Blowing smoke: Jon's Pipe Shop

It's 4 p.m. on a recent Friday, a little early for the regulars to show up at Jon's Pipe Shop for an after-dinner cigar.

And to sit around and blow smoke.

But two are here already, doing just that with shop owner Pat Callaghan, manager Michael LaDue and employee Andrew Crowell.

One habitue, Mark Barnett, brings a bottle of rare Bastille Hand-Crafted Whisky to share.

Melissa Merli: Artwork on wheels

One of the coolest artists in C-U is Christopher Carl, who after getting his master's degree in landscape architecture at the University of Illinois decided to stick around.

He and his equally talented wife, artist Meredith Foster, live in Urbana and have mounted some of the more interesting and adventuresome exhibits I've seen.

Top of the Morning, July 13, 2014

Taylor Feldkamp said he'd read today's News-Gazette. Unless he's too sore to pick up the paper after a Saturday night of fender-bending in Fisher.

"I've gotten pretty used to the abuse," he said.

Dog's fate in hands of hearing officer

RANTOUL — Harvey the mastiff-pit bull mix is a friendly dog that enjoys playing with children, loves frolicking with other dogs in his home and is not a threat to anyone.

Harvey the mastiff-pit bull mix is an aggressive dog that attacked another dog walking down the street with his masters and should be put down.

UI presidential search on fast track

Officials want Easter's successor to help choose Chicago chancellor

The selection of a new University of Illinois president has been accelerated, with plans to name Bob Easter's successor before Thanksgiving.

This day in history: July 12, 2014

Today is Saturday, July 12, the 193rd day of 2014. There are 172 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 12, 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale announced his choice of U.S. Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York to be his running mate; Ferraro was the first woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket.

On this date:

Area history, July 12, 2014

Today is Saturday, July 12, 1967. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the Morning, July 12, 2014

It's a big weekend for these two area youngsters:

AARON PINKERTON, St. Thomas More, Class of 2012

In the "Coolest Jobs" category, standard bearer at a PGA event ranks right up there.

Ford County group to visit former sheriff's home, jail

PAXTON — A visit to the former Ford County sheriff's residence and jail will take place during the next meeting of the Ford County Historical Society at 6:30 p.m. on July 18.

The sheriff's residence and jail complex is at the corner of State and American streets in Paxton.

This day in history: July 11, 2014

Today is Friday, July 11, the 192nd day of 2014. There are 173 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 11, 1914, Babe Ruth made his Major League baseball debut, pitching the Boston Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over Cleveland.

On this date:

In 1767, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts.

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