Letter from Birdland: Feathered friends

In Birdland, we're getting hints of autumn already. Broad hints. Fifty-degree hints.

The chill is in the air, and the daylight hours are shrinking fast. Oh, I like it, but it's a sobering reminder that summer doesn't last forever.

Leaves haven't started turning yet, and we still have some black-eyed Susans. The dark red chrysanthemums are blooming, but the sedum is in its glory.

Rabies: The key word is prevention

By Sarah Netherton/University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 55,000 people die each year worldwide due to the rabies virus. Although most of these deaths occur outside of the United States, it is still important to understand the seriousness this disease poses to humans and pets.

Doug Wilson is ready to tackle some new challenges

After acting in university and community theater productions here, Broadlands native Doug Wilson moved to New York to break into show business.

To support himself he worked as a handyman. Eventually he built a clientele that included Michael Bloomberg before he became mayor — for seven years Wilson maintained his Upper East Side townhouse.

Hey bartender: At 84, Brass Rail owner has his routine down

Editor's note: This story kicks off our series of profiles highlighting Active Aging Week, which started Saturday and runs through Friday. Coming Monday: A look at an 80-year-old MTD driver, Franklin Delano Longfellow.

Hit the beach: Plenty of choice at Punta del Este

By Nicole Southey

I visited Punta del Este (Punta to the regulars) earlier this year with my family. Punta is a famous resort in Uruguay (South America) that is visited by the stars (Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez) and tourists mostly from Argentina and Brazil. Tourists arrive by car, air or cruise ships.

John Roska: Divorce, part 1

Q: Please explain the whole divorce process. What papers get filed? What kinds of fees are there? How many court dates? How long does it take?

Getting Personal: Peggy Patten

Peggy Patten talks about her career in education at her home in Urbana.

Reluctant Townie: The decline of my recliner

A couple of weeks ago, I used this column to make my feelings about the fall season known to the world (or at least East Central Illinois), and it appears that autumn got the message, because it has since done its very best to give me the reciprocal middle finger — and it's reached its bony arm throug

Getting Personal: Peggy Patten

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 59-year-old Urbana resident Peggy Patten chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. Patten retired June 30 after working for 30-some years in early childhood education as a teacher and a teacher educator. She spent most of those years at the University of Illinois.

Environmental Almanac: An ecological look at the humble acorn

Last week I found a walnut on my windowsill, lovely and round with an unblemished bright green husk. Soon after, another appeared stuck in the wheel of my car. Now they're cached everywhere around the outside of our house, from the shelf on the grill to the flowerpots on the deck.