Top of the morning, March 29, 2016

A month out from the eighth Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, here's what we know:

— I'm happy to announce The News-Gazette will again publish a 20-page special section on Sunday, May 1, that will include the name of everyone who crosses the finish line in any of the many races. Weather, if you remember, cut short last year's race.

Those Who Served: Pesotum brothers enlisted because 'the whole town was patriotic'

PESOTUM — Patriotic fever runs high here, and after the Pearl Harbor attack, all four Schweighart boys wanted to join the service.

"That wasn't unusual in Pesotum," says Don Schweighart of Champaign. "The whole town was patriotic. Down the street, there were five Mitsdarfer boys who joined up."

CUSF honorees: Crime Stoppers founder had to earn law enforcement's respect

On Saturday, the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation will honor five distinguished alumni whose achievements, strength, character and citizenship inspire and challenge today's youth. Among them is John Hecker, a 1969 graduate of Champaign Central who in 1986 founded the Champaign County Crime Stoppers organization for which the 64-year-old serves as president.

Area history, March 28, 2016

In 1916, a petition asking for a vote on a township high school in Sadorus Township was filed with County Superintendent C.H. Watts. The petition was signed by 66 voters and contained 49 sections of land in Champaign and Piatt counties.

Grief pours out for young lives cut short in weekend house fire

CHAMPAIGN — He was the selfless advocate for community-college students, a Parkland trustee who made it his mission to help whomever he could, however he could.

She was the soft-hearted single mother of two, a "crafty type" who planned to spend Saturday with her mom, coloring eggs for Tristan and Tatum.

Getting Personal: Donna Greene

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 62-year-old Champaign resident Donna Greene, who has been with Busey Wealth Management for almost 23 years as a senior managing director and certified financial planner, chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood.

Don Follis: Easter tells us that all people are deeply loved

As I reflected on the events of Holy Week, the gravity of the events that lead to Good Friday and the crucifixion of Jesus was heightened as I read a new book by Dr. Ruth A. Tucker — "Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife — My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse" (Zondervan, 2016).

Animal neglect cases 'disheartening'

URBANA — Michelle Carr saw more than her share of animal suffering in her 16 years as a humane investigator and animal control officer based in Champaign County.

But the worst call she ever had to work — last summer in Urbana, where a pit bull puppy was stuffed in a 300-degree oven and left to die — was her breaking point.

Studio Visit: Angelo Ray Martinez

Angelo Ray Martinez, 35, of Champaign a third-year master's of fine arts degree candidate at the University of Illinois, recently chatted with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

So you were born in Boulder, Colo.?

It's Your Business: Atwood adds a pharmacy

Atwood now has its own pharmacy — complete with a drive-thru window.

Sav-Mor Pharmacy has opened at 112 S. Main St., adjacent to the Kirby Medical Clinic on the clinic's south side.

Owner Dave Falk said the store does more than just fill prescriptions.

"We sell over-the-counter products, cough and cold medicines, pain relievers, vitamins and first-aid products," he said.