Acklin, son to finish together

ST. JOSEPH — When Superintendent Jim Acklin hands his son, Louis, his high school diploma in May, it will be one of the first diplomas Acklin hands out for the 2013 graduation ceremony.

But it will also be one of his last.

Acklin announced his retirement from St. Joseph-Ogden High School last week.

Mental illness alliance offers course for family members

CHAMPAIGN — If you're living with a mentally ill family member, you're invited to take a free 13-week class provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The Family-to-Family program for caregivers of mentally ill family members will begin Sept. 4, with classes held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the clubhouse at 31 W. Colony West Drive, Champaign.

Franklin student uses marathon to get Nooks for school

CHAMPAIGN — Daniel Ramkumar wanted to raise money for a good cause while running the Provena Illinois 5K last spring, a race that's a part of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

So he approached then-Principal Angela Smith at Franklin Middle School, where he attends, to see what sorts of things the school needed.

Toys for Troops founder helping cool soldiers down

URBANA — Lori Stewart has lots of fans. And in the next few days they'll be heading to Kuwait and Afghanistan to help cool off soldiers there.

The Urbana woman is the founder of Toys for Troops, which started in 2007 when her son Brian Jolley had his first deployment overseas.

Then a 21-year-old Army private, Jolley was serving as a combat engineer in Iraq.

Tractorcade planned for Farm Bureau anniversary

CHAMPAIGN — Don't be surprised if you see a long line of tractors in Champaign on Saturday.

About two dozen tractors — dating from 1939 to 1980 — are expected to take part in a tractor drive marking the Champaign County Farm Bureau's 100th anniversary.

Group leasing lot for community garden

URBANA — Apartment living hasn't stopped Robin Arbiter and many of her neighbors lacking a yard from growing vegetables, flowers and herbs in the tiny spaces outside their windows.

"The impulse to grow gardens and flowers is very visible in the neighborhood," she says.

UI move-in day 2012

Thousands of University of Illinois students moved into their dorms on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012.

Digital couponing: No need to feel left behind

Shoppers face an array of coupons in electronic form these days: print-at-home coupons, e-coupons that can be loaded to a store's loyalty card and coupon apps for smartphones and tablets. Technology can make it easy to access discounts.

But some shoppers feel that the rise of digital couponing is leaving them behind.

Dear Jill,

"O"sborn Gymnasium at Unity 2012

Photos of the naming and dedication of the gymnasium at Unity High School in Tolono to Liz Osborn on Tuesday Aug 21, 2012. 

Wounded veterans team comes to Danville for event

DANVILLE — A lifelong athlete, Army Sgt. B.T. Urruela thought he would never play sports again after he lost his leg below the knee from injuries he suffered in 2006 when two improvised explosive devices hit his Humvee in 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq.