He changed schools but left plenty behind

URBANA — He raised $10,000 to buy 360 laptops for Franklin Middle School in Champaign.

But 14-year-old Nicolas Ramkumar doesn't want credit for his work.

"I have always been taught to try to help whenever I can," he said. "I was taught to always give back and to leave everywhere I am better than when I got there."

Area history, Feb. 11, 2016

Today is Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Notes-Worthy: Jon Foley

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with The Southern Transfer Band bass player JON FOLEY:

You have recently been playing with The Southern Transfer Band; where does your history in music come from?

How'd Obama's visit go?

How did President Obama's visit to Springfield and address to the Illinois General Assembly go on Wednesday? 

Top of the morning, Feb. 11, 2016

Wanting to appear dapper for his eighth-grade graduation in 1966, Norm Willoughby wandered into Delbert's in Arthur to purchase a suit. Last fall, he returned to the popular clothing story in Arthur.

"I bought my first one there," Willoughby said, "and made sure to buy my last suit, too."

Chamber speaker: Businesses can give context to education

CHAMPAIGN — The growing skills gap in education systems across the U.S. can be filled simply, with the help of local businesses.

That's the message Doan Winkel, an Illinois State University professor and entrepreneur, intends to share at a Champaign County Chamber of Commerce breakfast Thursday morning.

Meg Makes: Coffee-crusted steak for 2 will wow

Every year, I struggle with recipes in mid-February. Valentine's Day is a wonderful occasion to cook a special meal. But the arrival of Ash Wednesday and Lent mean many people are going meatless.

Teacher of the week: Lauren Bowman

On Wednesdays, we'll spotlight a difference-making area educator. To nominate a teacher, tweet to education reporter @Nicole_Lafond with the hashtag #TeacherOfTheWeek.

This week...

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Now is the time to start writing stories

Every family has stories to tell and it's never too late to start writing about them! This advice has been given by many columnists over the years but it still deserves repeating. An easy way to begin is to purchase a little notebook, preferably with lines to make writing easier, date the first page and begin writing.

Schools foundation names heroes to be honored at gala

CHAMPAIGN — Two Harvard alumni, a Los Angeles-based producer, a co-founder of Crimestoppers and a Champaign businessman will be honored as distinguished alumni at the 2016 Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation recognition gala on April 2.