DiSilvestro's last meet can't live up to hopes; Mensah shines

CHAMPAIGN – Eric DiSilvestro didn't have high hopes for Sunday's Illinois Invitational at the UI Track and Soccer Complex.

Competing in his last home track meet, the senior pole vaulter, who once finished second at the Big Ten Indoor Championships and dreamt of competing at this year's NCAA Championships, would be happy if he could vault at all.

Lawhead having fun as career begins to wind down

URBANA – There is one part of her UI softball tenure that Monticello High School graduate Molly Lawhead finds especially surprising.

The senior second baseman is already in the twilight of her collegiate career.

Baseball lets sweep get away

EVANSTON – The Illinois baseball team was thinking weekend sweep all the way. Unfortunately for Dan Hartleb's squad, Northwestern didn't get the memo.

With Illinois leading 5-3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Wildcats pushed across two runs and added the winner in the 10th to beat the Illini 6-5 on Sunday in the Big Ten series finale.

Slight Medicare boost helps rural hospitals survive, grow

If you'd rather be alone when you're sick, Paris Community Hospital can now accommodate you with its all new single-patient rooms that came with an $11 million remodeling job.

New construction also has been going on at the hospital in Gibson City, where a $7 million emergency department just opened.

University eyes potential partnership with academy

Administrators with the University of Illinois and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy are considering a partnership between the two institutions, according to top officials.

Leaders from both schools met in March and plan to meet again this week to talk about ideas and what a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions would look like.

Gibson hospital thriving — and proud

On a recent tour through their hospital, Rob Schmitt and Gary Petersen saved the highlight for last: a brand new two-story addition.

Half this new space at Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services is set aside for future growth, and the other half houses the hospital's brand new, $7 million emergency department, complete with chemical decontamination chamber, overnight room for the doctor on duty, a new security system, an in-house CT scanner and MRI and eight private exam rooms – each with Internet access and its own TV.

Spring fling

Staff writer Bob Asmussen's report from Illinois' scrimmage Saturday at Chicago St. Rita High School:

Tagging along with Juice Williams

Juice Williams is the starting quarterback for an up-and-coming Big Ten program. He's also a loyal note taker in his Society and Leisure class, rides the bus on campus and loves the fish sandwich at McDonald's. The UI freshman allowed staff writer Bob Asmussen and photographer Robert K. O'Daniell to tag along for a typical spring day.

Ups and downs

Three weeks into spring football practice across the country, here are staff writer Bob Asmussen's observations:

Haagensen, Illini cash in

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Illinois gymnasts Wes Haagensen, Chris Silcox, Tyler Yamauchi and Chad Wiest earned All-America honors in individual event finals during the final day of the NCAA Championships on Saturday.

The four Illini extended Illinois' streak to eight years with at least one national honor.