Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Top of the Morning, April 23, 2017

On June 19, 1945, Omer Benn received his pilot's wings at a ceremony in Pensacola, Fla.

At the same location 72 years later, the highly decorated Champaign veteran pinned those very same wings on his granddaughter's Coast Guard uniform.

How cool is that?

Top of the Morning, April 22, 2017

A month from today is the grand opening of the Bruce Hannon Levee Trail just west of Monticello. But why wait?

At last weekend's workday at the Land Conservation Foundation's Sangamon River Corridor Reserve, the scenery was stunning.

Top of the Morning, April 20, 2017

Design editor Mike Goebel was scheduled to participate in Saturday's 26.2-mile relay race at the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon — then produce a 20-page special section that will be included in Sunday's News-Gazette.

"It would have made for a long day," Goebel said.

Former Illini has fun with tennis 'racket'

Mike Cation, former P.A. voice at the UI and an up-and-coming professional tennis announcer, was behind the mic at the Sarasota (Fla.) Open when play was interrupted by noises coming from a nearby apartment.

Top of the Morning, April 19, 2017

She considers herself a "compulsive quilter."

For that, there are many thankful recipients of Mary Shobe's handiwork in the area.

The 69-year-old former computer programmer at the University of Illinois donates homemade quilts like nobody's business.

"I just like to quilt," the Champaign do-gooder said, "and I like to give them to places that need them."

High School Confidential: Week 29

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On Wednesdays throughout the school year, area students will fill us in on what's happening at their high schools:

Top of the Morning, April 18, 2017

It was neat enough to attend the Final Four. But what made Centennial senior Kam Reaves' trip to the Phoenix area even better was his time with NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Top of the Morning, April 16, 2017

Introducing Mike Millington, recently hired to design and edit the pages of The News-Gazette.

He wound up in Champaign thanks in part to his wife, Brittany Michaels, new deputy director at the Champaign Public Library. When Brittany accepted the job earlier this year — the couple was living and working in Terre Haute, Ind. — Mike started looking.

Top of the Morning, April 15, 2017

Most Easter bunnies have it easy: Pose for pictures, hand out candy, play nice with the kids.

Then there's Alex Krebs.

The 22-year-old did more than most holiday hares are asked to do.

"I threw a strike," he said. "I was very amazed I was able to do it."

Top of the Morning, April 13, 2017

I always enjoy my visits to Monticello High and Lisa Nuku's print media class.

Of course, it helps to bring a famous alum along.