Rantoul's Community Service Center turns 40

RANTOUL — It's been 40 years since village leaders agreed to a three-month experiment.

During the summer of 1971, the Rantoul Village Board agreed to pay a full-time person to work at a new referral agency for local and area residents needing help.

Champaign duo off to New York for Macy's parade

CHAMPAIGN — When the Macy's Thanksgiving parade kicks off Thursday, two Champaign students will see it from the street, as a part of the Macy's Great American Marching Band.

Central High drum major Sophia Magro and Centennial High drum major Erica Allender will go to New York City over Thanksgiving to participate. Both are looking forward to it.

Central High cellist will play Carnegie Hall in February

CHAMPAIGN — Central High School freshman Pierre Viallant isn't yet a professional musician, but he'll accomplish the distinction of playing at New York City's Carnegie Hall next February.

Viallant is a cellist and intends to become a professional some day.

He'll travel to New York as a finalist in the Honors Orchestra for the 2012 American High School Honors Performance Series.

Solutions sought in budget crisis for Sidney library

SIDNEY — It's crunch time for figuring out how to keep the Sidney Community Library open.

Library board members met with village board members Monday to try finding some solutions to a budget crisis that may force the library's closure.

A committee is expected to be formed at the village board's Dec. 5 meeting.

Marine Bank has second office open in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Marine Bank has opened a second office in Champaign at 1001 S. Neil St., the former Centrue Bank office.

Marine completed the acquisition of the Centrue office over the weekend and opened for business Monday. Plans for the acquisition were first announced in July.

Employees of the Centrue office have joined Marine's staff, a bank news release stated.

OSHA fines roofing company $144,100

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign-based company faces fines totaling $144,100 for failing to provide fall protection to roofers working on residential and commercial projects and for other violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Gire Construction Inc. for six violations following four separate safety inspections.

Last-minute effort by donors fuels food giveaway

CHAMPAIGN — By the time the doors opened at noon, Rosie Slaughter had been standing outside in the cold, dodging the rain for more than an hour and a half.

Many more people were standing in line behind her — everybody waiting for a free bag of food at Tuesday's "Stuff it" Thanksgiving giveaway at the Glory Center in Champaign.

Woman accused of trying to set building, car on fire

URBANA — An Urbana woman accused of trying to set a building and a car on fire last month has been criminally charged.

Sharon D. Moore, 31, who listed an address in the 900 block of North Linview Avenue, was arrested Monday night for an incident that police investigated about a month ago.

Firefighters warn cooks: Be careful on Thanksgiving

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign firefighters remind feast preparers to watch what they're doing on Thanksgiving.

A news release from fire department spokeswoman Dena Schumacher said Thanksgiving continues to be the leading day for home cooking fires in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Community group wants more immediate change in police relations

 A community group in Champaign wants to speed up the process of improving relations between police and community members.

The Champaign Community and Police Partnership held a press conference Tuesday in the wake of the latest allegation against the Champaign Police Department, where an African-American man was pepper sprayed and choked while being arrested.