Illinois Ancestors: Mennonite ancestry in database

The California Mennonite Historical Society has created The GRANDMA database (Genealogical Registry And Database of Mennonite Ancestry) with information on over a million individuals, "most of whose ancestral lines can be traced to Mennonite communities in Prussia (now Poland) and South Russia (now Ukraine.)" For more information on this project, visit

School officials start new posts in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Four new administrative appointees began their first full weeks on the job Monday at Unit 4 schools:

— Candace Gwin, interim principal, International Prep Academy.

Area history, July 8, 2014

Today is Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Workers come to Danville to help out

DANVILLE — It was 82 degrees and muggy by late Monday morning.

The heat didn't stop a small crew working in the front yard of a house on Hinkley Street, determined to get a good start digging a dozen holes 18 inches deep and setting wooden posts. But a tangle of tree roots, some several inches thick, tried to.

Family road trip? Don't forget the towels

More road-trip horror stories

We asked some Facebook friends to share their best (worst?) road-trip horror stories. Read on if you dare. And add your own to the list with a comment below, or email and we'll post it for you:

From Judy Argentieri, Champaign:

Family life: Conversations now can save family relationships later

By Chelsey Byers/University of Illinois Extension

One of the most requested programs that I teach to various groups in our community is called Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate. This program elicits great conversation among the participants, as many have a personal story to share.

Top of the Morning, July 8, 2014

Editor's note: This originally appeared in print on July 5, 2014.

Eleven years ago, in an effort to entertain local service industry workers such as bartenders, waiters and waitresses during the Fourth of July holiday, John Kosmopoulous created a barbecue featuring himself and other local DJs and called it Spindependence.

Gifford, township get state money

GIFFORD — Already getting back on its feet after a destructive tornado nearly eight months ago, the village of Gifford got more good news Monday when Gov. Pat Quinn and a host of state officials came to town.