Top of the morning, Jan. 1, 2015

The Chief will perform at halftime of the Jan. 9 boys' basketball game between the Sullivan Redskins and Tuscola Warriors.

That gives the high school kids more than a week to study up.

Monticello High's LifeSavers give teens someone their age to talk to

MONTICELLO — A classmate sitting alone at lunch every day could mean nothing more than the student is an introvert. Or it could mean he or she is struggling with something that most people wouldn't notice.

The 70 students in Monticello High School's LifeSavers club are specifically trained to tell the difference.

C-U puts full-court press on its bid for boys' basketball tourney

CHAMPAIGN — Mike Thomas walked up the tunnel the Illinois men's basketball team runs through before each game at State Farm Center on a mid-December morning.

Helping kids learn is his kind of homework

When Brian Nudelman isn't teaching English literature or writing at Parkland College, he runs an after-school program that helps make homework fun for students at Champaign's Garden Hills Elementary.

In school or out, bullying to be punished

If a classmate tweets something nasty about you during English class, that's a sure-fire ticket to the principal's office. But come Jan. 1, a harassing Facebook comment posted on a Saturday could just as easily land that student in the hot seat on Monday morning.

How the Grinch stole 'Jeopardy' contestant's winnings

URBANA — Before you judge, Grinch fans, consider this:

The "Jeopardy" category was "word origins," and Champaign teacher Melissa Applebee was up against a returning champ fluent in French and a rabbinical student who spoke Hebrew and who knows how many other languages.

Faculty committee to UI: Reconsider Salaita decision

URBANA — A faculty committee asked to review the case of embattled professor Steven Salaita has recommended the University of Illinois reconsider his candidacy for a faculty job.

All five Ludlow school board incumbents running as write-ins

LUDLOW — None of the names of the five members of the Ludlow school board whose terms expire next year will appear on the April ballot. Yet, all five want to be re-elected.

Mary Nuku, Rhonda Moore, Gerald (Jeri) Roberts, Steve Thomas and Allen Walker will all run as write-in candidates. All but Walker, who is seeking a two-year term, will run for four-year terms.

Filing period ends without 2 Danville school board incumbents' papers

DANVILLE — There will be at least two new faces on the Danville school board next year as two incumbents — Steve Bragorgos and Gina McGuire — did not file on Monday to run for another term.

Monday was the final day for school board candidates to file in the Vermilion County clerk's office for the April election.

'I'll take "Dream Come True" for $1,000, Alex'

URBANA — Melissa Applebee is not, she swears, the "'Jeopardy' type."

Yes, she grew up watching the show. Yes, she regularly schools her family in Trivial Pursuit. And yes, she was actually chosen for the show after taking the test twice.