12 stories of Christmas: Couple dedicated to helping homeless

CHAMPAIGN — There was a time when Barb and Dan Davies wondered what people without homes do for food and shelter.

They’ve long since not only seen for themselves, but have hit the streets of Champaign-Urbana every week, working to ease some of the miseries of homeless people sleeping outside in all weather and lining up for blankets, socks and sack lunches.

Dad ensures daughter's lyrics find a voice after her death

MONTICELLO — Lee Schofield was going through his daughter's laptop last May after she had died, and discovered some haunting lyrics that 18-year-old musician Chelsea Jean Schofield had composed.

She wrote a song that you'll never hear, written at a time when you held her dear.

12 Stories of Christmas: Danville woman keeps her 'kids' well fed

DANVILLE — This time of year, Rose Gates always packs extras in her kids' lunches, like candy canes and chocolates, and doubles up on some main items.

She has more than 180 kids.

They're technically not hers, — at 80, her children are well out of school — but Gates cares about these kids as if they were.

Top of the Morning, Dec. 22, 2014: From the archives

Years ago, when one of my sons was playing grade-school basketball, I happened to see another dad spending halftime reading The News-Gazette.

This made me happy.

I was seated behind and to the side of this other dad, so I was able to watch his eyes and see what he was spending time on.

Stories with photos drew more of his time than stories without photos.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Dec. 21, 2014

What's the kindest, most selfless act you witnessed in 2014? That's the question for today's panel.


Eastern Illinois Foodbank

A star is reborn

VILLA GROVE — After two of his high school classmates fell seriously ill last year, Jim Whitmore felt compelled to come back here to help out.

Getting Personal: Tim Johnson

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 68-year-old Urbana resident Tim Johnson, who served in the state Legislature and Congress, chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood.

Lacys putting barbecue business under a roof

URBANA — Marvin Lacy and Beverly Jackson-Lacy hope to open Lacy's Famous Kansas City-Style BBQ in downtown Urbana by early next year.

The Lacys are no strangers to the business, having sold barbecue from tents at various locations in Champaign the last four summers.

Now they'll have an actual restaurant at 119 W. Main St., U, just west of Crane Alley.

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

The real deal

Area history, Dec. 21, 2014

Today is Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago: