CHAMPAIGN – If you want to build a reputation as fair and just, perhaps you should consider a move to Supreme Court Drive.
That's one of the newest streets in the Champaign-Urbana area. It's one of several thoroughfares in the new Liberty on the Lake subdivision in Champaign and Savoy that draw their names from history and government.
DANVILLE – Effective today, 21 employees at the Center for Children's Services have been laid off and two programs serving young families with children have been temporarily eliminated because the state has not sent the center funding that's owed.
BLOOMINGTON – A rare Sumatran tiger died Wednesday at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington.
Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff said Besar, an 18-year-old tiger, was euthanized following a yearlong bout of renal disease, in which the kidneys failed to function adequately.
DANVILLE – Green Meadow Apartments resident Dashone Watson would like to take her 9-year-old daughter, Shawntavia Lewis, to the Danville Public Library more often, but Watson doesn't have a car or money for the bus ride across town.
But now Shawntavia can check out books at the apartment complex thanks to a new program, "Weeds to Seeds: Growing a Neighborhood Library and New Library Users," that brings the library to them.
St. Joseph grade school district cuts tax rate
ST. JOSEPH – Thanks to the county's new school sales tax, the property tax rate for The St. Joseph Community Consolidated School District will drop in the upcoming year, said Superintendent Todd Pence.
CHAMPAIGN – Over and over again in the last three years, the Developmental Services Center has been there for the Oates family of Philo.
On Tuesday, when DSC lit the bulbs for its annual Tree of Hope at the corner of Prospect Avenue and Marketview Drive, the family served as this year's "spokesfamily."
MAHOMET – When Austin Maxstadt walked into his family's barn the morning of Christmas Eve, the look on his face was best summed up with a single word.
"He was shocked," said Barb Maxstadt, Austin's mother.
"It was precious. When I talked to him later, I had asked him 'Austin, did you know anything about this?' I asked 'How did you feel?' and he said 'I was shocked.'"
The source of that reaction was a brand new John Deere Gator, a four-wheel all-terrain-vehicle, surrounded by family and wish granters from the Make A Wish Foundation.
Hunting, fishing and shooting are family traditions for Ben Magers and Kirsten Blackford.
There's no excitement around Champaign-Urbana these days like there was 50 years ago when the fastest-growing community in downstate Illinois (it still says so – in half-century-old paint – on the east-side roof of the old railroad freight house in downtown Champaign) was at the beginning of another decade of phenomenal growth.
Those were days of wild growth and change, or at least anticipated change. Today we're merely hoping for a change to better days.
If you're having some slow time during this season, how about building yourself a set of Abraham Lincoln historic buildings?
Given the economy, it's a big plus that you can do this essentially for free.