New church name, same ministry hopes for Woods

PAXTON — The Vineyard Church of Paxton’s transition to Hope Vineyard Church on April 1 means more than just a name change.

Over two decades, the Rev. Jimm and DeDe Wood have wanted to make more of an impact on their community. In the next two weeks, the culmination of that reality will occur at their church.

Rick Nelson named News-Gazette's Farm Leader of Year

PAXTON — Growing up on a farm, Rick Nelson came to realize what he liked — and didn’t like — about farming.

“I knew I didn’t like chores,” he said. “I don’t like redundant tasks. I don’t want to do the same thing today as yesterday.”

The daily demands of caring for livestock weren’t for him.

'The simple things in life made him happy'

PAXTON — Every day was a good day to Clayton Hale.

It didn’t matter that for most of his life, he was battling medical setback after medical setback. His cancer would come and go, then return, yet the young man’s positive outlook never wavered.

Dr. Sunderland was 'a man who loved his family, faith and community'

Editor’s note: Dr. Paul W. Sunderland had asked Jean Noellsch to record his memoirs for possible publication. That project was left incomplete when Dr. Sunderland died Jan. 16, but their Saturday morning chats over the past several months provided much of the information for this feature.

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.

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