Tribute to star planned, but will he attend?

DANVILLE — Dick Van Dyke turns 90 later this year, and the Danville Symphony Orchestra is hoping he'll want to "Put On a Happy (birthday) Face" a little early.

About two months before the Danville native celebrates his big day, the DSO is inviting him back to his hometown for a tribute concert showcasing his nearly 70-year career as an actor, singer and dancer.

Top of the morning, July 17, 2015

Insects sometimes get a bad rap in the movies. Like the 1954 film "Them" about deadly giant ants mutated by atomic radiation. I hate it when that happens.

Life Remembered: Shelby 'did anything he could for any charity'

CHAMPAIGN — Bob Shelby and his wife, Dolores, would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary next month.

Mrs. Shelby said they were looking forward to that milestone, but their 64 years together will have to be enough.

Mr. Shelby — a Champaign native, former businessman and civic leader in the community — died last week at the age of 89, in Chandler, Ariz.

C-U pride

Last year's fifth annual Champaign-Urbana Pride Festival showed downtown Champaign to be a pretty gay-friendly place — based on lots of support and zero protests.

Putting on a happy face

RANTOUL — Going through its final year at Grissom Hall, Rantoul Theatre Group wanted to stage the type of play it has rarely done — a musical.

RTG will band together with the old Paxton Majestic Theatre Group to present "Bye Bye Birdie."

Area history, July 16, 2015

Today is Thursday, July 16, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Notes-Worthy: Shawn Farbman of Pet Roxx

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Miller Brown talks with Shawn Farbman, lead guitarist of Pet Roxx.

What other bands have you played in before Pet Roxx?

Myself (and Chris Anderson) were the founding members of Joyhammer. We founded Joyhammer around 1993-94 and played locally and regionally until we disbanded around 1997.

Go figure: July 16, 2015

Go figure: A numerical look at local headlines


Area communities that cracked the Internet list of the week — Best Towns to Raise a Family, presented by

Top of the morning, July 16, 2015

Joyce Miller, 81, and Chris O'Connor, 22, share more than a love for Illinois football.

Each has a knee brace, too.

That's how the resident rascal at Piatt County Nursing Home and the fifth-year offensive lineman at the UI met.

Younger generation: Celebrating the achievements of young adults

National Merit winners

Three area students were announced as National Merit Scholarship winners on Wednesday: Gifford's Aleah Combs, a Rantoul High grad headed to the University of Kentucky; Urbana's Adina Johnson, a Uni High grad headed to Oberlin College; and Urbana's Lucy O'Brien, an Urbana High grad headed to Fordham University.