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Lloyd Carter Jr. sees his responsibility as a public servant to watch out for the average person's interests.
A longtime electrician, the Champaign County Board member from north Urbana has been critical of cost overruns at the county's new $24 million nursing home. He regularly calls for more minority workers to be used on county projects.
DeLAND – On Halloween 2006, a day when most people her age were wondering what costumes to wear, 17-year-old Ashley Scott underwent major surgery to correct curvature of the spine.
The four-hour surgery – and six-month recovery period – were not only painful and uncomfortable but also kept the prize-winning equestrienne from doing what she loves best: riding a Tennessee walking horse named Stormy.
CHAMPAIGN – Army Pfc. Brian Jolley is making friends in Iraq, handing out Beanie Babies to the kids.
The combat engineer has been in Iraq about three months, sleeping in a tent in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. The 21-year-old's camp, Butler Range, is still under construction. His missions include finding and destroying improvised explosive devices.
OAKWOOD – Come late summer, most college-bound students will pack their must-have belongings into their car or a moving van.
Emily Mulcahey will load one of hers into a horse trailer.
DANVILLE – A city clerk proofreads, rewrites and proofreads again ordinances and resolutions that a city council considers.
"But it's the mayor who gets the credit," joked Mohammad Eftekhari, director of education and research at the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.
About a month ago, Chris Sturdyvin of rural Homer received a fax.
It came from the home office of the nationally-known water garden company Sturdyvin became affiliated with a dozen years ago.
Gary Belt has a voice for radio – deep, gravelly, lively.
"I've been told that," says the Danville man, who spends his weekday mornings doing a "drive-time" radio show from 6 to 10 a.m. on his not-for-profit, low-power radio station, WLBM-FM the Maxx.
Col. Lee Archambault is wearing an Illini hockey game jersey, circling the globe aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis.
The astronaut spent six years at the University of Illinois, playing hockey, dating Kelly Raup and earning two engineering degrees.
WESTVILLE – A Westville High graduate and sergeant in the U.S. Army has endured at least two surgeries and faces more after being injured in a grenade attack in Iraq a few weeks ago.
Sgt. Shane Cox, 27, a cavalry scout, must undergo more operations to remove shrapnel from wounds he received in a May 16 attack outside a secured compound in Baghdad, Iraq, according to his father, Gene Cox of Westville.
DANVILLE – A few of Danville's main streets fell still and silent Wednesday afternoon as Army Spc. Francis Trussel Jr.'s funeral procession passed through the heart of the city and the hearts of those standing along the six-mile route.
Some were acquaintances of the 21-year-old Danville native. But many were strangers moved to show respect for Danville's first casualty of the Iraq war.