Sandra Mason: Keep rosemary happy in the winter

As a University of Illinois horticulture educator (oh, these many years), I converse with many exasperated gardeners. From these lamentations, certain plants emerge as a communal source of frustration. Yet, gardeners are a gritty group, and when we fall in love with a plant, we are not quick to cast it aside due to its dogged determination to die on our watch.

Top of the morning, Dec. 5, 2015

The game didn't go so well. But the guy who impersonated Red Grange last weekend at Soldier Field was a definite hit.

Tyler Miller, a 25-year-old graduate teaching assistant at the UI who is closing in on a master's in acting, was hired by the UI to mingle with fans before, during and after the Illini's loss to Northwestern.

Tom's Mailbag, Dec 4, 2015

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Life Remembered: UI piano prof beloved for how much he cared

Remember the nightmarish music teacher whom J.K. Simmons portrayed in "Whiplash," winning an Academy Award as a result?

University of Illinois Professor Reid Alexander, who specialized in piano pedagogy — teaching others how to teach piano — was the exact opposite of that character.

Church planning annual community dinner

CHAMPAIGN — First Christian Church is once again hosting a Community Christmas Dinner on Dec. 25 for people who would otherwise be alone or without a special holiday meal to share on Christmas Day. The church is located at 3601 South Staley Road, Champaign. Appetizers will be served at 12:30 p.m., with a traditional, sit-down dinner at 1 p.m.

Area history, Dec. 4, 2015

Today is Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1915: The board of education for the new township high school for Tuscola met this week with architects to present tentative plans for the new school building. A $60,000 tax levy — half of which will go for the new school — also was discussed.

Top of the morning, Dec. 4, 2015

The folks at Danville's WITY (980-AM) like Christmas music. And they like to promote area schools. They have found a way to do both.

For the 22nd consecutive year, WITY will air "12 Days of Christmas Programs."

EXCLUSIVE: Held at gunpoint, brothers live to tell their story

MAHOMET — Along with his older brother Jim, Will DuVall had just been held hostage at gunpoint Monday in a vacant apartment by a man on the run from law enforcement. And in an effort to save his brother's life and his own, Will offered the man wielding the shotgun his 1997 Ford Ranger as a means to get away.

Notes-Worthy: Eric Carter

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with Eric Carter.

How and when did you enter the music scene here in C-U?

Well, I've been in bands all my life for the most part but I didn't start playing in the C-U till around 2010 after I moved back here from Tucson, Ariz.

Area history, Dec. 3, 2015

Today is Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago: