Studio Visit: Benny Lo

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here's a visit with Benny Lo. The artist, who works at Volition, a video game maker in Champaign, recently chatted with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. Lo is working on a fantasy comic book that might have spinoffs, including 3-D toys.

What do you do at Volition?

Top of the Morning, March 29, 2015

Next month's Roger Ebert's Film Festival will be the 14th — and last — for Champaign's Mary Susan Britt, the affable associate festival director. Britt and her family are moving to Louisiana in June.

Her cluttered office in Gregory Hall indicates Britt's in full Ebertfest mode. Still, she had time for a few questions after this year's lineup was announced:

Getting Personal: Ken Konsis

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 62-year-old Ken Konsis, the executive director of the Vermilion County Conservation District, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. Konsis, who has lived in Westville his entire life, often arranges artful bouquets of plants that some would consider weeds.

Reluctant Townie: Battling the Masque of the Red Death

The plague tore through the Jackson household last week, first striking me, as I walked upstairs, like a baseball bat full of explosives rumbling to the gut. The staircase, of course, is the last place you want to be in such a situation — straddling two altitudes, with so much potential for gravity to accelerate a blast radius.

For the retirees, March 29, 2015

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

Area history, March 28, 2015

Today is Saturday, March 28, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Rolling in for 'The Stone'

In his mini-album "The Stone," Nashville musician David Olney retells the Easter story, never using the name Jesus while bringing to life other characters such as a donkey, a con man, a murderer and a soldier, according to fan Cynthia Voelkl, hostess of the Sandwich Life House Concerts. She can't believe Olney will perform Sunday at a church, St. Matthew Lutheran in Urbana.

Communities come together for student with kidney disease

FARMER CITY — LeRoy, Blue Ridge and Tri-Valley are rivals when it comes to sports, but when it matters, their communities are united.

So is the case with Madison Houser, a Blue Ridge student whose father, Chris, coaches basketball and track at the LeRoy Junior High School.

Don't miss show in Brocton next month

I neglected to mention this event last year, and I truly regret it. The 15th annual Brocton Red Barn Market is located in the Edgar County community.

It is a juried show of antiques and crafts. It will run from noon to 5 p.m. on April 10 and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11.

Top of the Morning, March 28, 2015

The University of Illinois Black Chorus prepared for Sunday's performance alongside Foreigner much like the Illini's basketball team ahead of a Big Ten game.

"We watched tape," Ollie Watts Davis, the group's conductor, said. "(Foreigner) sent us video of other choirs singing with them, and we studied those."