Studio Visit: David Barkley

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, Melissa Merli chats with David Barkley, who plays Anatoly Sergievsky in the Celebration Company's production of the musical "Chess."

Q: I haven't seen "Chess" yet at the Station. Do you adopt a Russian accent?

A: A mild Russian accent. I speak a little bit of a Russian accent in the show.

Getting Personal: Leonard Doyle

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, Melissa Merli chats with 85-year-old Champaign resident Leonard Doyle. He is semi-retired but works 12 hours a week at Meijer in Champaign. He formerly worked for Owens Funeral Home, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, the University of Illinois Assembly Hall and the Jewel and Eisner food stores.

Letter from Birdland: It's all about creating coziness now

Winter has settled into Birdland with its short days and bitter winds. My red cabbage and arugula weathered some of the earlier frosts, and I was able to pick greens for salads or to saute through half of November, but even these sturdy cruciferous herbs are sadly wilted.

On the town: Group celebrates season with check presentation

At their 43rd annual Christmas party, members of the Corvette Club of Illinois donated $8,400 to an organization that aids battered women and children

At the party, which was Dec. 7 at the Carpenter's Local No. 44 Hall in Champaign, the group presented a check to Sharon Jarboe, executive director of BETHS Place (Because Eventually The Healing Starts).

Business and professional briefs, Dec. 15, 2013

New jobs

Ogden bank hires Damler. Jeff Damler of Champaign has been hired as vice president/commercial lending at the First National Bank of Ogden.

He previously was a commercial lender at Heartland Bank & Trust Co. for six years.

The Reluctant Townie's Christmas wish list

As a child of the 1980s and specifically of the Midwest, I grew up hoping that my life would someday resemble a John Hughes movie. Ultimately, that dream became a reality.

However, nobody warned me that it would be later-career John Hughes, a la "Baby's Day Out."

For the retirees, Dec. 15, 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.

Group offers opportunities to spread holiday cheer

The Christmas Carolers Choir, a group of Champaign-Urbana residents including musicians, will tour nursing homes and other facilities for the third consecutive holiday season.

From Monday through Friday, they will sing carols at facilities in Champaign, Urbana and Rantoul.

Gifford moving ahead

GIFFORD — It's been almost a month since a tornado barreled through this northeast Champaign County community, essentially leveling about a third of its homes.

Quickly, the rebuilding has begun in this town that a month ago had about 975 residents.

Prussing appoints Nightlinger fire chief

URBANA — Interim Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger could get the spot permanently if the Urbana City Council confirms Mayor Laurel Prussing's appointment next week.

Nightlinger has been acting fire chief since June, when former chief Mike Dilley retired. He would be taking over the position after spending the past six years as a division chief.