Those Who Served: World War II 'wasn't a luxury for us'

URBANA — The Timberwolves were night soldiers, some of the toughest in World War II, and Milford Ray Allen was one of those tough sons of guns, spending 196 consecutive days on the front lines.

After D-Day, it looked for a while like the war might be over by Christmas. But on Christmas Eve, Allen, now 91, saw some of the toughest fighting of the war.

Area history, March 21, 2016

In 1916, the Kankakee & Urbana interurban line had several teams at work straightening the grade between Ludlow and Paxton that was abandoned when freezing weather came. It was hoped to have the line in operation to Paxton by the mid-May.

Top of the morning, March 21, 2016

Yes, there are slow news days.

But March 21 has rarely been one of those in recent years.

I looked through our archives at what made the front page on this date in the last few years. Maybe not every one of these will wind your clock, but there have been some big stories on this date.

Ask 'Mimi,' March 20, 2016

Who made the Fu Dog ice sculpture for the "Vine to Wine" dinner last week at Allerton Mansion?

Rob VanAntwerp, 59, food services manager at UI's Florida Avenue Residence Halls. He started with a Fu Dog photograph he put on an overhead projector, traced it onto a 40- by 20-inch paper and then froze the paper onto the block of ice to carve out the figure.

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.

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.

That's entertainment: Spotlighting events in the area

Music scene

Jamey Johnson at Fat City

Country music singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at The City Center, 505 S. Chestnut St., C.

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.

'A special talent'

Soon after moving to Chicago on July 1, Sydney Germaine's talent agency sent the actor to the Goodman Theatre to audition for its revival of Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker."

Germaine, who hadn't even realized the Goodman was having auditions for the classic play that spawned "Hello, Dolly," landed the role of Minnie Fay, the young assistant in a hat shop.