Putting on a happy face

RANTOUL — Going through its final year at Grissom Hall, Rantoul Theatre Group wanted to stage the type of play it has rarely done — a musical.

RTG will band together with the old Paxton Majestic Theatre Group to present "Bye Bye Birdie."

C-U pride

Last year's fifth annual Champaign-Urbana Pride Festival showed downtown Champaign to be a pretty gay-friendly place — based on lots of support and zero protests.

Notes-Worthy: Shawn Farbman of Pet Roxx

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Miller Brown talks with Shawn Farbman, lead guitarist of Pet Roxx.

What other bands have you played in before Pet Roxx?

Myself (and Chris Anderson) were the founding members of Joyhammer. We founded Joyhammer around 1993-94 and played locally and regionally until we disbanded around 1997.

Top of the morning, July 16, 2015

Joyce Miller, 81, and Chris O'Connor, 22, share more than a love for Illinois football.

Each has a knee brace, too.

That's how the resident rascal at Piatt County Nursing Home and the fifth-year offensive lineman at the UI met.

Younger generation: Celebrating the achievements of young adults

National Merit winners

Three area students were announced as National Merit Scholarship winners on Wednesday: Gifford's Aleah Combs, a Rantoul High grad headed to the University of Kentucky; Urbana's Adina Johnson, a Uni High grad headed to Oberlin College; and Urbana's Lucy O'Brien, an Urbana High grad headed to Fordham University.

My Amish Home: Almost no room at the New York inns

"But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1 Peter 4, 7-10

Joan Griffis: New newsletter now available online

The Illinois State Genealogical Society's (ISGS) most recent Newsletter(July/August 2015) is now available, free, at the society's website at (Click on "Newsletter" and then the appropriate issue.)

Meg Makes: Finding pretzels' perfect pairing

The recipes being created in my home haven't been very summery lately. But I think that's OK, because the weather hasn't seemed terribly summery, either.

These Stuffed Pretzel Bites evolved when my husband, Rob, wondered what would happen if he combined the flavors of a cinnamon roll with baked, yeasty pretzels.

Schmidt takes reins at Parkland Foundation

CHAMPAIGN — With seven months on the job already, the new executive director of the Parkland College Foundation is no stranger to the position — or Champaign-Urbana.

Ellen Schmidt, a Champaign native and Centennial High graduate, was announced last week as executive director after holding the job on an interim basis since last November.

Neighbors: Recognizing accomplishments throughout our communities

Dean's list

— Marisa Murray and Monica Prichard Champaign, Samantha Schroeder of Mahomet, and Hannah Remmert of Monitcello were named to the dean's list at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

— The University of Nebraska announced that Marcelo Florencio Sobral of Champaign and Kady Jae Billam of Savoy were named to the dean's list.