Getting Personal: Christine Catanzarite

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with Christine Catanzarite, the director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Illinois. In the Nov.

Studio Visit: Lincoln Machula

Studio Visit appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with Lincoln Machula, who has spent the past two weeks playing Claudius in the Celebration Company’s production of ‘Hamlet’ at the Station Theatre in Urbana. In the Nov.

Life-changing assistance: Champaign woman's idea more than 30 years ago has led to 7,200-plus flights to help those in medical need

CHAMPAIGN — Three decades ago, Brian McGill was in bad shape and needed to fly to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

LifeLine Pilots was a fledgeling operation back then, and McGill was 24, suffering from Behcet's Disease, which causes sores all over the body and can lead to meningitis, blood clots and blindness.

Health Alliance, Coventry contracts have renewal clauses

SPRINGFIELD — Health Alliance Medical Plans and Coventry Health Care have been awarded new contracts to provide fully-insured HMO health plans for state employees and retirees for at least the next three-and-a-half years.

But with the potential for five renewals on those contracts, they could be in place much longer.

Former NBA player to speak at Prairie Center event

CHAMPAIGN — The Prairie Center, the local non-profit substance-abuse prevention and treatment provider, will host former NBA basketball player Chris Herren at its stakeholder dinner next month.

Tickets are $75 for one person or $100 per couple.

Novak Academy Dedication

Images from the dedication ceremony for the Novak Academy, the Champaign alternative school renamed for school board member Greg Novak.

Program gives ex-offenders another chance

DANVILLE — When Sara Marzbannia moved back to Danville eight months ago, she struggled to find work.

The problem wasn't the tough job market. She had managed two fast-food restaurant franchises in Memphis, where she had lived for the the previous 1-1/2 years, and those restaurants in Danville were hiring.

Life Remembered: Stanley Balbach recalled as stately, persistent

URBANA — Friends and associates remember Urbana attorney Stanley Balbach as a man whose stately demeanor and sense of professional ethics impressed those around him.

Mr. Balbach, who died Monday at age 92, was a key founder of Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund and the inspiration for many attorney-affiliated title insurance funds across the nation.

Rich Warren: Fix for poor sound balance on TV shows?

Our recent exploration of TV sound elicited this reader question:

Former Danville mayor added to high school wall of fame

DANVILLE — His name is already on a building in Danville — the municipal building no less.

But Bob Jones, a longtime businessman and Danville's longest-serving mayor, said seeing his name on a special wall at his alma mater will rank right up there with any previous accolade he has received.