Parks and Recreation
CHAMPAIGN – City officials are seeking public comment during an open house showcasing the Champaign Trails Master Plan.
The public meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Monday at the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St.
Officials have outlined 66 miles of trails they would like to add in the next several decades, City Planner Mishauno Woggon said. Currently, 15 miles of similar trails exist in Champaign.
SAVOY – After the Cekander family of Savoy announced their vision of building a baseball diamond in Prairie Fields Park, located in Prairie Fields subdivision in Savoy, Jimmy John's sandwich company challenged them to raise $25,000 by Dec. 31, 2009, and to complete the project by April 15, 2010.
Because the first goal has been met and the second is on target to be completed by the deadline, Jimmy John's matched their funds.
CHAMPAIGN – Don Hiles grew up in northern Illinois where winter was not only tolerated but celebrated.
"My four brothers and I, we grew up playing hockey all winter. All the neighbors played it. Everybody played hockey up there. Nobody was any good at it, but that's what we did in the winter," said Hiles, who grew up in the Aurora area but now lives in Champaign and makes furniture at the University of Illinois mill shop.
State and local police urge motorists to have a safe and sober New Year's Eve.
"Drivers should use common sense and a designated driver who has not been drinking," said Master Sgt. Rory Steidl of the Illinois State Police District 10 post at Pesotum.
CHAMPAIGN – Officials will still enforce the city's snow-removal ordinance after a 48-hour window for property owners to clear their sidewalks expired Wednesday morning – even though new snow fell during the day.
Property maintenance inspector Michael Novotny said the ordinance will be enforced on a complaint basis, as it always is, though property owners may avoid receiving an invoice if it is evident their sidewalks were clear before Wednesday's snowfall.
Urbana and Champaign, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District and Lake Shelbyville will be collecting Christmas trees after the holidays.
In Urbana and Champaign, Christmas tree collections will be done Jan. 4-8 and Jan. 11-15.
DANVILLE – Christmas may be over, but you may want to keep your live tree up until after New Year's Day, because the city's public works department will begin picking up trees and other holiday greenery on Jan. 4.
City workers will complete the special pickup Jan. 4 through 15, and any remaining yard waste can also be placed out for pickup during that period. No yard waste will be picked up after Jan. 15 until the yard waste program resumes again in the spring.
DANVILLE – When Vickie Hicks overheard people making negative comments about Vermilion County, it inspired her to write a story about appreciating the area's assets.
Now the tale, "A Story of the Kingdom of Wannalot," will be used to help instill community pride in area students, and get them thinking about how they can improve their hometowns.
URBANA – Members of the Guttergals bowling team at Clark-Lindsey Village are a competitive bunch.
"We're not happy unless we have a strike or more than 200 points (during each game)," said Shirley Mahaffey, who at age 80 admits she's "a very competitive person.
If you need more holiday music in your life, consider calling Dial-A-Carol.
The service is located at Snyder Hall, a residence hall on the University of Illinois campus.