Angela Davis to give lecture on UI campus

CHAMPAIGN — Political activist, educator and author Angela Davis will be on the University of Illinois campus Friday to deliver a lecture called, "Abolishing the Prison-Industrial Complex."

Davis holds the title of distinguished professor emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The 'Mini-Mes' who complete us

Note: This column originally ran in the Sept. 17 News-Gazette.

I came home the other night to find my computer full of links to sports stats and online draft information.

This is not unusual; I have lived with a sportswriter for almost 20 years.

For the retirees, Sept. 22, 2013

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.

Free presentation set on exploring Illinois nature

CHAMPAIGN — Central Illinois Master Naturalists will hold a free presentation, "Discover Illinois — Exploring Nature" from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday at the University of Illinois Extension Auditorium, 801 N. Country Fair Drive.

Reluctant Townie: Few acceptable reasons not to watch 'Breaking Bad'

Tonight, AMC's critical darling "Breaking Bad" will air its penultimate episode. Next week, it will air its finale. The week after that, the world will fall into a dark depression while staring blankly at reruns of "The Mentalist."

Healing Horse Stables offers therapeutic riding for people with special needs

PESOTUM — On a muggy, late-summer evening, Savoy toddler Lincoln Pangburn was at Healing Horse Stables for his weekly ride.

"Whoa, whoa!" he said to a chestnut palomino pony named Rosie.

And the adults gathered to watch, smile and cheer, because Lincoln doesn't say many words.

Saying "whoa" to a pony was progress.

The ax man: Vermilion County resident uses local and exotic wood and handmade machinery to build electric guitars

GRAPE CREEK — After Craig Collins was laid off from his job at a machine shop in Danville four years ago, he mentioned to his wife his dream of building electric guitars.

She didn't discourage him.

"I told him he'd better do it because he wasn't getting any younger," Gail Collins said last week outside their home in Grape Creek, a wooded valley south of Danville.

Letter from Birdland: Even in dry, we find things of beauty

In Birdland we are still hoping for rain. The corn is drying in the fields. The golden color is lovely against the blue sky, but rain now won't help the kernels swell. It is too late.

Getting Personal: Jim Bean

Each week, we offer an email Q&A with a local personality. Today, Paul Wood chats with Jim Bean of Champaign. He plays the guitar and drums, sings, practices taekwondo and does whatever his rescued pit bull, Elly-May, tells him to do.

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?

Another reason to visit Paxton

Special news from Paxton: Robin's Homespun Dreams has acquired a new, large building for a second location.