Light me up

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign Mayor Deb Frank Feinen knows something about parades.

When she was younger she would march alongside her mother, Champaign County Circuit Clerk Linda Frank, in the county's parades.

Rich Warren: The real truth about gadget shopping

Give thanks for the technology that enhances our lives. But don't let technology overshadow the human values of Thanksgiving. And that means waiting one more day before abandoning all financial reasoning to begin shopping.

So-called Black Friday constitutes one of the great frauds in American commerce.

Younger Generation: Celebrating the achievements of young adults in East Central Illinois

Raising money

The Westville High sophomore class officers raised $891.50 as part of a project promoting awareness for homeless youths in Vermilion County.

The Tigers held a dance, a lock-in and a jeans day to raise the money.

Musical excellence

Meg Makes: Turkey carcass makes for great soup

Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. I find leftovers to be a part of the appeal, especially because they're so versatile.

Today's recipe comes from Anita Dukeman of Arthur. She says she makes extra dressing in anticipation of this post-Thanksgiving soup.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice

CHAMPAIGN — Countryside School seventh-grader Edward Kong is pretty devoted to his three hours of daily practice.

But he's not practicing for a sports match or working toward a new high score on Minecraft like some middle schoolers. He's playing the cello.

My Amish Home: Thinking about what I'm thankful for

"O come, let us sing unto the Lord. Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all Gods." Psalm 95:1-3

Neighbors: Recognizing accomplishments throughout our communities

Recognized nationally

Illinois 4-H and local area staff were in the spotlight at this year's National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Annual Conference on Oct. 25-29 in Portland, Ore.

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Latest Illinois newsletter available online

The most recent issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society's (ISGS) Newsletter is now available on the society's website. Visit and click on the appropriate links. The November/December issue (Vol. 36, No. 6) includes 24 pages of interesting and informative details.

The perfect tree? Here's what you needle to know

What are the secrets to landing the Christmas tree that makes all the neighbors ooh and aah? We asked local tree experts for their top tips.

1. Nothing beats a fir

Chelsey Byers: What's this brain health craze all about?

By Chelsey Byers/University of Illinois Extension

If I asked you what do you think about when I say "health," what first comes to mind? This is how I often open up my Brain Health Series program. Most people first and foremost think about physical health, eating well and exercise. What many of us are not thinking about is our cognitive health.