Parks and Recreation
Roberta Allen of Danville is extremely proud of her Moonwalk T-shirt. No, it has nothing to do with Michael Jackson.
Allen earned her shirt when her walking club accepted a challenge from a Peoria club to see who could walk the most miles between April and June in the evenings. Allen took first place for the Ridgewalkers Walking Club, a chapter of the American Volkssport Association.
CHAMPAIGN – Jon Fisher's new business is building basketball courts, and the former Unity High School basketball player feels he has found his sweet spot.
DANVILLE – Ryce Tuggle's initiative to help save Kickapoo State Park also helped her land an award.
The Oakwood sixth-grader is one of 26 people statewide who are set to receive Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn's Environmental Hero Award on Tuesday in an afternoon ceremony in Chicago. She's the only one in Champaign or Vermilion counties to receive the award this year.
Urbana's indoor pool has been retrofitted to meet a Saturday deadline on new drain safety standards.
The Bush administration ordered public swimming pools and hot tubs to close after today if they do not have new drain covers designed to prevent drowning; the requirements are intended to keep children from getting sucked onto pool and spa drains under water.
MONTICELLO – A group of local residents has asked the Monticello City Council to consider renovating the aging swimming pool and ask voters to approve a tax hike in the spring to pay for it.
"We are here to ask the council to consider putting together a referendum for the people to vote on," said Rhonda Sinkosky. "We are looking for a more grassroots approach and are willing to get the community involved because we feel the pool is an important aspect to our community."
By The News-Gazette
The Paxton Park District will host its annual Breakfast with Santa event Saturday at the Civic Center from 8 to 10 a.m.
CHAMPAIGN – An upset U.S. Rep. Timothy Johnson, saying he's unhappy about not being consulted by city and mass-transit officials, has come out strongly against a proposed expansion of Illinois Terminal to accommodate a "park-and-ride" child care facility.
And that opposition will likely kill the tentative project, which was dependent on $2.3 million in federal funding that Johnson's office had helped to secure.
URBANA – The chairman of the city's plan commission is blasting a Cunningham Avenue beautification study as containing "ridiculous," impractical recommendations, including calling for a giant sculpture of prairie grass on Cunningham that would rise several stories over and above Interstate 74.
And the state has told the city some of the ideas in the report are unacceptable or dangerous.
URBANA – A consultant's report about how to beautify Cunningham Avenue recommends adding three significant pieces of public art costing up to $1.2 million.
The report by Claire Bennett Associates of Indianapolis recommends adding a massive steel sculpture depicting prairie grass on Cunningham that would be amber-colored and arch up over both sides of Interstate 74. Estimated cost: $500,000 to $650,000.
CHAMPAIGN – As the music of heavily teased big-hair rock bands of the 1980s provided pre-game, adrenaline-pumping entertainment (think Bon Jovi's "You give love a bad name"), Robert Simmons prodded hot dogs and flipped pork burgers.
By 10 a.m., the shrimp was blackened and the "Iron Horse Cooking Club" from Casey was ready to start dishing out food for the throngs of football fans expected to start arriving throughout Friday morning.