Area history, Dec. 1, 2015

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the morning, Dec. 1, 2015

Online updates

— On Saturday, about the time Illinois announced the hiring of Bill Cubit as its football coach, we crossed the 50 million pageview mark for the year, online editor Mike Howie reports. In all of 2014, we had 42,265,997 pageviews.

Rob Kanter: Beavers again common in the Prairie State

On a recent walk at River Bend Forest Preserve, someone I met on the trail asked if I knew a good place in Illinois to see beavers. After a moment's thought, I answered, "Anywhere," because there are unmistakable signs of them in so many places.

Area history, Nov. 30, 2015

In 1915, Thomas Blackburn, a Kentucky lad, was picked up near the Illinois Central tracks by a Champaign police officer, half dead from cold and exposure. A short time before being taken into custody, Blackburn was liberated from the ice chamber of a refrigerator car in which he had been a prisoner for more than 24 hours. He had boarded the car in Memphis.

Wired In: Brian Jurczyk

Staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week, meet Brian Jurczyk, 42, president of Starfire, which makes everything from neutron generators to plasma sources and thin film systems with a wide variety of applications.

The team

Richard J. Leskosky: A fun evening with a comedic legend

In October, John Cleese and Eric Idle toured in a sit-down talk show, "John Cleese & Eric Idle: Together Again At Last ... For The Very First Time," with half of their 22 shows in Florida so that, they claimed, they could score a free vacation, as England is so dreary in October.

Top of the morning, Nov. 30, 2015: From the archives

Funny how some things play out.

Consider the Virginia Theatre marquee.

Five years ago today, it was front-page news that members of the Champaign Park Board were starting to make decisions on the design of a new marquee for the historic theater in downtown Champaign.

Just two weeks earlier, the 1940s-era marquee had been removed from the building.

Those Who Served: For St. Joseph vet, WWII 'not something I can talk about'

ST. JOSEPH — Bruce Voges enlisted in the Navy in 1944 at the age of 17, landed Marines from a small craft on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, witnessed atom-bomb testing and, at the age of 74, brought a restored LST home from Greece.

Voges, 89, served on a Landing Ship Tank, a 328-foot-long vessel designed to take troops, vehicles and cargo directly onto the shore.

Getting Personal: Amanda Bossard

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 23-year-old Champaign resident Amanda Bossard chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. Bossard is the Champaign bureau chief for WAND-TV.

What is most interesting to you right now?

John Roska: Divorce law changing in Illinois

Q: I heard that the divorce law will change so there will only be one ground for divorce. Is that true?

A: Yes. Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the only grounds for divorce in Illinois will be irreconcilable difference. No more mental cruelty, or any of the other old grounds.