Top of the morning, Dec. 9, 2015

It's not how many years Mary and Steve Gritten have been married that caught my eye.

It's where the Champaign couple celebrated their 50th anniversary: In a hospital.

"Never planned it that way," Steve said, "and not recommended."

A giant Frosty, Hanukkah candles and Kwanzaa

I remember the day well.

Rushing to my son’s first elementary school holiday sing-along — late as usual — I rounded the corner and came face to face with a 6-foot snowman.

He had the corncob pipe and old silk hat, but this Frosty wasn’t made of snow. And the eyes peering out definitely resembled those of a certain South Side Elementary School dad.

Spotlight on Service, Dec. 8, 2015

A look at area do-gooders. This week: Atwood Woman's Club

About the club

Co-Presidents:Betty Mauck and Carolyn Sanders

Origin: The club was founded in 1903.

Meets: At 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, either at the Atwood-Hammond Library or at the home of the hostess for that month.

Area history, Dec. 8, 2015

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the morning, Dec. 8, 2015

If you're attending Wednesday's basketball game between Yale and Illinois at State Farm Center, stick around for halftime.

That's when the kids of C-U's Midnight Basketball League will take the floor for a four-minute scrimmage.

Leader: Vandalism strengthened community's faith

CHAMPAIGN — A leader of the University of Illinois' Jewish community says the vandalism of the Chabad Center's distinctive menorah on Aug. 19 has strengthened his community's faith.

Forever young: After 50 years at Carle, pediatrician still going strong

URBANA — Decades after Amy Bock's childhood with asthma and a bone disease, she remains grateful to the pediatrician who used to come to the hospital after hours and sit by her bedside, who once visited her home to bake cookies with her and her dying 5-year-old cousin and who is now the doctor she relies on to treat her own children.

Those Who Served: Champaign family became literal brothers in arms

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the 74th anniversary of the Japanese Imperial navy's devastating sneak attack on a U.S. naval base in Hawaii that caused Congress to declare war on Japan the next day, marking the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War II.

Down to business

Introducing Paris Blalock, a 1995 Blue Ridge High grad, Farmer City native and new executive director of the Urbana Business Association, where she supports 180 different companies.  Staff writer TIM MITCHELL sat down with the 38-year-old Illinois State grad as she settled into her new gig.

Have you always been interested in business?

Area history, Dec. 7, 2015

In 1915, the Champaign County Jail "ranks high in sanitary conditions and in method of administration," according to a report by Miss Anna Hinrichsen, inspector for the State Charities Commission. She said light, air and sunshine entered every room in the jail and prisoners were well-fed. The sheriff received 50 cents a day for food for prisoners. The county provided overalls.