People

Matt Neaville's still got game — 15 years after hooping it up with Paxton Record editor

SAVOY — Matt Neaville, ironically, is the old man on the block today on the newly formed Champaign Swarm professional basketball team.

Ironic, given that when I used to hoop with Matt, he was always the youngest person on the court.


Miller re-elected president of Ford County Fair board

MELVIN — Kirk Miller of Melvin was re-elected president of the Ford County Fair Board at the board’s annual meeting Jan. 3. 

Dallas Meyer of Thawville and Corinne Brown of Paxton were re-elected vice president and secretary/treasurer, respectively.


Former Paxton mayor remembered for his smile, laugh

PAXTON — Family members and friends of L. John Lee remember, most of all, that he did everything with a smile.

Mr. Lee always had a remarkable nature about him, whether serving the Paxton community as an alderman or mayor, raising seven children or working as a farmer, insurance/real estate agent or broom-maker.


UI Extension horticulture educator honored with award

CHAMPAIGN — Sandra Mason, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, was honored with the 2014 Individual Excellence in Extension Award at the University of Illinois Extension Conference in November for her dedication to volunteer program development, innovative communication strategies and decades-long commitment to the community.


Nominations due Feb. 1 for 2015 PBL Alumni Hall of Fame inductees

PAXTON — The Paxton-Buckley-Loda Hall of Fame selection committee is accepting nominations for the PBL Alumni Hall of Fame induction class for 2015. 


Seeing is believing: The real Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Somewhere along the line, the kids watching Paxton’s annual Christmas parade noticed something amiss: When Santa Claus came riding down Market Street on his sleigh, there was no Mrs. Claus to be seen.


Lucille Symmonds celebrating 90th birthday Nov. 16

PAXTON — The children of Lucille Symmonds of Paxton are hosting a celebration in honor of their mother’s 90th birthday. 

The party will take place at Paxton’s First Lutheran Church on Sunday, Nov. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m.


Area residents form Central Illinois Pink Heals Chapter

PAXTON — The members of the Central Illinois Pink Heals Chapter have all been impacted by cancer.

For Mike and Vanessa Tongate of Roberts, it was learning that Vanessa had been diagnosed with colon cancer, just as they were preparing to leave for their honeymoon in 2006. And it was the daily struggle that followed over the next three years — until she became cancer free in 2009.


Paxton soldier makes surprise return home

RANTOUL — Ashley Williams held back tears as she hid behind an outhouse at the Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, waiting to surprise her 8-year-old daughter, Destiny.

The 28-year-old Williams, a U.S. Army Reserves specialist, had just returned to the U.S. from a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan. But her daughter didn’t know that — yet.


Paxton man starts charity to help cancer-stricken kids

PAXTON — Fifteen years later, Dale Puls still remembers Sarah. The girl was 6 years old, suffering from cancer, when Puls organized a benefit in Piper City that raised $800 to help her in the fight of her life.

Puls didn’t know the girl personally. But that wasn’t important.


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