Tattoo/horror fest leaves a lasting impression

CHAMPAIGN — If you were in a movie and you met this guy, you'd probably be cut to pieces. If you saw him in a movie, he'd scare the bejeebers out of you. And you probably have seen him in a movie, though you might not know his name.

Area history, Oct. 12, 2014

Today is Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Studio Visit: Megan Diddie

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, Megan Diddie, an MFA candidate in studio art at the University of Illinois and the 2014 Student ACE Award winner for her work at the UI's Fresh Press, an agricultural waste-fiber papermaking research studio, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

A legendary opportunity

DANVILLE — On Friday night, local singer Willie "Sweet Willie" Johnson was thrilled just to sing for The Contours with Joe Billingslea, an original member of the Motown act famous for "Do You Love Me."

"To be honest, just to sing in front of The Contours would be a great privilege to me," said Johnson, who got that chance Friday night.

UI colleagues praise LED pioneer

CHAMPAIGN — He wasn't there in person, but Nick Holonyak Jr. was a featured star at the dedication of the new University of Illinois Electrical and Computer Engineering building on Friday.

Area history, Oct. 11, 2014

Today is Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the Morning, Oct. 11, 2014

I had not heard of Silent Sunday before taking in my daughter's soccer match last weekend in Normal.

But having experienced the peace and calm that came with it — coaches and spectators are to zip it while play is going on, leaving the talking to the players — I'll admit I'm a big fan. Turns out I'm not alone.

"The referees love Silent Sunday," Kevin Love said.

Rossville teen firefighters put to test in baptism by tire fire

ROSSVILLE — Fifteen-year-old Josh Brown and his 17-year-old sister, Jenna, were both in a deep sleep when their mom rushed into their rooms at 6 a.m., telling them to get up "right now."

They weren't late for school. They had to go fight a fire.

Monticello Hall of Fame inductee key in NASA's safety strategies

MONTICELLO — When the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, claiming the lives of seven astronauts in 2003, NASA turned to Larry Dalton and his team to help keep future missions safe.

That's Larry Dalton, Monticello High School Class of '63.

Area history, Oct. 10, 2014

In 1914, pavement work on the north end of Neil Street will begin Monday morning as pavement work on University Avenue in downtown Champaign is being completed.