Area history, Dec. 6, 2015

Today is Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago: 

In 1915: Charles Ashbrook was released from the Champaign city jail — after three months' confinement there — to the Champaign County Jail. The former police officer and fish dealer was charged with a state count of bootlegging.

'Gibraltar of the North' a great place to explore

By Vivienne Mackie

Sometimes it's nice to visit a well-known city, like Paris, London, Rome or Jerusalem. But other times, it's fun to visit one that is not at the top of tourist lists. That way, you get to see new buildings, lovely architecture and historical sights without the sometimes-oppressive crowds.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Dec. 6, 2015

What's the greatest length you've gone to in picking out the perfect present for a special someone?


Champaign businesswoman

For the retirees, Dec. 6-13, 2015

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, 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 Service of Champaign County.

Professor takes on vital role

URBANA — History Professor Antoinette Burton turned down a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities this year to fill an interim post as director of a major research program at the University of Illinois.

Getting Personal: Barbara J. Ford

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 68-year-old Champaign resident Barbara J. Ford, a distinguished professor emerita of the University of Illinois Library Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. Ford describes herself as a librarian interested in international issues.

Studio Visit: Austin Duncan

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, Austin Duncan, 24, of Champaign. Duncan, a Parkland College student, musician and part-time sound engineer at WDWS Radio, recently chatted with Melissa Merli.

What will you be doing Friday at Mike N Molly's?

Mass appeal

CHAMPAIGN — Actor Jim Dobbs didn't have to acquire much for the nun's costume he'll wear as Mother Superior in "Nunsense."

"This is my Edna equipment from when I did 'Hairspray,'" he said, lifting his fake bosom as costumer Esther Nixon adjusted his veil.

So you want to be coroner?

In 1973 when Joe Victor was 18, his maternal grandfather, Angalo DiGiacomo, shot his mother and Victor's great-grandmother, Mary DiGiacomo, then turned the gun on himself.

Victor recalled how the Sangamon County coroner's office made the Springfield-area murder-suicide even more traumatic for the family by the way it handled the case.

Top of the morning, Dec. 6, 2015

Don't ever mistake Dave Dillman for a Scrooge.

The Danville eye surgeon and his family love this time of year. It's evident by their amazing streak: 24 consecutive years of traveling to take in "A Christmas Carol" at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.

"At this point I'm pretty sure I know how it is going to end," he said, "but I look forward to it every December."