Land, farm preserved for generations - for 175 years

Bob Allen was known around his hometown of Newman for his love of family, community and the family farm.

"If you live in paradise, why would you want to go anywhere else?" he used to say.

Allen's widow, Eileen, their four children and extended family just celebrated 175 years of their little piece of paradise on the family homestead in southeast Douglas County.

Law allows landlords to claim multiple homestead exemptions

Call it a "quirk" or "loophole" in the Illinois Property Tax Code.

Some area landlords are taking advantage of a provision and reading of the tax code that lowers assessments on their properties, in effect reducing their tax obligations and shifting the tax burden to others.

New play area will give visitors a different opportunity to become one with nature

HOMER — It used to be that children played outdoors and made use of natural items — rocks, sticks, leaves, water and snow — to get exercise, build strength, develop their imaginations and learn how nature and society are interdependent.

Not so much any more, according to researchers.

Early voting sites planned for next fall

There's no longer a law requiring it, but Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten said Friday he hopes to have early voting on the University of Illinois campus — and at other locations around the county — for next fall's general election.

Enrollment down at a few area colleges

Parkland College, Danville Area Community College and Eastern Illinois University all have fewer students than the year before, possibly reflecting hard economic times.

Other schools have had better outcomes, including the University of Illinois, which showed record numbers in its 10-day enrollment figures.

Shots fired at southeast Urbana apartment complex; no one hurt

URBANA — Police in southeast Urbana found shotgun shell casings early Saturday at an apartment complex but found no one firing them and no one hurt.

Sgt. Joel Sanders said police were called to The Pointe, 1611 E. Florida Avenue, U, about 12:20 a.m. on a report of shots fired.

Getting Personal: Donna Giertz

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, Melissa Merli chats with Donna Hyland Giertz of Champaign. She is a retired marketing/management professor from Parkland College. She serves on the school´s board of trustees and is a volunteer at the Krannert Art Museum. Getting Personal appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette.

Area credit union ratings hold steady; 21 in black

No area credit unions were downgraded — or upgraded — in the latest ratings from the BauerFinancial rating service.

Of 29 area credit unions, 12 received superior ratings, six got excellent ratings and four got adequate ratings.

Urbana crime numbers

Crime numbers in a southeast Urbana neighborhood where police have been focusing efforts saw a drop in August, but Police Chief Patrick Connolly warns that community engagement needs to continue if residents want to make it a trend.

Calls for Crime

Crime drops in August in Philo Road area

URBANA — City officials are reporting that calls for police service and reports of crime in a southeast Urbana hot spot are down, but the police chief warns that efforts need to continue to keep the trend going.