Top of the morning, Oct. 18, 2015

It cost Mark and Linda Johnson a pretty penny to pull it off.

But neither Cubs fan hesitated when the opportunity arose to attend Saturday's playoff game in New York.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Oct. 18, 2015

With haunted houses and horror movie marathons right around the corner, we asked our panel: What's your greatest fear or phobia?


Partner, Dodd & Maatuka, Champaign

Sunday Special: Father figure spreading the word

In his sermon during a recent Mass, Father Luke Spannagel spoke of loyalty — of being faithful without question to God and Jesus Christ.

The Catholic priest also told his audience that many things in our culture today compete for their loyalty.

And because this wasn't the usual homily, he mentioned loyalty to the Orange and Blue.

For Lebanese UI student, homesickness isn't all bad

Mona Ayoub is 6,200 miles too far from home. The 25-year-old remembers her mother sobbing and her father's teary goodbye before her departure from the airport in Beirut, Lebanon, to come to America last year. She had never seen her father cry.

"For the first time," Mona says, "I felt how important I really am to him."

The Cubs: These guys have come a long way

If you know nothing else about the Chicago Cubs it must be this: the Cubs have not won a championship since 1908.

That is the longest, most painful, most outrageous, most impossible championship drought of any team in professional sports. The St. Louis Browns haven't won a championship in that 107-year period, either, but they have a good excuse. They moved to Baltimore in 1954.

She thought she could — and did

URBANA — Inspired by her father and uncle, both West Point graduates, France Cordova planned as a child to attend the U.S. military academy.

Her father's West Point degree still hangs on the wall of her Washington, D.C., apartment.

But West Point didn't admit women when Cordova graduated from high school in the 1960s.

Locks of love for cancer patients

URBANA — For patients battling cancer, hair means hope.

Which is why the local chapter of the American Cancer Society has teamed up with the Concept College of Cosmetology in Urbana to help local cancer patients find a wig to wear once they start losing their hair.

Homeless duo plan to rough it

TUSCOLA — Kevin Daugherty and his dog Duke are planning to spend the winter in a tent on the outskirts of Tuscola.

Daugherty, 58, isn't doing it for the adventure. He has no job or other place to stay, and doesn't want to leave the town where he grew up.

"You'd be surprised," he says. "A tent isn't so bad to live in with a dog. This dog has saved my life."

Area history, Oct.. 17, 2015

In 1915, "People come to the Salvation Army for all kinds of things," said Ensign C.W. Parett today. "Saturday a poor woman asked me for a baby carriage. I told her I had none, but I would get her one. If there is a Gazette reader who has a baby carriage to spare, both the Salvation Army and the poor woman will appreciate the gift."

Top of the morning, Oct. 17, 2015

— In today's newspaper, you'll find an insert with a big blue 'W' on one side and Cubs-lovin' advertisers on the other (above). Not a Cubs fan, I asked our Tom Kacich what to do with it. "Just hang it in the window," he said. "Keep it there until they lose, then put it back up when they win."