For the retirees, Dec. 27-Jan. 3, 2016

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, 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 Service of Champaign County.

Area history, Dec. 26, 2015

In 1915, delegates of most of the Protestant churches in the Twin Cities met to plan a mass meeting the following Sunday at the University Auditorium to discuss moral conditions in the community. It was the general consensus that a relentless war should be waged against bootlegging and social vices. Only Dean T.A. Clark expressed any doubt about its ultimate success.

Champaign dancer was a shoe-in for Lincoln Academy award

CHAMPAIGN — This week, Taylor Casino is taking a breather from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is a senior marketing major, manager of the university's Student Orientation Program, president of the Student Alumni Ambassadors, a member of the Primo Dance Troupe and a mentor for the Ignite Program, among other things.

Champaign shop restoring piano owned by Lincoln's in-laws

As a longtime Abraham Lincoln and Civil War buff, Steve Schmidt recently was given a job he couldn't refuse:

Restore a square grand piano that had been owned by Mary Todd Lincoln's sister and brother-in-law and that Lincoln himself is thought to have listened to often.

Area history, Dec. 24, 2015

In 1915, Santa Claus arrived by interurban in Champaign at 4:25 this afternoon and immediately went to the municipal tree in Gazette Square, where he met with children. The snowstorm of the day added much to the spirit of the season. Close to a thousand children swarmed to the headquarters today.

Champaign businessman paying it forward, again and again

CHAMPAIGN — Forty years ago this month, Habeeb Habeeb had no money, no way to contact his parents in his war-torn homeland, no idea how he was going to eat while the college cafeteria was closed for Christmas break.

After injury, longtime volunteer finds many willing to help

CHAMPAIGN — Being mobile is a big part of Lisa Frerichs' daily life.

Between getting her family up and ready each day, to devoting hours of volunteer time at Jefferson Middle School, to assisting her dentist husband Jeff Frerichs at the office, slowing down or asking for help aren't typically a part of her agenda.

Mahomet woman with MS 'going to get my life back'

MAHOMET — Like many young adults, Taylor Lykins holds down two jobs.

But the 20-year-old Mahomet woman isn't working at Barnes & Noble and Sephora to pay for school, cover monthly bills or buy Christmas presents.

Teacher of the week: Candice Ochs

On Wednesdays, we'll spotlight a difference-making area educator. To nominate a teacher, tweet to education reporter @Nicole_Lafond with the hashtag "#TeacherOfTheWeek."

This week...

Those Who Served: A long and winding road for newly minted centenarian

DANVILLE — Today is Richard Schlecht's 100th birthday. You wouldn't guess it from the way he gets out of his chair to greet a visitor, and you wouldn't guess that he came inches from getting blown up in the South Pacific.

Schlecht served in the Navy from 1940 to 1945 and reached the rank of lieutenant commander.