Area Update: Transgender bias alleged in suit against Rent-A-Center

URBANA — The federal government is suing a Rantoul store for allegedly discriminating against a former worker due to her sexual orientation.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Urbana against Rent-A-Center, 1404 E. Grove Ave.

The suit alleges the former assistant manager of the store was fired because she is transgender.

Wired-In: Julian Sanchez

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference-maker. This week, Julian Sanchez, 38, wants to make your lawn look good. He has a Ph.D. in human factors psychology from Georgia Tech with an engineering background.

Life Remembered: 'Strength, compassion, love and a kind heart'

FLATVILLE — It was always about people.

That's what made Darius Harms tick, whether it was evident with his family, his faith or farm life.

Crops looking good so far this summer

Even as temperatures soar, the corn outlook for area farmers remains optimistic.

This week's report from the USDA shows that around 80 percent of crops are in good to excellent condition.

Egg prices crack 10-year low as supply tops demand

DES MOINES, Iowa — In less than a year, eggs have gone from being an expensive staple at the height of the bird flu crisis to reaching the cheapest prices in a decade due to fully restocked poultry barns.

UPDATED: New dean named for ACES

CHAMPAIGN — The next dean of the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will be a UI alum — and the first woman to hold that post.

What's in a name? Curtis Orchard

It started as a hog, corn and soybean farm and has been around in some form or another since 1873 near the intersection of Duncan and Curtis roads in southwest Champaign. Today, Curtis Orchard is a go-to destination for families in the area and beyond to pick apples, pumpkins or enjoys the bakery, country store or restaurant on site.

A talent for learning

CHAMPAIGN — After 36 years of teaching at Parkland College, Bruce Henrikson still isn't sure if he's any good at it.

Adaptability a hallmark of 50-year career

MONTICELLO — Roger Prather has found an innate ability to adapt to the ever-changing agricultural industry, an industry that has helped him last for 50 years at John Deere dealerships, the most recent 47 at AHC in Monticello, formerly Heath's.

Planting seeds for those in need

DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College is looking for volunteers to help plant a variety of crops that will be used to help feed students in need.

The planting will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday at the DACC Sustainability Farm in the 400 block of North Daisy Lane, east of the college campus.