March home sales drop a bit from '12

CHAMPAIGN — Wintry weather and a low inventory of houses on the market helped push down March home sales, the Champaign County Association of Realtors said.

The association's Multiple Listing Service reported 160 sales of homes in March, down from 179 in March 2012.

My Amish Home: From snow to spring: A new sunny outlook

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17

Comedy show set for Vineyard Church

URBANA — Chonda Pierce, the "Queen of Clean Comedy," will bring her Southern charm and musical talent to the Vineyard Church, 1500 N. Lincoln Ave.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets range from $17 to $25.

Independent films showcased at Art Theater

CHAMPAIGN — The fourth annual New Art Film Festival will showcase locally and regionally made independent films at the Art Theater, 126 W. Church St., C, from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday.

'Spring Awakening' opens Thursday

URBANA — Described as a high-energy rock musical exploring adolescents' struggles with sexuality, "Spring Awakening" will open Thursday evening at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

The University of Illinois Department of Theatre production is directed by New York-based Austin Regan, who worked closely with Michael Mayer, director of the original Broadway production.

Civility rules the day at workshop

CHAMPAIGN — No fights erupted. No booing broke out.

All in all, it was a successful civility workshop.

The makeup of the audience helped. The 50 or so attending "Civility in the Workplace" at the Champaign Public Library included civil servants so mannerly that the librarians never had to shush them.

Tom Kacich: N-G was launchpad for rising star named Ebert

Everybody's got to start somewhere, and the late multimedia prodigy Roger Ebert started at The News-Gazette, with a little help from his east Urbana neighbor, Harold Holmes.

The Eberts lived at 410 E. Washington St., and Holmes, who was city editor and later became The News-Gazette's executive editor, lived a block away at 503 E. Washington.

Smith defeats Williams for Rantoul mayor

RANTOUL — The village of Rantoul will have a new mayor.

Voters on Tuesday tapped challenger Chuck Smith for the village's top post over incumbent Neal Williams, who was running for his fourth term. Smith pulled in 120 more votes than Williams, winning 881-761.

A jubilant Smith said he felt like he was "walking on a cloud" after final election figures were released.

Danville, 10 others approve electric aggregation

DANVILLE — For the second time in a year, Danville voters approved electric aggregation, giving the city the ability to start its own program separate from the one already made available to city residents through the county.

2 former district workers to join two incumbents on Danville school board

DANVILLE — The Danville school board will have two new but familiar faces in May.

Newcomers Darlene Halloran and Lon Henderson, both former district employees, won seats on the board in Tuesday's election, along with incumbents Randal Ashton and Frank Young.