Debra Pressey

Debra Pressey

Experts to talk about global health risks

URBANA — How much do you know about emerging global health risks — and which ones you need to pay attention to at home and when you travel?

A panel of experts will talk about these health risks and answer questions from the audience at a free community forum from 7 to 9 p.m. March 7 at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave., U.

New Provena unit to help with patient observation without admission

DANVILLE — For some patients who come to a hospital emergency room, doctors need some time to determine what's wrong.

Prom for grownups to benefit food bank

CHAMPAIGN — Who says only teens get to go to prom?

Grown-ups will have a chance to dress up in formal wear and go to a prom of their own March 9 — but this will be a prom for a cause.

This will be the fifth anniversary Prom Benefit for Hunger Relief to benefit the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign.

Empty Bowls event to benefit Crisis Nursery

URBANA — Local potters are once again asking the community to help support children in crisis by coming to a soup and bread supper.

The Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held from 4-6 p.m. March 6 at Silvercreek restaurant, 402 N. Race St., U, with all proceeds benefiting the Crisis Nursery.

Prosperity Gardens program gets grant

CHAMPAIGN — The American Cancer Society has awarded the Prosperity Gardens program in Champaign an $8,850 grant to expand its work with students in an alternative education program.

The grant was one of 30 youth obesity prevention community grants totaling $360,000 to nonprofit organizations across the state.

Lawyers competing to help food banks

URBANA — Local lawyer John Thies has challenged his fellow attorneys to help take a significant bite out of hunger in Illinois, and he's given them two weeks to pull it off.

Thies, president of the Illinois State Bar Association, launched Lawyers Feeding Illinois, a competitive food and fundraising campaign among lawyers and legal organizations across the state, this week.

Claims pile up under state dental plans

URBANA — When Jackie Hunter of Mansfield went for a dental cleaning last July, she paid for it herself and waited for her insurer to reimburse her.

She's still waiting.

In fact, Hunter, an administrative assistant in the University of Illinois human resources office, doesn't expect to be paid back for the cost of her cleaning until May, she said.

Empty Tomb still needs hundreds of volunteers

CHAMPAIGN — Empty Tomb, the Christian service organization, says it still needs nearly 1,000 church people to sign up to build clothes cupboards for needy children.

The deadline to sign up is Feb. 19, says Shannon Cook, Empty Tomb coordinator.

Updated: Hospitals starting to lift visitor restrictions as flu wanes

Updated 11:54 a.m. Thursday.

URBANA — Flu is on the decline in Illinois, and area hospitals have begun lifting visitor restrictions connected to the flu outbreak.

Group says child poverty on the rise

URBANA — More than one in five Champaign County kids were living in poverty in 2011, according to the new Kids Count report released this morning.

The county's child poverty rate nearly doubled in 12 years, growing from 12 percent in 1999 to 23 percent in 2011.

The child poverty rate in Vermilion County also grew in that same time span, from 19 percent to 35 percent.