Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Eclipse activities

If you can't travel Monday to the solar eclipse path of totality in southern Illinois, you can watch the rare phenomenon mid-day at various sites, among them the Champaign Public Library, which will throw a viewing party from noon to 2 p.m., featuring live, otherworldly music from Barry Morse's Etherphonic Theremin Ensemble.

Discovery of wreck of USS Indianapolis 'exciting' for area survivors, families

Reacting to news that his old ship had been found at the bottom of the Philippine Sea, one of the 19 living survivors of the worst naval at-sea disaster in U.S. history said Saturday of the new development that he was "glad it happened."

"It's one of those things we've been waiting to see if it would happen," said World War II veteran Art Leenerman, 93, of Mahomet.

Just Askin': Closing water-treatment plants

Why is Illinois American Water decommissioning its water-treatment plant on Lincoln Avenue in Urbana?

Because it no longer needs it, senior manager Dave Farrar said, since its water-treatment plans on Bradley Avenue and Mattis Avenue can meet water-service demand.

In the Garden: Our moon and 'The Old Farmer's Almanac'


This weekend, I will be traveling to southern Illinois for the experience of a lifetime — a total solar eclipse.

The eclipse will occur on Monday and will only be viewable in "totality" within a narrow band of approximately 70 miles that extends across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.

Safety, glasses concerns have area schools adjusting eclipse plans

Champaign's Unit 4 and other area school districts are changing the solar-eclipse activities they had planned for Monday because of safety concerns, including whether their glasses for students and staff are the real deal.

Top of the Morning, Aug. 19, 2017

Adjusting schedules because of an eclipse, like many schools are doing Monday, has been going on for years. In a nod to TOM KACICH's daily history items, here's what The News-Gazette reported on July 21, 1963, the day after an afternoon eclipse.

Pets don't need glasses for eclipse, but there's other safety concerns

CHAMPAIGN — You got eclipse glasses for yourself. Now what about your animal companions?

Pet owners can pretty much relax about this.

While dogs and cats face the same risks looking at a solar eclipse with unprotected eyes that people do, they're unlikely to look, local veterinarians said.

High lead levels found in water in 3 Urbana elementary schools

Contact our Health Reporter here

URBANA — Water at some of the sinks and drinking fountains at three Urbana grade schools tested over the acceptable levels for lead, according to Superintendent Don Owen.

Top of the Morning, Aug. 18, 2017

During the Christmas season, radio stations play holiday-themed music. My favorite, of course, is BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

On the Fourth of July, we get to hear patriotic music. Anything by JOHN PHILIP SOUSA works for T.O.T.M.

Astronomer's tips for eclipse shutterbugs: Zoom in, filter

CHAMPAIGN — Even if you can't make it down near Carbondale for the solar eclipse totality, you can still get good photos in central Illinois.