Facebook helps reunite owners with tornado-strewn items

GIFFORD — A ring with three stones. A Harley Davidson duffel bag. Old baseball cards. And someone's back X-ray.

Personal possessions scattered by Sunday's tornado are piling up in a couple of bins at the Gifford State Bank, where Tanna Suits has become a human lost and found.

Roundup of coverage of 50th anniversary of JFK assassination

Here is where we will include links to stories and other material marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy and of the days that followed.

This includes material from the print edition of The News-Gazette, items that are exclusive to, and coverage from WDWS/WHMS.

FRIDAY, NOV. 22, 2013

Former Champaign priest in midst of Washington tornado aftermath

WASHINGTON — In June, the Rev. Steve Willard stood on the altar at Holy Cross Church, weeping as he revealed to parishioners he was being reassigned to a church in western Illinois.

After eight years at the helm of the central Champaign Catholic parish, he was being transferred to Washington, not far from his hometown of Peoria.

JFK: Readers' memories part 6

As the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination approaches, we asked our readers to share their memories of the fallen president. Here are recollections of those iconic "Where were you?" moments.

Community's gotten a lot of help, but you can still pitch in

Among the volunteers helping sort, trim, haul and clean up Gifford on Wednesday were about 150 students and staff members from Armstrong Township High School.

"Our whole high school is here in town to help," said Armstrong Superintendent Bill Mulvaney, whose damaged house sits just off Gifford's Main Street.

The school has 130 students plus about 20 staff members, he said.

For Gifford merchants, it's business unusual

GIFFORD — Lorin Schluter, in his denim overalls, took a break from frying chicken to step out the back door of his restaurant.

There he checked on the generator he had hooked up to a power take-off connected to a 120-horsepower John Deere tractor.

It's been running since 6 p.m. Sunday.

Residents' German roots shine through in tenacity

Nobody seems to be giving up on Gifford.

JFK: Readers' memories part 5

I remember the rain. Drizzle mainly, making a sad day even sadder. And as I go back to that awful time, I think to myself, "I remember all of it. Every moment." But, of course, I don't. The day, Friday the 22nd of November, 1963 comes back in bits and pieces.

2 with ties to UI get awards for ingenuity

WASHINGTON — Two men with connections to the University of Illinois were honored Tuesday with American Ingenuity Awards at the Smithsonian, along with eight others.

Military news: Area residents finish basic training

Army National Guard Pvt. Matthew M. Curtis has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

Curtis is the son of Jackie and James Curtis of Mahomet.

He is a 2012 graduate of Mahomet-Seymour High School.