Reluctant Townie: How to magically impress a 4-year-old

Daughter Alpha is soon to be 4, and she has entered the stage of her cognitive development where she is old enough to understand pretty much anything that is said to her, and still young enough to believe every word of it.

Studio Visit: Elis Artz

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, Elis Artz, 42, of Champaign, the program coordinator for the University of Illinois' Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. Artz is also a singer for Desafinado and Pagu, and an artist.

How were you able to bring Brazilian icon Gilberto Gil to the UI?

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, July 26, 2015

We asked former TV show contestants to share the story that always gets a reaction, no matter how often they tell it.

American Idol (2005)


Danville Schlarman grad

It's Your Business: Spa opens at Pines

A new day spa has opened in southeast Urbana.

Owner Carmen Kirby said her new business, Breathe In Spa, opened July 16 at 2680 Philo Road, Suite G, in the Pines Shopping Center.

The day spa employs 10 staff members.

"I'm thrilled to bring many wellness and beauty professionals under one roof," Kirby said.

Top of the morning, July 26, 2015

Bill Peithmann's pride and joy — a flag touting the Mahomet Area Youth Club — is tucked away in a plastic bag in his dresser. It needs the rest.

Last week, the 61-year-old Mahomet lawyer planted the flag atop Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. He reached the summit alongside his 18-year-old stepson, recent Mahomet-Seymour grad Logan McCann.

Flea market may be answer to problem

About two or three months ago, I mentioned in my column that I had been approached by a few readers (there were 11) who all had the same thing in common. They wrote letters, sent emails, called on the phone and talked to me in person.

Paying it forward paying off

DANVILLE — Deanna Witzel calls it the "coolest" thing she has ever done in her career.

Oakwood to toast racing star

OAKWOOD — Though Bobby Pierce has been racing since age 9, he hadn't done so in a truck until Wednesday — and it just so happened to be on the biggest stage of the 18-year-old Oakwood native's career.

Area history, July 25, 2015

Today is Saturday, July 25, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Life Remembered: Love of music helped her cope

Amy Pipes had a strong faith in God that sustained her even through the most trying times, including her daughter Jessica Dupree's long battle with cancer.

She also had a passion for singing and playing music.