Don Follis: Familiar voice comes from spending time together

A few years back on an overnight train from Shanghai to Beijing, I lay in my sleeper berth thinking about the quick-acting professor with whom I had spent the previous week.

Urbana neighborhood: Preservation vs. development

What's your opinion? Submit a Letter to the Editor here

URBANA — The city of Urbana has a conundrum: the historic neighborhood east of campus is too beautiful to mess with, yet too valuable to not develop.

Mascot not high on list of trustees' concerns

URBANA — The debate over a new athletic mascot for the University of Illinois may consume fans, pro or con, but it's not exactly the top priority for UI trustees.

Board members say their focus is on more pressing issues — namely, the nonexistent state budget.

DJ Kosmo: The party starts here

CHAMPAIGN — Since 1985, DJ Kosmo — John Kosmopoulos — has been putting house music and hip-hop out there.

In 2003, he created a two-day music festival known as Spindependence, where top DJs gather in Champaign.

It will be held again this year, on July 2-3, though the venue has not been decided, he said.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, June 5, 2016

We asked 10 folks from Lovie Smith's past to tell us their best story about the UI's new football coach.


Former mayor of Big Sandy, Texas

Migrant workers often forced to deal with deficiencies

Editor's note: The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is an independent, nonprofit newsroom devoted to educating the public about crucial issues in the Midwest with a special focus on agribusiness and related topics such as government programs, environment and energy. Read more at

John Roska: Can heir take over house payments?

Q: My mother recently passed away. I'd like to take over the payments on her house loan, and eventually pay it off so I end up as the owner. Can I do that?

A: Yes — if you're an heir and live in the house. Related heirs who "occupy" the house have the right to continue making someone's payments after they die.

Reluctant Townie: Rating my life: Three shades of sewage

Last week, I watched Adam Sandler's Netflix original film "The Do-Over" and a sequel to "Kindergarten Cop" starring Dolph Lundgren and dealt with raw sewage flooding my basement. Which experience did I enjoy the most? Read on to find out!


Getting Personal: Don Hansen

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 67-year-old Don Hansen, who served as a teacher and principal in Champaign for 32 years, chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. Hansen says he splits his time between Champaign, Lutz, Fla., and 'wherever the airplane takes me.'

Wired-In: Hanze Ying

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week, Hanze Ying, 26, co-founder of Hindered Polyurea Technology, which makes inexpensive polymers — long chains of molecules — that are useful in business and medicine.