Students share memories

One of my favorite experiences in Mr. Pollock's class was while we were going over our Revolutionary War unit. We walked into class and sat down while he took his attendance, then he stood in the middle of the class and held up a folded note that he said was left in one of his previous classes. It was a love note that was sent to "BabyLove," which was written on the front in cursive.

Schools raise more than $20,000 for tornado relief

Area schools have raised more than $20,000 and delivered truckloads of supplies for tornado victims in Gifford and Washington. Here’s how they did it:

Paxton-Buckley-Loda Schools

Students learn 'life lesson' helping tornado victims

The day after the Nov. 17 tornado ripped through Champaign and Vermilion counties, several farmers stopped by Armstrong Township High School.

They asked if they might get some help from the student FFA group to clean up debris strewn around the fields outside Gifford. Principal Darren Loschen and his staff quickly agreed.

Recreation chief named new executive director

CHAMPAIGN — Continuity was the overriding theme Monday night as Champaign Park District board members selected longtime recreation director Joe DeLuce as the agency's next executive director.

He'll take over control of the park district beginning Jan. 1. Retiring director Bobbie Herakovich announced earlier this year that her last day would be Dec. 31 after 12 years in charge.

Educator returns from deployment in Afghanistan

CHAMPAIGN — After a deployment to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Yvette Lane-Rose returns to civilian life Tuesday as an assistant school principal.

The first and second questions she's bound to get from students?

"If I killed somebody," she said. The answer: "No, ma'am."

Or, "Did you see a dead body? No, ma'am."

Business and professional briefs, Dec. 8, 2013

New jobs

Carle adds physician. Dr. Sreenu Chakumgal has joined the hospital medicine department at Carle.

He received his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. He completed his residency in family medicine at Carle Foundation Hospital.

Chakumgal is board-certified in family medicine.

On the town: Citizen of the Year, other award recipients honored

More than 120 gathered at Allerton Park and Retreat Center on Nov. 14 for the Monticello Chamber of Commerce annual banquet. Greg Crawford was announced as the Piatt County Journal-Republican Citizen of the Year during the event.

Reluctant Townie: Black Friday: Taking a walk on the wild side

Since you were wondering, my Black Friday went all right. Not as much food as my Brown Thursday (are we still determined to call it that?), and not as much Internet as my Cyber Monday, but overall it was pretty uneventful.

Which is to say, I don't celebrate Black Friday.

Dixon named photo editor

John C. Dixon has been named photo editor for The News-Gazette.

He has been the chief photographer since the retirement of Darrell Hoemann as photo editor earlier this year.

Getting Personal: Debra Joy Hart

Each week, we offer an email Q&A with a local personality. Today, Paul Wood chats with 57-year-old St. Joseph resident Debra Joy Hart, who wears a lot of hats as a nurse, minister, clown, certified laughter leader, author and energy business specialist; in "everything I do, I aim to infuse humor and health in it."

So ... what's new with you?