Don Follis | A mentor for pastors

No pastor has influenced me more than the Rev. Eugene Peterson, a Presbyterian clergyman, author and scholar. He died at age 85 on Oct. 22 at his Lakeside, Mont., home. Along with writing more than 20 books, Peterson is best-known for his colloquial translation of the Bible called "The Message." It has sold nearly 12 million copies.

Kelly Strom | Books look at varied moods of the holidays

It's the time of year that is filled with the juxtaposition of love and hate. We love all of the holiday food but hate the extra poundage. We love buying gifts for others but hate the commercialism. We love seeing loved ones but hate the stress that comes with it.

I have pulled two books that address some of these things but in different ways.

Military 'poolies' diving in head-first ahead of basic training

CHAMPAIGN — Push-ups, chin-ups and sit-ups.

They're the upside of training for future Marines, who will face greater challenges — hefting ammo boxes full of rocks over their heads and heading out for a brisk 1.5-mile run on a warm fall day.

For the retirees, Nov. 11-18, 2018

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, 15 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, call 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

Getting Personal: Roberta Sparenberg

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 59-year-old Monticello resident ROBERTA SPARENBERG, a 20-year employee of the University of Illinois Press, chats with staff writer Paul Wood. She loves her family and her pets ... cellphones, not so much.

On The Town: CASA Casablanca

The CASA Casablanca fundraiser at the I Hotel on  Friday, October 19, 2018.

In the Garden | Live horticultural advice

The world of horticulture is ever changing with an increasing interest among plant lovers for more and more digital media.

Religion calendar, Nov. 9-16, 2018

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

To Your Health | Slow cooker a time-saver for fall meals

Cooler temperatures and soup for dinner go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. Making a delicious soup can be a time-consuming affair, but slow cookers are here to make it an easy experience even on a weeknight.

Illinois Ancestors | Veterans honored at 100th anniversary of end of WWI

This year, Nov. 11 will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The day was originally called Armistice Day but more recently called Veterans Day. Veterans of World War I are being honored by various entities — countries, states, counties, individuals and national magazines: