CHAMPAIGN — People who suddenly find themselves without a home — such as the tornado victims in Gifford — may find the rebuilding process takes longer than expected, a veteran contractor said.
Jody Wesley, president of USPRO/United Services in Mahomet, has spent 34 years doing restoration work following disasters.
CHAMPAIGN — The owners of The News-Gazette and WDWS Inc. have pledged up to $25,000 to match gifts to the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois intended to help the community of Gifford.
The nonprofit Marajen Stevick Foundation owns the newpaper and the radio stations, as well The Rantoul Press and several other community newspapers.
CHICAGO — The Illinois attorney general's office has opened an investigation into improper fundraising tied to relief efforts in communities hit by Sunday's tornadoes.
The attorney general's Charitable Trust Bureau received a complaint regarding Heroes Memorial Foundation, an unregistered, out-of-state entity raising funds for victims of the weekend storm.
GIFFORD — The Gifford Grade School Eagles got back into the gymnasium on Friday for their first basketball practices after the storm.
John Frerichs, one of the three eighth-grade players, said it felt good to take a break from the abnormal.
GIFFORD — A ring with three stones. A Harley Davidson duffel bag. Old baseball cards. And someone's back X-ray.
Personal possessions scattered by Sunday's tornado are piling up in a couple of bins at the Gifford State Bank, where Tanna Suits has become a human lost and found.
GIFFORD — The Champaign County Emergency Management Agency is beginning to phase out its operations in the small, disaster-stricken town as residents continue the cleanup on their own.
Local EMA spokesman Rick Atterberry said all the proper procedures are in place to ensure that the recovery continues smoothly, but the initial response phase is winding down.
State Climatologist Jim Angel has a review and preview of Illinois weather.
Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..."
That's the length of the tornado that slashed Champaign County on Sunday. You could almost see it Thursday by all the burn piles full of gigantic tree limbs and brush, dotting the farmland in the northeast quadrant of the county.
GIFFORD — Tim Dillman has been all over the country for relief help.
It's part of the job for the Gifford resident, whose duties with AT&T include managing maintenance of facilities.
"I've been to Louisiana after Katrina, to the east coast and to the west coast," Dillman said. "AT&T sent groups of 40 to 60 employes to rebuild the phone networks in those towns."
GIFFORD — A team of federal and state emergency management officials toured Gifford on Thursday afternoon to assess the damage caused by Sunday's tornado.
Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Nate Custer said that information gathered by the team will be used to support a state request for federal disaster assistance to help people affected by the twister.