Therese Pokorney

Therese Pokorney

'Bigger and better': A look at the 2018 Illinois State Fair

From Boy George to the bull, bronco and bareback rodeo, organizers say there's plenty more in store than the infamous butter cow at the 166th edition of the Illinois State Fair.

"If there's one word to describe the state fair, it would be 'special,'" fair manager Luke Sailer says of the 11-day summer tradition, which kicks off today in Springfield.

Reading into it: A few words with a national STEM teaching award finalist

Teaching math and science is tough enough. But making it interesting to a classroom of 6-year-olds can be mission impossible.

Lucky for Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, first-grade teacher KEVIN FREDERICK takes pride in his ability to captivate young minds.

Connectivity 101: A few words with Urbana High's 2018 History Teacher of the Year

To MARK FOLEY, teaching is much more than classroom lectures and homework assignments.

Stop the Bleed: Teens get a lesson in trauma response

CHAMPAIGN — Instead of relaxing by the pool on their summer vacation, 75 teens were thinking about worst-case scenarios Thursday afternoon. While learning about health care procedures at Carle's three-day Scrub Camp, they were also taught how to survive a school shooting.

Four questions for the 2018 Farmer City/DeWitt County Fair queen

Competing in pageants is more than just looks these days. For Mia Brandenburg, the key to becoming the 2018 Farmer City/DeWitt County Fair queen was using a little extra elbow grease — literally.

Cross-state charity trip 'not just a bike ride' for local officers

ALTON — As the sun rose over Alton, 60 cyclists dipped their back tires into the Mississippi River before setting off on an annual cross-state charity ride to benefit families of fallen police officers.

Four days and nearly 360 miles later, they did the same in Lake Michigan after reaching their final destination Sunday in Chicago.

'Now that I've done it, I wouldn't turn back'

Six years ago, ASHLEY MATTINGLY stepped out of her comfort zone by trading in her cozy clothes for sparkly dresses in hopes of winning the Junior Miss Tuscola title.

"My mom was so surprised I wanted to do pageants," the 20-year-old said. "I never wore dresses, but now I absolutely love dressing up. I've learned to dress for success."

2017 Little Miss Champaign County Fair going for another crown

CHAMPAIGN — Usually, young girls going to Disneyland just plan to meet the princesses from their favorite fairy tales. But for Jordynn Huskisson, 2017 Little Miss Champaign County Fair, the main goal is to leave "the happiest place on Earth" as an actual princess.

Champaign County deputies honored for going above and beyond

URBANA — Champaign County sheriff's Deputy Corey Pankow didn't expect to save a life when he started his shift Dec. 18.

"It wasn't actually my area of work," said Pankow, explaining the night he responded to the 911 call for a possible drug overdose in the 2400 block of East Washington Street in Urbana.

World Cup has UI students taking a break from studying to kick it

URBANA — For University of Illinois senior Shivang Chaudhary, watching Tuesday's World Cup semifinal on a projector screen at the Illini Union was more important than preparing for his psychology courses.

"I've always loved the community it builds," Chaudhary said between bites of his burrito bowl and finishing homework for his next class later that day.