Puerto Ricans return to power grid but fear for long term

ADJUNTAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — It was finally a night to celebrate in this village tucked into the mountains of central Puerto Rico.

People pressed TV remote buttons, clicked on fans and plugged in refrigerators as electricity again flowed into homes that had been without power since two major hurricanes devastated the U.S. territory nearly a year ago.

Champaign farmers market going to backup plan for SNAP transactions

CHAMPAIGN — A farmers market is going to a backup plan to process food-stamp benefits after the vendor it uses for those electronic transactions announced it is shutting down that service.

Those Who Served | Civilian taught soldiers language key in wartime

CHAMPAIGN — Not everybody who helps the U.S. cause in war wears a uniform.

Frances Schneider was a civilian instructor in World War II, teaching Morse code to enlisted men at Scott Field in Belleville.

She just turned 100, and she can still run off Morse code in her musical style, which helped her memorize it.

"I could go through the whole alphabet for you," she said.

Top of the Morning, July 16, 2018

Not two weeks after I looked at the biggest stories of 2018 on our website, a new entry has quickly climbed into second place and is knocking the door for most pageviews.

Area history, July 16, 2018

Today is Monday, July 16, 2018. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1918, local food administrator R. D. Burnham declared that beef could only be served between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays and between 5 and 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

This day in history, July 16, 2018

Today is Monday, July 16, the 197th day of 2018. There are 168 days left in the year.

Today's highlight

Homer's Gracyn Allen wins crown at Champaign County Fair Queen pageant

CHAMPAIGN — As Gracyn Allen prepared for Sunday's Miss Champaign County Fair Queen pageant, the 17-year-old Homer girl attached an American flag to the back of her blue swimsuit for good luck.

The flag must have worked, as Allen emerged from a field of seven young women to be crowned the 2018 Miss Champaign County Fair Queen at City Center in downtown Champaign.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, July 15, 2018

This being fair season, we tracked down 10 local animal lovers photographed as kids through the years by The News-Gazette and asked them to tell us about the most memorable animal they ever showed.

Wired In: Mark Van den Avont

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a high-tech difference-maker. Meet MARK VAN DEN AVONT, a sophomore at the University of Illinois. He decided to create a product, HexNest, to prevent a dangerous problem that affected him — he's OK now — and people in the same situation. The UI has been a big help, he says.

Brian Pruitt's mother: Let my son out of prison

Karen Pruitt says her son is far from the out-of-control teen he was when he stabbed his grandparents to death in their Danville home nearly 23 years ago.

"He grew up," she said of Brian Pruitt, 39, who is serving mandatory life in prison without parole for the Oct. 17, 1995, murders of her mother and stepfather, Roberta and Frank "Pat" McNeely. "He's grown into a good man."