Q&A: Urbana firefighter of the year

JEFF ORR's fascination with firefighting started around the time kids learn their A-B-Cs. "If there was a fire in Monticello, I would head to the site and watch what the firefighters did," he says.

What's in a name? Mattis Avenue

From the north end of town to the south end, Mattis Avenue is home to some of Champaign's more identifiable establishments. There's the High School of St. Thomas More on the north side, the Carle facility at the south end with the Kraft plant and a Christie Clinic situated in between.

Area history, March 4, 2016

Today is Friday, March 4, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1916: The Champaign High School basketball team finished its season last night by showing a burst of speed and swamped the Danville five on Danville's floor, 24-12. The game throughout looked easy for the Maroons and tense moments were few.

Top of the morning, March 4, 2016

We can say we knew him when.

Long before he established himself as a local television personality, Bret Beherns worked as a part-time reporter for The News-Gazette, covering high school games as a stringer.

Now 28, Beherns is all grown up. On Wednesday, WCIA promoted Beherns to the sports director position.

"I'm excited," Beherns said.

Area history, March 3, 2016

Today is Thursday, March 3, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Chuck Koplinski: 'SNL' alum can't save disjointed war comedy

More times than not, I've liked Tina Fey more than the films she has been in.

Fine felines

URBANA — This year, Mary Auth will attend at least 20 cat shows throughout the U.S. and in Belgium, Germany and Japan.

But the one the Champaign resident and longtime cat show judge is looking forward to the most is right in her backyard.

Area update

A state-honored social studies teacher in Champaign, an Emmy-winning photojournalist from the Paxton area and a history-making attorney in Monticello are among five alumni who'll be honored today by the University of Illinois' College of Education.

Frank's Faves: How — and how not — to talk to the Man Upstairs

"Remember, even God has a sense of humor. Just look at the platypus."

Yes, I'm borrowing from the disclaimer at the beginning of director Kevin Smith's 1999 film "Dogma" to make a point. As the website Got puts it: "Perhaps the best indication that God does have a sense of humor is that He created man in His image."


URBANA — As a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group since 2002, Noah Vinson has enjoyed touring the world.

However, he really likes a tour stop at Krannert Center: It's close enough for his parents, who live in Springfield, and his brother, in Chicago, to come and see him dance.