Family of girl found in landfill once called Paxton home

PAXTON – The mother and grandparents of a 7-year-old girl who was found dead last week in a Georgia landfill used to live in Paxton.

Janeene Bradley of Rantoul said the family of Somer Thompson of Orange Park, Fla., has been in shock since investigators discovered the suburban Jacksonville, Fla., child's body under trash in a landfill near the Florida-Georgia state line Wednesday.

'Extreme Makeover' episode evokes cheers, tears

CHAMPAIGN – Nathan and Jenny Montgomery laughed and cried, smiled and cheered with several hundred of their new best friends Sunday evening for the airing of their story on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

"It's more than we could have imagined," Nathan Montgomery said. "I could not be more happy with how ABC did it."

The couple held hands as they watched as their children were introduced to their new robot-, army- and candy-themed bedrooms on three giant screens at a viewing party at the I Hotel and Convention Center in Champaign.

DACC board considering bond issue as insurance

DANVILLE – Earlier this year, Danville Area Community College officials had to borrow money from the college's working-cash fund to keep operations going – because of not one but two late state funding payments, totaling about $2 million.

Now faced with even more uncertainty as to when this year's state payments will arrive, DACC trustees on Tuesday could take steps to ensure that the college doesn't run out of money this spring.

Uni High student trying to take on dropout prevention

URBANA – Linda Ly hopes to make a difference this school year for students who are thinking about dropping out of school.

Ly, a 17-year-old senior at University Laboratory High School, doesn't have a lot of firsthand knowledge of the subject.

Champaign police seek suspect in string of robberies

CHAMPAIGN – Crimestoppers and Champaign police need help solving three robberies that occurred earlier this month in the same part of town.

Restaurant delivery drivers were beaten and robbed about 10 p.m. Oct. 10 in the 700 block of West Clark Street; about 9:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in the 500 block of West White Street; and about 9 p.m. Oct. 12 in the 600 block of West Springfield Avenue.

Danville residents invited to join tree-planting program

DANVILLE – Next month, the city will be planting trees around town, and residents can boost the city's tree-planting efforts by getting involved in the Leaf A Legacy program.

Since 2003, the city's Pride Grows Program has offered individuals, businesses, organizations and others the opportunity to buy a Leaf A Legacy tree that's planted in a city park or other city property and marked with a plaque.

Soldier killed in Afghanistan back home in Rantoul

The Rantoul community welcomed Sgt. Christopher Rudzinski home Sunday.

Sgt. Rudzinski, 28, who served in the Army, died Oct. 16 from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while on patrol near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

It marked his fourth deployment to an area of conflict. He previously had served one tour of duty in Kosovo and two in Iraq. Sgt. Rudzinski was assigned to a military police brigade based at Fort Stewart, Ga.

Crime report

Area police report the following incidents:

Unit 4 board to look at Washington, Garden Hills plans

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board will review design plans for rebuilding Washington Elementary School and expanding Garden Hills Elementary School at a study session tonight, with the goal of approving designs for the two schools at its Nov. 9 meeting.

The board meets at 7 p.m. at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

Convicted robber gets 15 years for separate burglary

URBANA – An Urbana man already serving a seven-year prison sentence for robbery will now have to serve a few more years for a residential burglary he committed just before the robbery.

Judge Tom Difanis on Friday sentenced Khaled Alghadi, 27, who last lived in the 900 block of Burkwood Court, to 15 years in prison for an April 15, 2008, break-in to an apartment in the 600 block of East Green Street in Champaign.