Fires, April elections and compost piles

A few things worth blogging today, so try to stay with me as you read through this random set of facts. I'll try to help you along with subheads.

Fewer fires so far this summer

It seems like we report often on fires in the area, but according to fire department spokeswoman Dena Schumacher, there have been fewer so far this summer in the city of Champaign.

Here are the numbers she ran for me: Between June 1 and Aug. 24 of this year, there have been 66 documented fires. For that same time period in 2009, there were 72. In 2008, the number was 83.

Petitions available for potential city council candidates

Those wishing to hold office as the city's mayor, District 5 city council representative or any of three at-large city council seats may pick up petitions from the city clerk's office starting today. The office is in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

Candidates for mayor and at-large city council seats must collect 63 signatures to be eligible. Candidates for the District 5 seat must collect 101. Those signatures must be returned to the city clerk by Nov. 22 to appear on the April 5 ballot.

Up for re-election this year are Mayor Jerry Schweighart, District 5 representative Gordy Hulten (who was appointed to the seat earlier this year), and at-large council members Tom Bruno, Karen Foster and Deborah Frank Feinen.

I wrote last week about a change to the election rules this year, and you can also see a full list of city council members and who they represent by clicking here.

Do you have a compost pile?

Here's my own plug: I'm considering a blog post on the topic of composting, but first I need to find some people who do it. If you have a compost pile, and you are willing to photograph or discuss it for me, please contact me by commenting below, or send me a message via e-mail or my Twitter page. Thanks.

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