Letter from Birdland: Night light keeps our canines quiet

Although the dogs have just grown out of their winter coats — Cullen, the brown dog, has a soft, thick pelt that grows longer and redder in the winter; Ursula, the black dog, has a short, silky coat that covers her furry undercoat — spring has been approaching quickly.

Library events, Feb. 28-March 6, 2016

Selected events coming to local libraries:

Champaign Public Library

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

At 2 p.m. today at the main library, The Other Guys, a University of Illinois men's a capella group, will perform a free show featuring music and comedy.

#OscarsSoWhite but, says '16 Ebertfest guest, maybe not racist

Gil Robertson, president of the African American Film Critics Association, describes himself as a 50-year-old black man from Los Angeles who's a big fan of "The Joy Luck Club."

That surprises some people: The 1993 movie based on the best-selling novel by Amy Tan is about four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco.

John Roska: Procedure for joint simplified divorce generally the same

Q: Your column has said there have been recent changes in the divorce law. Has the law for getting a simple divorce changed, too?

A: The property and income limits have increased, so a divorcing couple can have a bit more property and income and still qualify. But those are minor tweaks. The basic procedure for a "joint simplified" divorce remains the same.

Don Follis: Young pastors drawn back to liturgies of the church

For the last year, I have been following an experimental Sunday evening service at the famous Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago that follows a high church, liturgical model. Called "The Practice," this evening service includes responsive readings, reciting creeds, saying the Lord's Prayer, corporate confession, silence and communion.

It's Your Business: Urbana adds massage therapist

An area woman has opened a massage and therapeutic stretching business in downtown Urbana.

Independent contractor and licensed massage therapist Renee Royal has set up shop inside the Health In Harmony wellness center at Lincoln Square.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Feb. 28, 2016

With tax season here, we asked those who deal with the IRS for a living to tell us about a unique client experience.


Summerfield Tax & Accounting, Champaign

Studio Visit: Patricia Forden

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist, here with Patricia "Pat" Forden, 62, of Champaign. The artist, who works part-time for the University of Illinois and Parkland art departments, recently chatted with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

When did you get your BFA in painting from the UI and then did you stay here?

Wired In: Mark Laufenberg

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week, meet MARK LAUFENBERG, 46, the president and co-founder of PowerWorld. 


Reluctant Townie: The best movies I Redboxed in 2015

I will not be watching the Oscars this year. Not because I'm boycotting it for any political reason (#OscarsSoWhite isn't news to anyone, is it?), but because #OscarsSoBoring and I haven't watched a telecast since "Gladiator" beat out "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" for best picture in 2001.