Tom Kacich: Groups, churches urged to prepare for worst

They say they're not doomsdayers or survivalists, but a handful of people who met in a small room at a Mahomet church last week say they believe it's time to prepare for emergencies and disasters. And they want others to the same.

UI art history expert to give lectures in Nebraska

URBANA — University of Illinois art history Professor Emeritus Jonathan Fineberg has been appointed the Visiting Presidential Professor at the University of Nebraska.

Getting Personal: Marilyn Cleveland

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, Melissa Merli chats with Marilyn Cleveland, a self-taught artist who creates paintings on African-American and religious themes, as well as still lifes, landscapes and abstract works. In the Sept.

'Mid-American Gardener' host well-known for teaching - and love of plants and people

ST. JOSEPH — The logistics might make it impossible, but WILL-TV ought to film its weekly program "Mid-American Gardener" at host Dianne Noland's home and garden.

She and her husband and son, Drew, when he's home from Northland College, live in a beautiful rustic log house near the Salt Fork River in rural St. Joseph.

Studio Visit: Jim Downey

Studio Visit appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with Jim Downey, owner of Prairie Fire Glass in Monticello. In the Sept. 16 newspaper, we'll have a visit with Robin Kearton, fiddler/violinist and founder of Community Center for the Arts. 

Alderman's research brings plaque, new tree where Lincoln spoke

URBANA — In 1856, it was "a magnificent elm that attracted much attention not only because of its outstanding beauty and size," according to a 1961 index.

But passers-by who see an elm tree now will remember the location at 608 E. Main St. as the spot where Abraham Lincoln spoke to the citizens of Urbana in the shade of a tree.

Benefit to help woman with rare cancer

RANTOUL — She has been there for her family; now her family is there for her.

Monica Reynolds-Wollmer of Rantoul is undergoing treatment for vulvar cancer. She was diagnosed with the rare disease in July 2011.

A fundraiser, called the Monica's Angels Benefit, will be held later this month in Rantoul to defray expenses incurred from the treatments.

Life Remembered: Teen had caring heart

WESTVILLE — Kaitlyn Foster was born with a weak heart, though that hardly defined her, friends said this week.

DACC welcomes students, aims to help more with costs

DANVILLE — Last year, Sara Mahorney's life was turned upside down when she and her children unexpectedly became homeless and had to move into a shelter.

At the time, the Rossville woman was a first-year student in Danville Area Community College's office systems/accounting program.

Jefferson teacher finalist for statewide award

CHAMPAIGN — As a social studies teacher, Christine Adrian feels she needs to teach her students about the world.

She does that in various ways, including using technology in class and teaching students how to responsibly use the Internet.

She also requires her students volunteer four hours each semester, including an act of kindness Tuesday to remember Sept. 11, 2001.