Letter from Birdland: Beginning another stint in Kentucky

I said goodbye to Birdland and hello to Kentucky on Friday. Michael drove me down and dropped me off, so I am on my own here.

My husband spends quite a little time in the car, so to drive with me for five hours and then turn around to drive back home was a sacrifice, and I appreciate it.

Sandra Mason: Add tropical flair to your home

Gardeners are plagued with zonal envy. Whatever grows in warmer zones, we want it. For centuries, citrus trees, with their accompanying orbs of juicy joy, top the wish list.

Bob Swisher: Items made with Pewter are the ultimate antiques

Pewter has been around for more than 3,000 years. It is made up mostly of tin, probably 90 percent. Antimony, copper and lead are the other common additions to pewter.

In the 15th century, pewter had become the replacement for items made of wood, leather or clay. It became popular in taverns and homes in the form of plates, cutlery, tankards and mugs.

Area history, Jan. 16, 2016

Today is Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1916: Fire Sunday afternoon completely destroyed the George Cunningham Building, a two-story structure at Wright and Green streets in Champaign. Adjacent buildings also were damaged. The loss totals more than $66,000. The fire also wiped out the Co-Op Store and the Illini Bank.

Top of the morning, Jan. 16, 2016

What started as small talk at an Illinois football tailgate last fall wound up as a goodwill adventure to Haiti for Champaign's Dan Tappendorf.

Area history, Jan. 15, 2016

Today is Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

What's in a name? Cherry Hills

Each week, staff writer Marcus Jackson explores the origin of a local landmark. Today: Cherry Hills

Religion calendar, Jan. 15-22, 2016

To submit items for this calendar, visit and click "Add an event" under the miniature calendar on the page. You must be logged in, then fill in the appropriate fields and submit. Deadline is noon Tuesday before Friday publication.


'She lives the mission every day'

CHAMPAIGN — Janice McAteer's job isn't just about raising money for a good cause.

It's personal — a cause that's been part of her life since she was born.