Frantic parents learned of daughter's death Tuesday

For more than 24 hours, Bryan and Renee Cloyd desperately searched for word of their daughter's fate.

The Cloyds hadn't heard from 18-year-old Austin since the horrific shootings Monday morning at Virginia Tech University, where the former Centennial High School student had enrolled last fall as an international studies and French major.

Slain student remembered as caring, active person

BLACKSBURG, Va. – It was on the basketball court that Austin Cloyd and Beth Elliott got to know one another – or rather, on the bench. When they weren't in the game, they'd sit and talk, sometimes to the dismay of their coach.

"We liked to sit the bench together. That's how we became good friends," Elliott said.

Ex-Centennial student one of those killed at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A former Centennial High School student was among those killed in the shooting rampage in Blacksburg, Va., officials said early this afternoon.

Austin Cloyd, a Virginia Tech student in international studies, died when a gunman shot and killed 32 people before turning a gun on himself Monday morning.

Auto racing TV show to feature Ogden woman with cancer

OGDEN – Sue Voges never envisioned herself as a poster child for raising awareness about breast cancer.

"That wasn't my intent," said the 50-year-old Ogden woman, who is a master sergeant with the Illinois State Police, working as an investigator in Champaign.

'I'm a very lively renaissance man'

The school was atop a hill, and Charles Joseph Smith remembers looking down onto Chicago's Beverly neighborhood and wanting more.

"I wanted to go to regular school so badly," he said, thinking back to his time as a student at the Beacon School for children with special needs.

Author to speak at UI about his experience

Chinese philosopher Confucius is credited with the proverb "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

China scholar Robert Oxnam can relate.

Election season busy for sign maker


In a pole barn cramped with rolls of bulk vinyl , autographed University of Illinois basketballs and stacks of design books, Kathy Pichon's latest project – a banner for a local politician's birthday – blazed on a computer screen.

'I'm happy because I'm here'

Antonio Aguas is not griping about much these days. In fact, he's just downright happy to be alive.

"I say, 'Thanks, God, for the second opportunity to be around,'" said the 43-year-old husband, father, brother, son and business owner.

Late last summer, Aguas lost six days of his life to kidnappers looking to be handed a chunk of the money that he's worked so hard to earn in the last 20 years.

Library's new executive director receives 5-year contract

URBANA – Debra Lissak is the new executive director of the Urbana Free Library, starting May 15.

The Urbana Free Library board approved a five-year contract with Lissak at its March 27 meeting. She will be paid $85,000 during the first year.

Former hostage still suffers from captivity in Iran

URBANA – Watching British captives freed from Iran, Paul Lewis can't help remembering his 444 days in captivity. Even if his mind let it go, the nerve damage to his shoulders and wrists would remind him.

Having his arms handcuffed behind his back for more than a day at a time has caused damage he's still being treated for, and prison dysentery still gives him stomach troubles.