"He kept threatening me, 'I'll kill you. I'll kill you. I'll kill you, you SOB'"

TILTON — On the afternoon of April 15, a man who was fleeing the police entered an apartment at the Tilton Senior Complex through an unlocked door.

Royal treatment

DANVILLE — North Ridge Middle School eighth-grader Nicholas Johnson was shy and didn't have a lot of friends until he became part of his school's "Lion King Jr." experience.

Johnson, who plays the older Simba, called the immersive study of theater ending in performances of the musical one of the best experiences he's had.

The Great Outdoors

OAKWOOD — Deer walk up to cars, butterflies glide up on breezes, runners puff by and meat cooks on the grill. The timbers are full of mushrooms and wild turkey.

The rolling hills of Kickapoo State Recreation Area provide full days of activities, so why not spend the night?

'Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to know how most things work'

Leading up to Saturday’s commencement, we’ll spotlight University of Illinois graduates from around the globe.

Area history, May 12, 2016

Today is Thursday, May 12, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Fiddler's Philo show will pay homage to country legend

Fiddler Dennis Stroughmatt and his band will perform the music of country legend Ray Price on Sunday in Philo.

The concert will celebrate the release of Stroughmatt's second CD paying tribute to Price, who died in 2013. He was a singer-songwriter and guitarist whose wide-ranging baritone was often praised as among the best male voices of country music.

He'll 'march them in and march them out'

OAKLAND — If anybody starts to nod off during a commencement ceremony, Paul Hinson's bagpipe will perk them right up.

There's nothing shy about this instrument.

Hinson, 60, a retired Oakland librarian, is a master of the sheepskin-based traditional instrument, though his is made of Gore-Tex.

Top of the morning, May 12, 2016

Before he worked at Robeson's Department Store in downtown Champaign, Jon Jones shopped there. "I practically grew up in that building," he said.

Now 50 and a designing bigwig in Chicago, Jones was happy to return home this week to help decorate an airplane hangar in Savoy that no doubt will wow the crowd at tonight's Prairielands Council Distinguished Citizen shindig.

Runners 'Stepping Up' for charity at home and abroad

If you passed by the window of the She Said Project in downtown Champaign last week, you might have wondered about that bottle of vodka next to a pile of old running shoes.

Turns out the best cleaning solution for old tennis shoes is one part vodka, three parts water. (Our livers must be really clean.)

Why so many shoes?

I took a six-month vacation from Facebook - and survived

This column appeared in The News-Gazette on Tuesday, April 23, 2015.

Almost a year ago now, my laptop died. It wasn’t quite as catastropic as a smartphone failure, but close.

After several futile attempts at a rescue, I gave up and bought a replacement.