Studio Visit: Ollie Watts Davis

Studio Visit appears first in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with Ollie Watts Davis, a conductor and director, a member of the University of Illinois music faculty since 1987, and a recent ACE Award winner.   

Getting Personal: Kevin Kelly

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with Kevin Kelly, conductor of The Prairie Ensemble, who also leads the East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra and the choir at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church in Champaign. Kelly also hosts “Live and Local” on WILL-FM 90.9.

Letter from Birdland: On a less cheerful note than usual ...

For Jeff, who says Birdland is "too happy":

Today in Birdland, the sky was cloudy and the yard was full of mud. I knew it was going to be a difficult day when I woke up before my alarm. Now I like to sleep in as much as anyone, but this whole "fall back" business comes on rather suddenly.

For the retirees Nov. 18, 2012

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.

Reluctant Townie: 22 days of thanks with Thomas Turkey

Editor's Note: As transcribed from the Facebook/Twitter feed of Thomas T. Turkey, during the month of November, in the year of our fowl, 2012.

Life-changing assistance: Champaign woman's idea more than 30 years ago has led to 7,200-plus flights to help those in medical need

CHAMPAIGN — Three decades ago, Brian McGill was in bad shape and needed to fly to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

LifeLine Pilots was a fledgeling operation back then, and McGill was 24, suffering from Behcet's Disease, which causes sores all over the body and can lead to meningitis, blood clots and blindness.

Getting Personal: Christine Catanzarite

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with Christine Catanzarite, the director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Illinois. In the Nov.

Studio Visit: Lincoln Machula

Studio Visit appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with Lincoln Machula, who has spent the past two weeks playing Claudius in the Celebration Company’s production of ‘Hamlet’ at the Station Theatre in Urbana. In the Nov.

Villa Grove woman with blindness, autism enjoys performance experience

VILLA GROVE — Singer and keyboardist Kari Kinnett has special talents and special challenges.

Both of which qualified Kinnett, who is blind and autistic, for the Special Talents America competition.

Former NBA player to speak at Prairie Center event

CHAMPAIGN — The Prairie Center, the local non-profit substance-abuse prevention and treatment provider, will host former NBA basketball player Chris Herren at its stakeholder dinner next month.

Tickets are $75 for one person or $100 per couple.