Sewer-pipe upgrades to affect various Urbana streets

The city of Urbana is upgrading 10,000 feet of sewer pipe to maintain the integrity of the storm and sanitary sewer systems.

From Monday through Aug. 28, weather permitting, Walden Associated Technologies from Glen Carbon will begin sewer lining. Affected properties will be notified via a door hanger brochure if the sanitary sewer is being lined.

Free dental exams available for Vermilion County kids

DANVILLE – Vermilion County youths can get a free dental exam just in time for the new school year.

The HALO Project, a Health Community Initiative sponsored by the Provena United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation, has joined forces with Colgate-Bright Smiles Bright Futures, Orland Park Dental Services and Aunt Martha's Vermilion Area Community Health Center to host Smiling Faces Dental Day in Danville on Aug. 13-14.

Angel Paws takes personal approach to caring for pets

When pet owners need to be away from home, there are many advantages to in-home pet care over kennels, for pets and their owners. It's not a new concept – there is a long tradition of trusted friends tending animals and home for neighbors who are out of town. But in today's busy, over-scheduled world, these kinds of arrangements can be harder to set up, posing a dilemma for pet owners who need to travel.

In the past few decades, a sizable professional pet-sitting service industry has grown out of this need. Animal lovers called to this type of employment are supported by a national organization,the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. Pet owners can check NAPPS online to locate a trained professional in their own neighborhood.

Studio Visit: Rodney George Peacock, 60, of Urbana

Q: Why are you having an open studio tonight?

A: To announce that I'm making a commitment to rent Foellinger Auditorium next year to put on my 'Noontide Trilogy.' And lots of people don't know of all my work of the last 20 years.

Champaign district happy with progress, foretells more

CHAMPAIGN – Margie Skirvin was about to finish her first four-year term on the Champaign school board in 2001. The school district had been struggling for several years to address concerns about black students, from too many in special education and being given discipline referrals, to too few in gifted and honors classes, to those students being bused out of their neighborhoods.

Skirvin was one of the board members in November 2001 who signed off on the consent decree, a federal court agreement requiring the district to eliminate unwarranted disparities between black and white students in achievement and a number of other areas.

Catlin family seeks more answers on causes of autism

CATLIN – When their only son, Tanner, got the last of his pre-kindergarten vaccines at age 4 1/2, Tim and Cheri Welsh held their breath.

The Catlin couple had delayed those immunizations a bit, worried about the rare, potential reactions they'd heard some children have. But they also knew vaccines protect kids from nasty diseases like measles and mumps, so they eventually decided to proceed.

AT&T's U-verse now available in select parts of area

CHAMPAIGN – For folks who have griped for years about the cable company's "monopoly," there's now competition.

AT&T has rolled out a system that provides TV, phone and high-speed Internet service and is making it available in some parts of Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Danville and Tilton.

It's Your Business: Bow Sheep has bevy of bows for kids

Attention, moms who like to gussy up their babies.

Three women from Champaign have started a company that sells handmade bows for children. Bow Sheep offers intricate bows, from standard pastel pinks to zebra-stripe designs, decorated with buttons, pearls and other embellishments.

Mansfield man turns his barn into vintage Shell station

WEBBERVILLE IN MANSFIELD – It's a trip back in time.

A Shell antique gas pump, last inspected in 1963, parks itself in front of an old Shell gas station, sharing its space with antique cars from 1933 to 1965.

The gas station – a yard barn cleverly disguised – displays old-fashioned oil cans, signs, car parts and soda bottles. A huge gas station clock hangs in the front, showing the same time day after day.

Call the phone number, 21-R-21, on the station window – it won't connect anywhere now. But it did work back in 1953.

The creator of all this, Mike Webber, found the phone number in an old Mansfield Homecoming book and painted it on the Shell station window. Webber works as a mechanic operator at Plunk Farms in Mansfield, but he plays with objects from the past.

Table is set for another trophy for Urbana woman

URBANA – Ping, pong, slam goes the ball.

Phyllis Hughes has ended another opponent's volley.

She has nailed down two state's championships in the sport known as table tennis.

Next up is nationals.