CHAMPAIGN – Indie-country singer Kathy Mattea would not use the word "proud" to describe her feelings about her Grammy-nominated album "Coal."
She'd rather say "astonished, thrilled and humbled."
For her, the discovery after decades in the music business, that simple songs – "if you get out of their way they can do their work and can be more than enough" – was a wonderful reminder at this point in her life.
Olivia Treakle has been practicing her letters at home, and she knows how to spell "dog."
She's looking forward to learning more words in kindergarten, and learning to read. But mostly she's excited about wearing her new pink and white gym shoes to school.
The Douglas County sheriff's department is developing a plan to help rural residents protect themselves and their property from crime and violence.
Sheriff Charlie McGrew is proposing a more extensive program to provide signs and crime prevention for rural businesses, farm lots and residences involved in the Rural Farm Watch program.
CHAMPAIGN – How many teenage girls have ever had to do this?
On a winter morning six months ago, Bree Etheridge covered her bald head with a wig and set off to brave the halls of Champaign Central High School – minus her eyebrows and eyelashes and her body still puffy from medications.
WELLINGTON – The family of a Chrisman man slain in his home almost two years ago has set up an endowment to fund a scholarship at the University of Illinois in his honor.
Marcia and Earl Prasse of Wellington, the parents of the late Mark Prasse, want students from a rural background with financial need who are interested in mechanical engineering to benefit from their legacy.
"Life is short ... therefore I shall be a crusader in the fight against ignorance and fear, beginning with myself."
Dorothy Vickers-Shelley had 74 years to crusade against ignorance and for civil rights, earning the respect and love of hundreds of schoolchildren at Yankee Ridge School.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Ski Club plans to send to Winter Park, Colo., a person with disabilities who would like to enjoy the thrills of skiiing. The person also will be able to take a companion.
The club is calling its new project Anyone Can Ski.
URBANA – Road construction projects are numerous this summer, as any area motorist can tell you.
But those projects aren't providing nearly as many jobs for the construction trades as the skyscraper apartment projects completed in Champaign last year.
After running bars and restaurants in Champaign-Urbana for two decades, George Dries was ready for a change.
He still wanted to be in the food business, but he didn't want to manage a restaurant seven days a week anymore.