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."
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."
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.
CHAMPAIGN – Linda Moore steers students who enter Parkland College with academic deficiencies down the right track for future classroom success.
Moore and other counselors, teachers and tutors work with new Parkland students who can't pass college-entry-level assessment tests – typically in reading, writing or mathematics – to correct their deficiencies, support their adjustment to college life and help solve personal problems that might interfere with work they do in the classroom.
BERKELEY, Calif. – Urbana progressives might, in their wilder moments, view their city as the Berkeley of the Midwest.
But Robert Berdahl, chancellor at the University of California at Berkeley who spent seven years at the University of Illinois during the late 1980s and early 1990s, has lived and worked in both Berkeley and Champaign-Urbana.
DANVILLE – Danville police are still investigating whether a male director of a recently-opened homeless shelter for teen-age mothers sexually abused a client.
In the meantime, the executive director of the Open Door of Hope House of Refuge said she will petition the city to amend the facility's special-use zoning permit to increase the minimum age of the clientele.
URBANA – Urbana firefighters this week learned how to use a new, high-tech rescue tool that will help them find somebody in a collapsed building.
Fire Chief Rex Mundt said the Urbana department already had the training and equipment to rescue people in collapsed trenches or buildings or other confined spaces. Urbana recently received a "LifeDetector," a sophisticated listening device that helps rescue crews pinpoint the locations of any people trapped in such rubble, he said.
TOLONO – With a new developer at the helm and construction of the first houses under way, the new Deerpath Subdivision in Tolono is being prepared for its first public showing on a grand scale.
From noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 18 and 19, eight to 10 houses in various stages of construction will be open for tours.
URBANA – The Champaign County Board this week defeated a budget amendment that would have allowed Champaign County State's Attorney John Piland to expand his office's domestic violence prosecutions and services.
Piland on Friday criticized the nine county board Democrats who voted against the budget amendment, saying they had no justifiable reason for their vote. The vote in favor of the $47,927 budget amendment was 17 to 9, with 18 votes required for passage.
URBANA – With little discussion, the Champaign County Board voted Thursday to approve increases in a variety of court fees and fees levied for copies of documents from the county clerk's office.
All told, the increases approved will generate an additional $756,000 for the county in fiscal 2004, which begins Dec. 1. They come on top of $226,000 in other fee increases approved earlier this year for the sheriff's office and for parking.