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Georgetown soldier killed in Afghanistan laid to rest

GEORGETOWN – A fallen soldier from Georgetown, who was laid to rest on Monday, has been awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star posthumously.

Maj. Gen. James Hodge, military surface deployment and distribution commander at Scott Air Force Base, presented the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals to Sgt. Kenneth Nichols' wife, Lexi, at his memorial service in Georgetown.


Woman's book describes virtues of Vermilion County

DANVILLE – When Vickie Hicks overheard people making negative comments about Vermilion County, it inspired her to write a story about appreciating the area's assets.

Now the tale, "A Story of the Kingdom of Wannalot," will be used to help instill community pride in area students, and get them thinking about how they can improve their hometowns.


DACC trustees to vote on new audiovisual equipment

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College trustees on Tuesday will vote on whether to replace and install new audiovisual equipment in two buildings on campus.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in Vermilion Hall, Room 302, at the campus, 2000 E. Main St.


Area cities making sure properties in census records

Compiling an address list may not seem too difficult, unless it includes every household in the United States.

In 1994, it was decided that the U.S. Census Bureau needed some help with its master address list, and a new process was created, allowing local governments access to the highly confidential information to review it for errors.


Hynes scoops up a major union nod in race for governor

Gubernatorial candidate Dan Hynes won the backing last week of perhaps the most important organization that will be making endorsements – and giving out campaign contributions – before the Feb. 2 primary election.

Hynes got the endorsement Monday of the 103,000-member Illinois Federation of Teachers, whose membership includes the Chicago Teachers Union and the Champaign Federation of Teachers. That not only means lots of votes for Hynes over his Democratic opponent, Gov. Pat Quinn, it also probably will mean $100,000 or more in campaign money before the primary.


Official: Volunteerism can be a holiday tradition

Champaign County likes to volunteer.

In fact, a recent United Way survey showed residents here volunteer at twice the national average – 56 percent, compared to about 28 percent across the country.


Homeless children will be treated like stars

CHAMPAIGN – A group of homeless children will be treated to a "premiere" of Disney's new "Princess and the Frog" movie in high style, thanks to students at Champaign Central High School.


Salvation Army strikes gold

CHAMPAIGN – For at least the sixth straight year, gold coins have shown up in red kettles in Champaign-Urbana.

The Salvation Army announced on Friday that it has received four gold coins so far this year during its kettle drive.


Area update

area update

Paxton nursing home completes expansion


State funds trickle in, aid Vermilion health agency

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Health Department has received more than $100,000 of the $800,000 the state owes it, with another $60,000 expected by Monday, according to health department Administrator Steve Laker.

While the county probably will not close the department, the new money won't be enough to stave off plans for deep spending cuts or restructuring. The health department had less than $7,000 cash on hand as of Nov. 30, owes a $300,000 loan and $5,500 in interest to the county, and has monthly expenses that average $250,000.