Area history, Dec. 6, 2016

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the morning, Dec. 6, 2016

Occasionally, fans from Arcola and Tuscola don't get along. But on Monday night, the Douglas County rivals worked together for a good cause.

Life Remembered: Longtime academic 'always faced his fears'

URBANA — He was so lively, positive and proactive with his health, those who knew Paul Magelli Sr. well figured he'd be around forever.

"He's one of those guys you just thought was going to live to be 100 years old," said Jeff Brown, a dean at the University of Illinois' College of Business.

Those Who Served: A mission happily unneeded

FLATVILLE — Ernest Sjuts served in Austria when the Iron Curtain separated the Soviet bloc from Western Europe.

It was in the early 1950s, and there was Cold War paranoia about a third world war.

The orders came to Sjuts' artillery group:

"Our mission: If the Russians came running across the border, we were supposed to slow them down," he said.

Area history, Dec. 5, 2016

Today is Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Alice B. McGinty/Books for Kids: Stories to get in the mood for winter

Winter is upon us, suddenly, it seems, and with it comes the holiday season. A visit to the local Barnes & Noble bookstore, with its friendly atmosphere and helpful staff, led me to these two new picture books, offering unique, well-crafted winter stories with subtle holiday tones.

Letters from Birdland: A wonderful holiday with my boys

Birdland awoke this morning in a shroud of fog. As much as I love to see the horizon when I walk out with a scoop of pellets for the chickens, I can honor the mystery of having the long view hidden. I somehow feel sheltered, even though that fog offers no real protection from whatever waits out there.

Area history, Dec. 4, 2016

Today is Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Getting Personal: Amanda McGrory

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 30-year-old Savoy resident Amanda McGrory, a professional athlete and a graduate student, teaching assistant and research assistant at the University of Illinois, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

What interests you the most right now?

The Reluctant Townie: How to shake off those bah humbugs

The Christmas season is the most magical time of the year.

But this year, for many, the yuletide cheer has been swallowed by a black hole of despair and anxiety about the future.

How can you keep your holiday spirit from being overpowered by the negative forces in and around you?

Take a proactive approach, and hunt down that holiday cheer like an animal in the night.