Teen surprised with an aerial tour of his hometown

DANVILLE — Maneuvering into the chair inside the gondola of the red, white and blue "Glory Be" hot air balloon on a surprisingly cool summer morning, Christopher Adkins still believed he was just a crew member "testing" equipment prior to launch after dawn Saturday morning.

Council to consider changes to accommodate Central renovation

CHAMPAIGN — The closure of multiple streets, a pedestrian bridge and possible zoning variances — all items that need to be done for a renovated Central High School to become a reality, but none that can be completed without approval from the Champaign City Council.

Weekend planner: Heritage Sunday at Bryant Cottage

The Bryant Cottage State Historic Site is a gem for Bement and says a lot about the history of the Piatt County village, says Tabitha Elder, a former Bement Chamber of Commerce president. "We're lucky it's been preserved this long," she said of the cottage at 146 E. Wilson St., operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Bob Swisher: A great event for matchbook collectors

You may recall a column where I mentioned that PACA had salvaged two containers of matchbooks from two locations.

We sold them at 25 cents each, and they were gone in about a week or so.

Some of the matchbooks were from 20 T Hangar in downtown Champaign, Wings in Rantoul, the Fanmarker on the Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul and Wheat's Steak House in Urbana.

This day in history, July 16, 2016

Today is Saturday, July 16, the 198th day of 2016. There are 168 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon.

On this date:

Everyone's on the 'Go'

Wondering about the people wandering Champaign's West Side Park with their eyes glued to their smartphones?

Confused after overhearing conversations about where one might find Machops and Pikachus around Champaign-Urbana?

Curious after seeing signboards offering discounts to members of teams Valor, Instinct and Mystic?

Area update: Beer festival in Champaign today

CHAMPAIGN — Downtown Champaign will be the venue for the Midwest Beer Fest starting at 3 p.m. today in the parking lot between Cowboy Monkey and the PNC bank.

More than a lot of hot air

DANVILLE — They may be the stars of the show, but there's a lot more than hot air balloons at Vermilion County's newest balloon event.

"There's something for everyone," said Jim Anderson, co-chairman of the Balloons Over Vermilion festival, which continues today at the Vermilion Regional Airport.

Area history, July 16, 2016

Today is Saturday, July 16, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1916: "Phew, but it's hot. Have you heard that expression? Of course you have," the Champaign Daily Gazette wrote. The high temperature yesterday was 97 degrees, according to the official report of the university.

Life Remembered: Fiorillo loved to talk

PAXTON — Nick Fiorillo loved to talk. Taxes, the focus of his profession, were often the subject.

Even as Mr. Fiorillo was recovering from hip-replacement surgery this month at the Illinois Knights Templar Home in Paxton, his conversations with his fellow residents and the facility's nurses always seemed to lead to the inevitable topic.