Getting Personal: Grace Talusan

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 38-year-old Mahomet resident Grace Talusan, a mommy by day and a ninja by night, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

What interests you the most right now?

Letter from Birdland: Plants ride out rough weather

Winter came back to Birdland for a brief visit. We had almost forgotten what snow was like, but we sure got a reminder last week.

The daffodils that had bravely bloomed so early were buried, and the tiny pink buds of the ornamental quince were tightly closed against the shocking chill.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, March 26, 2017


U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

A front porch is very much like a stage, and this poem by Marilyn Nelson is like watching a little play. The poet, who has published books of poetry and prose for young and old alike, lives in Connecticut, and her most recent book is "My Seneca Village" (Namelos, 2015).

For the retirees, March 26-April 1, 2017

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.

The Reluctant Townie: Donny Richman, the playground bully

No one saw who broke the window, but everyone knew who did it.

Recess on the playground was monitored, but whenever children were left to their own devices to entertain themselves, it always devolved into some level of chaos. Budget cuts had left the playground monitors outnumbered, even when taking into account the lopsided monitor-to-student ratio the school board had approved.

In the Garden: Let it pour


April is only a week away, and we all know the popular adage, "April showers bring May flowers." Collecting, storing and using the rainwater that will soon spread over central Illinois is a great way to maintain beds and landscape during those times when Mother Nature is not giving us enough water.

Science Says: Who and what is to blame for cancer?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cancer patients often wonder "why me?" Does their tumor run in the family? Did they try hard enough to avoid risks like smoking, too much sun or a bad diet?

Religion calendar, March 24-30, 2017

To submit items for this calendar, visit and click "Add an event" under the miniature calendar on the page. You must be logged in, then fill in the appropriate fields and submit.

Deadline is noon Tuesday before Friday publication.


Economists study how lack of education raises death risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — Middle-age white Americans with limited education are increasingly dying younger, on average, than other middle-age U.S. adults, a trend driven by their dwindling economic opportunities, research by two Princeton University economists has found.

Legends of the game at museum

SPRINGFIELD — The popular Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will open on Friday an exhibit about one of the greatest sports rivalry in the state — the Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals.

The "Cubs vs. Cardinals: The Rivalry" will feature artifacts, photographs and related events in the Illinois Gallery of the museum.