Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

'This is payback time'

DANVILLE — As a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, Julius W. Hegeler II flew 70 combat missions in the Korean War, including the last.

Later, he helped build a company that would become the world's largest contract packager of chemical specialties and one of Vermilion County's largest employers.

Summer Fun Guide

The News-Gazette will publish its annual Summer Fun Guide — a calendar of festivals, plays, concerts, donkey races, etc. — on May 11.

If you'd like your event to be included — free of charge — let us know by April 14.

Weekend planner: Evening bird walk

Chelsey Walsh, public program specialist at Champaign County Forest Preserve District, likes the American Woodcock, also known as a Timberdoodle, Sky Dancer and Labrador Twister. She calls the bird cool, kind of cute and funky looking — they have long tweezer-like beaks and brown feathers that camouflage them against leaf litter on the ground.

Tom's #Mailbag, March 18, 2016

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Tom Kacich: Rail-trail will be about history, too

Dan Olson, the executive director of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District, has heard the nonbelievers.

As head of the agency that will build and operate the first phase of what eventually will be a 24.5-mile recreation trail between Urbana and Kickapoo State Park, he's heard from a lot of naysayers and doubters.

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Author puts spotlight on biodiversity loss

If you're familiar with this column, you know I take great pleasure in observing the natural world, especially the wildlife I come across on a day-to-day basis in East Central Illinois.

Tom's #Mailbag, March 11, 2016

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Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Bird's often the word in my circles

One of the things I enjoy most about birding is the way it brings people together to share observations.

Area update: Champaign considers rules for 'pedal pubs'

CHAMPAIGN — The regulations for so-called "pedal pubs" in Champaign have been laid out and will be considered by the city council on Tuesday night.

That's Entertainment: Spotlighting events around the area

Music scene

The Homer Opera House will host a bluegrass "Hootenanny" at 6 p.m. Saturday, with the doors opening an hour before.

The performances will be upstairs until just before 10 p.m., but the entire downstairs of the Opera House will be open for acoustic jamming and dance calling. The entrance fee is $8.