Illinois Ancestors: Trace your family as a 2014 project

Although it is assumed that most readers of this genealogy column already started researching a family tree, there are, hopefully, others who would like to start but wish further instructions. Let me begin by saying that such a quest will probably take a lifetime — but it's worth every minute, for the personal satisfaction that results from such a search.

Family Life: It's time to unplug when you're with friends and family

By Chelsey Byers

It's always good to look back and identify the moments that made things good — and the areas of family life that you would like to improve upon.

Studio Visit: Allison Greenwood

Studio Visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Today, The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli chats with video editor Allison Greenwood, 24, Champaign.

Q: When did you start working as an editor at Shatterglass Studios?

A: The end of February 2013.

Q: Do you edit just video? Do you edit any film?

It's Your Business: Crossroads expanding

Crossroads Corner Consignment is expanding into another 5,000 square feet of the Whiteline Building in Champaign.

The new space is expected to open in late February or early March, with a "re-grand opening" for the business sometime in mid-March, said William Fleming, who co-owns Crossroads Corner with Kenny Lamm.

Exhibiting an intolerance for pests

URBANA — Christa Deacy-Quinn is using a portable thermal tent that heats up to 140 degrees, enough to fry even the hardiest of insects.

She is the collections manager at the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois, and she looks for bug poop, unexpected holes or other signs of infestation that could endanger exhibits — items she can't put a price tag on.

3-D projector offers enhanced learning - and it's cool

DANVILLE — What happens when you a combine a seventh-grade science lesson on plant cell anatomy with the technology of a three-dimensional movie?

South View Middle School teachers are about to find out.

New planetarium program offers African perspective on the sky

We all live under the sky. A show opening at the Staerkel Planetarium shows it from an African perspective.

The shows draws on African creation legends of the Yoruba and Taureg, as well as written and architectural treasures of Egypt, with an introduction by planetarium Director David Leake.

Rich Warren: Car guys brought biggest news to CES

The popular press morphed the International Consumer Electronics Show that occupied Las Vegas last week into the "gadget show."

That's rather humbling for one of world's most important trade shows. When I began covering CES in 1976, the mainstream press couldn't be bothered to report on it. Even during the years CES occurred in Chicago, the local papers barely gave it lip service.

Illinois Ancestors: Death list accessibility now limited

The U.S. budget bill that was recently signed into law includes the closure of the Social Security Death Index and the exemption of SSDI information from the Freedom of Information Act.

Richard Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter (Dec. 30) and Curt Witcher's Genealogy Gems (Dec. 31 news from the Fort Wayne, Ind., Library) both reported on this depressing news.

Mayor wants to light up Gibson City

GIBSON CITY — Mayor Dan Dickey has an admittedly "ambitious" idea to make Gibson City's downtown a "destination" like no other in East Central Illinois.

Dickey is proposing spending $300,000, perhaps more, to turn his city into "The City of Lights."