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Urbana trustee will have official vote

URBANA – The student trustee from the Urbana campus will have the official vote in a year when the University of Illinois Board of Trustees will be setting future tuition rates and could deal with the Chief Illiniwek issue.

Nate Allen, 21, a senior in urban planning on the Urbana campus, was designated by Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Friday to have the official student vote on the board.

Campus freedom has a price

The idea of using public transportation doesn't sit well with Felicia Gray.

"I don't take the bus," the University of Illinois freshman said with a look of disgust at the mere thought. "I don't like it, and I never had to take it."

UI aims to raise $1 million for charity

URBANA – Even a donation of a few dollars to a charitable organization can make a difference.

That's the message the University of Illinois is sending its employees as it kicks off its annual Campus Charitable Fund Drive on Tuesday. Its goal this year is to raise $1 million.

Farm show gets big hand from volunteers

HENNING – Danville resident Kenneth Kuhn, who was born and raised on a farm in Nebraska, is looking forward to checking out the harvesting machinery at this year's Farm Progress Show.

That is, if he can find the time.

Kuhn, along with about 120 others from Emmanuel Lutheran, Trinity Lutheran and Bethel Lutheran churches in Danville and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Hoopeston, expects to be busy flipping hamburgers and sliding hotdogs onto buns in one of the show's numerous food tents.

Closing the book on Fisher school with big auction

FISHER – In the market for a nice used organ? How about a fire escape, a basketball hoop or a gym floor?

Fisher Grade School will sell those items and many, many more, including hundreds of old-fashioned desks, at an auction Saturday, Oct. 18, that begins at 10 a.m. at the old school on School Street.

It's Your Business: JC Penney renovation work getting under way

The transformation from the old JC Penney store to the new one at Market Place Mall in Champaign is getting under way. Plans are to open the new store next spring.

Market Place General Manager Randy Tennison said the mall has a signed lease with JC Penney, which is returning to the same space at the mall it vacated three years ago. Tennison said he expects demolition work at the site to begin this week.

Tractorcade takes special guests to show

HENNING – A parade of more than 200 antique tractors led by WGN farm broadcaster Max Armstrong and a Melvin teen-ager badly injured in an accident set the pace Saturday for the 2003 Farm Progress Show next week.

It wasn't a very fast pace – the old tractors don't cover ground very quickly, and the 15-mile trip took three hours – but it was just the right pace for the opening event for the 50th Farm Progress Show which will open Tuesday and continues Wednesday and Thursday.

For some, second chance at career choice is teaching

Randy Bost was enjoying a steady career in sales for a waste recycling company in Auburn, Ala., which he described as quite fun. But he knew it wasn't his ideal job, so Bost switched to teaching at age 41.

"I knew I was going to fulfill that dream one day," the first-grade Robeson Elementary School teacher said with a drawl. "This is for me. It's what I wanted to do."

An unsolved mystery weighs heavy

CHAMPAIGN – Two years after the death of their mother, the children of Linda L. Smith are haunted with questions.

Officially, the manner of death for the 59-year-old Champaign woman remains "undetermined."

Farm show all about progress

HENNING – Within a few months, farmland north of Henning has been transformed from fields of corn to a city of tents. People are zipping around on ATVs, polishing tractors, hanging banners and installing an 85-foot-tall pole topped with a 15,000-pound Kinzie grain cart.

The Super Bowl of farm shows sure has come a long way since its debut 50 years ago.