Youth Development: Elements to help children develop positively

By Alvarez Dixon

Almost without warning my little girl has transformed from the dimpled darling who loved to swing beneath her father's bicep to a sophisticated young lady who would rather watch Internet videos and spend her daddy's money at the mall. The dimple is still there, but I'd have to stand on a ladder to swing her on my arm today.

Youth news: DACC hosts competition

Danville Area Community College hosted the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering regional competition, a Test of Engineering Aptitudes in Mathematics and Science, on Feb. 5.

Students were tested in seven different academic areas which included mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, English, engineering graphics and computer science.

Military news: Gould reports to USS Florida

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael G. Gould, a 2007 graduate of Urbana High School, recently reported for duty aboard the fleet ballistic missile submarine USS. Florida (Gold), homeported in Bangor, Wash.

Gould joined the Navy in May 2010.

Cobb: Tested, challenged, 'a lot more left to do'

CHAMPAIGN — Before he took over as Champaign's police chief one year ago today, Anthony Cobb warned that there were obstacles to overcome and that it wouldn't happen overnight.

A year later, he and city officials say there has been significant progress, but there is still more work ahead.

Reunited with Squirt — for good

Shanna Brus of rural Homer never forgot her first love. When she chanced to find him again eight years after parting company with Squirt, she knew they would never part ways again. And she took him home with her.

Squirt is the pony Brus received from her parents on her fourth birthday. That was Valentine's Day 1984. Squirt was then twice her age at 8 years old.

St. Joseph-Ogden: 'You have your entire town behind you'

ST. JOSEPH — Head basketball coach Brian Brooks thinks St. Joseph-Ogden High School has the best fan community and the best student section in the state.

The team itself came up just a bit short — it placed fourth in the 2A state tournament in Peoria this weekend — but you wouldn't have guessed that by the reception the team got upon its return to its home court Sunday.

Letter from Birdland: As the crow flies, it is with a sense of purpose

This morning I took a few moments to stand at the window looking out at the rosy morning. The day was silent because I hadn't yet put in my hearing aids. The sky held a silvery rose and the low sun painted a pink tinge on the trees. The snow put a silver smoothness on the expanse of the yard.

Reluctant Townie: A turning point in the battle for sustenance

One morning, not long ago, my kid approached me and asked for a bite of my breakfast Hot Pocket. I tried feeding it to her like one might a goat in a petting zoo (hesitantly and through a fence), but she demanded to hold it herself. In the end, I relented to her tiny, willful hands and persistent cries for "Bites! Bites! Biiiiiitessss!"

Getting Personal: Robert Isham Auler

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with veteran attorney Robert Isham Auler.

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?

Gearhead of the Week: Mike Hobson

Mike Hobson of Paris talks about the 1968 Camaro owned by his wife Miki.