State grant paying for Douglas County recycling program

Douglas County residents will have a new electronic recycling program starting Tuesday.

The program, sponsored on a pilot basis by the Lincoln Heritage Resource Conservation and Development Council, will provide recycling every two months in Arcola, Arthur, Atwood, Tuscola, Villa Grove and Newman.

Musical event to be cat-friendly fundraiser

CHAMPAIGN – Feline-friendly musicians will take the stage today at Mike & Molly's to raise money for the Champaign Area Trap, Spay/Neuter and Adoption Program.

The volunteer organization provides spay/neuter assistance to low-income families; trap, neuter and return programs for feral cats; and foster and adoption services for stray and special needs cats.

Taverns cited for breaking rules on minors, happy hours

URBANA – Three bars in Urbana were cited by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission for serving alcohol to minors and a fourth was cited for breaking rules on happy hours.

Urbana police and state liquor control agents conducted a joint detail on Feb. 21, according to Urbana police Lt. Anthony Cobb. Working with an underage confidential source, the authorities inspected 13 licensed establishments with nine passing the inspection, he said.

Cuts reduce hours of clerks' services at Danville P.D.

DANVILLE – Anyone who wants to file a complaint with police after 11 p.m. at the Danville Public Safety Building will have to come back after 6:45 a.m., now that the city's personnel cuts have taken effect, eliminating the third-shift records clerks at the Danville police department.

It's one area where the public will notice a direct impact of the city's cuts that eliminated, effective Friday, 24 positions. The cuts were made to reduce the city's long-term expenses.

Hospitals await payments from state assessment program

URBANA – Struggling Illinois hospitals will get a cash infusion over the next two weeks as payments from the state's new hospital assessment program start arriving.

Author: Focus on waste should shift back to manufacturing

CHAMPAIGN – So you recycle your cans, plastic and paper waste. You take your reusable cloth bags to the grocery store, instead of getting plastic bags for your groceries.

It's a good start.

"It matters what we do. It matters that we take our bags to the grocery store. But that's not enough," said Heather Rogers, an author and filmmaker who writes about environmental issues and mass consumption.

Recycling deals with waste after it's been made, she said, but she is calling for deeper changes that start with looking at what is manufactured.

UI team takes top honors in national accounting competition

CHAMPAIGN – The second time proved a charm.

Last year, a team of University of Illinois accounting students reached the finals of PricewaterhouseCoopers' xTREME Accounting competition. This year, a UI team won the whole thing.

$5.1 million earmarked from stimulus package

Champaign County will get $5.1 million from the first federal stimulus package, final figures from the Illinois Department of Transportation show.

The package, formally called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provides $4.1 million for Champaign-Urbana, about $400,000 for Rantoul and about $600,000 for various rural county projects.

Westville educators praise new online testing service

WESTVILLE – School administrators had unanimous praise Wednesday for the online testing service that Westville schools began using this school year.

In 2008, Westville school board members approved a one-year agreement with the North West Evaluation Association of Lake Oswego, Ore., to provide online testing to kindergarten through 10th-grade students three times per school year to gauge their understanding and abilities in math and reading.

Your Family Resource Connection in Danville getting face-lift

DANVILLE – There's plenty of activity at Your Family Resource Connection these days.

The smell of fresh paint and wax and the sound of a sander will give way to the chipping and replacement of mortar when good weather arrives.

YFRC houses the domestic violence services and residential program as well as the homeless residential program on its second and third floors.