Letter from Birdland: I believe spring has arrived early

Is it me or is spring early this year? Crocuses are blooming, of course, bunches of white and purple on my garden path, and one is the exact color of the yolks of my chickens' eggs, clusters in the bed on the south side of the house.

Area history, March 20, 2016

Today is Sunday, March 20, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Stamp of approval

HOMER LAKE — Homer Lake Forest Preserve is full of hidden treasures.

For Jill Robbins of St. Joseph, it all started with Stinkerbell.

Stinkerbell, whose real name is Valerie Reitz Morgan, grew up here. On a visit home in 2004, she got bored and went out to Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve to practice her hobby.

A trip of a lifetime: The seventh continent

By Kip Pope

The seventh continent. The land of Adm. Richard Byrd that had enthralled me in junior high school, of Ernest Shackleton's miraculous adventure and of the gripping race to the South Pole between Britain's Capt. Robert Scott and Norway's Roald Amundsen. The coldest, driest continent on Earth, a desert — Antarctica.

Chuck Koplinski: Rauch is on a roll

And to think, it all started with a free pretzel.

Inspiration can come from the most unexpected of places, and that was certainly the case with Melissa Rauch and her husband, Winston, who years ago had gone to a mall in New Jersey and were given a free pretzel.

Wired In: Lori Gold Patterson

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week, meet Lori Gold Patterson, 50, founder and CEO of fast-growing Pixo in Urbana. 


Her company creates software and has provided business consulting to over 450 startups and established organizations. She has managed projects as large as $5 million.

Business listings, March 20, 2016

These applications for assumed business names were filed recently with the Champaign County clerk's office:

A Living Contradiction - Ben Petty Customs, 54 E. Beardsley Ave., C, Henry Bailey, same address.

Hondumex Roofing, 708 E. Sangamon Ave., Rantoul, Martha Martinez Espinoza, same address.

Top of the morning, March 20, 2016

This year's "Eric Show" featured more artwork from more high schoolers than ever before. But something was missing on Opening Night.

"Not being there ... was sad," Peg Steffensen said. "Especially for such a horrible reason."

Remembering a day of destruction

By Jennifer Staire

Area history, March 19, 2016

Today is Saturday, March 19, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1916: The First Baptist Church of Rantoul burned to the ground Sunday afternoon with a loss of about $10,000. None of the furnishings was saved and the church is believed to be insured only to $4,000. It is believed the fire originated from an overheated furnace.