The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Dec. 6, 2015

What's the greatest length you've gone to in picking out the perfect present for a special someone?


Champaign businesswoman

Area history, Dec. 6, 2015

Today is Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago: 

In 1915: Charles Ashbrook was released from the Champaign city jail — after three months' confinement there — to the Champaign County Jail. The former police officer and fish dealer was charged with a state count of bootlegging.

Mass appeal

CHAMPAIGN — Actor Jim Dobbs didn't have to acquire much for the nun's costume he'll wear as Mother Superior in "Nunsense."

"This is my Edna equipment from when I did 'Hairspray,'" he said, lifting his fake bosom as costumer Esther Nixon adjusted his veil.

So you want to be coroner?

In 1973 when Joe Victor was 18, his maternal grandfather, Angalo DiGiacomo, shot his mother and Victor's great-grandmother, Mary DiGiacomo, then turned the gun on himself.

Victor recalled how the Sangamon County coroner's office made the Springfield-area murder-suicide even more traumatic for the family by the way it handled the case.

Getting Personal: Barbara J. Ford

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 68-year-old Champaign resident Barbara J. Ford, a distinguished professor emerita of the University of Illinois Library Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. Ford describes herself as a librarian interested in international issues.

'Gibraltar of the North' a great place to explore

By Vivienne Mackie

Sometimes it's nice to visit a well-known city, like Paris, London, Rome or Jerusalem. But other times, it's fun to visit one that is not at the top of tourist lists. That way, you get to see new buildings, lovely architecture and historical sights without the sometimes-oppressive crowds.

Ask 'Mimi,' Dec. 6, 2015

Is Andy Warfel designing sets for the climate change conference in Paris?

Sort of. The former Champaign resident is in Paris, working with the NYC-based Production Glue on the set for the third annual C40 Cities Awards ceremony, honoring leaders in urban sustainability.

Professor takes on vital role

URBANA — History Professor Antoinette Burton turned down a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities this year to fill an interim post as director of a major research program at the University of Illinois.

For the retirees, Dec. 6-13, 2015

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

St. Patrick: Room to grow

URBANA — As the drywall came down at historic St. Patrick Catholic Church, a small miracle: stained-glass windows that had been covered up for decades.

"It was amazing to see what had been covered up," said Father Joseph Hogan, who helped oversee renovation and expansion of the 1901 church.