Gibson City lighting grant extended

GIBSON CITY — Another vote on the proposed downtown lighting project was not on the agenda for this week's meeting of the city council.

The triumphant return of Chase Rice

The last time Chase Rice played the Champaign County Fair, he was an up-and-coming warmup act. Two years, endless gigs and one smash hit album later, Rice returns to Urbana tonight as a full-fledged headliner who has gotten the hang of playing in front of full houses. A few other things you ought to know about the star of tonight's show:

Family's 95-year tradition drawing to a close

CHAMPAIGN — Every first Sunday in August, Mara Roughton knew where she was going to be: at Hessel Park, eating, laughing and making memories with her relatives at the annual Neal family reunion.

It's where, as a kid, she played baseball with Uncle Winterbottom and all her cousins, enjoyed a seemingly-endless expanse of homemade pies and meats and joked with the other children.

DIY Network films at Farmer City lake

FARMER CITY — Doug and Kristin Meeker's water sport business at their private Farmer City lake is so unique, it became the setting for a TV show.

New York-based film crews took to the town as the DIY Network show "Lake Life" filmed at the location for two weeks in mid-July, building an offshoot to the Meekers' business, The Liquid Edge.

This day in history, July 31, 2015

Today is Friday, July 31, the 212th day of 2015.

There are 153 days left in the year.

Today's highlight:

Top of the morning, July 31, 2015

One of the lasting images from this week's Kiwanis Tom Jones Challenger League all-star game was UI football player Nick Allegretti mingling with player Kaleb Bochntine.

Turns out Allegretti wasn't there by accident. He's been involved with the Challenger League since arriving on campus.

Villa Grove board tabs former Chrisman, Oakland superintendent Tracy to replace Manos

VILLA GROVE — Norm Tracy was unanimously approved tonight as Villa Grove schools' interim superintendent for 2015-16.

It's the third area school district he'll lead — before retiring, Tracy was superintendent in Chrisman and Oakland.

Carle seeks $28.5 million expansion of Curtis Road facility

CHAMPAIGN — Carle's physician clinic at 1701 Curtis Road could be headed for a $28.5 million expansion, if state regulators approve.

Carle has applied to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to add 80,000 square feet, more than doubling both its clinical and non-clinical space at the facility built in 2008.

UI student wins inaugural award named for Dave Benton

CHAMPAIGN — When Michael Hao came to the University of Illinois to study computer engineering in the fall of 2013, he wanted a part-time job to help with expenses but wasn't interested in bagging fast food.

State police district's officer of the year living her dream

PESOTUM — She's perky, positive, passionate, professional and pretty.

And she positively prefers to preach public safety rather than give you a ticket. All those elements add up to why Tracy Lillard was recently chosen as Illinois State Police District 10's officer of the year.