Melissa Merli/Art Beat: Breathing new life into old arrangements

I arrived a little late Wednesday night at The Iron Post for saxophonist Clark Gibson's latest project, Bird with Strings, an orchestra performing lost arrangements commissioned in 1950 for saxophone great Charlie "Bird" Parker.

Area history, Jan. 9, 2016

Today is Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

All in all, 2015 was a good year

It is a little late for a review of 2015, but here it is.

There weren't any antique shows in Lincoln Square last year.

Sandra Mason: Elegant orchids

Besides a Mother's Day corsage or Tarzan's jungle gift to Jane, most of us have limited experience with orchids. Orchids are an amazingly diverse plant family growing in deserts, mountains, marshes, northern woods, Illinois forests and even your home as exotic, elegant houseplants.

Twirler says she got cold shoulder

URBANA — For Bonnie Reynolds, twirling a baton and skating helps relieve the stresses of life and puts her in a happy place.

But it's also putting her in a chilly place these days, and as the winter continues, it could soon be a snowy and icy place.

Soar subjects

Bob Schifo saw his first bald eagle just after he graduated from high school in 1968, when he was on a fishing trip with an uncle in northern Minnesota.

"I was just thrilled to death then, and every time I see one now I'm still thrilled," he said. "They're magnificent creatures."

Top of the morning, Jan. 9, 2016

We hope our new digital display rack convinces you to buy a News-Gazette. We know it will at least catch your eye.

UPDATED #MailbagSneak: Railroad investigating mysterious flag

4:52 p.m. UPDATED:
Reader Lance Oliver writes: “Last week, my son and I were driving around C-U and he wanted to go out to the Canadian National Railroad train yard and when we went out there, there were three flags flying on the flagpoles: 1) American flag 2) Canadian flag and 3) Confederate flag. I thought the third one was rather unusual to say the least.

Tom's #Mailbag, Jan. 8, 2016

Got a question for Tom? Ask it here

Plenty of questions answered this week but also an unusually large number that are on hold. If you're looking for an answer to your question, I'm still working on it. Give me another week.

Area history, Jan. 8, 2016

Today is Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1916: The Champaign High School basketball five succeeded in nosing out the Homer quintet last night by a score of 23-21. The game was the first-ever held in Champaign High's new gymnasium.