What to look for when getting a tattoo

Fast facts on what to look for when considering a tattoo, courtesy Ainslie Heilich

Reluctant Townie: New laws — and how to make them better

It's 2014, and the new year brings new laws for Illinois citizens.

Today we're going to look at a few of those new laws and brainstorm ways to improve them in 2015. Because it's never too early to start working on the laws you're going to break next year.

For the retirees, Jan. 5, 2014

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.

Roller Derby league seeks charities to help

The Twin City Derby Girls roller derby league is seeking partner charities to receive a portion of the proceeds from its 2014 home season and to benefit from publicity, advocacy and volunteerism provided by league members.

The application deadline is Jan. 12; to request a form, email

Ask 'Mimi' Jan. 5, 2014

Each week, Melissa "Mimi" Merli answers three arts and entertainment questions:

1. What are some last-minute things I can do during the holiday break?

Business and professional briefs, Jan. 5, 2014

New jobs

Brandow joins Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell. Jeremy Brandow of Champaign has joined Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell as a full-time sales associate in Champaign.

Letter from Birdland: A fond look back at the year past

In Birdland, as everywhere, the sun has turned the corner of the year and will begin its journey back north again. Today is grey and overcast as we welcome 2014. I thought I'd look back and review the seasons as we lived them.

Getting Personal: Michael T. Brown

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, Melissa Merli chats with 41-year-old Danville resident Michael T. Brown, who serves Danville and all of Vermilion County through his ministry work as executive director and CEO of the Danville Family YMCA.

So ... what's new with you?

Party of four in Paxton

PAXTON — For several weeks, the chatter throughout the Paxton community persisted: "Who won the $1 million in Powerball? Was it you?"

And for several weeks, Jim Carley, Martha Gentes, Diana Hale and John Overstreet kept quiet.

"Don't know anything about it," they'd say.

'Lucky PBL 4' to receive Powerball checks

PAXTON — Illinois Lottery officials will present oversized ceremonial checks Thursday to a group of three employees and one former employee of the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district that won $1 million in the Nov. 23 Powerball drawing.

The group, which calls itself "The Lucky PBL 4," bought a three-month Powerball subscription on the Lottery's website in October.