Claire Hampton with her mother. Claire was born in Seoul, South Korea and came to the United States when she was four months old.

Growing up Asian in a white family; one adoptee’s struggle

By Earn Saenmuk/For — There was a girl in my Korean class. Well, there were more than one, but this particular one was special. She was very nice, and her Korean was so good that I felt a little intimidated. I noticed while the teacher was taking attendance that her last name did not sound like an Asian last name. Her name was Claire Hampton, though she told the teacher that she also has a Korean name, Hwaesuk.

Chip McNeill plays for the dancers.
Traffic Jam: USO Swing Night
The Chip McNeill Swingin' Quartet 
Chip McNeill and his swingin' quartet will rev up the Krannert Center lobby with the jumpin' sounds of the 1940s. The U of I Swing Society will put set the joint jumpin' as the up-tempo high-energy music encourages everyone to dance the night away.

Slices of Life: Jazz Professor Chip McNeill throws himself into his work

By Samantha Kiesel — Chip McNeill walks down the hall in his black sneakers as jazz music floods the basement of Smith Hall. He waves with his left hand to a couple of students and clutches a soprano saxophone in his right. He looks at his watch and picks up his pace, realizing he’s late. In Room 11, a small space with a set of drums, a piano and an old organ, he gently places his instrument on the organ bench as he greets the students preparing for the day’s jazz rehearsal. The drummer tunes his instruments, the guitarist adjusts the volume on his amplifier, the vocalist tinkers with her mic, the saxophonist fixes his reed, and the piano player sits patiently.

Cindy Eaglen, left,   and Charlotte look at each other at Feathered Friends, her avian rescue and rehab organization in Champaign. Eaglen is a Danville resident but works in Champaign at Illini Recycling, which doubles as Feathered Friends. In Champaign on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012.

Slices of Life: Danville woman adores her flock of feathered friends

By Jessica Bourque — Cindy Eaglen — that’s eagle with an ‘n’ — sits in her computer chair, a bird in one hand, a mouse in the other. The mouse is of the computer variety, but the bird is an African grey, one of the smartest avian breeds in the animal kingdom. Cindy carefully holds the two, kissing one on the beak and using the other to scroll through YouTube videos; she is searching for one of her favorites. “It’s amazing!” she says.

Maureen Holtz address the council during a Monticello city council meeting on Monday, June 23, 2014. photo by Darrell Hoemann/C-U Citizen Access

“Letter to the residents of Monticello” ad lands city council in hot water

By Claire Everett/ —  An ongoing struggle between the Monticello City Council and a citizen’s group has led to the city council being cited for violating the Open Meetings Act. The attorney general’s office said the city council violated the act by holding a closed session in March that led to the creation of an advertisement criticizing four residents for questioning the city council’s actions and for filing numerous state Freedom of Information requests. Maureen Holtz waits with others during an executive session to discuss redactions on March 11 minutes of a Monticello city council meeting on June 23, 2014. Photo by Darrell Hoemann/

By privately approving the ad and taking action, the nine-member city council violated the Open Meeting’s Act, according to a Public Access Counselor report, released last month. The Public Access Counselor, Sarah Pratt, is a lawyer in the Attorney General’s office who works to ensure compliance by public bodies with Open Meetings Act and Illinois Freedom of Information Act regulations.

Willie Summerville directs a rehearsal of Messiah as Davion Williams sings a solo at Canaan Baptist Church in Urbana.

Slices of Life: Willie Summerville: “Somebody say ‘Amen'”

By Samantha Bakall — Willie T. Summerville sits behind the church organ, his fingers dancing on the keys and his lips slightly pursed at the microphone, ready to sing. He does not need his hands to conduct. His elbows, shoulders and upper body serve as the signaling baton. His close-cropped hair is sprinkled salt and pepper, showing his 67 years against his dark skin. His large, grandfather-esque bifocal glasses overshadow the rest of his face, but through the thick lenses, his eyes are smiling.