Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Top of the Morning, Aug. 31, 2014

Chances are you've seen their bylines or their layouts by now. Here's more on each of our recent newsroom hires:

Nicole Lafond

Education Writer

Email: nlafond@news-gazette.com

Twitter: @Nicole_Lafond

Top of the Morning, Aug. 28, 2014

The celebratory first cutting of the cheese?

That'll be a breeze, Viola Jess said. It's what comes after that has the unassuming 60-year-old a nervous Nellie ahead of this weekend's Arthur Amish Country Cheese Festival.

"If I'm required to talk, that might be a problem," she said. "I won't be giving a speech."

Chat recap: Jalen Brunson's trip to C-U

Basketball beat writer Marcus Jackson answered a bunch of questions during today's online chat, from Jalen Brunson's visit to the Illini's NCAA tournament chances - read the transcript here

Top of the Morning, Aug. 27, 2014

Notes from the newsroom

— On Sunday night, we unveiled our new-look website. Today's news-gazette.com allows us to A) emphasize our expanding video operation (right); B) spotlight more stories, blogs and photo galleries; and C) better pool our radio and newspaper talent.

Top of the Morning, Aug. 26, 2014

To celebrate her 100th birthday, Virginia Lovingfoss threw a party.

For three consecutive days.

On Friday, a crowd of about 100 joined her at Philo Tavern. On Saturday, another 100 celebrated with her at Clark-Lindsey Village in Urbana. On Sunday, a Burr/Lovingfoss/Dilley family reunion packed a park in Philo.

Top of the Morning, Aug. 24, 2014

He's got an apron, a spatula and a Facebook page.

The next step for Jake Holland, president of the Illini Barbecue and Grilling Club, is to find some company.

That's why the one-man gang will be camped out at Sunday's Quad Day at the University of Illinois, pitching memberships to his exclusive group.

Top of the Morning, Aug. 21, 2014

How crazy is Move-In Day at Illinois?

"Happy chaos," is how Roy Myles describes it. "It's what we work all summer for. It's like opening night on Broadway. No more dress rehearsals, it's show time."

As general manager of Illini Tower, Myles is to Move-In Day what John Groce is to basketball: an expert. He took time out of his busy schedule to break it down for us via email.

Who cares about the QB?

It's basketball season. At least that's the way Marcus Jackson sees it. Our beat writer chatted at 12:30 p.m. today.Read the transcript by clicking here

Top of the Morning, Aug. 20, 2014

Tim Beckman's football players aren't the only UI students working their tails off in hopes of a memorable season. The school's band members are enduring two-a-days, too, minus the tackling dummies, tubs full of ice water and interview requests from Loren Tate.

Top of the Morning, Aug. 19, 2014

— Lou Henson, who shared the cover of Sunday's Answer Book, recently returned to Champaign after his annual checkup at MD Anderson Center in Houston.

"I feel good, and I'm cancer free," Henson said. "So that's good news."