Therese Pokorney

Therese Pokorney

Report: Fewer teens work during summer, but beginners still reap benefits

It was during the hot summer months years ago in central Illinois when a then-14-year-old Ashlee Rhodes received her first paycheck.

She was working as a corn detasseler. The job wasn't exactly glamorous, she said, but she learned valuable lessons — ones that eventually helped her rise to become the store manager at one of Champaign's landmarks, Jarling's Custard Cup.

There's a fair bit going on in Ford County

Regulars of county fairs know the adrenaline rush of carnival rides and the familiar crunch of a deep-fried funnel cake. But with all the standard elements of a fair aside, Ford County's annual event has grown to become an attraction to visitors from places far and wide since 1926 — and includes everything from live music to livestock shows.

There's a fair bit going on in Vermilion County

Opening today in Oakwood: the five-day Vermilion County Fair, where the $6 price of admission gets you in the door and on any ride or attraction.

"If you don't eat, you don't have to spend another dime," Fair President RICK WHITE says. "Once you get past the front gate, we try to make everything as cheap as possible."

A Life Remembered | Horsewoman prized for her spirit

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign woman is being remembered as a supportive wife, devoted mother and lifelong lover of horses.

"Horses were always a really important part of her life," said Lyle Gallivan, son of Ann Gallivan.

Mrs. Gallivan died Thursday at age 92.

"She loved every moment she had to spend time with the horses, and always had a great compassion for them," he said.

Fisher graduate elected president of Illinois FFA

SPRINGFIELD — A Fisher resident and recent Fisher High School graduate has been elected president of the Illinois FFA, rounding out the organization's first all-female state-officer team.

New Miss Illinois ready for unique national competition

CHAMPAIGN — No swimsuit competition? No problem.

Newly crowned Miss Illinois Grace Khachaturian said she's relying on years of experience with pageants — she's been competing since she was 11 — as she and the other Miss America contestants wait for final details about the contest in the wake of organizers' June 5 announcement that the swimsuit portion would be eliminated.

State forestry council to discuss threats to resources at I Hotel

Since 1961, the number of Illinois sawmills has decreased by 72 percent.

This alarming figure has brought attention to the declining status of the State's forestry resources, and the Illinois Forestry Development Council has set a meeting Tuesday evening at the I Hotel's Chancellor Ballroom to discuss threats and forestry issues.

Former Car-X franchisee details battle with drug addiction in new memoir

CHAMPAIGN — Drug addiction knows no boundaries.

Parham Parastaran knew it was time for change when he was found face up on his bar one morning wearing nothing but white traces of cocaine.

Central grad, 3 Uni grads earn National Merit Scholarships

CHAMPAIGN — A recent Champaign Central graduate is trading in his Illinois roots in hopes of broadening his cultural experience while attending college in Texas — and he'll be doing it as a National Merit Scholar.

"I've grown up all 18 years in Champaign," said Matthew Caughey. "I figured it would be a nice change of pace."

Late political pioneer's son shares memories of Mom with teachers in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — The son of one of Illinois' female political pioneers shared memories of his mom during a meeting with teachers Monday in Champaign.

Joseph Baar Topinka, a 1990 University of Illinois graduate, recently published a biography about his late mother, Judy Baar Topinka, a journalist turned elected official who became the first woman elected state treasurer (1995-2007).