Top of the Morning, Sept. 16, 2014

Bus Stories

— Did you know Champaign Central takes a bus to its home football games?

Since Tommy Stewart Field is located at Centennial High School — Central's chief rival — the Maroons prefer to dress and warm up at their practice facility a mile to the east. For a 7 p.m. game, they hop on a yellow bus at 6:20 to reach the field in time for the coin toss.

Area history, Sept. 15, 2014

Today is Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

What's cool in school: Athletes turn attention to next generation

GIBSON CITY — Nick Meunier's favorite part of Friday hasn't changed since he was in kindergarten.

Top of the Morning: From the archives

Libraries change.

They change physically — the Champaign Public Library when I came to town in the early 1970s is now a law office. The one I used when my sons were young is gone.

Letter from Birdland: Chicks keeping me on my toes

A storm blew into Birdland yesterday evening. I was visiting with friends at Nora's house, down the road, and we saw the dark piles of clouds sliding this way.

We scurried to bring the party inside, but I said my goodbyes. I needed to be home by dark, anyway, to shut up the chickens and make sure the new Serama chicks were settled.

Reluctant Townie: Stuff I want to punch in the head

I like to think of myself as a pacifist. In my day-to-day life, I tend to avoid conflict and serve as a mediator whenever I see trouble. But it's a cold, hard world out there, and the truth of the matter is that not everybody is ready for pacifism.

They say you can't fight fire with fire, but I'm here to tell you that you can't fight it with marshmallows either. Water, maybe.

Birbiglia: Jokes risky but worth it

CHAMPAIGN — In his first two one-man shows, comedian-writer-actor-filmmaker Mike Birbiglia told single stories with emotional arcs.

This time around, he's come up with a show that returns him to his standup comedy roots — his "Thank God for Jokes" tour, which brings him to the Virginia Theatre on Wednesday night.

Studio Visit: Larry and Alaina Kanfer

Studio Visit is a Q&A with local artists. Here, Larry and Alaina Kanfer chat with Melissa Merli.

Dave Benton hoping to make the most of the time he has left

CHAMPAIGN — Facing the end of his life, Dave Benton wants nothing more than this:

To be with the family he loves, keep right on doing the work he loves, and trusting in the one who's got it all under control.

Getting Personal: Mitch Dickey

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 20-year-old Champaign resident and University of Illinois student body president Mitch Dickey chats with News-Gazette reporter Paul Wood. Dickey, from Bourbonnais, is a volunteer, an Arabic student, created rock art as a child and wants to serve in the Peace Corps.