The Reluctant Townie: Summer movie previews — and alternatives

Summer movie season has arrived, and I have compiled a list of new releases awaiting you at the multiplex. I have also included a budget-friendly alternative to each film, because some of y'all got kids and bills, and let's be real, these days it's cheaper to Amazon Prime a pan of Jiffy Pop and a hot plate directly to your seat than to buy a medium combo in the lobby.

Getting Personal: Alaina Kanfer

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, Champaign resident Alaina Kanfer, the director of engagement and external relations at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, chats with staff writer Melissa Merli.

Tell us something few people know about you.

Area history, May 7, 2017

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

In 1917, Champaign police raided the home of George Brown, 724 N. Market St., and arrested nine men for gambling. A patrol wagon backed up to the front door of the house and later pulled away with a crowd.

30 Days, 30 Grads: Central alum achieved 2 goals at 1 school

CHAMPAIGN — After he graduated from Central High School in 2013, Sean Noa knew he wanted to join the military and go to college eventually.

"I just wasn't patient enough to do one right after the other," he said.

So he applied to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Hegeler gives $3 million to Danville's Palmer Arena

DANVILLE — Officials at the David S. Palmer Arena will be able to make significant improvements to the facility's aging ice-making system thanks to a local philanthropist.

Area history, May 6, 2017

Today is Saturday, May 6, 2017. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 year ago:

In 1917, about 1,200 University of Illinois students had left the university since the beginning of the semester in an to attempt to join the armed services, said Dean Warnock. "One-third of the men students have gone, or about one-fourth of the whole student body," he said.

#TheMJs, May 5, 2017


On Fridays, Marcus Jackson (@MarcusJ_NG) provides a quick glance at the best that Twitter has to offer.



Clergy Corner, May 5, 2017

Tough to predict what will lead off Andy Adams' legacy: the fact that he founded a church (Urbana's QUEST UNITED METHODIST, in 2004) or found an actual building for that church to call home (at 2004 Philo Road, in 2013).

For those eight-and-a-half years in between, you never knew where Adams & Co. would show up for Sunday services.

30 Days, 30 Grads: SJ-O track star has jump on future

Eric Rydell's initial college plans didn't include filming eye movements of dogs or working for a cosmetics company in the Philippines that uses its profits to fight poverty.

He "fell into" both experiences, and they've helped reshape the St. Joseph native's worldview and career plans.

50 years, and plenty more to spare

DANVILLE — Shirley Gibson was nearly 30 before she picked up a bowling ball. Since then, she hasn't put it down.

Recently, the Danville woman was honored for her 50 years with the TNT Bowling League at Bulan's Bowl, 1436 Warrington Ave., just west of Danville. She will also be recognized at her league's banquet at Sarge's Tap this evening.