Sky Gallery to show works of seven artists

CHAMPAIGN — Seven local artists soon will see their work writ large — on 10-by-30-foot billboards around Champaign-Urbana.

The billboards are part of Sky Gallery, a collaboration between Adams Outdoor Advertising and 40 North 88 West Champaign County Arts, Culture and Entertainment Council.

Illinois Ancestors: Not much is known about Putin ancestry

A recent article in Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter (March 20) mentions that very little information is known about Russian President Vladimir Putin's family history.

Tom Kacich: Survivor recalls Paxton shootout 35 years later

A lot has changed in Paxton since a notorious interstate highway shootout 35 years ago this month that left five people dead, including two police officers.

Danville club moves meeting place after more than 25 years

The Danville Noon Rotary Club is moving its weekly meeting location to the Old National Bank community room, 2 W. Main St., starting on Monday.

The club met at the Days Hotel for more than 25 years. However, officials said the new location will provide more space and elevator access.

Putting down roots

Officials hope weather cooperates with massive tree-planting effort this weekend

GIFFORD — The trees are being delivered, the heavy equipment has been arranged, the crews have their assignments and all systems are a go — almost — for Saturday's mass tree-planting in tornado-raked Gifford.

Top of the morning, April 2, 2014

Shannon Farmer attended cosmetology school for a spell.

On Tuesday, the 31-year-old dispatcher for Lanz Heating & Cooling put what she learned to work. Setting up shop in, well, the company shop in west Champaign, Farmer buzzed 23 Lanz employees in a show of support for 4-year-old Brynlee Gerber, whose father Andrew is a service technician.

Awards announced for 'Eric Show'[

CHAMPAIGN — Monticello High School student Jesse Galaway won the best-of-show award in the fifth annual "Eric Show" for an ink drawing titled "Destitute."

Students from 14 area high schools competed in the juried art show endowed by Dale and Peg Steffensen of Urbana in memory of Dale's son, Eric, an aspiring artist who was killed by a drunken driver in 1970.

Other awards:

Hopkins to speak at UI commencement

Astronaut Mike Hopkins will give the keynote address at the 2014 University of Illinois commencement next month.

Hopkins, a 1991 UI engineering graduate and former co-captain of the Illini football team, just returned from six months aboard the International Space Station.

New study could help identify autism sooner

Crissy Grenier knew something was different about her firstborn by the time he was 6 months old.

Owen didn’t like to be held or played with. He wasn’t interested in people’s faces. He was a terrible sleeper and had “constant” ear infections.

Alma's getting ready to come home

She plans to live-tweet her progress back to campus next week as she returns from a Chicago conservation studio after more than a year of rehab.

Alma Mater is scheduled to be loaded up on a flatbed truck on April 8 and kept overnight at "an undisclosed location," then head to Champaign starting at 6 a.m. April 9, said campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler.

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