Top of the Morning, Dec. 31, 2017

In 2018, our popular Teacher of the Week feature returns on Wednesdays as education writer LYNDSAY JONES arrives from Indiana University. To submit nominations, email her at In the meantime ...

Help Wanted: Several high-profile jobs open in area

The area has several high-powered, high-paying jobs to be filled in 2018. Here's the latest on six of them, courtesy Editor JEFF D'ALESSIO.

Holiday Hoopla tournament a chance for Monticello's hospitality to shine

MONTICELLO — Dan Sheehan posed a query as he stuffed an entire ream of green paper into the office copier at Monticello High School.

"I guess we'll find out if they really give you 500" sheets, he said as the programs for this weekend's Holiday Hoopla boys' and girls' basketball tournament began rolling off the printer.

Entertainment listings, Dec. 28, 2017-Jan. 4, 2018


This weekend


What: Annual Christmas display of lights in the park.

When: Light displays, 5 to 11 p.m. every evening, Dec. 28 until Jan. 2, 2018.

Where: McFerren Park, Hoopeston.

Cost: Free.

More info: Call 217-495-2800 or 217-274-2956.


Tom Kacich: UI stands alone with enrollment increase

Questions for Tom? Ask them here

Illinois' more-than-two-year-long budget stalemate, which ended in July this year, clearly took its toll on the state's public higher-education system, enrollment figures show.

'Amazingly privileged': Q&A with an award-winning UI professor

Pioneering Dr. William F. House made medical history in 1981, when he developed the first cochlear implant for young children.

Julie Wurth: 'A second home to me'

No one knows the Urbana school district like Danny McCartney.

For the past four decades, McCartney has made daily rounds at every public school in Urbana, delivering supplies, mail and good cheer.

And everyone, it seems knows Danny.

Correction: "Everyone LOVES Danny," according to the signs posted at the entrances of the schools this month.

Wired In: Dawn Haken

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a high-tech entrepreneur. This week, meet University of Illinois student DAWN HAKEN, a Champaign Central graduate and junior majoring in electrical engineering. She's a leader of students working on the UI's contribution to the CubeSail mission, a technology demonstration of the UltraSail solar-sailing concept.

UI's Farmdoc team forecasts continued lean times in agriculture

CHAMPAIGN — Farmers can expect another year of high yields and low prices, extending the lean cycle they've been in.

"I would describe it as definitely lean times as far as margins, but beginning to see some signs of a beginning of a recovery in the ag sector," said Scott Irwin, an ag economist with the University of Illinois' Farmdoc team.

UI's December graduates ready to cross Krannert's stage

There will be no outdoor ceremony at Memorial Stadium, given the projected high of 39 degrees, but hundreds of December graduates at the University of Illinois will be honored at fall/winter commencements this weekend. A few facts, courtesy of staff writer JULIE WURTH: