Teen's Peer Court work has helped her help herself, others

This year marks Krystine Goff's last at Westville High School.

The 18-year-old has big plans for the future – teaching high school English and a stint in the National Guard.

It's a vast difference from the girl she was three years ago. During the summer after her freshman year, Goff discovered Vermilion County's Peer Court.

It's Your Business: Garcia's to return to Campustown in March

Garcia's Pizza-in-a-Pan, which closed its longtime and final Campustown store location last month, should have a new campus-area shop up and running in a few months.

Co-owner Ralph Senn says a new location (to be disclosed soon, he promises) has been lined up and will open in early March.

Local woman packages joy - and it's bigger than a shoe box

CHAMPAIGN – A 7-year-old girl in an African country soon will be exclaiming over her collection of presents:

A T-shirt picturing a sparkly cat and dog, washcloths, plastic animals, a purple Teddy bear, flip flops, colored markers, tablet of paper, toothbrush and toothpaste, and hard candy.

Lincoln's Challenge cadets humble, thankful at end of journey

Desmond Battles happily played the piano as he rehearsed a song for Saturday's Lincoln's Challenge Academy graduation ceremonies.

Battles has lost more than 35 pounds since the day he arrived on campus, and the teen from the South Side of Chicago considers himself a big winner.

Holiday Tour of Homes to be Sunday in Hoopeston

HOOPESTON – The Hoopeston Area Healthcare Foundation will present a Holiday Tour of Homes from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Featured on the tour are the homes of:

Hard work on 4th house pays off for women's shelter

CHAMPAIGN – Let's just say this isn't a typical homeless shelter.

The kitchen is outfitted with modern cabinets and sleek black appliances. It opens onto a living room with leather furniture and wood laminate floors. The largest bedroom is a pink-and-white showpiece, complete with canopy, writing desk and wainscoting.

Salvation Army reports a surge in requests for holiday help

CHAMPAIGN – Last Christmas, 650 families received free toys and food through The Salvation Army's annual holiday giveaway.

This year, amid tough economic times, 950 families have signed up – almost a 50 percent increase.

"It's huge," said Salvation Army envoy Mike Fuqua.

Local GM retirees are uncertain about their future


TILTON – It's too early to tell what's going to happen to former workers at Tilton's General Motors Central Foundry plant, according to a local union official.

Ed Barney is president of United Auto Workers Local 579 and still a General Motors employee. His job is working with retirees and others receiving health care and pension benefits through the company. He's seen a lot, but is expecting more.

A life remembered: PBL sophomore set example of courage

PAXTON – As a student at Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School, Ryan Coe lost his shoe during a cross-country race – yet kept on running.

After all, he had a race to finish.

Lawn Rangers must have slick shtick for inauguration

Barack Obama promised change, and now we're going to get it – at his inaugural parade.

The two-hour-long parade following the president-elect's inauguration will feature the usual high school marching bands, drill teams, horse units and even the Jesse White Tumbling Team from Chicago.