Sandra Mason: Right around the corner

A verdant green sprig of grass or a flower bud ready to burst. It's that time of year when I scour the landscape for any sign of spring.

In our dreams, spring is already here. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners offer plenty of outlets sure to cure our spring fever.

Area history, Feb. 20, 2016

Today is Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1916: Nine arrests were made Sunday morning in a police raid on a Chinese chop suey restaurant at 39 Main St. A Chinaman giving his name as Hong Joy was arrested for keeping a disorderly place. Eight youngsters were charged with creating a disturbance.

Weekend Planner: 'Meet the Vanishing Woman'

In 1848, light-skinned slave Ellen Craft escaped Macon, Ga., by dressing as a white man, traveling by steamboat and the railroad. Accompanying her was her husband, who posed as her slave. On Sunday evening, theater artist Jennifer Goran of Champaign will portray Craft in "Meet the Vanishing Woman," starting at 6 p.m. at the Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church, 1913 S. Mattis Ave., C.

Black Lives Matter co-founder: Give concerns a voice

URBANA — When a 14-year-old asked her about hanging onto black identity at school, Opal Tometi expressed sorrow that a student would ever have to deal with that.

Check out Original Antiques Show in Bloomington

Bloomington's Original Antiques Show is approaching. The Central Illinois Antique Dealers Association will show its stuff on March 12-13 at the Interstate Center (Mini Expo), 2301 W. Market St.

One of the highlights of this show will be a dealer who specializes in silver, gold and other metal repairs, as well as polishing and plating.

Top of the morning, Feb. 20, 2016

Danny acts nothing like the celebrity he is. He spends his days chasing squirrels and chilling on a blanket in his Urbana home.

"He's a little spoiled," Patti Dukeman admits. "He lies as close to us as he can when we're drinking our morning coffee."

But the 81/2-year-old German shepherd is kind of a big deal.

Go figure, UI edition, Feb. 19, 2016

A numerical look at what's making headlines on the UI campus


Birth year of the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, courtesy of activist OPAL TOMETI, who will speak at the UI today.

Victim of bullying tells teens her story

ST. JOSEPH — Kayla Sparks remembers when she was a high school freshman. She remembers having sweet tea poured on her at lunchtime. She remembers having books knocked out of her hands in the halls between classes.

Girls yelled things at her. Six of them vandalized her parents' home.

What's in a name? Parkland College

After it was briefly named District 505 East Central Illinois Junior College in early 1967, The News-Gazette's Carol Hamilton wrote about Parkland College that another name containing geographical directions would create confusion.

Area update: White Heath school a topic at forum

WHITE HEATH — Could the White Heath Elementary building eventually become a corporate training facility? A boarding school? A branch library?