Dr. Sally Foote/Pet Talk: Practice proper play


As a behaviorist, the most common dog problems I see are related to aggression — biting or near-biting the owner or another dog in the home. The cat problems are either house soiling or biting, hissing, swatting and lunging at the owner. Often, both of these situations have a common element — rough play for the animal that is aggressing.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, Dec. 4, 2016

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

I suppose there have been other poems about a baby's first look at and into the world, but they couldn't be more touching than this, by Faith Shearin, who lives in West Virginia and whose most recent book is "Orpheus, Turning" from The Broadkill River Press.


Go north a dozen years

The Reluctant Townie: How to shake off those bah humbugs

The Christmas season is the most magical time of the year.

But this year, for many, the yuletide cheer has been swallowed by a black hole of despair and anxiety about the future.

How can you keep your holiday spirit from being overpowered by the negative forces in and around you?

Take a proactive approach, and hunt down that holiday cheer like an animal in the night.

Getting Personal: Amanda McGrory

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 30-year-old Savoy resident Amanda McGrory, a professional athlete and a graduate student, teaching assistant and research assistant at the University of Illinois, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

What interests you the most right now?

Holiday gatherings: Let's get festive

Christmas with all the trimmings. For different people, that’s going to mean a lot of different things, even if you’re just talking about dinner. It’s not simply a choice between turkey and ham.

At Michaels’ Catering, co-owner David Jimenez says pork loins and brisket loom large this year. Staff writer PAUL WOOD talked to the people who plan for the big day.

Don Follis: During Advent, we all await our final home

Our memories of going back home can trick us, especially during the holiday season. You may have a wonderful Christmas memory. But ask one of your siblings about it and you might hear, "What are you talking about? That was the worst Christmas of my life."

For the retirees, Dec. 4-10, 2016

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

Letters from Birdland: A wonderful holiday with my boys

Birdland awoke this morning in a shroud of fog. As much as I love to see the horizon when I walk out with a scoop of pellets for the chickens, I can honor the mystery of having the long view hidden. I somehow feel sheltered, even though that fog offers no real protection from whatever waits out there.

Alice B. McGinty/Books for Kids: Stories to get in the mood for winter

Winter is upon us, suddenly, it seems, and with it comes the holiday season. A visit to the local Barnes & Noble bookstore, with its friendly atmosphere and helpful staff, led me to these two new picture books, offering unique, well-crafted winter stories with subtle holiday tones.

C-U haiku, Dec. 4, 2016


Abscission layer

sets the leaf petiole free.

One by one, all gone!

— Patti Stratton, Champaign