Top of the morning, April 16, 2015

I was a presenter at Wednesday's Career Day at Monticello High School, but wound up learning as much as the kids in the audience.

LIVE: 2015 Ebertfest Day 1

Welcome to our LIVE report from Ebertfest, coordinated by staff writer Melissa Merli, who has been on hand for each one of the festivals in downtown Champaign.

She will be tweeting regularly throughout the week. Follow her here

11:43 p.m.

Courage Connection launches Mother's Day card campaign

CHAMPAIGN — Courage Connection has launched its "Courage for a Lifetime" Mother's Day card campaign.

To participate, make a minimum contribution of $25 to Courage Connection and a Mother's Day card will be sent to the honoree of the donor's choice.

Neighbors: Recognizing accomplishments in our communities

STARs of the show

The City of Champaign Neighborhood Services Department and the Neighborhood Services Advisory Board will host the Sixth Annual STAR (Service Together Achieves Results) Expo and Awards Ceremony on April 30. The 2015 honorees are:

— Business-Neighborhood Partnership: Chuck Dorris, Malron Hillsman, Marchond Hillsman, Leaders for Life Marital Arts

Sinai Temple display: 'It's not ancient history'

CHAMPAIGN — When she first read the stories from local Holocaust survivors and their descendents, Joyce Francisco was choked with emotion.

That's exactly the same response she hopes others will have when they also read these stories and see the pictures that go with them in a new display assembled by her and her husband, Don, and Pam Olson at Champaign's Sinai Temple.

Illinois Ancestors: Well-known genealogist stepping down

Well-known genealogist and speaker Loretto Dennis ("Lou") Szucs has officially retired from her top position at Ancestry "to spend more time with her family." Also well-known for her many books, including "The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy," she has been a longtime member of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, has held various positions in several genealogical societies for the

Cancer survivor event scheduled

CHAMPAIGN — Cancer patients, survivors and their friends, families and caregivers are invited to a free cancer survivor game day from 2-5 p.m. Saturday.

It will be held at Champaign's Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2101 S. Prospect Ave., in the fellowship hall and hosted by the American Cancer Society/Relay for Life of Champaign County.

Paxton street superintendent to retire next month

PAXTON — Longtime street superintendent Randy Sawn will retire at the end of May — 34 years after he started working for the city.

"Whatever needed to be done, he'd do," Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold said. "He can do everything — take down a tree, patch a street, lay out a sidewalk."

Area history, April 15, 2015

Today is Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Meg Makes: There's always a good time for stew

It may be a little late in the season for beef stew, but this variation will still taste good on a cool night. It's modeled after Italian beef but doesn't require rolls, which I appreciated for simplicity's sake.

Tangy Beef Stew

1 pound beef stew meat

5 cups water

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 ounces pepperincinis