olympics Polar Plunge at Lake of the Woods on February 23, 2013.

Gibson City man to be on 'American Pickers' in May

GIBSON CITY — Gibson City resident Ray Leisure and his collection of antiques will be featured in an episode of "American Pickers" that is scheduled to premiere May 27 on the History Channel, the show's producers said this week.

Vermilion agency raffle includes yard makeover

DANVILLE — Evidence of Shelly Larson's landscaping abilities can be seen all over Danville's downtown, and this spring, Keep Vermilion County Beautiful is offering people the chance to win a $5,000 yard makeover that includes Larson's talent as a consultant.

Laura Frerichs wins Young Professional Award

CHAMPAIGN — Laura Frerichs has been named winner of the 2013 Athena Young Professional Award, sponsored by past recipients of the Athena Award.

She will receive the award at the Athena Award luncheon today at the Champaign Country Club.

Bianca Green chosen for Athena Award

CHAMPAIGN — Bianca Green worked as an attorney for 16 years, representing clients in civil litigation.

But the stress of those cases and the awful circumstances they sometimes involved led her to seek a career "more in line with the life I wanted to lead," she said.

Schreiber's passion at forefront as Common Ground kitchen is dedicated

URBANA — Dan Schreiber was all about getting others to think about their passion. And he was well into the pursuit of his own in the form of food when the University of Illinois graduate student died in July 2010 at age 24.

Coroner: Country star Mindy McCready dies

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Mindy McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, died Sunday. She was 37.

Letter from Birdland: Anticipatory moments; more to come

It's starting to green up; almost time to hatch some chicks

Last night Sheeva stayed out all night. Again.

But my cat was glad enough to come in when she heard me go to the basement to pour food into her dish.

I saw her at the window and opened it. The damp air spilled down into the basement, but wasn't too cold.

Reluctant Townie: Married men should avoid the grocery on Friday nights

In a move that defied the oddsmakers, I got hit on the other night. Not with fists, but emotions.

Melissa Merli's Art Beat: Visiting vocalist puts on a great show

There's a new "girl singer" in town, and she's really good.

Kate Paradise, an instructor of jazz vocals at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., is here through the end of this semester, working on a University of Illinois doctoral of musical arts degree in jazz vocals.