Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Top of the Morning, Jan. 25, 2018

New to this year's Illini Cat Club show in Urbana: an agility competition. That's right, owners will have their cats jumping through hoops — or at least trying to — in a dog-show sort of way.

2017-18 High School Confidential: Week 17

Welcome to Year 2 of High School Confidential, a project involving 35 area high school students who will write weekly for The News-Gazette and news-gazette.com.

Top of the Morning, Jan. 24, 2018

When she first pitched the idea of a Wall of Positivity, Oakwood High junior KATELYN BLANKENSHIP wasn't sure it would fly with the entire student body.

"To be honest, I was afraid the boys and some of the girls might try to deface it," Blankenship said. "But all in all, it's gone really well."

Top of the Morning, Jan. 23, 2018

On Tuesdays, we'll introduce the kids behind "High School Confidential." Today: Mahomet-Seymour's KOBE PARTLOW, a do-it-all senior who is headed to Texas State for college.

"It will be a big change in culture," the 18-year-old said. "I'm ready for it."

Top of the Morning, Jan. 21, 2018

The chance to participate in the inaugural Roomful of Pianos concert has Champaign's Jo Ellen DeVilbiss excited for two reasons.

A) She'll be on stage with 40 other high-profile pianists.

B) She'll be in sunny California.

"It gets me out of this weather in January," she said.

Top of the Morning, Jan. 20, 2018

LOU HENSON didn't get to celebrate much on his 86th birthday.

"Too busy going from appointment to appointment," said his wife, MARY. "We started (at the hospital) at 5:30 a.m. and didn't get done until 10:30 that night.

"Happy birthday, Lou."

Top of the Morning, Jan. 18, 2018

Not everyone is complaining about the latest cold spell. Like VANESSA DUNCAN, who puts on the Polar Plunge in these parts for Special Olympics Illinois.

"Polar Plunge wouldn't work in Florida," she said. "We need it cold."

2017-18 High School Confidential: Week 16

Welcome to Year 2 of High School Confidential, a project involving 35 area high school students who will write weekly for The News-Gazette and news-gazette.com.

Top of the Morning, Jan. 17, 2018

How best to judge the impact of LAURA GIRTON?

She has rivals from Bismarck (where she's been a longtime teacher) and Oakwood (where her kids went to school) behaving like best friends.

Heartbreak City

In his 51 years on the beat, Loren Tate has seen plenty of shots like Nebraska's buzzer-beating three-pointer that sank Brad Underwood's Illini late Monday night.