• Dead … but maybe not gone: With 150 channels on the cable box these days, you can be standing next to a big cable-TV star and, if you don’t watch the show or the channel, have no idea you’re in the room with someone who’s famous to someone else.

And so it went for Kate Clary the other day.

A fan of The Travel Channel and one of its more popular programs, “The Dead Files” (Fridays at 9), a reality show that features houses around America that are said to be haunted or inhabited by spirits, Kate was at Central Illinois Regional Airport, where she works.

That’s when she looked and, as others passed as if she was just another passenger going through the terminal, Kate recognized Amy Allan, the psychic who stars on “The Dead Files” and goes to “haunted” sites across America to help launch probes into them.

That’s Amy, left, and Kate in a picture snapped at CIRA.

Here for the past three weeks, shooting scenes and doing interviews, the Travel Channel show is doing an episode on an old farmhouse on Bloomington’s southwest edge.

We didn’t get that by a clairvoyant thought, by the way, but instead from a spokeswoman for The Travel Channel.

• White Christmas?: If you ask the weather gurus and professional forecasters, they’ll tell you anything beyond three days is pretty much just an educated guess.

But if you believe AccuWeather.com, which ventures nearly a month ahead to predict weather, be prepared: As early as late last week, here was its prediction for Dec. 24, 2012: "Very windy; snow. High 30. Wind 25, gusting to 45.”

Rudolph better start polishing his nose.

• Today's thought

Overheard in one coffee shop after word broke late last week that the government is considering getting rid of the $1 bill and making it a coin instead:

"What will the girls at places like Big Al’s or Kappa Kabanna do now?"

• Police beat: In Trivoli, the unincorporated Peoria County town, a man looked out into his yard at 5 a.m. the other day to notice something odd — someone had stolen his 100-year-old oak tree, cutting it down and taking it.

Police estimated its value at $1,000.

• Merry Mass again: Bumped into Mike Holtz, aka “that guy on Hovey” whose Normal home is so brightly decorated each Christmas time, it can be spotted by reconnaissance satellites 10 miles up.

Holtz says he is downsizing in these times.

“I’d say I only have about 700 items out this year,” he says, complete with a smirk on his face.

That’s at 1210 Hovey.

• Other sites Yule want to ogle:

— 2601 Interlocken, in east Bloomington, just east of Airport Road.

— 49 Prenzler Drive, in Old Farm Lakes, off East Oakland Ave. in far east Bloomington.

— 301 E. Front in El Paso.

— 706 Trimmer Drive in Hudson, the Bobby Dicken home display that this year has 15,000 lights and on Dec. 19 will reportedly have an appearance by Grammy-nominated singer Judy Pancoast (“The House on Christmas Street”), with donations going to McLean County Toys for Tots.


Bill Flick is at flick@pantagraph.com

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