Getting Personal: Joe DeLuce

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 59-year-old JOE DeLUCE, the executive director of the Champaign Park District and a football player turned golfer, chats with staff writer PAUL WOOD.

You've been with the park district for nearly two decades. How have parks changed their mission over all those years?

Travel/Europe: A tale of two Mediterranean cruises


My daughter and I are travel addicts. Just the spark of an idea of a trip and the beginning stages of planning fill us with a giddy pleasure we get from nothing else. We have been fortunate enough to visit many countries, and through experience, we have found that the best way to see several places in a two-week time span is to go on a cruise.

Whatever happened to ... UFO sightings

Although UFO sightings are down from their peak years, voyagers from space are still among us, and there's video over Champaign to prove it.

The skies here have had decades of brightly lit flying objects, to go by News-Gazette clippings.

Lauren Chambers: 'Spontaneous' isn't for the faint of heart


High school can be hard. You have to decide what to do with your life. You make plans that will affect you for decades. You navigate between what you want to do, what your parents want you to do and what everyone thinks you can do. It can feel like a lot of pressure.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, Feb. 19, 2017

U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

The next time you open your closet door, this poem will give you reason to pay a little more attention to what's hanging inside. Gary Whited is from Massachusetts, and his most recent book is "Having Listened," Homebound Publications, 2013.

My Blue Shirt

hangs in the closet

Letter from Birdland: Wonderful experiences in nation's capital

We left Birdland this week to drive across the country to the nation's capital.

I was heading to a writers' conference, and Michael went along for the ride. My husband is always up for a road-trip adventure.

We drove across the prairie into the sunrise and were in the mountains by the time the sun was overhead.

C-U haiku, Feb. 19, 2017


early spring sunshine

stirs sleeping daffodils

turning thoughts to fancy

— Jim O'Brien, Saint Joseph

Submissions may be made to with C-U haiku in the subject line. Include your name and city, which will be published with your haiku. Submissions may be edited.

Kelly Strom: Examining World War II fiction

Andrew Gross has managed to pull together two of my favorite genres in the fantastic novel "The One Man."

For the retirees, Feb. 19-25, 2017

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.

Library events, Feb. 19-25, 2017

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Monday at the Douglass Branch, readers of all ages are invited to share books by African-American authors at this year's African-American Read-In.