City to share cost of building repair in Gibson City

GIBSON CITY – The city will be paying half the cost of a downtown building repair project, the first large-scale project in the downtown revitalization plan.

Neal Tire and Auto at 125 South Sangamon Ave. spent nearly $9,000 on building improvements such as exterior painting, shutters, new windows and tuck-pointing.

Tribute to veterans in Savoy discussed

SAVOY – The village will be taking steps toward establishing a veterans' memorial.

Trustee Bill Smith brought the idea before the board Wednesday, saying he has spoken with a number of residents who favor a veterans' memorial and have already committed to contributing money.

Area churches schedule live Nativity scenes

While the history of some holiday traditions isn't always obvious, most people don't have trouble tracking the origins of the live nativity scene.

Churches around the area adopted the tradition to celebrate the real meaning behind Christmas.

Committee to oversee hiring PBL football coach

PAXTON – The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board will create a committee to handle the interview process for the hiring of a new football coach.

Jim Zenner resigned as football coach last month after a disappointing second season.

State official gives tips to avoid identity theft

MONTICELLO – It takes on average of 600 hours to reclaim an identity that's been compromised through identity theft – the fastest-growing crime in the country, according to a representative of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.

Identity theft "is the use of one's personal information for a criminal's own personal gain," said Megan Fulara, community outreach liaison for Madigan's office. Fulara spoke at Monticello City Hall on Tuesday. It was sponsored by the parks and recreation department.

Carbon monoxide possible cause of Penfield woman's death

URBANA – Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup believes a woman killed in a fire in Penfield on Tuesday may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Northrup said he's still working to confirm the identity of the woman, who was found by firefighters who put out the blaze that destroyed the home at 208 East St. The fire was reported by a neighbor about 7:50 a.m. Tuesday.

Parkland employees $3.5 million richer

FISHER – Every week for three and a half years, co-workers Pam Lytel and Donna Mayer played the lottery together, using the same numbers.

Sometimes they won money – $3 here, $100 there. They socked it away in a special account, which paid for the tickets they alternated buying. They work together at Parkland College's financial aid office.

Vermilion County Museum open for the holidays

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Museum will open the doors to its Gilbert Street complex buildings to celebrate the holidays on Saturday.

The museum and the Fithian Home, where Abraham Lincoln is known to have spent the night and gave a speech from its balcony, will be open to the public for the free "Holiday at the Museum" event. The celebration combines holiday decorations; choral, dance, magical and historical entertainment; a wagon ride; photos with Santa; and light refreshments from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Anheuser-Busch distributor in Urbana sold to Decatur firm

URBANA – Premium Brands Ltd., the Anheuser-Busch distributor in Champaign, has agreed to be sold to the company that distributes those products in Decatur and Springfield.

Decatur-based Skeff Distributing Co. plans to acquire Premium Brands at the close of the day Friday, said Skeff Distributing President John Skeffington.

Navigating Danville just got a lot easier thanks to Google

DANVILLE – Taking a virtual drive down Danville's streets is easier now, thanks to a new tool on Google.

Google launched eight new cities on its Street View feature Tuesday, including Boston; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; St. Paul, Minn.; Detroit; and Providence, R.I.