Part 58: A night on the town with Joni Mitchell

With the UI celebrating birthday No. 150 this year, we caught up with hundreds of graduates who have gone on to big things. Every Tuesday throughout 2017, Editor JEFF D'ALESSIO will tell their tales.

Top of the Morning, Nov. 7, 2017

On Tuesdays, we'll introduce the kids behind "High School Confidential." Today: Danville's BARB WESTERFIELD.

"Babs" has fit in well since moving from Chicago in seventh grade. The senior is digging her final year because of "the school spirit," she said. "No matter the situation, we always stand strong as a school."

Area history, Nov. 7, 2017

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1917, work began on the new Illinois Central freight house in downtown Champaign. It cost about $100,000 and was to be completed in about four months. The building would be about 56 feet by 350 feet; it would face onto Walnut Street and extend in a northeasterly direction.

UPDATE: Coroner says Urbana homeless man died of natural causes

New 4:44 p.m. Monday:

URBANA — The Champaign County Coroner said the death of a homeless man found Sunday in Urbana appears to be from natural causes.

UI doctoral student gets another dose of 'Jeopardy'

URBANA — After winning six games and $137,088 on "Jeopardy" in the summer of 2016, University of Illinois doctoral student Pranjal Vachaspati "splurged" on a 1991 Mazda Miata, which he bought for $1,500.

"It's a few months older than me," the 25-year-old Urbana man said with a laugh. "At this point, I think I've probably spent more on tools than I did on the car."

Area history, Nov. 6, 2017

Today is Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Those Who Served: Korea 'was one cold place'

CHAMPAIGN — Earl McClintock arrived in Korea six months before the armistice of 1953, but not too late to experience a horrific winter, as well as a battle close enough that warriors were lobbing hand grenades at each other.

Urbana police seek suspect in home invasion

URBANA — Police are investigating a home invasion Saturday afternoon in Urbana.

According to a police report, a man kicked in the door of a home in the 1000 block of North Broadway Avenue, Urbana, at 4:15 p.m. and went into the house looking for someone.

Resident injured in blaze at duplex

CHAMPAIGN — One person was injured in a fire Saturday night in Champaign.

According to a Champaign Fire Department report, firefighters were called to a blaze at a two-story duplex at 804 Crescent Drive, Unit B, at 9:26 p.m. Saturday.

When firefighters arrived, they found moderate smoke coming from the first-floor windows of the building.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Nov. 5, 2017

As we wind down the year the UI turned the big 1-5-0, the alumni memories of favorite places, spaces and faces continue to pour in.

Here's a new batch of 10. For another 1,032, visit, which we'll keep updating seven days a week.