Studio Visit: Kelly Sebens-Nowlin

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, a chat with Kelly Sebens-Nowlin, 43, of Monticello. The executive director of the Champaign Urbana Theatre Company and a past president of the Monticello Theatre Association recently chatted with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

Don Follis: There's hope for those who persevere

Perseverance was a high value for my dad. In fact, we buried him with his boots on. Working into his 1980s, he finally stopped just weeks before he died. He gave the sermon at his church 6 weeks before he passed. So many times in life I heard him say, "Hang in there, buddy."

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Birding abroad

The city of Dakar, which is the capital of the West African nation of Senegal, is not a birding destination. Some two and a half million people live there, and the streets are crowded with traffic that includes everything from foot traffic and horse drawn carts to motor scooters, taxis, private cars and a variety of buses, among them the colorful and jam-packed cars rapide.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Jan. 31, 2016: Whatever happened to...

Continuing today's newspaper-wide theme: Whatever happened to ...

The boy genius from Arthur who made three trips to the national spelling bee


Scripps-Howard Bee competitor, 1985-87

For the retirees, Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2016

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Impressive performance

Pecha Kucha No. 20 features 'All-Star' lineup

CHAMPAIGN — They're calling it "All-Star" PechaKucha.

David Moore of The Champaign-Urbana Design Org says Volume 20 of the 20-presentation event — each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds — will feature veterans of previous shows. This year's show is Saturday at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.

This day in history, Jan. 31, 2016

Today is Sunday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2016. There are 335 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

In 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.

On this date:

Getting Personal: Robert Hays

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 80-year-old Champaign resident Robert Hays, a former reporter, soldier and campaign manager, chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. Hays, who retired from the University of Illinois journalism department, also is a prolific author.

Area history, Jan. 31, 2016

Today is Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago: