Reluctant Townie: My toddler fought the law, and my toddler won

History will show that this was a defining week in my life — the week when I was bested in a battle of wits by my 2-year-old daughter. Not sure whether to be proud of her or to lament the fact that I was outsmarted by someone who accidentally stabbed herself in the face with a meat thermometer mere days before.

First, a little background, to put the incident into proper context:

Champaign musician finalist in piano competition

CHAMPAIGN — Pianist Reed Phillips of Champaign is among the finalists who will compete in the 40th annual World Championship Old-time Piano Playing Contest over the Memorial Day weekend in East Peoria.

Ragtime and honky-tonk players from around the world will compete for more than $4,000 in cash prizes in the junior and senior division. Phillips is in the junior division.

Letter from Birdland: Keeping a close eye on the family forest

Birdland is emerald green. We had a satisfying and dramatic thunderstorm last night, and this morning, the corn seedlings have turned the fields into a rumpled pinstriped quilt.

'He really shows how much he cares for people'

CHAMPAIGN — Sophomore Luke Zola is on his route at Centennial High School, delivering snacks, gathering pop tops for charity, pushing his friend Zoie Irani in her chair to her next class — and anything else that would make somebody's life a little easier.

Indi Go show features Troutman's work

CHAMPAIGN — "Dividing Time," the next show at the Indi Go Artist's Co-op, will be on view from Tuesday through Friday, featuring work by visual artist Christopher Troutman.

The opening reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, and the work may be seen from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Studio Visit: Judie Spencer

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, a chat with Judie Spencer of Urbana, a jewelry maker with a bachelor of fine arts degree in metals from the University of Illinois.

Q: When did you study at the U of I? Did you study with Billie Theide?

A: I studied with Billie Theide and Alan Mette, and I graduated in 1989.

Getting Personal: Dave Benton

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with 51-year-old Dave Benton, the WCIA 3 newscaster, who recently battled brain cancer.

What's the best thing about a long career in television news?

Class of '14: Austin Lin



Chicago product has the best seat in the house

A couple of things to include on your resume for that White House job: theater major and computer science expert.

Class of '14: HIllary Veitch



Mahomet globetrotter bound for South Korea

Some people wait years, even decades, before landing their dream job.

Not Hillary Veitch.