At Danville schools, a robot's touch opens doors of communication

DANVILLE — This year, Michelle Craig has a student with autism who never makes eye contact with her or other adults.

"When you talk to her, she always looks down at the ground," said Craig, a special-education teacher at Mark Denman Elementary and a life skills teacher for 3-5 students.

That changed last week when the little girl met Milo.

Spurlock takes a trip down memory lane for UI's 150th

URBANA — There it is in all its glory: ILLIAC 2, one of the first computers and a huge one at that — with less computing power than a 2-year-old smartphone.

A few feet away, Spurlock Museum has Olympian Jean Driscoll's racing chair from her eighth Boston Marathon win, notes Beth Watkins, education and publications coordinator at the Spurlock Museum.

Entertainment listings, Nov. 16-23, 2017


This weekend


What: Free horse and carriage rides, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Have your picture taken with Santa! Over 30 vendors from seasonal decor to baked goods. Coffee, hot chocolate, donuts, breakfast and lunch provided by food vendors. Shop at the local village shops. Brochures and maps available day of event.

Illinois Ancestors: Obscure sources uncover old Scottish records

When David Dobson completed his seven-volume series, "Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America," 1625-1825 in 1993, it was thought that the records were complete. However, since then, obscure sources have "unearthed a substantial number of references to Scottish emigrants in America, Canada, and the West Indies" that were "previously unknown to researchers."

Delivery app goPuff hopes to add booze

URBANA — Have a 2 a.m. case of the munchies?

In Champaign-Urbana, there's now an app for that.

Introducing goPuff — a drugstore delivery service where everything from Chubby Hubby ice cream to Charmin bath tissue is just one smartphone click away, guaranteed to be delivered as soon as possible from an Urbana warehouse.

Top of the Morning, Nov. 13, 2017

By all accounts, WDWS reporter TIM DITMAN's takeover of The News-Gazette's Snapchat account on a busy Illini sports weekend was a rousing success.

Wired In: Kathleen Hu

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet KATHLEEN HU, a University of Illinois student who is heading the technology side of DIBBS, a start-up to fight hunger and reduce food waste. Her web platform connects food retailers to food pantries so that excess food doesn't go to waste.

Rich Warren: Comcast boosting internet speeds

Free lunch may be a fantasy, but Comcast promises a fatter sandwich. If you're in one of Comcast's premium tiers, prepare for faster internet. Download speeds for the company's Xfinity Blast tier will jump from 75 mbps to 100 mbps, while Performance tier speeds will more than double from 25 mbps to 60 mbps.

Next stop for UI-founded company: Space, thanks to NASA contract

CHAMPAIGN — A company founded by a University of Illinois physics professor has raised more than $1.5 million in venture funding this year, graduated from the UI Research Park's EnterpriseWorks incubator and this week announced it was selected for a project by NASA.

Author bringing love letter to UI's PLATO system to its birthplace

URBANA — As a college freshman interested in music, Brian Dear was wandering through the University of Delaware music building one day in 1979, hearing an uncoordinated medley of musical instruments from various rooms when he noticed through a window a dark classroom filled with orange-glowing faces peering into computer monitors.