Getting Personal: Gia Lewis-Smallwood

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality.

Grandson hopes to help grandparents recover from scam

Brian Padilla wasn't responsible for his grandparents losing their life savings to scam artists.

Still, he feels obligated to help them financially.

Padillas' grandparents, Chuck and Nancy Padilla, were robbed of $109,000 last year by thieves posing as their grandson, who lives in Paris, France.

Studio Visit: Connie Erickson

Studio Visit appears in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette.

Longtime local rabbi remains forever grateful for 'sparks of holiness' during a dark time

By EMILY SINER/For The News-Gazette

Some things he wants to remember; some things he tries to forget.

Gearhead of the Week: Skip Hunt

Skip Hunt has loved things with motors his entire life and his latest ventures are classic Corvairs and a custom Honda cafe racer.

Urbana High School chess champion used early losses as motivation

URBANA — Talk to Urbana High School student Yue "Penny" Xu, and you'd find her a good-natured, talkative high school sophomore.

But play chess with her, and you might get a different impression.

Her coach at Urbana, Jeff Davis, has played her in tournaments and said she's focused and serious while playing.

Woman hopes for bone marrow donor

ST. JOSEPH — If ever a mother hoped for anything, Chris Wulff hopes for this:

Someone who could be the right bone marrow donor for her only child, 32-year-old Sarah Parker — and is willing to help her.

Diagnosed last October with leukemia, Parker, of St. Joseph, is also the mother of three young daughters.

Letter from Birdland: Be careful what you wish for, folks

In Birdland we have some new chickens. They look a lot like kittens.

They are a trio of silkies. If you didn't know, Silkies are chickens with fur. They look like cartoon characters. It's not really fur, but the feathers are long and so slender that they look like you could knit them into an angora sweater. Think feather boa.

Reluctant Townie: You say you want a resolution ...

Happy 2013, East Central Illinois.

For the retirees Jan. 6, 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.