Paul Wood

Fight for ‘a more perfect union’

PAXTON — Talking with one tough Marine, it’s impressive that Hazel Peterson was in the first class of women to be able to enlist to help in the World War II effort.

She grew up on the South Side of Chicago, four miles from Lake Michigan, and she was taught patriotism from her grade school days.

A haus of memories

GIBSON CITY — Twenty-five years ago, Peter and Erika Schnabel decided to make a career change,  and created a restaurant that is unique in the area.

“It was out of the blue,” Erika Schnabel says.

She had worked in the German government and her husband, after a career in the hospitality, had become general manager of the former Jumer’s Castle Lodge in Lincoln Square.

2 rail cars leave track in Gibson City; no injuries or spills

GIBSON CITY — Two rail cars ran slightly off the track in Gibson City near 10th Street Tuesday morning, but the mayor said they did not tip over.

Nothing was spilled and no one was hurt, said Mayor Dan Dickey.

“The tracks were spread a little at that point,” Dickey said. “I think it’s all fixed up by now.”

He said he didn’t know the exact time of the accident.

Metro areas' unemployment rates improve

CHICAGO — Unemployment rates in Illinois fell in 12 metro areas from where they were a year ago — including in both Champaign and Danville — according to preliminary data released last week.

The numbers come from the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

21 area vets among those taking Sept. 29 Honor Flight

SPRINGFIELD — Rantoul’s Erwin “Erv” Osterbur, a Navy veteran from the Korean War era, is thrilled to be on an Honor Flight to the nation’s capital Sept. 29.

Those Who Served: Loda man recalls avoiding celebratory grenades in South Pacific

LODA — Unlimited beer and hand grenades are a bad mix.

When former Illini football player and legendary wrestling coach Don Pittman was serving in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, he was a gunner’s mate at a massive ammo dump.

Those Who Served: In Battle of the Bulge, ‘if you want to live, you’ll do it’

GIBSON CITY — For the confusion of war, it’s hard to top the Battle of the Bulge, where Chet Bleich and six other soldiers watched the Germans — supposedly on the run — overrun a nearby hill, and had only machine guns to counter the enemy’s tanks.

Volunteers still needed for Illinois Marathon event; planning process calmer than in 2013

CHAMPAIGN — More volunteers. As in most years, that’s what is needed for a safe running of Champaign-Urbana’s only marathon.

But planners say there’s less stress than last year, when the recent memory of the Boston Marathon and its explosions shook up marathons everywhere.

Gibson City resident has mountain of antiques

GIBSON CITY — Sometimes it can be hard to get all your shopping done at one place.

If, say, your shopping list includes:

— a few classic cars in different states of repair;

— a leather-strapped prosthetic limb;

— a complete telephone switchboard from the days before dials;

— cigarette knick-knacks;

— two telephone booths;

— chain saws;

Harvest Moon nears its goal to stay open

GIBSON CITY — The town’s historic drive-in is nearing its goal to go digital and stay open, thanks to supporters and a “large bank loan.”

As at other drive-ins, and all movie theaters, films will no longer be offered this year on spools; all theaters must change to digital, which is estimated to cost the Harvest Moon at least $120,000.

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