Paxton woman missing for almost a month

PAXTON – Area police are asking for help locating a Paxton woman who has been missing almost a month.

Paxton Police Chief Robert Bane said Jamie E. Harper, 20, was last seen by family members in Paxton on March 9 and later that evening in Rantoul.

Hoopeston native – and alligator – hope to meet president

RALEIGH, N.C. – Hoopeston native Dan Breeding has met Kelly Ripa, Jay Leno and David Letterman.

On Monday, Breeding anticipates adding President Bush to that list.

Playground co-chair earns 74th award

DANVILLE – Though the AMBUCS Playground for Everyone opened in 2001, Bob Richard's work on the 30,000-square-foot, universally accessible structure in Winter Park did not end.

The playground co-chairman helped add an open-air pavilion and other amenities to draw more families to the park. Then he and co-chairs Bill Fulton and his nephew, Bill Fulton, put their knowledge of building playgrounds and desire to help others into two more projects – AMBUCS Independence Playground, which opened in Lincoln Park in 2004, and AMBUCS Sprayground for Everyone that's in the works for Garfield Park.

In midst of war, soldier finding time to create

CHAMPAIGN – Staff Sgt. Sean Caddy doesn't waste his free time while serving in Iraq.

The Champaign native has written a novel, "9 Deceiving Faces," and created a hip-hop album with military overtones. He's trying to market them both, which isn't easy for a guy who has six months to go in Iraq.

No grump, attorney Lerner was 'absolute delight'

CHAMPAIGN – A veteran Champaign attorney known as an aggressive advocate for his clients, especially in divorce cases, is also being remembered as a softie with a great legal mind and an even better sense of humor.

Arthur "Art" Lerner, 71, of Dewey, died early Saturday from complications from Crohn's disease, according to his son Scott, who practiced law with him in Champaign.

C-U resident's business trip becomes a 'personal sojourn'

When Imani Bazzell went to Africa recently, it was for work.

But the trip was also a spiritual journey for her as she walked the same path slaves once did.

2003 Nobel Laureate dies at Urbana home

URBANA – It was 1977, and Paul Lauterbur was taking images of green peppers with a new type of imaging technology.

He was puzzled.

One of the images showed a sort of "fuzziness" growing inside the pepper, recalled Mr. Lauterbur's wife, Joan Dawson.

That fuzziness turned out to be a tumor.

Today, 30 years later, doctors around the world are using the technology Mr. Lauterbur pioneered – magnetic resonance imaging – to detect diseases such as cancer in humans and animals.

Retired Urbana choral teacher to direct Gibson City show

GIBSON CITY – Music educator and director Willie T. Summerville of Urbana tried to urge a more dramatic sound from his group of singers Sunday.

"You're telling a story and you've got to keep the people interested," Summerville told them. "Give me that trillion-dollar sound again."

East Urbana resident strives to revitalize his neighborhood

Tyler Fitch said he and his wife, Marianne Downey, knew they had found the house they wanted the moment they first walked in.

Newlyweds at the time, the couple were on their way to look at another house three years ago when they saw a "For sale by owner" sign in the yard of a smaller, wood-frame house at 503 E. California Ave. in east Urbana.

Urbana man drowns in rescue try

MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. – Scott Johnson and Mike Murphy were vacationing with their families on a Florida beach when they heard the calls for help.

The two Urbana men and their wives and children were on a beach on the Gulf coast along the Florida Panhandle, late on Thursday afternoon, when a woman and a girl began screaming for help from the water, said Scott McCartney of Urbana, the brother-in-law of both men.