Letter from Birdland: Parties provide the culture I crave

Birdland is under a steady drizzle, and today we are working inside.

Michael is putting together our new Adirondack chairs to replace the ones I made out of scrap wood about 10 years ago. My husband surprised me by ordering them, and they arrived in flat boxes, ready to be pieced together. I am helping by testing the chairs after he finishes. Yep. They are solid. Both of them.

Business listings, April 24, 2016

These applications for assumed business names were filed recently with the Champaign County clerk's office:

J. Jack's Transport, 1905 Golf Drive, Mahomet, Kari Grady and Jeff Grady, same address.

TMK Hidden Treasures, P.O. Box 74, U, Alicia Washington, 1411 W. Beardsley Ave., U, and Timothy Kendrick, 1213 Orchard Road, #3, Bloomington.

The director's right-hand woman

CHAMPAIGN — Over her long and distinguished career, Angela Allen worked closely with many of the world's most famous directors, among them American director John Huston.

To this day, she remains friends with his family.

She's also friends with the Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, now 93 and living in Rome.

Wired for worship

If you're headed to East Bend Mennonite Church this morning, don't forget your iPhone.

Or your iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Apple Watch or laptop. It'll come in handy.

Don Follis: Feeling truly heard makes a person feel loved

When I was 23 and brand new to campus ministry at the University of Illinois, I met a pastor who was about 60. He noticed my youthful zeal and then took it upon himself to warn me about being "too friendly." People will come and people will go, he said. So will pastors, he warned. "You'll probably be gone in five years yourself. That's just how it goes."

Getting Personal: Jessica Sempek

Here, 35-year-old Hoopeston resident Jessica Sempek, who heads up Hospice Hearts, chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. She founded the animal rescue group, serving pets whose owners are no longer able to take care of them due to nursing home admission, illness or death.

What interests you most right now?

From national anthem to groups along the course, runners won't lack for tunes

Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon runners and spectators will be entertained by every kind of live music, from the sacred — three different national anthem singers — to an Elvis impersonator and a traditional jazz band.

The anthem singers will get the most attention from listeners as they perform to a quiet and reverent audience.

5 faces behind the scenes of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon

Somebody has to run next weekend's Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon operation while everybody else is running. We found five faces who keep runners and spectators happy.

Sounds good

Pat Mills is a veteran runner, but for the marathon he'll be Mr. Music.

Wired-In: Brighten Godfrey

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week, meet Brighten Godfrey, 35, co-founder and chief technical officer for Veriflow, which has offices in Champaign and Oakland, Calif. He is also a professor at the University of Illinois, on sabbatical, and a dog owner.

Reluctant Townie: Health alert: Don't catch the pornos

On Tuesday, Utah took a bold step and became the first state in the nation to declare pornography a public health hazard.

Signs that you have been infected with a case of the pornos include heavy breathing, pallid complexion and excessively checking over your shoulder to make sure your wife isn't standing in the doorway.