Champaign vigil set to mark death of Houston

CHAMPAIGN — A candlelight vigil with song and speakers is scheduled for Thursday to mark the death of singer Whitney Houston.

Seon Williams, owner of Williams Memorial Funeral Home, 1203 N. Market St., C, is organizing the vigil, which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the northwest corner of Bradley Avenue and Market Street.

Urbana council item: Burgess name on federal courthouse

Similar resolution was approved by county board late last year

URBANA — The city council this week could join the Champaign County Board in asking the area's Congressional delegation to affix James R. Burgess' name to the federal courthouse.

The city council will meet as the committee of the whole on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.

Retired professor has made syrup for decade

On a day that seems more like the first blush of spring than winter, Roy Van Arsdall drills a 7/16-inch hole slantways in a sugar maple and fits a metal spout into the tree trunk. An empty milk jug with a hole cut in it fits neatly over the spout, and within seconds sap drips against the plastic.

"It's running," he says with a smile.

Back to coupon basics: When a purchase is not a transaction

Whether you're a longtime reader of my column or a new one, it's never a bad idea to review some of the questions and concepts that can confuse new couponers. In the next few columns, I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions I receive from new readers.

Studio Visit: elizaBeth Simpson

Studio Visit appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with elizaBeth Simpson, a consultant, artist and musician. In the Feb. 12 newspaper, we'll have a visit with pedal steel guitarist Bob Watson.

Getting Personal: Patrick Connolly

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, Paul Wood chats with Urbana police Chief Patrick Connolly. Getting Personal appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. In the Feb. 12 newspaper, we'll have a chat with  M. Cynthia Oliver of Urbana.

Other 2012 Lincoln Laureates

Others to be awarded the The Order of Lincoln, the state's highest award:

W. James Farrell is the retired chairman of Illinois Tool Works, a multinational manufacturer of highly engineered fasteners, components, assemblies and systems.

Farrell is chairman of The Civic Committee, vice chairman of The Commercial Club and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.

Tough decisions ahead on Vermilion Manor Nursing Home

DANVILLE — Hiring another entity to manage the county-owned Vermilion Manor Nursing Home is one option county officials may consider as the long-term care facility has become unprofitable in the last year, mostly because of the state's financial struggles.

A Life Remembered: Danville school custodian 'a genuine good guy'

DANVILLE — Custodian "Cut Back" Jack Harrier was known for saving the Danville school district more than $1 million through his efforts to "cut back" on energy consumption at the schools. But his spirited devotion to his job and his co-workers was evident in much less notable ways too.