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The sweetheart of sweet corn

HOOPESTON – Miss Georgia, Kandice Pelletier, took the title of the 2003 National Sweetheart at the Hoopeston Sweetcorn Festival on Sunday night.

The blue-eyed blonde from Acworth, Ga., was popular with the crowd from the outset.

Hoopeston corn parade provides morning of fun

HOOPESTON – Andrea Glotzbach crossed off another name as the registered units for the Hoopeston Sweetcorn Festival Grand Parade passed by.

Glotzbach is parade chairman and a member of the Hoopeston Jaycees, who organized the parade, festival and all the accompanying activities for the weekend.

Urbana officer's bilingual skills in demand

URBANA – It's not really an exaggeration to call Adam Chacon a Latino king.

An Urbana police officer for almost 10 years, Chacon is revered for his fluency in Spanish, a tool that makes him an invaluable resource not only within his own department but for public safety employees all over the Midwest.

ISAT scores help schools self-evaluate

URBANA – Becky McCabe is right in the middle of efforts to implement President Bush's No Child Left Behind law in Illinois.

McCabe, principal of Urbana's Leal School, serves on a statewide task force studying assessment procedures to comply with the 2002 law, which requires stepped-up learning standards, with funding at stake.

Rantoul 10 years later: Steady climb

RANTOUL – When Chanute Air Force Base closed on Sept. 30, 1993, leaving a large portion of northern Champaign County real estate unoccupied, many people feared for the future of Rantoul.

"A lot of people thought that we would become a ghost town with nothing but tumbleweeds blowing in the wind," said Rantoul Village Board member Mike Graham.

Local officer charged with murder plan

HARRODSBURG, Ky. – A probationary Champaign police officer was arrested early Saturday in Harrodsburg, Ky., and accused of planning to murder a family there.

Kevin Paul Crum, 31, who listed an address in the 1900 block of Lynwood Drive, C, initially was arrested about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in a parking lot in Harrodsburg for criminal trespass and operating a vehicle with a stolen license plate, according to a Champaign police press release.

Crops boosted by rain

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College crop scientists take full credit for the soaking rain Friday that put weight on farmers' corn kernels and revived a sagging soybean crop.

They had scheduled their annual crop tour for Friday, and last year during the Parkland crop tour, scouts also trudged through drenching rains and muddy fields.

Police chief candidates down to five

CHAMPAIGN – Five candidates, four of them from out of state, have been selected as finalists to be interviewed next week for the position of Champaign police chief.

Two internal candidates from the Champaign Police Department did not make the final cut.

State alleges Moultrie official lied

SULLIVAN – The state has filed charges against a member of the Moultrie County Board because he allegedly doesn't live in Moultrie County.

On Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Steve Nate filed both a felony charge and civil suit in circuit court against William Wade Baumgartner, 29, alleging that Baumgartner has been serving on the Moultrie County Board since 2002 while living in Champaign.

Labor Day parade 'bigger, better'

CHAMPAIGN – Some 44 entries are scheduled to participate in the third year of Champaign-Urbana's revived Labor Day parade on Monday.

?It gets bigger and better every year,? said Judy Stoll, the AFL-CIO community services liaison.