People

Pipe organ ready for close-up at Virginia

CHAMPAIGN — The master organist sat down at the Wurlitzer on Friday, played the Gershwins' "S'Wonderful" — and pronounced the organ s'wonderful, too.

The majestic pipe organ at the Virginia Theatre will have a big Saturday night, celebrating 90 years and 900 pipes with a nearly two-hour rededication concert.


Extravaganza features summer activities galore

URBANA — The school year is winding down, and that means it's time to find something for your kids to do this summer.

The annual Summer Enrichment Extravaganza, a community-wide youth programming resource fair, might be a place to start.

It's scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Urbana Middle School Cafetorium, 1201 S. Vine St., U.


Residents cope with aftermath of apartment fire

CHAMPAIGN — Just last week, Lindsey and Ben Hammerslag, both 24-year-old University of Illinois students, spent the last of the cash and gift cards they received as wedding gifts in January on items for their Champaign apartment.


WILL hosts Inge, Quinn, producer retiring

URBANA — Two longtime hosts on WILL-AM and a producer at the radio station are retiring.

David Inge, longtime host of the morning talk show "Focus," announced his plans to retire from the University of Illinois and WILL-AM on June 30.

In addition, Celeste Quinn, the host of "Afternoon Magazine," and Harriet Williamson, the producer of "Focus," are also retiring.


Hundreds march at UI for Trayvon Martin

URBANA — Almost 400 people turned out for a rally on the University of Illinois campus Wednesday night, calling for justice for Trayvon Martin and hoping to put a halt to similar deaths.


Vermilion organization hopes more walkers will help keep county clean

DANVILLE — Almost every day, Ed Hamilton stuffs a plastic bag or two in his back pocket and takes a 3-mile walk in his neighborhood, picking up trash he sees along the way.


'Blue Kids' coming back to raise awareness of child abuse, neglect

CHAMPAIGN — The "Blue Kids" will be back out in the local community, starting Thursday and Friday.

But local authorities hope the wooden, kid-shaped cutouts will do more than serve as silent witnesses of the victims of child abuse and neglect.

Real signs of suspected child abuse and neglect should be reported, so they can be investigated.


Rantoul teacher honored as mom of the year

RANTOUL — A teacher at J.W. Eater Junior High School has been named Illinois Mother of the Year.

Maria McCarthy of Rantoul, an eighth-grade algebra and pre-algebra teacher and mother of two, received the award.

McCarthy's daughter, Patrece McLain, nominated her.


Author: New goals a chance to collaborate, fix things

Sarah Brown Wessling, author of "Supporting Students in a Time of Common Core Standards" and the 2010 National Teacher of the Year, said the new standards provide teachers across states "a common language in which to talk about some of the facets of learning that we know are important."


Studio Visit: Sherrika Ellison

Studio Visit appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with singer Sherrika Ellison. In the March 25 newspaper, we'll have a studio visit with singer-songwriter David Howie.

Q: You should audition for that TV program "The Voice."


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