UI program planning activities focusing on brain

URBANA – Here's an event you should think about attending to find out more about why you can think about attending it.

And why you can think about a lot of other things, not to mention why you can see, hear and smell the stuff you will see if you do attend.

About 450 UI Extension employees might lose their jobs

Back when Penny Gioja and her husband were an "impoverished" graduate student family, a University of Illinois Extension specialist in food and nutrition joined Gioja in the kitchen to show her how to can green beans for a lesson in preparing economical meals.

That was Gioja's first experience with Extension. Years later, the Giojas' children, all nine of them, have been involved in Extension and one of its many programs, 4-H. The children have honed public speaking skills, learned about tractor and lawn mower safety, raised animals, and much more, Gioja said.

Donation for Tuscola development may increase

TUSCOLA – The city may increase its donation to the organization that works for economic development in town.

In the last three years, Tuscola has donated $50,000 a year to Tuscola Economic Development Inc. to go toward Executive Director Brian Moody's salary and benefits. But the city may donate $75,000 next year if the measure is approved in the city's budget.

State wants man declared sexually violent

URBANA – For the 20 years Vincent Lipscomb has been locked up for rape and residential burglary, crimes he committed as a teenager in Champaign County in 1988, he has refused to get sex offender treatment.

Because the state fears he could rape again, it is trying to have Lipscomb, now 38, declared "sexually violent" under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, which has been in effect for 10 years.

Dog alerts occupant to house fire

SADORUS – A dog was a Sadorus man's smoke alarm this morning, according to Sadorus Fire Chief Carl Culkin.

The fire at the home of Heye Ault at 303 W. Second St., Sadorus, was reported at 6:38 a.m. today, Culkin said.

Savoy school could follow tax increase

SAVOY – The village board saw hope for a school in Savoy Wednesday.

But the hope will be largely up to Champaign County voters in November.

Paxton restaurant expanding into old building

PAXTON – A restaurant is expanding into a turn-of-the century building in downtown Paxton that was once used as the law office of a former Ford County judge and previously as a dry-cleaning business operated by a former mayor.

Terra Hendrix, owner of the Tin Pan restaurant, 125 S. Market St., plans to open a banquet hall called "Tin Pan Alley" this spring in the 103-year-old building next door at 117 S. Market St.

UI student will challenge Jakobsson in 103rd

CHAMPAIGN – Frank Calabrese isn't old enough to serve as a state representative, but he will be by the time of the November election.

"You're invited to my birthday party in May," the 20-year-old joked Wednesday, announcing his campaign for the Illinois House of Representatives in the 103rd District.

UI official's death shocks campus

URBANA – Short in stature but strong in spirit, Lorraine Cathleen Acevedo worked tirelessly for students at the University of Illinois until her death this week.

Known as Cathy to her friends and colleagues, Ms. Acevedo, 49, died suddenly Monday night, according to the UI.

"She was an amazing woman who contributed much to the life and story of this place. It's a very, very sad day," said friend and UI spokeswoman Robin Kaler.

Vermilion County cleanup linked to U.S. effort

DANVILLE – Vermilion County residents have multiple opportunities this weekend and next week to help the environment by volunteering for various cleanup activities or by recycling electronics.

The local events are being planned as part of the Great American Cleanup, a national community improvement program that takes place annually from March 1 to May 31. Coordinated by Keep America Beautiful, the three-month program encourages volunteers throughout the nation to clean up their communities.