Parks and Recreation
You can't get much more central to the notion of "they just don't make movies like that any more" than "The Sound of Music," the next offering in The News-Gazette Film Series at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign.
CHAMPAIGN – Several local groups have been awarded $60,000 in Marajen Stevick Foundation grants through the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois.
Bill Nugent, president of the Stevick Foundation, which includes The News-Gazette, WDWS and WHMS, and several weekly newspapers, said the grants reflect the values of the late Marajen Stevick Chinigo, who owned the paper for decades after the deaths of her parents, David and Helen Stevick.
DANVILLE – Angela Bates has taken her involvement with riding motorcycles a step further by creating an organization to promote motorcycle safety and the importance of motorcycle awareness.
H.E.Y. (Help Educate Yourself) Riders! will hold its first memorial ride and fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Memorial Day, May 25, with activities and the beginning of the ride at the Temple Plaza at the corner of North and Vermilion streets in downtown Danville.
I'm not a seer or a prophet, but when I first saw Edgar Heap of Birds's "Native Hosts" signs on Nevada Street on campus, I figured they'd eventually be vandalized. Maybe I'm a pessimist, or maybe I've just read too many letters to the editor of this newspaper.
So I was not surprised that four signs so far in his "Beyond the Chief" series have been damaged. No vandals have been apprehended yet.
VILLA GROVE – The city council was informed Monday that it is no longer obligated by state law to purchase defibrillators for public use at the city's parks this summer.
Villa Grove police Officer Adam Deckard, who has been investigating the issue and advising the council on the defibrillator purchase, told the council Monday night that the state law requiring the defibrillators has been amended. According to Deckard, any park owned by a municipality is not mandated to have the devices available.
DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Conservation District was $400,000 closer on Wednesday to building a 32,000-square-foot environmental education center at Kennekuk County Park, after the state announced $21.2 million in grants for 59 park and land acquisition projects across the state.
MONTICELLO – Progress continued on the recently approved community swimming pool project during the Monticello City Council's May study session.
The council was given an update on the current plans, including a new layout design and updates on the expected changes.
URBANA – Mike Brunk never had a treehouse growing up, but he stayed in one for several nights in Hawaii.
"It was really cool, and I have thought of building one ever since," Brunk said. "The problem is, the damage to the tree can be irreversible."
Brunk, 51, city arborist for Urbana, loves trees. He doesn't have a favorite.
"I can find beauty in just about every tree I admire," Brunk said. "Same goes for people. Well, almost."
CHAMPAIGN – It takes a lot of mud to remake a park.
There's a lot of mud to see at Scott Park, which is undergoing a renovation expected to be done in August, months ahead of schedule.
University of Illinois administrators took their annual trip to the woodshed, aka the House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee, last week. When it was over, UI President B. Joseph White claimed he enjoyed the 2 1/2-hour session before the committee of about a dozen state representatives.
His fingers weren't crossed, and he didn't wink.