MAHOMET – Next time you want to know how much freedom costs, the Marine veteran said to a group of solemn mourners, go out and look up at the stars in the night sky.
"Sometimes God takes our sharpest and brightest stars," said Bud Hooser, commander of Mahomet American Legion Post 1015.
DANVILLE – Danville native son and NASAastronaut Joe Tanner will be on hand Saturday as the United Way of Danville Area hosts its first Day of Caring.
"The Day of Caring is a national United Way program," said Jeanne Mulvaney, president of the local organization. "It's something you can take and design it to fit the needs of your specific community."
They met at a campus bar called the Wigwam through a most unusual pickup line: How would you like to change the world in Jesus' name?
Sylvia Slivon was intrigued. The year was 1969. Anti-war protests were the norm, and political change was in the air.
The man who popped the question was graduate student John Ronsvalle, a thoughtful campus rabble-rouser who led the fight for student representation on the University of Illinois senate and board of trustees. He was also a Christian dedicated to fighting poverty locally and around the globe.
MAHOMET – A candlelight service Sunday will mark the passing of a soldier.
Spc. Justin Penrod, 24, who lived in Danville and Mahomet, died Aug. 11 in Arab Jabour, Iraq, when he and a group of soldiers were chasing a sniper and a bomb went off. Three other soldiers died with him.
HOUSTON – Danville native and astronaut Joe Tanner spent part of last week at Moron Air Force Base in Spain, one of the space shuttle program's alternate landing sites in case of a launch emergency, as part of the Endeavour's launch team.
NASA normally assigns astronauts to various locations along the launch range to assist with any unforeseen needs.
MAHOMET – Army Spc. Justin Penrod didn't have much time for dating as a teen, his mother says, because he cared for his older brother, a quadriplegic who lived on his own.
In between his service in the Army National Guard and his enlistment in the regular Army, Spc. Penrod had a job fixing air-conditioners for P&P Service Center in Mahomet.
TUSCOLA – A former bartender and waitress at the old Sonny's I-57 Sports Bar has begun leasing the building and plans to start a nightclub there.
Tonya Yoder and her husband, Rick, of rural Tuscola, asked the Tuscola City Council on Monday for a liquor license so they can reopen the sports bar into a nightclub called Tonya'z Club 57
A 24-year-old soldier from the area died in Iraq on Saturday, according to his wife.
Christina Penrod said her husband, Army Spc. Justin Penrod, died Saturday when a sniper in Baghdad killed a U.S. soldier. Spc. Penrod and seven other soldiers rushed the house where they thought the gunman was holed up. One stepped on a buried, pressure triggered bomb at the house. Penrod and three other soldiers died; four more were wounded in the blast.
CHAMPAIGN – Pfc. Brian Jolley says there's no language barrier when it comes to soldiers and Iraqi kids.
He had the idea a few months ago to hand out Beanie Babies, when he isn't busy finding roadside bombs as a combat engineer. The Champaign native, 21, told his mom about it, and his mom isn't one to do things on a minor scale.
COVINGTON, Ind. – A 35-year-old man drowned in the Wabash River on Friday while on an outing with his pregnant fiancee and three daughters from a previous marriage.
Alonzo McCoy, who recently moved to Covington, Ind., from Georgetown, was swept away by the current while trying to help his fiancee, Elizabeth Davis, 21, of Covington.