Rather says hard work is key to success

How did Dan Rather go from being a college student manning a rural Texas radio station – characterized as no more than an outhouse with an antenna on the top – to the long-running evening news anchor for CBS?

"I think the single-most important thing is be determined to work hard," he told University of Illinois students Wednesday evening.

Danville girl suffers cancer relapse

DANVILLE – Students and adults alike at Northeast Elementary Magnet School are rallying around the family of a third-grader who is fighting leukemia for a third time.

The news that Jenna McMillin's cancer had returned came late last week – only 1 1/2 weeks after the 8-year-old had returned to school for the first time since leaving in May 2006 to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments and a bone-marrow transplant.

One of quintuplets recovering at home after heart surgery

DANVILLE – Irelyn Ferrill, one of the Ferrill Five, is home with her brothers and sisters, recovering after undergoing heart surgery on Friday.

A little more than a week after Pete and Jenny Ferrill of Danville came home from Children's Hospital in St. Louis with their quintuplets, one of the quints had to return to St. Louis on Friday for surgery.

Associate library director offered top job

URBANA – A veteran employee of the Urbana Free Library has been offered the executive director position by the library board, but the two sides are negotiating a contract.

Kermit Harden, library board president, said the board has offered the position to Debra Lissak, 54, the library's associate director for 23 years.

United Way's focus for new director: fundraising

CHAMPAIGN – When United Way officials went shopping for a new president and CEO, one attribute was high on the list: fundraising.

With the annual campaign stuck at just under $3 million for the last few years, board members were eager for someone who was experienced in fund development, said Emmie Fisher, board chairman for the United Way of Champaign County.

Five young professionals to spend a month touring Taiwan

Starting Monday, five locals will be living the Taiwanese life.

For a month, this group of young professionals will tour schools, businesses, arts centers and media offices as part of a Rotary Foundation of Rotary International trip.

Anti-war activist speaks in Urbana

URBANA – Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan condemned Republicans and Democrats alike Thursday for what she considers a moral failure in Iraq.

Saying the U.S. is a one-party system, the activist who became known for her sit-in at President Bush's ranch in Texas, said dissent is not only allowed, but mandatory in this country.

New UI trustee talks about changes for black attorneys

CHAMPAIGN – When James Montgomery began practicing law in Chicago, Cook County had three black attorneys – all men.

There were no black associates at major law firms, no black federal judges and no large black law firms.

Mother of soldier killed in Iraq to speak Thursday

CHAMPAIGN – Iraq war protester Cindy Sheehan will speak about "Changing the World: Students Bonding Over Common Ideals" at 7 p.m. Thursday in 228 Natural History Building.

Sheehan is one of the nine founding members of Gold Star Families for Peace, an organization created in 2005 to seek an end to the occupation of Iraq and provide support for families of fallen soldiers.

After deaths of two children, she's taking life one step at a time

DANVILLE – Jennifer Booe takes life minute by minute since recovering from severe burns she suffered in a mobile home fire in January.

"I try to put my best face on and face the world," she said. "I've got to find a way to move on and deal with everything. It's hard."