For the retirees, Aug. 3-10, 2014

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Bodnar, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Services of Champaign County.

Letter from Birdland: Broody hens hot and cold about gift eggs

In Birdland, we've been spoiled with mild coolness. We've had plenty of rain. Some might argue too much. I'll bet you'd find a lot of blossom end rot on tomatoes and some other fruits around the county a few weeks ago.

Area history, Aug. 2, 2014

In 1914, Champaign Police Chief A.U. Keller was demoted Saturday afternoon on orders of the fire and police commission. J.J. Michael was appointed the new police chief. The step was taken at the request of Mayor O.B. Dobbins, who has charged that Keller has not used his best efforts to prevent violations of the laws in Champaign.

Top of the Morning, Aug. 2, 2014

Rantoul grad Jim Barnett has the perfect accessory for this weekend's Class of 1954 reunion: a 1954 Chevy pickup.

I'm guessing he has gunned it down Wabash Avenue a few times by now.

Veterans group raffles restored 1954 pickup truck

DANVILLE — Hundreds of motorcycles are set to ride in to the Vermilion Regional Airport on Saturday to raise awareness about and money for homeless veterans.

And one lucky person will ride away in a fully-restored vintage truck.

Area history, Aug. 1, 2014

Today is Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the Morning, Aug. 1, 2014

It was supposed to be a short stop in Champaign-Urbana. Two or three years, then move on to a bigger paper. Maybe in Atlanta.


Twenty-five years ago today, I came to The News-Gazette to cover prep sports and help with Illinois. Thanks to Jean McDonald and John Beck for changing my life. In a great way.

Get up-close look at the stars at CUAS event

The Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society's monthly observatory open house uses its 16-inch telescope to observe planets, star clusters and the moon.

The open house takes place from 9 to 11 p.m. Saturday at 926 County Road 700E, Champaign.

Novel approach ahead for cancer patient

VILLA GROVE — It was Tom Ryan's smile and kid-at-heart personality that first drew his wife, Staci, when they met at a New Year's Eve party 12 years ago.

Through four struggles with cancer, Tom has remained the same fun-loving guy she loves, Staci says, and even the fifth cancer diagnosis he got recently hasn't dimmed his positive attitude.

Area history, July 31, 2014

Today is Thursday, July 31, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1914: A strike of 50,000 engineers and firemen on 98 railroads operating west of Chicago has been set for Aug. 7. President Woodrow Wilson has made plans to appeal to the patriotism of the managers and employees in an effort to avert a strike.