Free time is volunteer time for honoree

Doesn't matter if it's a Foreigner show or a "Frozen" sing-a-long. If the Virginia Theatre is hosting it, Carol Cope is ushering it.

The 59-year-old Seymour woman, who "works" up to 200 events a year at the downtown landmark, was an obvious choice for the Champaign Park District's 2015 Volunteer of the Year award.

Meg Makes: Spice up your chicken with Mexican flavor

This recipe comes from my friend Erin Lippitz of Urbana, who is known for her baking expertise.

This one, though, is an entree centering around chicken.

Her husband originally saw it on "Pati's Mexican Table" on the Create Channel, which is a PBS channel, but Erin made some changes to the original.

She said she got the "You can make this again" nod from her husband, Tom.

Neighbors: Recognizing accomplishments throughout our communities


— Kate Stadel of Tolono has received Indiana State University's most prestigious scholarship. She is among 20 students from around the country selected as President's Scholars for the 2015-16 school year. The President's Scholarship provides full, in-state tuition and premium housing and has a total four-year value of more than $74,000.

Younger generation: Celebrating the achievements of young adults

Next Generation places again

After winning the IESA Scholastic Bowl (Class A) last season and finishing second two years ago, Champaign's Next Generation school traveled to Peoria for the state finals. The team finished pool play 2-1 to earn a berth in the consolation match. In that match, Next Generation defeated Peoria Christian 310-170 to finish third.

My Amish Home: Waiting on weather to make up its mind

"As for man, his days are as grass: As the flower of the field, so he flourisheth, for the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children." Psalm 103:15-17

Two strikes and it's gone

The house of Weiss Lancaster’s youth was a magical place to grow up, an old Victorian mansion with back stairs and a tower and a huge porch.

Spotlight on Service, May 26, 2015

A look at area do-gooders. This week: Arcola Sunrise Rotary

About the club

President: Bill Wagoner

Origin: Chartered on Sept. 24, 1998

Meets: Thursday mornings at either the Dutch Kitchen or the It'll Do Bar & Grill

Family Checkbook: Energy-saving tips to keep you cool in summer

By Kathy Sweedler

As the summer heats up our utility bills can also soar. While we may only use our air conditioners for a few months each year, air conditioners use about five percent of all the electricity produced in the U.S., costing homeowners more than $11 billion a year in energy costs. This, on top of our normal energy use, can make a dent in our budgets!

Pet Talk: Face the fat

By Sarah Netherton/University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Getting Personal: Gina Hartleb

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 46-year-old Champaign resident Gina Hartleb chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. The teacher and parent is the wife of Illini baseball coach Dan Hartleb.

Where did you grow up?