Incoming Champaign police chief deeply rooted in the community

In 1986, a 16-year-old Centennial High School student sells shoes at Sears, Roebuck & Co. in Champaign. He is hired with some reluctance from store managers — there aren't too many high school kids working there, but they give him a shot.

'The Greatest' is the inspiration for local entrepreneur

CHAMPAIGN — When local McDonald's franchisee Dwight Miller looks back at the role models of his youth, Muhammad Ali stands out as the greatest.

"He was a strong man," Miller said of the now-retired heavyweight boxing champion. "He didn't care what other people thought. He wanted to do his own thing."

Miller noted that Ali had "an issue with the draft."

University of Illinois graduate has found way to overcome

As a high-level human resources director, University of Illinois graduate Joyce Ingram keeps in mind the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King:

"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Funeral home director loves his work — and his family's legacy

DANVILLE — By the seventh grade, Tim Leek Sr. knew he wanted to take over the family funeral business someday.

An essay assignment on careers made him realize he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps.

A quiz on the life of an African-American pioneer of Champaign County

A little more than 100 years ago — on Dec. 29, 1911 — one of the African-American pioneers of Champaign County died at the age of 75. At the time of his death, George W. Smith left an estate valued at more than $116,000 which, according to the Champaign Daily Gazette, was believed to be "the most valuable one ever left by a colored man in this state."

Reborn & Refreshed: Mia Za's

CHAMPAIGN — The Campustown fire that forced the closure of two restaurants and a clothing store last spring gave Bruce Hink another chance to think.

And think he did, about how he would re-create Mia Za's, the Italian-themed restaurant he opened in 2000 at 629 E. Green St., C.

Where are they now? White and Herman retain teaching positions

URBANA — Every Tuesday evening, students file into a classroom at Wohlers Hall for a business law course on U.S. corporate governance called "Ultimate Leadership."

Their professor? University of Illinois President Emeritus B. Joseph White, who held the university's top job from 2005 to 2009.

Back to basics: Manufacturer, store coupons are different

Last week, we covered frequently asked questions about coupon overage.

This week, we'll tackle another dilemma for beginners: the difference between manufacturer coupons and store coupons.

Dear Jill,

I have a $1 coupon for a brand of cheese. The coupon has the supermarket's logo on it.

Getting Personal: Judy Wiegand

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, Meg Dickinson chats with Champaign schools Superintendent Judy Wiegand. Getting Personal appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. In the Feb.

Studio Visit: Michele Miller

Studio Visit appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with painter Michele Miller of Urbana. In the Feb.