Those Who Served: Despite his wounds, he refused to quit the war

URBANA — Wounded and partially deafened in a tank explosion, Ben Wilder refused to leave World War II, instead moving from the artillery to the infantry.

From Oran in North Africa, he would eventually make it all the way to Germany, where he captured three enemy soldiers in a basement.

Top of the morning, Feb. 23, 2016

Fame is taking a toll on Champaign photographer Liz Brunson.

"I'm tired of this," she said Monday. "I don't want to go viral any more."

Area history, Feb. 22, 2016

In 1916, H.G. Campbell and Carl Bryant were arrested by Champaign police last night and charged with bootlegging.

Top of the morning, Feb. 22, 2016

Given the glorious temperatures of the weekend, it's a little harder to remember it's still winter.

But there are cold days ahead.

I can recall my parents telling a much younger me to go outside and play in the snow. And being happy about it.

We once missed a whole week of school because of one of those 1960s blizzards. My siblings and I built some great snow forts.

Top of the morning, Feb. 21, 2016

Saturday's beer garden weather isn't the only good news to share:

— 7th Street in St. Joseph is a friendly stretch. If someone needs their driveway shoveled, newspaper picked up or lawn mowed, a neighbor is quick to act.

"We look out for each other," Clint England said.

Thai restaurant in Rantoul a family affair

RANTOUL — Vone Keomala came to the United States from Thailand when he was in his teens. Now he has brought a little of his homeland to Rantoul with the opening of a new restaurant downtown.

A Taste of Thai has opened at 124 E. Sangamon Ave.

The business is a family affair.

Classic Cuts

MONTICELLO — A roll through the downtown of Piatt County's seat evokes memories of the old-school Main Street cities. The county courthouse features prominently in the middle as local businesses in buildings constructed in the 1800s have stood the test of time while maintaining much of their original charm.

For the retirees, Feb. 21-28, 2016

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.

It's Your Business: Wood n' Hog Barbecue plans 'all smoke, no joke'

A new barbecue restaurant is coming to Champaign's north side.

The brother-and-sister team of Michael McDonald and Okema Battle are launching Wood n' Hog Barbecue at 904 N. Fourth St., Suite B, in March.

Both McDonald and Battle are natives of Chicago and have more than two decades of experience making barbecue at Leon's Barbecue and Uncle John's Barbecue in the Windy City.

Studio Visit: Cara Cummings

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, Cara Cummings, 46, of Champaign, an artist and executive director of The Land Connection, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

Is your art related to your work with The Land Connection?