Professor takes on vital role

URBANA — History Professor Antoinette Burton turned down a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities this year to fill an interim post as director of a major research program at the University of Illinois.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Dec. 6, 2015

What's the greatest length you've gone to in picking out the perfect present for a special someone?


Champaign businesswoman

Area history, Dec. 6, 2015

Today is Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago: 

In 1915: Charles Ashbrook was released from the Champaign city jail — after three months' confinement there — to the Champaign County Jail. The former police officer and fish dealer was charged with a state count of bootlegging.

For the retirees, Dec. 6-13, 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.

Ask 'Mimi,' Dec. 6, 2015

Is Andy Warfel designing sets for the climate change conference in Paris?

Sort of. The former Champaign resident is in Paris, working with the NYC-based Production Glue on the set for the third annual C40 Cities Awards ceremony, honoring leaders in urban sustainability.

Mass appeal

CHAMPAIGN — Actor Jim Dobbs didn't have to acquire much for the nun's costume he'll wear as Mother Superior in "Nunsense."

"This is my Edna equipment from when I did 'Hairspray,'" he said, lifting his fake bosom as costumer Esther Nixon adjusted his veil.

So you want to be coroner?

In 1973 when Joe Victor was 18, his maternal grandfather, Angalo DiGiacomo, shot his mother and Victor's great-grandmother, Mary DiGiacomo, then turned the gun on himself.

Victor recalled how the Sangamon County coroner's office made the Springfield-area murder-suicide even more traumatic for the family by the way it handled the case.

Letter from Birdland: Taking a little time to respond to readers

It's damp in Birdland, but yesterday's drizzle seems to be taking a breather. The sky, though, is full of low-hanging clouds, and the dogs are just as happy to lie around inside on their respective pillows.

Getting Personal: Barbara J. Ford

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 68-year-old Champaign resident Barbara J. Ford, a distinguished professor emerita of the University of Illinois Library Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. Ford describes herself as a librarian interested in international issues.

Wired In: James Langer

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week, meet JAMES LANGER, 36, president of Serionix, which makes high-performance filtration materials for removal of toxic chemicals from air and water, with a large number of customers — from the Army to an appliance maker.

The team