The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, May 22, 2016

Back by popular demand, we asked high school senior class presidents: What are the top three items on your 10-year bucket list?

Freewheelin': National Bike Month

Former night owl Sue Jones remembers rising one day at dawn after a restless night and then bicycling for 10 miles — just to wake up.

That night, she felt exhausted, slept well and awoke again at dawn. She bicycled again.

The next morning she did the same, believing this new phase in her life would soon pass.

It didn't.

Top of the morning, May 22, 2016

I'm happy to report that Wayne Foran is indeed alive, well and a very good sport.

Earlier this week, we published a brief about the latest additions to the Bement High School Hall of Fame, a class that we wrote included "the late Wayne Foran (Class of 1943)."

Foran, 90 and still living on the outskirts of Bement, "had a good laugh over it," said his wife of 62 years, Claudette.

'I have the least amount of brain cells of anybody in this school'

As area 12th-graders wrap up their high school careers, we'll highlight graduates with unique stories to tell. Email ideas to education reporter Nicole Lafond at

Area history, May 21, 2016

Today is Saturday, May 21, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Bob Swisher: Vermilion County business makes unique furniture

Almost smack dab in the middle of Forest Glen Preserve near Georgetown is a small building called Pine Ridge Studio, which is the home of handmade furniture and home decor.

This studio is owned by artisans Dean and Dawn Dawson. The nearby area is also their home.

Sandra Mason: The battle against borers

If a tree dies from borers, is it dying from boredom? Unlikely, considering the eventful lives of trees.

Since our 2016 spring produced plenty of rain, it's easy to forget that trees can still be recovering from the drought of 2012 and late summer drought of 2013. Add a severe winter in 2013-14, and trees endure many events.

Top of the morning, May 21, 2016

I figured Brad Allen would be a nervous wreck today.

Principal at Tuscola High, he has a graduation ceremony to run. Father of a senior softball slugger, Karli, he has a regional championship game to sweat out.

But Allen said he's worry-free. An office staff like no other makes commencement a breeze. "I just have to show up and talk," he said.

Tom's #Mailbag, May 20, 2016

Got a question for Tom? Ask it here

There's something for everyone in this week's mailbag, particularly if you drive Leverett Road. After 2 1/2 years in business, the mailbag answers its first two Leverett Road questions in one week.

Electronics recycling event Saturday

CHAMPAIGN — For Champaign County residents wanting to get rid of that old TV set, Saturday's the day to do it.

The free electronic recycling event — hosted by Champaign County and the cities of Champaign, Urbana and Savoy — runs from 8 a.m. to noon at Parkland College. A fall event will also be held, on Oct. 15.