Outdoors was Easter's first love

Very much like his father, Aaron Easter loved the outdoors.

While his dad specialized in agriculture, Aaron Easter majored in forestry and took a series of jobs that kept him outside.

"That was sort of his first love," said Mike Ellis, professor of animal science and longtime friend of Aaron Easter's father, former UI Chancellor Robert Easter.

Son of UI official dies in Colorado

The son of former University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Easter has died in a snowboarding accident in Colorado.

Unit 4 hires UHS principal as assistant superintendent

CHAMPAIGN — Laura Taylor, the principal at Urbana High Schoool, has been hired as the Champaign school district’s new assistant superintendent for achievement and pupil services.

She’ll start the job July 1.

The Champaign school board approved the hire after an executive session Monday night, but it was not announced until Tuesday morning.

Year of the Dragon 2012

The Chinese American Association of Central Illinois organized a celebration of Chinese New Year at Lincoln Square on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.

Museum expansion 'bringing us up to this century'

MAHOMET — If you've driven past the Museum of the Grand Prairie on Illinois 47 recently, you might have noticed construction crews at work.

'Hard to take the street out of the man'

CHAMPAIGN - The bed stays empty in Vern Chounard's little house. Sleeping on the floor feels more like the hard ground he slept on for so long.

And all that food he's got now — in his own kitchen — he's not used to it, he says.

Getting Personal: LaDonna Wilson

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, News-Gazette staff writer Melissa Merli chats with LaDonna Wilson, a teacher and the drama director at Central High School who also takes part in community theater: Getting Personal appears first in print., in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. In the Jan.

Studio Visit: Kate Kuper

Studio Visit appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with dance teacher Kate Kuper. In the Jan. 22 newspaper, a visit with graphic designer Vanessa Burgett.

Q: You seem really big into teaching dance. Do you perform much any more?

Gearhead: Tom Hall

Tom Hall lives a Gearhead dream life, he has owned a wide variety of vehicles and now works from Mecum Collector Car Auctions where he gets to drive rare and exactic vehicles.

DACC again spearheads tax assistance program

DANVILLE - Danville Area Community College staff and students are again volunteering to help low- and middle-income families in Vermilion County complete their income tax forms for free.

Lyle Hicks, instructor at DACC, said according to the Internal Revenue Service more than 7,000 families in Vermilion qualify for this free service.