Studio Visit: Rodney George Peacock, 60, of Urbana

Q: Why are you having an open studio tonight?

A: To announce that I'm making a commitment to rent Foellinger Auditorium next year to put on my 'Noontide Trilogy.' And lots of people don't know of all my work of the last 20 years.

It's Your Business: Bow Sheep has bevy of bows for kids

Attention, moms who like to gussy up their babies.

Three women from Champaign have started a company that sells handmade bows for children. Bow Sheep offers intricate bows, from standard pastel pinks to zebra-stripe designs, decorated with buttons, pearls and other embellishments.

Mansfield man turns his barn into vintage Shell station

WEBBERVILLE IN MANSFIELD – It's a trip back in time.

A Shell antique gas pump, last inspected in 1963, parks itself in front of an old Shell gas station, sharing its space with antique cars from 1933 to 1965.

The gas station – a yard barn cleverly disguised – displays old-fashioned oil cans, signs, car parts and soda bottles. A huge gas station clock hangs in the front, showing the same time day after day.

Call the phone number, 21-R-21, on the station window – it won't connect anywhere now. But it did work back in 1953.

The creator of all this, Mike Webber, found the phone number in an old Mansfield Homecoming book and painted it on the Shell station window. Webber works as a mechanic operator at Plunk Farms in Mansfield, but he plays with objects from the past.

Tenor in Sugar Creek show a 'Pagliacci' professional

WATSEKA – Tenor Tonio Di Paolo has sung every male role in "Pagliacci" in opera houses from Houston to Berlin.

He knows the piece so well he didn't even take the score with him to the first rehearsal of the upcoming Sugar Creek Symphony & Song production of "Pagliacci" at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Glenn Raymond Auditorium in Watseka.

Garden Fresh: The classic taste of green tomatoes

If you have enough tomato plants that you're willing to use up some of your green tomatoes, here are some recipes you might want to try, including the classic Fried Green Tomatoes.

If you have enough tomato plants you're willing to use up some of your green tomatoes, here are some recipes you might want to try, including the classic Fried Green Tomatoes.

Tried and True: Traci Nally's raspberry Streusel Bars

"The raspberry bars are a seasonal favorite of mine," writes Traci Nally of Champaign, vice president of human resources at The News-Gazette. "I pick the raspberries from my own garden. The raspberry taste is great, and not too sweet; just right. Everyone loves them."

Nally found the recipe in Cook's Illustrated magazine, the September-October 2005 issue.

Newpaper rack/art project proposal gains steam in Urbana

URBANA – The city council appears prepared to support a proposed combination newspaper rack and public art project at the Champaign County Courthouse, despite the higher-than-expected cost.

But aldermen said this week they also want to try getting private donations toward the project to offset some of the estimated cost, which could reach $66,000.

It's Your Business: An Sun to blend Chinese, U.S. cuisine

With several restaurants located there now, from Billy Barooz to Mezzaluna, the southwest Champaign shopping center Village at the Crossing is looking more and more like restaurant row.

The newcomer on the block is An Sun, a "half-Chinese, half-American" restaurant slated to open in mid-November in the northern portion of the Ace Hardware space, 2411 Village Green Place.

UI professor's new book explores ex-slaves' education

The story of the politics and policies of public education for newly freed slaves in post-bellum Mississippi is the subject of "From Cotton Field to Schoolhouse: African American Education in Mississippi, 1862-1875" (The University of North Carolina Press), a new book by Christopher Span.

Span is a professor of educational policy studies at the University of Illinois.

Vendors sought for Kankakee's Fall Arts Stroll on Oct. 11

KANKAKEE – Heads up, artists!

The Community Arts Council of Kankakee County seeks vendors for its annual Fall Art Stroll from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 11 in downtown Kankakee.