Champaign above average in state and nation for LGBT friendliness

CHAMPAIGN — When it comes to LGBT-friendly laws and policies, there's no central Illinois city more welcoming than Champaign.

But with a score of 78 (out of 100), it still has a ways to go before it's in the same league as Chicago (perfect score).

12 stories of Christmas 2015: Making holiday warmth

CHAMPAIGN — Gretchen Warner doesn't have a whole lot of free time.

Between her day job at The Warranty Group and her evenings as a barista at Cafe Kopi, her 60-hour work week doesn't leave much time for community service.

Area history, Dec. 18, 2015

Today is Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1915: Champaign firemen were put to work yesterday putting up wooden stands with Christmas trees attached. The little trees will be put out Monday and will flank the principal streets downtown. The lumber for the tree stands was donated by Percival and Moorehead.

Top of the morning, Dec. 18, 2015

Mike Haile is always looking for new ways to interact with listeners. The general manager of WDWS, WHMS and WKIO found one with the text line. Sponsored by Cassel Home Comfort, the text lines allow the audience to chime in without having to go on the air.

A life remembered (AUDIO version): Longenbaugh "a peach of a guy"

Friends and family are gathering this week to remember an Urbana man who not only gave a lot back to his country serving in the military, but also shared a unique bond with employees of a restaurant in the area for more than a decade. Michael Kiser has more in these two reports.

John Frayne: Sinfonia's concert rings in holiday spirit

The concert by the Sinfonia da Camera on Dec. 5 was half holiday-themed and wholly touched by Wolfgang Mozart.

Seventh heaven

The new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" takes a backwards glance to the 1977 original, based on a look at the trailers, and the presence of the film's first stars, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

Lightsabers, camera, action

The Force will be out in force tonight, with theaters packed for the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as well as Darth Vader's fully armored Stormtroopers — and that's news too late for Joe Perkins.

Just 1 question: Why is it important to remember others over the holidays?

At Holy Cross School, students can get their Christmas shopping done between English and math class.

Notes-Worthy: Travis Clark

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with TRAVIS CLARK of Entertainment:

What is DemoDogg Entertainment and what do you do?