Obama and wife impressive, inspiring

The last time Veda Britt-Handy felt this excited and inspired she was standing on a street corner watching John F. Kennedy and his motorcade travel through Chicago.

Here it was, more than 40 years later, and she had just finished listening to Michelle and Barack Obama address 1,200 women at the Chicago Hilton.

Copper Slough master plan on agenda

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign City Council members will consider approving a Copper Slough master plan Tuesday night – though it might be a decade or more before any of the nearly $26 million in recommended improvements can be implemented.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in regular session at the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

Author tells crowd it's possible to get your old body back

Stop doing some of the bad things you do to your body – like eating too many cookies – and start doing some good things for it – walking 30 minutes a day, for instance – and you can reverse the damage you've done in three years.

In fact, the change will start to be noticeable in six months, says Dr. Michael Roizen, who likes to say he may be 61, but his "real age" is 42, thanks to the kind of healthy living he espouses in numerous best-selling books on Oprah Winfrey's talk show and in Reader's Digest, among other places.

Rantoul mayor supports proposed raise in electric rates

RANTOUL – Rantoul Mayor Neal Williams says that electricity rate increases are necessary to keep the village's electric utility from going into debt.

"If we don't raise the rates, future generations will be paying a much greater amount to make up the difference," Williams said.

Woman accused in area stabbing

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign woman is accused of stabbing another woman in Champaign.

Lequita A. Christmon, 40, who listed an address in the 1300 block of Hedge Road, Champaign, was given a notice to appear in court for aggravated battery, according to a Champaign police report.

Officials blame Danville fire on stove

DANVILLE – A fire damaged a house on Jefferson Street in Danville on Saturday night, but no one was injured.

The fire started in the kitchen of the one-story wood-frame house at 412 S. Jefferson St. in Danville at about 6:49 p.m. Saturday.

Historic transcripts to be made available online, on CD

SPRINGFIELD – Transcripts of the historic 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention will soon be available online and in a free, searchable CD being sent to all public and academic libraries.

According to Secretary of State Jesse White, public interest in the constitutional convention is expected to ramp up because voters will be asked to decide next year whether another constitutional convention is needed.

Astronaut encourages kids to dream big

CHAMPAIGN – Andrew Hoetker plans to take astronaut Joe Tanner's advice to dream big. But Andrew's dream won't be "out of this world."

"Space travel is cool, but it sounds too uncomfortable for me. I think I'll stay on earth," Andrew, 10, of Champaign, said after meeting Tanner on Sunday morning during the Illinois Parent Teacher Association's 105th Annual Convention at the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites.

Rain forest animals to be showcased at event

DANVILLE – People can see alligators, jungle cats, monkeys and colorful birds that live in the rain forest without having to leave town.

Understanding Wildlife, a nonprofit organization, will present "Live on Stage, the Rain Forest" at Edison Elementary School on May 8.

Hitting the presidential campaign trail with Obama

On a frigid February morning, Barack Obama stood in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield – where Abraham Lincoln delivered his "House Divided" speech almost 150 years ago – and announced his bid for the U.S. presidency.

He was surrounded by more than 15,000 people, many of them Illinoisans.

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