Bob Swisher: Three interesting items that crossed my path

I recently received a letter from a woman whose 96-year-old father died last November. She is in charge of his estate, and among his assets were three items he believed were of good value.

However, he did not relay to her how much he thought they were worth. Hence, she wrote to me and included nine photos of the items, hoping I could cast some light on them.

Sandra Mason: Invite butterflies to your garden

It never ceases to amaze me that caterpillars and butterflies are even closely related. How can a long squishy eating machine possibly become a light, delicate, colorful wisp of flight?

The Fit List

Illinois Marathon week is almost here! I hope you’re signed up for a race.

Religion calendar, April 17, 2015

To submit items for this calendar, visit and click "Add an event" under the miniature calendar on the page. You must be logged in, then fill in the appropriate fields and submit. Deadline is noon Tuesday before Friday publication.


Earning some cash in a flash

Sometimes recycling perfectly good but no longer needed electronics that are cluttering the closet, basement or garage breaks your heart.

A cash bash: Refund burning a hole in your pocket?

According to the IRS, the average refund for the 2013 tax year was $3,034. To celebrate getting past Tax Day, you don't need to spend anywhere near that this weekend, believe me. Here are 10 things you can do:

Ebertfest 2015: Day 1

Images from the first day of the 17th Annual Roger Ebert Film Festival at the Virginia theeatre in Champaign on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Younger Generation: Celebrating the achievements of young adults

Scholarship winners

Jacob Clark of Judah Christian School in Champaign and Caitlin Elliott of Urbana High School on Tuesday were named 2015 "Leaders and Achievers Scholarship" recipients by Comcast and the Comcast Foundation.

My Amish Home: Heavy hearts amid great spring weather

"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul. It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

Neighbors: Recognizing accomplishments in our communities

STARs of the show

The City of Champaign Neighborhood Services Department and the Neighborhood Services Advisory Board will host the Sixth Annual STAR (Service Together Achieves Results) Expo and Awards Ceremony on April 30. The 2015 honorees are:

— Business-Neighborhood Partnership: Chuck Dorris, Malron Hillsman, Marchond Hillsman, Leaders for Life Marital Arts