Area history, April 29, 2016

Today is Friday, April 29, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Rain or shine, race officials prepared

CHAMPAIGN — Should another bout of wicked weather disrupt Saturday's Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, there won't be a repeat of 2015, organizers vow.

What's in a name? Sangamon River

If you needed to survive along the Sangamon River, there's a good chance you'd be able to, based on what's swimming in the 246-mile river that flows from rural Ellsworth in McLean County to the Illinois River near Beardstown.

Poet laureate spends time with students, faculty at UI

URBANA — At noon Thursday, University of Illinois senior Katie Pollman stopped by the Department of Latina/Latino Studies building, wanting to meet and hear U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

Afterward, she called the "Inside Scoop" lunch with the nation's first Latino Poet Laureate "incredible."

Top of the morning, April 29, 2016

The folks in charge of Gibson City's Harvest Moon Drive-In want you to vote. Early and often. Remember, it's Illinois.

The outdoor movieplex has been nominated as one of the nation's top drive-ins by USA Today. Fans are allowed to vote once a day until May 23. The Top 10 will be featured in the newspaper.

Just 1 question: What makes your character special?

For the first time in 10 years, Meade Park Elementary students will have their chance to shine on stage.

Area history, April 28, 2016

In 1916, Mrs. William "Toots" Mullin, who a week ago shot and killed Roy Ludwick at her home in Champaign, was not held for murder by the grand jury but was indicted on eight counts of selling liquor.

Hanna: Zoos educate people

CHAMPAIGN — When Jack Hanna comes to the Virginia Theatre Friday, he'll be bringing some guests.

Expect some of these: a sloth, an echidna (an egg-laying mammal from Australia), a lemur from Madagascar, a kangaroo and a cheetah. Hanna will surprise us.

"My favorite animal is my wife," he joked in a phone interview, hopefully out of her earshot.

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Society running photo contest

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) invites its members to submit photos to its 2016 Ancestor Photo Contest. Winning photos are displayed (on a rotating basis) in the top banner of the ISGS website. Photos may be submitted from now until May 31.

Younger Generation: Celebrating the achievements of young adults in East Central Illinois

Dance marathon

The annual Centennial High School Dance Marathon raised $14,440.38 for St. John's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals on Friday night.

Led by seniors Aashika Ashok and Jenna DeLuce and 30 other executive team members, more than 150 students danced the night away — and played many games — inside the gym.