Vermilion County cleanup linked to U.S. effort

DANVILLE – Vermilion County residents have multiple opportunities this weekend and next week to help the environment by volunteering for various cleanup activities or by recycling electronics.

The local events are being planned as part of the Great American Cleanup, a national community improvement program that takes place annually from March 1 to May 31. Coordinated by Keep America Beautiful, the three-month program encourages volunteers throughout the nation to clean up their communities.

Willard passengers advised to plan ahead

SAVOY – Passengers flying American Airlines out of Willard Airport could face long delays as the airline continues to inspect its 300 MD-80 jets.

More than 1,000 flights were canceled Wednesday, but only one or two of them were at Willard, said Ted T. Gonsiorowski, Assistant Airport Manager for the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation.

Hold on funds threatens agencies

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Soil and Water Conservation District office has scaled back programming and may close later this year if state money, promised in the 2008 budget, is not released soon.

The Vermilion County office is not alone.

Danville gearing up for season full of road projects

DANVILLE – This year should see the start – and, in some cases, the completion – of more than $14.6 million in road projects around the city.

Thanks to a recent 4-cent increase in the city's gas tax, officials are planning to overlay at least five city roads.

Grant to help police crack down on speeders

CHAMPAIGN – Police in Champaign are again cracking down on speeders, with a state grant to focus on targeted areas.

Sgt. Dave Griffet, coordinator of the speeding enforcement project, said the Champaign Police Department received a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation in September 2007. That grant project began in November that year.

Committee discusses gargoyles, sandstone

URBANA – A fab foursome of gargoyles will grin down on Urbana from the courthouse's new tower.

Former Illini gymnast Jack Richmond donated $44,000 for the four bronze monsters in the $5.9 million courthouse renovation, said Steve Beckett, who chaired the meeting.

Rantoul woman spearheads massive cleanup effort

RANTOUL – Sonna Iorio was going for a walk down the streets of Rantoul and didn't like what she saw.

There was litter along the streets and debris scattered in the parks. Weeds were growing through the cracks in the sidewalks.

Most advisory questions fail to make ballots

URBANA – Unlike recent federal elections, voters in Champaign-Urbana won't have an assortment of advisory ballot questions to vote on this November.

In Cunningham Township, Democratic Party regulars packed the annual town meeting Tuesday evening and voted down efforts by local activists to place three different advisory questions on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Deal puts proposed bike path on the road to reality

MONTICELLO – The first portion of a proposed regional bike trail running from Allerton Park east to Champaign-Urbana and eventually to Kickapoo State Park in Vermilion County could be in place by the end of the summer.

Monticello Superintendent Floyd Allsop told the Monticello Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday that the city has signed an agreement with Heartland Pathways to acquire a stretch of an abandoned railroad bed as the first part of a proposed hiking and biking trail linking Monticello with Allerton Park.

Nine volunteers to begin work with abused kids

DANVILLE – Next week, nine community members will begin working as court-appointed special advocates on cases for local abused and neglected children.

Barbara Bein, Doug DeBarba, Janice Kempe, John Murray, Judy Mattis, Michell Monroe, Ron Pridemore, Nancy Russell and Wendy Wilder will be sworn in as advocates during a ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday at the Vermilion County Courthouse.