36 hours of unbridled creativity

This weekend, participants in Hack Illinois will try to show off high-tech prowess for bragging rights, as well as some cash, prizes

Laptops: Check.

Backpacks: Check.

4,300 cans of Red Bull: Check.

Area history, April 12, 2014

Today is Saturday, April 12, 2014. News reports from 50 and 15 years ago on this date:

Top of the Morning, April 12, 2014

When Shawn Tabeling was growing up, baseball strictly was a summer sport.

When it turned cold outside, "I played basketball," he said.

A lot has changed since the 41-year-old Champaign Central grad was running around the neighborhood, trying his hand at every sport he could.

New chief chosen for Parkland police

CHAMPAIGN — A retired Illinois State Police captain has been tapped to lead Parkland College's police department.

William Colbrook, a 26-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, will start his new job on May 1, pending approval by the Parkland College Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

Plants pop up faster in microclimates

Even Mother Nature procrastinates. Or at least this year she's gone back to bed and pulled the blanket over her head. She is wisely waiting for warmer days. The spring of 2014 has been slow to arrive, and our plants are showing the effects.

Couple retiring from Rantoul pastorate

RANTOUL — The former Barbara Gage remembers she was in high school when she had the dream. She told her boyfriend it was "a terrible dream."

The boyfriend was John Bonacorsi, the man she would later marry. She told him she dreamed she was going to marry a preacher. They both agreed it would not be good. Then they laughed.

Coach Changnon according to Rayvonte Rice

On Saturday night, the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation honors four local legends at its annual gala:

Distinguished Alumni: Jim Wicks (Central '81), Bhavia Wagner (Urbana '74).

Local Hero: Marc Changnon (Central '70).

Local Business Community Impact: Paul Tatman (Urbana '58).

Area history, April 11, 2014

Today is Friday, April 11, 2014. News reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago: 

Volunteers recall Austin Cloyd's zeal for service

CHAMPAIGN — When volunteers report for this year's Austin's Day Saturday, Chris Piper, Diana Dudzienski and Josh Smothers will be there.

And they'll bring something in common — a willingness to serve that underlines the annual event that sends student and adult volunteers out into the community to help make it a better place.

'81 Central grad: Use technology, but keep your head up

This weekend, two former Urbana Tigers and a pair of one-time Central Maroons will join Roger Ebert, Bonnie Blair and other local legends as Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation honorees. Leading up to Saturday night's gala, we're telling their stories. Up today: Jim Wicks, Champaign Central Class of '81.