Letter from Birdland: Ursula's adventure to the Windy City

It's quiet in Birdland. Just a few days ago, our house was filled with conversation and song and laughter. Our boys were all home for a short visit.

First, I drove to Chicago and picked up Dylan, our middle boy, who took some days off from the line to reunite with the family.

Area history, June 6, 2015

In 1915, "This is not a spasmodic cleanup campaign," Mayor Swigart told Constable Shields Casper, who has been employed as the city health inspector. "People must clean up their premises and keep them clean. See to it, Mr. Casper, that you impress this fact upon them.

Debate over wildlife park proposal isn't done

SULLIVAN — Big, spitting camels people should never get too close to, zebras that could suffer from sunburn, no guarantee that a wild animal wouldn't escape, the potential for injuries and lawsuits — and those are just some of the concerns a retired zookeeper has about allowing a zoo and wild animal park to open on a piece of farmland near Arthur.

Drug court yields 32nd class of success stories

URBANA — Eight men and four women with a boatload of troubles in their past due to drug use will sail on to a new life Monday after being sober and crime-free for at least a year.

They are the 32nd class to complete Champaign County's drug court program and will be honored at a ceremony at 2:15 p.m. at the Urbana Civic Center.

UPDATED: 'Rentertainment' fund drive tops goal

CHAMPAIGN — A crowd-funding campaign to donate rare videos from That's Rentertainment to the University of Illinois Library has already exceeded its initial goal.

Dena Strong, the coordinator of the campaign, had set an initial goal of raising $1,000, and by 8:10 a.m. this morning, 45 people had pledged a total of $1,665 to the campaign.

Vietnam memorial replica coming to Watseka

WATSEKA — The Wall that Heals — the traveling, half-size Vietnam memorial replica — is coming to Iroquois County.

The county made a large sacrifice to that war.

Gilman, with a present population of 1,700, lost three young men in Vietnam: Robert E. St. Peter, James P. Vadbunker and Frederick J. Youmans.

Go figure, June 5, 2015


Rantoul triplets headed to San Antonio's Lackland Air Force Base in three months for basic training.

KLAY, MADISON and MIKAYLA MEDLEN, members of Rantoul High's Class of 2015, all signed up for six-year stints in the family's favorite military branch.

Area history, June 5, 2015

Today is Friday, June 5, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1915: Bishop E.M. Dunne of the Peoria Diocese will be in Champaign next Wednesday to lay the cornerstone of the new St. Mary's parochial school building in Champaign.

Carrie Busey comes together for third-grader

SAVOY — When the Carrie Busey Elementary community found out one of its third-graders had been diagnosed with leukemia, the whole school came together to lend a helping hand — or thumb.

A choice musical

URBANA — As he cast the chamber musical "A Minister's Wife," opening tonight at the Station Theatre, freelance stage director Stephen Fiol went straight to the talent he'd worked with at the University of Illinois.