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PAXTON – A Vietnamese-born professional musician, storyteller and photographer who makes his home near Loda is asking Paxton-Buckley-Loda schoolchildren to give up their used toys to raise money for schools in Vietnam.
Tinh Mahoney, who prefers to go by the name Tinh, and his wife, Jodi, have raised enough money through their Village School Foundation since 2002 to build one school in Ninhthuan, Vietnam. Tinh, 42, plans to spend two weeks there later this month getting another school started.
VILLA GROVE – One can find wild elk roaming in Michigan, Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, but not in central Illinois.
In fact, the official line of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is that there are no wild elk in Illinois – period.
TUSCOLA – Roland Spomer made a contribution to honor the men who fought along with him in the Battle of the Bulge.
Rachel Sykes said she donated money in memory of one of her ancestors who served in the Civil War.
DANVILLE – When the Ladies of the Guild quilt club formed a year ago, members could think of only one place to hold monthly meetings – the Danville Public Library.
The library at 319 N. Vermilion St. was centrally located, and it housed a large meeting room that gave the women ample space to spread out.
URBANA – The owner of Lincoln Square Village plans to apply to get the 41-year-old mall listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The downtown Urbana mall "is unique in that it was the first downtown shopping mall in Illinois and one of the first enclosed shopping malls in the country," said Karen Kummer, an architectural historian who is preparing the application for mall owner Jim Webster.
CHAMPAIGN – Chances that a comprehensive smoking ban will be enacted in Champaign in the near future dimmed Thursday after Champaign City Council member Marci Dodds said she would abstain on any such vote.
Dodds voted in favor of banning smoking in bars and restaurants in study session on Sept. 14, but that proposal failed in a 5-4 vote.
When Vivian Zapata walks down the red carpet at the sixth annual Latin Grammy Awards tonight, she won't have to worry about winning awards.
She's already a winner.
The University of Illinois sophomore beat out hundreds of entries in a poster competition sponsored by the Chicago-based nonprofit arts organization Latino Art Beat to become the Grammy Awards official artist.
URBANA – About 38.6 million people in America face "food insecurity," an increase of 2 million in one year, a new government report shows.
That means nearly 12 percent of U.S. households make daily decisions on how much they and their children can afford to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. And the number of households with actual hunger rose from 3.5 percent in 2003 to 3.9 percent in 2004, or 4.4 million.
CHAMPAIGN – No more grilling on the apartment balcony.
No more piling up mountains of firewood for the long winter.
Trick-or-treating can be fun, but children, parents and motorists need to take steps to ensure that it is safe, officials say.
"We want everyone to have fun, be safe and enjoy this year's Halloween festivities and an evening of trick-or-treating," said Joan Walls, spokeswoman for the Champaign Police Department.