Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Top of the morning, Oct. 25, 2015

You'd never know Alison Lee wasn't the fastest swimmer in town.

Certainly not by the reception the Urbana High junior gets at every meet.

"Everyone on her team, the other team, fans of both teams ... they all cheer her on as she's finishing," her coach, Stephanie Houk said.

Nor by her reaction after every race.

Bill Geist awarded key to the city

Bill Geist, a 1968 UI graduate and Champaign native, is serving as grand marshal at today's UI homecoming parade.

Small church group pieces together big accomplishment

When it comes to quilting for a cause, tiny Zion Lutheran in Philo acts like a church many times its size.

Today, several of its 35 active members will pack up 220 handmade quilts for a trip to Champaign in what is the first leg in a long journey as part of Lutheran World Relief.

Top of the morning, Oct. 22, 2015

Two to appreciate this weekend ...

Barbara Nolan

After 43 years on the job, the popular Danville Public Library director knows exactly how she'll spend her first day of retirement.

"Sleep in, read and get ready for trick-or-treaters," said Nolan, whose last day is Oct. 30.

Top of the morning, Oct. 21, 2015

Mandi Patrick recruits as well as she twirls.

While working her baton magic with the Marching Illini back in the day, the popular Patrick connected with 7-year-old Chase Dorn, inviting the tyke on to the field at Memorial Stadium. It was then that Patrick told Dorn that Illinois was the only place to be if she wanted to twirl in college.

Top of the morning, Oct. 20, 2015

Big things are happening today in tiny Casey (population: 2,769).

Top of the morning, Oct. 18, 2015

It cost Mark and Linda Johnson a pretty penny to pull it off.

But neither Cubs fan hesitated when the opportunity arose to attend Saturday's playoff game in New York.

Top of the morning, Oct. 17, 2015

— In today's newspaper, you'll find an insert with a big blue 'W' on one side and Cubs-lovin' advertisers on the other (above). Not a Cubs fan, I asked our Tom Kacich what to do with it. "Just hang it in the window," he said. "Keep it there until they lose, then put it back up when they win."

Seed to table: The story of Lil' Chip

This growing season, with the help of Villa Grove farmer Adam Watson, we’re tracking a kernel of seed corn — Lil’ Chip — from the bag it arrived in to the store shelf it

Top of the morning, Oct. 15, 2015

Catching up with ...

... Arden Crawford, the 97-year-old Cubs fan at Urbana's Clark-Lindsey Village who told us he would like to see the Lovable Losers win a World Series "before my life ends." Despite the Cubs' domination of the Cardinals, Crawford remains cautious in his approach.