Top of the Morning, May 1, 2014

What Mel Kiper is to the NFL draft, Andy Miller is to mushroom hunting. A mycologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey at the UI, he knows morels like nobody's business:

1. What are the ideal conditions to hunt mushrooms?

Vermilion County mounds may be connected to Cahokia

OAKWOOD — For at least 100 years, locals have been aware of several mounds, likely of Native American origin, in a rural part of Oakwood Township, but there's very little truly known about them.

Area history, April 30, 2014

Today is Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Generosity boosts playroom at children's center

When families walk into the Children's Advocacy Center of Champaign County, it's often the worst day of their child's life.

The center provides a safe place where authorities can interview abused children with as little trauma as possible. Having a toy to play with, or a good book to read, can make that just a little easier.

Tom Kacich: C-U's minor flirtation with pro baseball

100 years ago, team won its league but couldn't manage to win over enough wallets

Champaign-Urbana's brief history as the home of minor league baseball ended 100 years go this summer when its entry in the oddly named Illinois-Missouri League folded, followed soon by the entire league.

Meg Makes: Tunneling into angel food with chocolate

My husband, Rob, recently had a birthday. In his family, the birthday favorite is this delectable cake made by my mother-in-law, Mary Dickinson.

It's called Angel-Food Waldorf from Mary's "Betty Crocker Cookbook," but I have a newer version of the cookbook that doesn't contain it.

My Amish Home: Start of mowing season brings new life

"O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me; Thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether." Psalm 139:1,2,3,4

Youths in the news, April 30, 2014

In academic honors

Illinois Ancestors: Civil War sesquicentennial continues

Every American needs to continue the multi-year commemoration of the Civil War which took place 150 years ago, 1860-1865.

Top of the Morning, April 30, 2014

She's been a pizza maker, den mother, music booster, school teacher, museum curator, swim instructor, church treasurer and book sorter.

Take a bow, Nancy Dolan. Then take a break.

"I think I'll just keep going on," she said. "Although I'd like to go to Alaska one day."

Nancy, 74, isn't the vacationing type. At least not yet.