Parks and Recreation
CHARLESTON – The Carle Foundation will hold an open house at its new facility at 5731 Park Drive, Charleston, in the Coles Business Park, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
There will be refreshments, door prizes and self-guided tours.
HOMER – Master Gardener Joan Lane, with support from naturalist Suzanne Smith, designed and maintain the prairie courtyard garden at Heritage Elementary School in Homer.
The two women volunteer their time in this and two other gardens at the school.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County YMCA has agreed to sell its building at 500 W. Church St., C, to a local buyer for $1 million, said Kay Machula, chairwoman of the Y's campaign for a new facility in southwest Champaign.
The closing on the deal is tentatively slated for Nov. 1, Machula said. But the buyer, whom she did not identify, has agreed to let the YMCA lease space in the building until Dec. 31, 2010, or whenever it's ready to move, whichever comes first.
Amy Simpson and her fiance, Dan "Pete" Peterson, aren't the superstitious kind.
Simpson – a former Danville resident who now lives in Chicago – had a much more practical reason for wanting to tie the knot today, 8-8-08.
"I had to be clever for Pete," she said with a laugh. Remembering important dates isn't his forte. "I told him, if he forgets this one number, he's in trouble."
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County YMCA has agreed to sell its building at 500 W. Church St., C, to a local buyer for $1 million, said Kay Machula, chair of the Y's campaign for a new facility in southwest Champaign.
SAVOY – When the village received a $50,000 grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help cover the cost of a fishing dock at Colbert Park, the amenity was a pleasant surprise.
But after reviewing a proposed design on Wednesday and noting the cost was about $45,000 more than the $75,000 budgeted, some village trustees questioned the need for a dock at this time.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Park District stands to reap about $50,000 a year if the local off-track betting parlor moves to Jupiter's at the Crossing in Champaign later this year as planned.
Park district Executive Director Bobbie Herakovich said local park districts are supposed to get a portion of revenues from OTBs, and she'll likely recommend the money go for ongoing renovation of the Virginia Theatre. But if the Urbana Park District's experience is any indication, the Champaign district shouldn't count its chickens too soon.
SIDNEY – The village's annual summer festival may get a new home.
Sidney Summer Fun Daze, which is organized by the Sidney Improvement Group, has been held downtown for the last five years. Sidney Improvement Group member Keith Kropp approached the village board Monday to ask about the possibility of moving the event to Witt Park, which is in the northwest corner of the village.
Legislators have asked a state commission to look into its program for high-ranking high school juniors to find out if the students are getting into the state universities of their choice.
Every year the Illinois Student Assistance Commission honors the top 10 percent of all high school juniors from around the state by designating them state scholars. In recent years some legislators have heard anecdotes about scholars who, despite their high grade point averages and ACT or SAT scores, were denied admission in state schools, particularly the University of Illinois, said State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington. Brady, who sits on the appropriations and higher education committees, introduced the legislation. It unanimously passed the Illinois State House and Senate.
Celebration focus is on diversity, practical topics
RANTOUL – The fourth annual Rantoul Harvest Festival featuring public education, workshops and multicultural presentations will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Wabash Park.