CHAMPAIGN – Mike Walsh was shoveling his driveway in the Sawgrass subdivision Wednesday morning, and he was nearly done.
At the end of his driveway at 821 Bluegrass Lane was a prize of sorts. A red GMC Envoy had gotten stuck in the snow the evening before and now it was blocking most of his driveway. Walsh had no idea who owned the vehicle.
URBANA – University of Illinois administrators plan to review how they will pay employees who worked – and who didn't – on the snow days this week.
For the first time in decades, the University of Illinois canceled classes Tuesday and Wednesday because of snow, and asked only "essential" or emergency employees, such as snow plow drivers or police officers, to work those days.
KICKAPOO STATE PARK – Kids with sleds aren't the only ones who can find joy in a blizzard.
Brian Klugow, 42, of Westville was hoping Vermilion County would get its share of snow from this week's storm.
CHAMPAIGN – It seems love really does conquer all.
Even slippery roads and great big mountains of snow.
It was Valentine's Day, after all, and so many lovebirds had dinner reservations to keep. They had flower deliveries on order.
DANVILLE – The bad weather has played a role in the deaths of two Vermilion County men.
Catlin resident Brian Pirie, 47, died of a massive heart attack Friday night after shoveling snow. Westville native Duane Lutchka, 71, died of a heart attack Tuesday while plowing snow.
Schools will be closed for the third straight day in Champaign on Thursday.
Beth Shepperd, spokeswoman for the Champaign school district, said the decision was made late Wednesday afternoon because of problems with clearing drives and walks of snow.
She said the district had workers trying around the clock to get all the work done and had trouble finding a contractor to assist.
URBANA – Urbana Public Works Director Bill Gray has a rule of thumb about the costs of snowstorms: $10,000 an inch.
By that measure, Urbana is about $100,000 poorer today than it was on Monday.
In a word, the weather outside was "frightful" – enough to make scores of travelers ditch area highways for the safety of a hotel room.
"We just decided it wasn't worth it," said Callie Wellendorf of Cary, who abandoned plans to drive home and booked a room at Urbana's Holiday Inn Express Tuesday night. "It's frightful out there." Hotels filled up with stranded travelers and employees who couldn't make it home – or feared they wouldn't make it back to work today.
URBANA – When East Central Illinois doesn't give you hills, you make your own.
When a slope in front of their house didn't provide enough thrills for sledding, four sorority sisters hiked over to Foellinger Auditorium on Tuesday morning, cafeteria trays in tow.
CHAMPAIGN – It's only the second hour of John McKinney's 12-hour workday, and it's already a doozy.
Wind whips sheets of icy snow across the windows of the snowplow McKinney loops around the roads north of Interstate 74 in Champaign, his truck's giant shovel sending waves of white powder into the increasing drifts as he goes.