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New CEO takes over as Prairie Center faces state budget challenges

CHAMPAIGN — It was having a family member with an addiction problem that first drew Gail Raney to apply for a part-time job at the Prairie Center, she recalled.

Some 15 years later, Raney is the new CEO of the nonprofit substance abuse treatment agency as it continues to face the challenge of serving hundreds at its three locations after many months without state payments.

This day in history, Feb. 6, 2016

Today is Saturday, Feb. 6, the 37th day of 2016. There are 329 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 6, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Ill.

On this date:

Smaller GOP field takes to debate stage

The Republican field has narrowed, but remains large. What goals should the seven GOP presidential candidates who'll share a New Hampshire stage tonight have for debate No. 8 (7 p.m., ABC) and for Tuesday's primary? We turned to the UI's resident elections expert, BRIAN GAINES, for answers.

Area history, Feb. 6, 2016

Today is Friday, Feb. 6, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Committee backs year-round schedule for all Danville schools

DANVILLE — A committee is recommending that District 118 schools go forward with planning and providing a balanced-calendar schedule for all of its buildings.

Danville school district takes on bullying

DANVILLE — It started with calling him "fat," "gay" and other names, then escalated to smacking him on the back of his head.

It continued to the point where her 15-year-old son, Nicholas, didn't want to go to school or even leave his house.

Top of the morning, Feb. 6, 2016

To research his recently released book — "Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot" — EIU journalism prof Joe Gisondi accompanied search parties as they canvassed woods, swamps and parks for the hairy giant.

No luck.

"I want to believe," he said, "but like any journalist I need the evidence."

One Winter Night 2016

The fifth year of One Winter Night, a fund raiser to help the homeless in Champaign-Urbana, was held on Friday, February 5, 2016 in downtown Champaign.

Weekend planner: A flick of the wrist for charity

The fifth Disc Golf Ice Bowl takes place Saturday at Dodds Park in Champaign. The emphasis is on fun and charity rather than competition, says organizer Wilbur Wallisof the nonprofit Champaign County Disc Golf Club, which organizes recreational play year-round at the area's three courses. Saturday's Ice Bowl will raise money for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

Rally at EIU over state budget draws 2,000

CHARLESTON — Gathered on the campus library Quad on a chilly, late Friday afternoon, about 2,000 people rallied to press Gov. Bruce Rauner and state legislators to pass a higher education budget and keep their university open.

Because of a political standoff, no public colleges or universities in Illinois have received any state funding since the fiscal year began July 1.