OAKWOOD – As a young Boy Scout at Camp Robert Drake, Phil Dawkins remembers planting pine trees that barely stood knee high as a service project.
On Saturday morning, Dawkins and his son, Matthew, a scout with Troop 101 out of Champaign, were pitching tents at Camp Drake as the breeze was whistling through those same pine trees that now reach about 60 feet high.
FARMER CITY – The director of the group that runs the Farmer City Fair says his organization has offered a park on the south side of town and prime development land next to the Interstate 74 interchange in exchange for the fairgrounds.
If the Farmer City Council agrees with the proposal, it could end a standoff between the association and the city that has stretched for nearly three decades.
MAHOMET – Some things only get better with time: fine wines, Rembrandts and outhouses.
If you agree with the last part of that dubious statement, you need to get on eBay and put down a bid on one of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District's 24 cedar privies.
CHAMPAIGN – It's not surprising that Spalding Pool got splashed on a little last year.
Thirty-seven years old, open to the general public for just four hours each weekday afternoon, Spalding Pool was definitely overshadowed last year with the July 1 opening of the new $7 million Sholem Aquatic Center.
DANVILLE – Jane Smittkamp likes to spend quality time with her daughter and found a way to do so and get exercise, too.
Smittkamp and her daughter Mary-Hunter Smittkamp of Paris, drive to Danville to participate in the Learn to Skate program at the David S. Palmer Arena.
RANTOUL – A village board member says he thinks the World Free Fall Convention should pay compensation to the village for failing to meet the final two years of its contract to hold the event in Rantoul.
Convention organizers announced on Tuesday they were canceling this year's convention, which had been scheduled for the Rantoul airport. The village had a contract to host the event through 2008.
CHAMPAIGN – The ninth annual Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival this year will be strong on music and live performances, Ebert said, with the '60s rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock performing on the last day of the five-day festival, after the screening of the cult movie "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls."
Its screenplay was written by Ebert himself.
RANTOUL – The World Free Fall Convention will not be returning to Rantoul this summer.
Rantoul Mayor Neal Williams said he got a letter Tuesday afternoon notifying him that the sky-diving convention will not be held this summer at the Rantoul airport.
SAVOY – Lois Jensen swoons over high cheek bones. Over silky, long hair, groomed just so. And muscles – she loves good muscle tone on a male.
"It felt like I was judging a German Shepherd," she said, running her hands over a sturdy, black-and-white Maine Coon cat.
DANVILLE – Danville won't have any competition in its bid to host the Men's Division II National Junior College Basketball Tournament the next time around.
Tournament directors Dick Shockey, Jeanie Cooke, Mike Hulvey and Mayor Scott Eisenhauer meet with National Junior College Athletic Association officials next week in Tucson, Ariz., to wrap up the bidding process for the 2009-2011 tournament contract.