URBANA – Squirt bucked like the steer he is as Ryan Willard tackled him with a trimmer.
"He doesn't like having his hair cut," said Emily Willard of Armstrong, who will show the year-old crossbred steer at the Champaign County Fair this week. "He's not usually like that."
CAMARGO – Residents can look forward to a new park in town, as soon as the mayor is able to work through 100 years of sketchy paperwork.
The proposed park will be on an 8-acre piece of land on the northwest edge of town along the Embarras River.
URBANA – It's eerily quiet at the racetrack on Monday afternoon, a whisper of wind picking up bit of dust and the faint whirr of machines.
No horses step proudly around the track. No beat-up cars zoom toward each other in kamikaze-like combat. No swarms of fairgoers sit packed into the stands, munching steak on a stick or caramel apples as they cheer on favorites.
DANVILLE – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan swapped office clothes for khaki shorts and a sun hat Friday afternoon during a canoe ride on land that her office helped acquire for Kickapoo State Park in an environmental settlement.
"This has been a long time in the making," Madigan said at a news conference. She stood on a hill overlooking a small lake that's part of the 1,135 acres that Dynegy Inc. transferred earlier this year to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as part of a 2005 Clean Air Act settlement. Officials with Madigan's office, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Dynegy and environmental advocacy groups attended the event on the banks of a small lake where Kickapoo and the new property meet.
FISHER – She starts in the cold of January by inserting reminder ads in the local papers urging hobbyists to work on their projects.
In the spring, her ads ask, "How is your garden growing?"
CHAMPAIGN – A nearly forgotten piece of local history will be returning to Champaign's West Side Park later this year.
The old band shell, torn down many decades ago, will be replicated on about the same spot it once stood, near the fountain.
ELLIOTT – Like the motorists who drive its highways, the Illinois Department of Transportation is feeling the pinch of higher oil prices.
"We're operating in a climate of restraint," said Tom Magolan, programming engineer for IDOT's District 3 office in Ottawa.
DANVILLE – Lights, some new paint and a proper restroom are what several youths say Carver Park needs.
The city council agrees. Earlier this week, aldermen approved an application seeking a state grant to renovate the park.
CHAMPAIGN – Mayor Jerry Schweighart says it was his idea.
"I love fountains," he explains.
DANVILLE – Officials with the David S. Palmer Arena think indoor football has a future in Danville, although the arena has terminated its agreement with the owner of the Danville Demolition.
"We want to make room for someone else," said Peter Blackmon, general manager of the arena, referring to arena officials' hopes to attract a new owner.