Letter from Birdland: Time off my feet kept me in stitches

In Birdland, the air is cool and crisp, but ... .

Are you tired of my whining about the drought? I am. The corn is drying, and the beans are suddenly golden. And we never did get that rain that would swell the beans in their jackets.

Studio Visit: Geoff Chilton

Studio Visit is a weekly Q&A with a local artist. Today, The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli chats with sculptor Geoff Chilton, 64, of Philo.

Q: When did you and Athan move to Philo from Urbana?

A: We lived in the People's Republic of Urbana for decades and moved here four years ago.

Getting Personal: Matti Bunzl

Each week, we offer an email Q&A with a local personality. Today, Melissa Merli chats with 42-year-old Champaign resident Matti Bunzl, a professor of anthropology and director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois. He also is the artistic director of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Reluctant Townie: How to talk about politics on Facebook

The federal government shut down last week as a result of House Republicans choosing to hold the economy hostage as a last-ditch effort to gut President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Roofing Dog picks up small-business honor

ST. JOSEPH — Cory Swanson is not convinced bigger is always better.

Over his first 12 years in business, he built his roofing company to $2 million a year in annual revenue and about a dozen employees.

But in the four years since then, Swanson — whose company is known as both Swanson Roofing and The Roofing Dog — has been satisfied to keep his company the same size.

Music Q&A: Ezra Furman

This week, The News-Gazette's Paul Wood chats with Ezra Furman of Evanston, who will be 27 years, 36 days and 7 hours old as of his Oct. 11 gig at Mike 'N' Molly's, 105 N. Market St., C.

Q: Who are the members of your band? Any new ones?

Football on a smaller 'Field of Dreams'

You may remember a certain homemade baseball field I wrote about in early August, built on several empty lots in Savoy’s Prairie Fields subdivision by five enterprising Little Leaguers.

Since then, “Prairie Field” has shrunk a bit. And it’s now a gridiron.

Japan House to hold open house

URBANA — Japan House will have its Fall Open House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with a focus on Japan's quilting tradition of sashiko.

My Amish Home: Fall is around corner, and so are holidays

"A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape." Proverbs 19:5

Beautiful fall weather! What more could we want? Except maybe rain. Only now it's probably too late to help corn production. Some corn is being picked.

Illinois Ancestors: Using Google searches varies with country

GenealogyInTime Magazine has a helpful article on the Internet that explains how Google works and also explains that Google runs different search engines in different parts of the world.

In fact, knowing the correct Google search engine might determine the success or failure of a genealogical search.