More than 250 in area affected by battle between Catholic Charities, Illinois

The battle between the Catholic Church and state of Illinois over foster care and adoption services has real-life ramifications for more than 250 East Central Illinois children.

Currently, about 135 children in Champaign County are in foster care homes managed by Catholic Charities, according to state figures. In Vermilion County, the agency oversees 125 foster cases.

State has had previous foster-care changes

Illinois has been through similar foster-care transitions in Chicago and Rockford.

Schlarman Academy starts first year in Danville

DANVILLE — For as long as she can remember, Kristen Cahill looked forward to becoming a Schlarman Hilltopper and wearing 'Topper blue and gold.

Unlike students before her, Kristen didn't have to wait until high school to do that. This year, she's a seventh-grader at the new Schlarman Academy, which adopted the now-closed high school's mascot and colors.

Church network to distribute school supplies Saturday

CHAMPAIGN — It's time to start thinking back-to-school, and a group of local churches will be holding its annual distribution of backpacks and school supplies early this month.

The Christian Mercy and Justice Network will distribute those items on Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m., at Salt and Light, 1512 W. Anthony Drive, C.

Council action may save home of early Urbana mayor

URBANA — City council action on Monday could save a 136-year-old home where one of the city's first mayors resided, but it will come at a cost to the Urbana taxpayers.

First Christian Church collecting items to send to Joplin, Mo.

CHAMPAIGN — First Christian Church in Champaign is collecting relief supplies to send to Joplin, Mo., to help victims of Sunday's tornado.

A member donated a semi-truck, trailer and driver to take supplies, and the church is collecting a list of items, listed below.

Danville Catholic grade school closes after generations

DANVILLE — Linda Bays can still remember feeling heartbroken when her old grade school, St. Joseph's in Danville, closed 40 years ago.

Those feelings came flooding back when she learned Holy Family School would close its doors at the end of the school year.

Taking life with a grain of salt

Michael Shermer is a scientist and a skeptic. A professional skeptic.

He founded a magazine of the same name, and has built a career debunking popular myths, superstitions and urban legends.

Daily Bread soup kitchen plans its own bus

The Daily Bread Soup Kitchen hopes to have its own weekend soup bus ready to roll in a couple of months.

The nonprofit group, which serves free meals five days a week at New Covenant Fellowship in downtown Champaign, recently acquired a free van and a $5,000 grant to turn it into a mobile food pantry.

An advocate for social justice, Royer leaving job with five decades of memories

Tucked away in the Rev. Tom Royer's overflowing office is a plain box with a sacred name: the Ark of the Covenant.

It holds priceless treasures he's collected during his 50-year journey as a priest – no expensive chalices or religious icons, but humble items like a worn brown children's shoe.