CHAMPAIGN – James Kinney entered his home gym holding the state championship trophy over his head, walked to the center and roared, as the fans filling the bleachers roared back.
Centennial High School celebrated the Chargers with a rally Saturday evening. The team beat Oswego 61-59 Saturday afternoon for its first boys' basketball state title and the city's first since Champaign High won in 1946.
Surrounded by stacks of biology textbooks and popular science books, posters (one of the Periodic Table of the Elements, another of the film "Mama Mia") and a green-dress-wearing Barbie with long, dark locks, Joanne Manaster turns on the camera and waxes poetic about the inner child of scientists.
For this particular vlog, which she later posted on YouTube, she recommends reading science books aimed at middle school and high school students and written by Joy Hakim. Even if you're not a middle school or high school student.
URBANA – Less than six months after these seniors started a project to sharpen their minds, they're about to take on another set of seniors, those still in college.
"This group, one of nine in our study, is going to a state tournament outside the program, the only ones in their age group," said MaryTerese Campbell, the assistant program coordinator for Senior Odyssey.
Senior Odyssey is a University of Illinois study headed up by Elizabeth A.L. Stine-Morrow, a professor in education psychology. The program is based on the international problem-solving program, Odyssey of the Mind, and is finishing the second year of a five-year National Institute on Aging grant.
PESOTUM – Ray Hawkins clutched a portable heater and a stack of faded towels as he left the rectory of St. Joseph Church for the last time on Thursday.
His wife, Margaret, reminisced about regularly visiting the house to eat meals with nuns who lived there and taught next door at St. Joseph School in the 1930s.
CHAMPAIGN – Like most Americans during these uncertain economic times, cartoonist-musician Dave King is "just up for everything getting better."
So on Thursday evening he joined 40 people in the Circle of Hope at West Side Park in Champaign, holding hands and verbally expressing hope for prosperity for everyone in Champaign County.
DANVILLE – When Harold Leisch approached Harold "Sparky" Songer about building a local Vietnam veterans monument in 1982, Songer didn't know they would build three veterans monuments and establish a war museum together and, along the way, become close friends.
"He was just a heck of a great guy," Songer said Tuesday. "He loved his country and hometown. He and his (late) wife, Norma, worked tirelessly to beautify the community and bring some recognition to the veterans. You don't find them so dedicated like that anymore."
URBANA — The Champaign County state’s attorney has decided not to charge a Dewey man in connection with his disruption of an activist’s speech on the University of Illinois campus last week.
CHAMPAIGN – When Laura Frerichs was given the chance in 1998 to volunteer for her future husband's campaign for state representative, she didn't do so.
At the time, Mike Frerichs was a 24-year-old Yale University graduate trying to unseat longtime representative Tim Johnson. Laura Appenzeller was a senior at the University of Illinois, active in school politics and finishing a bachelor's degree in advertising.
Today, Mike Frerichs, 35, has been state senator a little more than two years, and Laura Frerichs, 31, is vice president of marketing and business development for Fox Development.
CHAMPAIGN – A decade ago, a miniature schnauzer and a black cat got Marilynne Davis through a lonely stint in Hungary. And when it was time for Davis to return home, she got them back to Champaign. It cost $2,000.
"He got me through a lot of times when there was no one who spoke English," she said of Bogyo, the dog.
HOOPESTON – The Hoopeston Public Library invited area residents to share their memories of a time in the mid-1940s when a prisoner of war camp for German soldiers was a part of their community.
The memory session was part of a visit of a TRACES mobile display. The nonprofit educational organization, created to gather, preserve and present stories of people from the Midwest and Germany or Austria who encountered each other during World War II, has several displays on tour at any given time. The display in Hoopeston on Friday featured information about POW camps in the Midwest.