Author offers advice, inspiration for caregivers

The holiday season can often bring anxiety and depression for caregivers and their loved ones. What is refreshing about Deborah Shouse's book "Love in the Land of Dementia" is that she offers hope, practical advice and inspiration for caregivers, especially those whose loved ones suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

Business and professional briefs, Dec. 22, 2013

New jobs

Three join Iroquois Federal. Jason Rome, Scott Perkins and Randy LeBeane have joined the Danville office of Iroquois Federal.

For the retirees, Dec. 22, 2013

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Bodnar, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Services of Champaign County.

Getting Personal: Valerie McWilliams

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, Melissa Merli chats with Valerie McWilliams, 56, who has been an attorney at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance for almost 30 years. It provides free civil legal assistance in the southern 65 counties of Illinois out of five regional offices. McWilliams also is the wife of David and mother of Claire and Matthew.

UI grad's displays all about 'making and reacting'

CHAMPAIGN — The window and other displays inside Urban Outfitters in Campustown might lead visitors to feel they've stepped into a contemporary art gallery.

Sure, they're a bit commercial, made to look cool in an urban, industrial-lite style. They're meant to draw customers in. And they do.

Top of the morning, Dec. 21, 2013

Something to get your day going, courtesy of executive editor Jim Rossow.

Later today, Illinois and Missouri play in St. Louis for the 33rd time. That's 33 more times than Lou Henson thought possible after a run-in with Norm Stewart early in their coaching careers.

Grand light display returns to Paxton (with video)

PAXTON — Victor Johnson could be forgiven if he has unkind thoughts about rabbits during this Christmas season.

They made a mess of a part of the grand Christmas lights display he had assembled at his family's home on Patton Street in Paxton.

Melissa Merli: Highlights from year that was

The year 2013 was rough for me, with the deaths in April of two people I greatly admired and respected, then three in my own family, including my older brother, Michael.

One was Erma Bridgewater, Champaign-Urbana's beloved matriarch of jazz, who died April 2. Two days later, the incomparable Roger Ebert passed on.

Top of the morning, Dec. 20, 2013

Load the fireplace with logs, grab the remote and click your way to holiday happiness. Here's your weekend TV guide, courtesy staff writer Bob Asmussen:


"I Love Lucy Christmas Special," WCIA, 7 p.m. 

It's the most package-filled time of the year

CHAMPAIGN — The back room is filled with gifts — thousands of them. A single string of Christmas lights hangs on a wall.

But instead of wrapping paper, the gifts are in boxes and padded envelopes. Instead of bows, they're tied with Amazon Prime packing tape, stamped "FRAGILE" and to be handled with care. In place of gift tags, they have addresses.