CHAMPAIGN – When Marge Overmyer first became an election judge, the country was involved in another contentious, close presidential race – Truman vs. Dewey.
In the 56 years since then, Overmyer has missed serving as one of the five election judges in her precinct, City of Champaign 10, just once. She's the dean of the roughly 650 people who will serve as election judges in Champaign County on Nov. 2.
ARCOLA – After graduating from Arcola High School in 1990, Nathan Roberts decided he wanted to become a doctor, but he was unsure about having enough money to pay for medical school.
A local not-for-profit organization, the Arcola Foundation, came to Roberts' rescue, awarding him a scholarship to attend the University of Illinois School of Medicine.
Running against Tim Johnson, who has never lost an election in 33 years of holding elective office, a guy has to make a statement.
Dr. David Gill did just that earlier this month when he bought a 1983 white and orange ambulance to take him around the 15th Congressional District over the last few weeks of the campaign. He had better make sure the rubber's good.
CHAMPAIGN – It's a hopping-busy Saturday at one of the local County Market stores, and the grocery chain's president, Rich Niemann Jr., pauses in the produce section to admire an artful arrangement of seasonal squash.
"Isn't that nice," he remarks with a smile.
URBANA – The University of Illinois Union Ballroom transformed into a temporary pep rally for public higher education led by Coach James Stukel.
Stukel spoke to 300 people Friday afternoon at UI Foundation Day for the final time as president.
A new Illinois State Board of Elections directive may delay election results by two weeks, especially in close races where a few votes either way could make the difference.
Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden said the rule has always been that if an absentee ballot was received on or before Election Day it was counted, but those received afterward were never opened.
CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois Community College Board met at Parkland College Friday for the first time since 1996, and board members brought awards with them.
The partnership between Parkland's health careers program and Carle Foundation Hospital won one of three ICCB 2004 awards for excellence in work force development. And Parkland's Academic Development Center efforts for students not prepared to do college work won an award for excellence in learning-centered instruction.
MONTICELLO – Pat Monti and her husband Bill love the rural setting of their home on almost four acres of open land and timber near Allerton Park.
They enjoy being close to nature and especially watching the deer that visit their land.
SAVOY – Sgt. Jessica Cawvey's flag-draped coffin was carried out into the chill of Friday night, as two soldiers lifted up the flag.
There was silence until the wind picked up outside Mittendorf-Calvert Funeral Home, and leaves whipped across Windsor Road. Flashing lights from police cars and fire trucks lit the faces of 400 people who had come to pay last respects to the Mahomet woman killed in Iraq on Oct. 6.
DANVILLE – Relatives of the defendant and the victim burst into tears Thursday afternoon as Circuit Court Judge Michael Clary read the jury's verdict pronouncing 18-year-old Randy Kagels guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Dustin Pruitt, a Danville native whose Army unit had returned from a tour in Iraq not long before his death.
It took the jury less than three hours to decide that Kagels was guilty of first-degree murder in the Feb. 28 stabbing death of Mr. Pruitt. The murder occurred by the boat ramp on Lake Vermilion's west side where Kagels, Mr. Pruitt and six other teen-agers had been drinking and partying that night.