After injury, longtime volunteer finds many willing to help

CHAMPAIGN — Being mobile is a big part of Lisa Frerichs' daily life.

Between getting her family up and ready each day, to devoting hours of volunteer time at Jefferson Middle School, to assisting her dentist husband Jeff Frerichs at the office, slowing down or asking for help aren't typically a part of her agenda.

Area history, Dec. 24, 2015

In 1915, Santa Claus arrived by interurban in Champaign at 4:25 this afternoon and immediately went to the municipal tree in Gazette Square, where he met with children. The snowstorm of the day added much to the spirit of the season. Close to a thousand children swarmed to the headquarters today.

Mahomet woman with MS 'going to get my life back'

MAHOMET — Like many young adults, Taylor Lykins holds down two jobs.

But the 20-year-old Mahomet woman isn't working at Barnes & Noble and Sephora to pay for school, cover monthly bills or buy Christmas presents.

Teacher of the week: Candice Ochs

On Wednesdays, we'll spotlight a difference-making area educator. To nominate a teacher, tweet to education reporter @Nicole_Lafond with the hashtag "#TeacherOfTheWeek."

This week...

My Amish Home: Lots of juggling to do — and watch

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, 'Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.'" Luke 2:14-15

Area history, Dec. 23, 2015

In 1915, Santa Claus will come to pay his respects to the Champaign municipal Christmas tree tomorrow afternoon. All arrangements have been made for his grand entry into the city and his reception after he arrives. Santa Claus will arrive from the west at 4:25 p.m. at the interurban depot.

Those Who Served: A long and winding road for newly minted centenarian

DANVILLE — Today is Richard Schlecht's 100th birthday. You wouldn't guess it from the way he gets out of his chair to greet a visitor, and you wouldn't guess that he came inches from getting blown up in the South Pacific.

Schlecht served in the Navy from 1940 to 1945 and reached the rank of lieutenant commander.

Meg Makes: Holiday cake a generational favorite

Today's recipe is dearly loved by my family. My godmother, Sandy Hesterberg of Gifford, made it every year when I was growing up.

She'd bring it to enjoy after dinner whenever she and her husband, Karl, came for a school or church Christmas program.

Don Follis: It may be your time to be someone's Ebenezer

To say the least, Ebenezer Scrooge did not have much zeal for Christmas. At one point, he resentfully says to his nephew Fred, "If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart."

Young Fred is shocked and shouts, "Uncle!"

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Funds sought for Civil War sites

The Civil War Trust has the opportunity to save portions of ten battlefields in seven states — where 43,000 Americans died during that war. With the help of matching funds, 1,180 acres can be purchased for $268,000 — thanks to a $10-to-$1 match for lands worth $2,707,000.