Metaphysics group offering alcohol-free New Year's Eve

URBANA – If you don't want to spend New Year's Eve in a bar, there is an option for you besides The Chorale's annual "C-U at the Virginia" concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.

The School of Metaphysics in Urbana will usher in the New Year on Thursday evening at the Red Herring Restaurant with a non-alcoholic evening that will honor different religions and cultures.

Man charged in suspected cannabis-growing operation

VILLA GROVE – Bond has been set at $7,500 for a Villa Grove man arrested after police uncovered an alleged marijuana production operation in a home.

Villa Grove Police Chief Dennis Gire said officers executed a search warrant in the 100 block of South Oak Street, Villa Grove, in the early hours of Dec. 22.

Absentee voting under way in Champaign for primary

URBANA – Champaign County has begun absentee voting for the Feb. 2 primary election.

Anyone registered to vote in Champaign County may vote now; no excuse is necessary, according to County Clerk Mark Shelden.

Illinois Forum sets debate Jan. 10 in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois Forum, a conservative, grass-roots political group, will sponsor a debate among U.S. Senate and gubernatorial candidates at 1 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St., C.

Only Republican candidates – and not even all of them – have agreed to attend the debate.

Chili fundraiser set in Rantoul for local cancer patient

A benefit dinner to raise funds for Kevin Little, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous-cell throat cancer, has been scheduled for Jan. 30.

The chili dinner fundraiser is planned from 5 to 8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Rantoul pavilion, 200 S. Century Blvd.

Crime report

Area police report the follow ing:


– 2000 block of North Neil Street: Side window of car broken between 8-9:30 p.m. Dec. 23.

Group seeks assistance in shot at world record

DANVILLE – What's more fun than watching someone drop a roll of Mentos into a 2-liter bottle of soda and seeing the fizzy liquid shoot out of the bottle like Old Faithful?

Businesses: Champaign's shoveling rule is clear

CHAMPAIGN – Most sidewalks in the business and campus districts of Champaign were already shoveled by Monday morning when the city officially declared the sidewalk snow removal ordinance in effect.

Fire hits mobile home in Tolono

TOLONO – Firefighters were sent to a mobile home fire Monday afternoon at The Oaks in Tolono.

Crews from Tolono and other departments were sent after a report of heavy smoke showing from a mobile home about 1 p.m.

Demolitions to begin this week in downtown Danville

DANVILLE – Drivers may want to avoid using Walnut Street in the downtown area, as contractors expect to begin demolishing the single-deck parking garage and the AT&T building this week.

Today, crews are expected to put up a 6-foot chain-link fence around the parking garage demolition site, according to Doug Ahrens, public works director for the city. Actual demolition of the two-story garage in the 100 block of Walnut Street will begin later this week, weather permitting.