Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Area update: Habitat to mark a quarter-century with new homes

CHAMPAIGN — Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County plans to mark 25 years in operation next year by completing two homes in Urbana.

The homes will be built with financial and interfaith support from community churches, temples, mosques and other houses of worship working alongside two local Habitat homeowners in the coming year.

Entertainment listings, July 7-14, 2016

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

Fair forecast: Vermilion County

Her reign as Miss Illinois County Fair is only half-over but Abby Foster turns in her Vermilion County Fair Queen crown today, when a new pageant winner will be picked on opening night.

Offerman, Skaggs part of new Virginia season

The Virginia Theatre won't unveil its full 2016-17 performing arts season until Friday. But the Champaign Park District-owned theater gave patrons a sneak peek into who's coming:

The economics of boom: The price of pyrotechnics for area communities

For the Record: A series using documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act to dig deeper into the news and analyze issues

Country before pop

CHAMPAIGN — There's a strong connection between country music and the Fourth, says Ryan Ideus:

"The great thing with country music is a lot of songs already have a patriotic vibe; the songs embody a feeling of freedom and appreciation for America in general."

Sandwich mogul pitches in

MAHOMET — A $150,000 donation from Jimmy John Liautaud and his wife Leslie will bridge the funding gap for phase one of the Kickapoo Rail Trail.

Getting Personal: Marie Oatis Polk

Getting Personal is a Q&A with a local personality. Here, 42-year-old Urbana resident Marie Oatis Polk, the associate development and experience manager at Busey, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli. Polk is a board member, the publicity chair and a past president of the Champaign County Freedom Celebration.

What interests you the most right now?

Weather wouldn't cancel everything

CHAMPAIGN — While Ginny Schlorff and the rest of the crew heading this weekend's Champaign County Freedom Celebration are hopeful that the forecasted inclement weather skips the area, there are contingency plans in place in case Mother Nature decides to be uncooperative.

Weekend planner: Frosty treats, patriotic beats

The folks at the Virginia Theatre joked about calling this year's "Ice Cream and Independence" event "Fro-Yo and Independence" because TCBY frozen-yogurt sundaes will be served (not ice cream).