DANVILLE – The Boys and Girls Club on Saturday was filled with baseball players and their fans – and the gym floor was their diamond.
The one-day spring training for this year's AMBUCS Challenger Baseball League was a first for the league since it began locally in 2004. And the seasoned batters and catchers – about 20 of the 90 who played last year – were as ready as the big leaguers reporting this month in Florida and Arizona, maybe more.
CHAMPAIGN – A joint program of the city, the school district and the park district will give students living in the Garden Hills neighborhood recreational and educational activities, beginning this summer.
The one-year pilot program, which the school district is calling "Operation Hope," aims to promote positive behavior and expose students to career possibilities. It will include homework help and tutoring; recreational activities; and, for high school students, career exploration, job opportunities and community service.
GEORGETOWN – City officials voted Thursday in favor of a $75,550 renovation of the playground area in the city park, and hope to have most of the work done by the time school lets out this summer.
Georgetown City Council members voted to have Recreation Concepts, Inc. of Oswego provide and install two large play centers for children in the city park for about $75,550. City workers will move or remove most of the existing playground equipment in the park, pour a new sidewalk around the new playground area and install four benches in the area.
DANVILLE – The city is now seeking to lease property from the Danville Housing Authority as part of plans to renovate Carver Park.
The housing authority will be discussing the issue in a closed session this afternoon, but no action will be taken, said Executive Director Greg Hilleary.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County YMCA today announced the public phase of a $7 million capital campaign that will enable its move to southwest Champaign.
The YMCA has already raised $3 million toward that goal, Chief Executive Officer Wade Hampton said. The Y hopes to raise enough in the next six months to enable it to start building a 65,000-square-foot facility off Windsor Road east of the Zahnd Park athletic fields.
Both the Champaign and Urbana park districts have adopted policies largely overturning bans on nepotism in hiring when it comes to summer jobs.
The Urbana park board this week voted to amend its personnel policy to allow the district to hire relatives of full-time employees for seasonal positions. The Champaign Park District board voted to do the same thing at a Nov. 14 meeting.
They light up the clock on your DVD player, the channel numbers on your radio and the displays of the myriad electronic devices all around you.
Ditto, more and more these days, your car lights and the traffic lights that tell you to stop, go and use a little caution, buddy, not to mention your laptop screen, Christmas tree and possibly in the near future your living room.
URBANA – Cutting back the hours and days of operation at Crystal Lake Pool are among the options under consideration by the park district board in the wake of the Feb. 5 defeat of a tax increase.
Park board members met Tuesday night, for the first time formally since a proposed 35 percent property tax rate increase went down to a narrow 50.5 to 49.5 percent defeat in the primary election.
DANVILLE – Just in time for the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday – today – the city of Danville has received word it was awarded a grant for an interpretive wayside exhibit by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
The exhibit is a vertical sign, about 8 feet high and 5 feet wide, and will be placed at the east side of the Kresge lot next to the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex on Vermilion Street.
URBANA – With the narrow rejection of a proposed tax increase Tuesday, the Urbana Park District board is now faced with likely budget cuts, officials said.
Park officials said it is too early to say whether they will propose another property tax increase for the November election, though they say it will undoubtedly be discussed in coming months.