Crops looking good so far this summer

Even as temperatures soar, the corn outlook for area farmers remains optimistic.

This week's report from the USDA shows that around 80 percent of crops are in good to excellent condition.

Area update: Diamond Rio to headline first night of Urbana Sweetcorn Festival

URBANA — The Grammy-nominated Diamond Rio, a Nashville-based country music band that has sold more than 10 million albums, will be the headline act Aug. 26, the first night of the 41st annual Urbana Sweetcorn Festival.

#MailbagSneak: About that I-57/74 interchange...

Ask Tom a question by clicking here

Here's a sneak peek at Tom's Mailbag. Look for the full 'bag at 2 p.m. today.

Desperately seeking drivers, Uber and Lyft offer car options

SARAH SKIDMORE SELL, AP Personal Finance Writer

No car? No problem for ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Area update: Rude but harmless awakening in Monticello

MONTICELLO — It was a first-ever for Piatt County 9-1-1 Director Jim Cripe, but it wreaked havoc Wednesday morning at the dispatch center he oversees.

One of Monticello's eight emergency alert sirens, seemingly activated on its own, whined with an up-and-down cadence that is no longer used, and continued to drone on for about 45 minutes.

Hegeler to leave $3 million for center, $2 million for DACC facility

DANVILLE — In the last several years, Frank Brunacci has become good friends with Julius W. Hegeler II, and especially close with him the last two years.

Nursing home board chair: Facility 'a significant asset'

URBANA — The chair of the county nursing home board told the Champaign County Board Thursday night that despite its flaws, the nursing home "is a real asset, it's not just another nursing home that's in this community" and that it should continue to be supported by the county board.

UPDATED: University of Illinois trustees OK Jones

1:13 P.M.

Trustee: Wilson not a candidate

University of Illinois trustee James Montgomery said from what he understands, Interim Chancellor Barb Wilson did not seek the full-time position.

Situation dismal, Parkland trustees are told

CHAMPAIGN — State funding is down, enrollment is dropping, next year's proposed budget is more than $4 million in the red and Parkland College's cash balance is half of what it was a year ago.

It was mostly grim news for Parkland trustees at their July meeting Wednesday night.

Champaign OKs $80,000 for Daily Bread renovation

CHAMPAIGN — The Daily Bread Soup Kitchen will receive more than $80,000 from the city to help upgrade its new facility at 116-118 N. First Street, the Champaign City Council decided Tuesday night.

The remodeling project is on target to be completed this fall, board president Bob Goss told the council.

"The plumbing has been approved, and the concrete is being poured," Goss said.