Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Polar Plunge still chilly despite balmy day

MAHOMET — Wearing a pink bikini, Liesel Flatt, 40, of Sadorus took a deep breath before jumping into the water at Lake of the Woods on Saturday.

“I walked into the lake barefoot,” Flatt said. “When I got in the water, it was like a shock to my system. But I continued until I got all the way wet.”

Tom's #Mailbag, Feb. 26, 2016

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Return of women's bowling tourney 'a big deal'

CHAMPAIGN — The 50-year wait will end soon.

Beginning in February of 2017 and spanning nine weekends, the Illinois Women's Bowling Association's state tournament will return to Champaign County for the first time since 1967.

"It's a big deal," IWBA Director Darlene Baker said after Thursday's announcement.

Officials tout Vermilion's advantages

DANVILLE — Blizzard conditions didn't keep Vermilion County officials from touting on Wednesday a new plan for the future.

"It's time we start tooting our horn a little bit," Vermilion County Board Chairman Mike Marron said after announcing about 20 goals — roughed out in a strategic planning process — that he would like the county to achieve by the year 2025.

Entertainment listings, Feb. 25-March 3, 2016

A listing of events, provided by the venues. Here are 

For the retirees, Feb. 21-28, 2016

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

Getting Personal: Jameel Jones

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 39-year-old Champaign resident Jameel T. Jones, the director of recreation for the Champaign Park District and a Marvel and D.C. Comics fan, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. The Hulk has always been his favorite character.

Kickapoo rail trail phase 1 gets go-ahead

URBANA — With encouragement from about a dozen speakers, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District board voted Thursday night to go ahead with construction this year of the first phase of the long-discussed Kickapoo Rail Trail.

Meetings set for owners of land along abandoned rail line

SPRINGFIELD — Informational meetings are set for next week for landowners along a 30-mile-long abandoned railroad line in Douglas, Moultrie and Coles counties that once had been proposed as a recreational trail.

Despite high bids, forest preserve staff urges start on rail trail

MAHOMET — The staff of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District is recommending that construction begin this year on the first phase of the Kickapoo Rail Trail, even though construction bids came in well over estimates.