Those Who Served: He helped keep our birds in the air

CHAMPAIGN — From the Korean War to the Cold War to Vietnam, Dick Oliver kept the planes flying for 20 years.

The Air Force master sergeant, now 86, remembers well the paranoia of the Cold War, when his family was told to head for the mountains if there was a nuclear attack in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

"If we had an atomic war, we'd all be dead," he said.

Area history, Jan. 8, 2018

Today is Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Tom Kacich: Lots of work, few to do it at assessor's office

Cunningham Township Assessor Wayne Williams, caught shorthanded in his office after dismissing two deputy assessors one day, then firing a replacement assessor four days later, said township residents shouldn't be concerned about the work of the office getting done.

Wired In: Philip Krein

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a high-tech entrepreneur. This week, meet PHILIP T. KREIN, the University of Illinois Grainger Emeritus Chair in Electric Machinery and Electromechanics who has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He's an alumni of his department, having earned his master's degree and Ph.D.

Gambling-parlor issue looming large in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — When the city legalized video gambling in 2012, Chuck Zelinsky figured it wouldn't expand beyond a few truck stops and veterans clubs.

"Evidently, somebody found a loophole," said the finance officer for American Legion Post 24 on West Bloomington Road. "The rest is history."

Significant Structures: For Urbana's Busey's Hall/Princess Theater, a baptism by fire

URBANA — The same day as the Great Chicago Fire, all the wooden buildings on Urbana's Main Street burned down.

The only survivor: Busey's Hall, an opera house on the Busey Block built by descendants of the town's founder.

The Reluctant Townie: Cabin fever hits the Jackson household

My wife is out of town for a few days on a business trip, so you know what that means: KEGGER AT MY PLACE!

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Jan. 7, 2018

Given the cozy-up-by-the-fireplace-with-a-book weather we've been experiencing, we asked 10 bookworms for the one recently released good read they'd recommend.

Area history, Jan. 7, 2018

Today is Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the Morning, Jan. 7, 2018

At Friday's boys' basketball game in Champaign, students on each side of the gym — Centennial's and Central's — took turns shouting in unison "Champaign High School, Champaign High School."