Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli from the week that was

Packed house for Hank's music

I thought I'd wait until the band warmed up before I went over to the Rose Bowl last week for the C-U Folk & Roots Festival's "Tribute to Hanks Williams." What a mistake. I arrived 30 minutes after the start time and the Rose Bowl was packed. No seats whatsoever.

Letter from Birdland: A lot to say in a small amount of time

The rumor was that Congressman Rodney Davis would hold "office hours" in 10-minute slots for groups of three. My work schedule was suddenly flexible with the end of classes. It was my responsibility to show up for those who couldn't take off work.

Monticello's Bruce Hannon Levee Trail is ready for hikers

Nestled just past Monticello's golf course and back along the Sangamon River is the scenic and unique Bruce Hannon Levee Trail, which will host a grand opening from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday that will include a ribbon cutting, guided tours and visiting politicians.

Middlefork School's greenhouse revival starting to bear fruit

DANVILLE — When Monica Campbell took over as principal of Middlefork School in 2015, she was excited to learn of the greenhouse on site and began imagining the educational possibilities that could go along with it.

Then, she learned why it hadn't been used the past seven or so years — broken heating, cooling and watering systems, among other things, and no money to fix them.

Ameren showcases continent's most advanced 'microgrid' on UI campus

CHAMPAIGN — Ameren Illinois officials may have chosen the perfect day Wednesday to show off their new $5 million Technology Applications Center on the southwest edge of the University of Illinois campus.

Just 1 Question: VCCD's Outdoor School

What could be better than spending one of the last weeks of the school year in the great outdoors?

Fourth-graders from St. Joseph Grade School are getting to do just that this week at the Vermilion County Conservation District's Outdoor School at Kennekuk County Park and Forest Glen Preserve.

Entertainment listings, May 18-25, 2017


This weekend


What: All proceeds going to American Cancer Society. Half-price sale and $2 a bag starting at 11 a.m. May 20.

When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 20.

Where: 1505 W. Charles St., C.

More info: Email jill@champaignrelay.org or call 979-1504.

Tom Kacich: Love birds find happily ever after in St. Joseph eatery

Questions for Tom? Ask 'em here

This is kind of a love story, but it's also about good food and interesting drink and bicycles and family. You know, many of the great things of life.

Prairie Rivers Network marking 50th anniversary on Sunday

MONTICELLO — On Sunday, the Prairie Rivers Network will celebrate its 50th anniversary as well as the people whose successful opposition to the Army Corps of Engineers' proposed Oakley Reservoir on the Sangamon River gave it its start.

Crystal cleared: Makeover underway at Urbana's signature park

URBANA — It will take multiple years and multiple millions of dollars, but the Urbana Park District is ready to take on a major makeover of its oldest and largest property, Crystal Lake Park.

And the focus will be on the unaptly named Crystal Lake, the 9-acre, man-made body of water fed not by a spring or freshwater stream but by about 160 acres of mostly urban north Urbana runoff.