Top of the morning, Oct. 28, 2015

He's spread his pumpkin love to the White House, the governor's mansion and even on the set of Martha Stewart's TV show.

But Mac Condill, a 39-year-old, fifth-generation farmer from Arthur, hasn't let his celebrity status go to his head. In fact, he still carves his own pumpkins.

"I'm old-school," he said. "Triangles and circles and all that."

Area history, Oct. 27, 2015

In 1915: An excellent painting of Miss Frances Willard, for many years president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, was presented this morning at the assembly period at Champaign High School. The picture was accepted on behalf of the school by Principal Lottie Switzer.

Family Life: Dads matter, too

By Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker

We often hear about how moms are trying to do it all. And as a working mom, I am not taking anything away from the working moms out there.

But there are many working dads out there who are doing just as much and are not getting the support they need to maintain work-life balance.

Spotlight on Service, Oct. 27, 2015

A look at area do-gooders. This week: Mahomet Town and Country Women's Club

About the club

President: Chris Russell

Origin: Founded in 1935 and federated as part of the General Federation of Women's Clubs in 1937

Meets: 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, excluding December, in the Mahomet Public Library.

Top of the morning, Oct. 27, 2015

Champaign's Tom Scaggs and his eye-popping collection of Illini memorabilia make their BTN debut tonight.

You can help Ray finish his ride

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Injured and in pain from an accident last week, Ray Spooner says he won't be able to complete his ride across America by bicycle. But if you're willing to help, you can log the bike miles for him.

Area history, Oct. 26, 2015

In 1915, the new theater that C.F. Hamilton is having built on West Church Street is about ready to make a bid for public patronage. Opening night will be in late November. The new theater will seat 1,420 people, 700 seats on the main floor and the rest divided between two balconies. There will be 17 large dressing rooms in the basement under the stage for stars.

Burden of ALS eased by friends

CHAMPAIGN — There's no known cure for the debilitating disease she was diagnosed with 14 months ago. But Lynda Holman has discovered one way to make her days with ALS a little brighter.

"I try to laugh about some of this as often as I can," she says. "If you don't try to make light of it, things can become dark."

Those Who Served: Shrapnel got him twice in one battle

URBANA — John Ogden was injured in Vietnam, twice in the same battle.

"I left my body and came back," he says of May 12, 1968, when as a 19-year-old Army volunteer, he was hit first by shrapnel from mortar fire and 20 minutes later by shrapnel from a rocket.

Ogden, 67, was in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, after going to Mansfield High School. His family was in farming.

Top of the morning, Oct. 26, 2015

I recall going next door as a child to the most unusual trick-or-treat stop ever.

Several kids went in a group, with this house the first stop. We all knew the family — I was lucky to be a kid in one of those neighborhoods where it was true that everyone knew everyone. The mom opened the door and invited us in.