Urbana schedules leaf-collection dates for fall

URBANA — Leaves may not be falling quite yet, but the city of Urbana wants you to mark your calendars for leaf pick-up throughout the fall.

The city will provide leaf collection to all residents for three weeks: Oct. 22-26 and Nov. 5-9 and 26-30.

UPDATE: Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas



WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Hurricane Florence lumbered ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 mph winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, splintering buildings and trapping hundreds of people in high water as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching.

White House defends Trump on Puerto Rico death toll claim

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Hurricane Florence bore down on the U.S., President Donald Trump angrily churned up the devastating storm of a year earlier, disputing the official death count from Hurricane Maria and falsely accusing Democrats of inflating the Puerto Rican toll to make him "look as bad as possible."

Telling the stories of Puerto Rican victims of Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Ramona Gonzalez did not drown when Hurricane Maria drenched Puerto Rico. She did not die in the tempest, or from destruction wrought by the storm's 154 mph (248 kph) winds.

Instead, this disabled, 59-year-old woman died a month later, from sepsis — caused, says her family, by an untreated bedsore.

What's happening: Rescues needed in Florence's heavy rains

MIAMI (AP) — It's about the water, not the wind, with Hurricane Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast. Forecasters say "it cannot be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland."

Hundreds rescued in N.C. city as waters rose

City officials in one North Carolina community sent out an ominous tweet sometime around 2 a.m. Friday. It came as rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop. And that's when people found themselves trapped in their homes as the water rose.

Prairie preservationist stands his ground on final plant relocation

CHAMPAIGN — Prairie preservationist David Monk stood in front of the last section of his North Chestnut Street "pocket prairie," saying Thursday he would literally stand in the way of heavy equipment being used to relocate the plants.

"I think people need to stand in front of the bulldozers sometimes," he said.

Trump rejects official Puerto Rico hurricane death toll

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday rejected the official conclusion that nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico from last year's Hurricane Maria, arguing without evidence that the number was wrong and calling it a plot by Democrats to make him "look as bad as possible."

Millions on coast prepare as monster storm approaches

Millions of people in the path of Hurricane Florence are frantically preparing for a monster storm that's anticipated to make landfall as early as Friday afternoon. Residents in states from Virginia to Georgia — especially those who live in flood-prone areas or on the coast — must decide whether to stay or go.Here are some snapshots of a region awaiting the hurricane:

Tropical bands from Florence begin lashing Carolinas

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — The outer bands of wind and rain from a weakened but still lethal Hurricane Florence began lashing North Carolina on Thursday as the monster storm moved in for a prolonged and potentially catastrophic stay along the Southeast coast that could drench the homes of as many as 10 million people.