Letter from Birdland: Chicks keeping me on my toes

A storm blew into Birdland yesterday evening. I was visiting with friends at Nora's house, down the road, and we saw the dark piles of clouds sliding this way.

We scurried to bring the party inside, but I said my goodbyes. I needed to be home by dark, anyway, to shut up the chickens and make sure the new Serama chicks were settled.

Birbiglia: Jokes risky but worth it

CHAMPAIGN — In his first two one-man shows, comedian-writer-actor-filmmaker Mike Birbiglia told single stories with emotional arcs.

This time around, he's come up with a show that returns him to his standup comedy roots — his "Thank God for Jokes" tour, which brings him to the Virginia Theatre on Wednesday night.

Fewer state residents in UI's freshman class

The University of Illinois' 10-day enrollment figures are in, the first official look at this year's freshman class.

About 71 percent are from Illinois, a slight drop from last year and below the UI's target of 73 or 74 percent.

"That's absolutely not where we want it to be," said Charles Tucker, vice provost for undergraduate education.

Area history, Sept. 13, 2014

Today is Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the Morning, Sept. 13, 2014

Things lean and mean STEVE WARNS won't do after finishing today's Crazy K at the Champaign County Fairgrounds (preview, B-1):

— Party. "I will be more interested in going to bed," he said.

— Show off a first-place ribbon. "Me and my knocked knees aren't going to set any records," he said. "But barring any major broken bones, I WILL finish."

'Longevity pays off' for honored bluesman

CHAMPAIGN — The day after he discovered he is the winner of the 2014 ACE Award for lifetime achievement, Gerald "Candy" Foster joked "longevity pays off."

Area history, Sept. 12, 2014

Today is Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1914: Preparations to lay the concrete are being made by contractors on the South Neil Street improvement. A large concrete chain mixer has been placed just south of Green Street. Work began yesterday on the new concrete walk being laid east of the fire station addition.

Top of the Morning, Sept. 12, 2014

When you see students piled into the local restaurants and filling the streets near the Illinois campus, be nice. There might be the next Woodward or Bernstein in town. Or the next Loren Tate.

Teacher looks online for help with new classroom

CHAMPAIGN — Wanting only the best for the four special kids she gets to teach this year, Grace Steging did what any ambitious recent college grad in need of assistance would do.

She went to the Internet.

Area history, Sept. 11, 2014

In 1914: Stampofski Park, the triangular grass plot bounded by University Avenue, First South Street and Walnut Street in downtown Champaign, will be paved, the Champaign City Council's streets and alleys committee has decided.