Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Urbana Park District officials: Raise taxes or lose services

URBANA – Voters in Urbana will face a choice of higher property taxes or cuts in services when they vote Tuesday on a proposal by the Urbana Park District.


Officials say if the tax hike – 15 cents per $100 of assessed value – is not approved, the park district will have to make more cuts in staff and services.

UI wrestling coach leaves for top job at county YMCA

CHAMPAIGN – From now on, Mark Johnson will be pinning down donors.

The University of Illinois wrestling coach is stepping down after 17 years at the school to become chief executive officer of the Champaign County YMCA.

Stimulus funds to cover 500 or more summer jobs for youths

CHAMPAIGN – A local agency will get nearly $1.2 million in stimulus funding to create between 500 and 600 summer jobs for disadvantaged area youths.

Additionally, the Champaign Consortium will receive $1 million in federal stimulus money to assist dislocated workers and jobless adults with training and other job-related assistance.

Raggedy Ann, Andy Museum closing this year

ARCOLA – A Douglas County museum dedicated to two famous dolls will close at the end of the year.

Arcola resident Joni Wannamaker said she and her husband, Tom, will close the Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum in December.

Historic Lincoln Hotel closes; sheriff's sale scheduled


URBANA — The company managing the Historic Lincoln Hotel says the hotel’s owners plan to go ahead with a multimillion-dollar renovation — even though a sheriff’s sale of the property is scheduled April 24.

Elderly homeowners sought for Danville Painting Blitz

DANVILLE – The HALO housing committee is looking for elderly homeowners who meet income guidelines and cannot complete painting their home themselves or afford to hire a commercial painter to do the job.

The Painting Blitz has been held in cooperation with the city of Danville and community volunteers since 1997. The project has painted 135 homes in Danville. Money for the supplies and professional prep and second-story work comes from grants, the city and proceeds from the Festival of Trees.

Volunteers step up; Illinois Marathon appears safe

After more than 200 people volunteered to help with traffic control, the Illinois Marathon, scheduled for next month, now appears safe.

'Circle of Hope' to gather Thursday at West Side Park

CHAMPAIGN – The School of Metaphysics is sponsoring "The Circle of Hope" project at 6 p.m. Thursday at West Side Park in Champaign. It's intended to be a group effort to raise the hopes and positive expectations of people in Champaign County.

"In these times of economic uncertainty, people need to come together with the highest hopes imaginable to raise their own morale and influence the expectations of others," Pam Blosser, director of the Urbana-based School of Metaphysics, said via e-mail.

Savoy officials want bike path plans to move forward

SAVOY – Village board members gave their input Wednesday on the draft of the 2009-10 fiscal year budget, urging village staff to make room for the development of a master bike path plan and to take out additional administrative positions, such as a village planner.

Trustee William Smith said the development of bike paths connecting all of the subdivisions had been on the budget in previous years, which is in line with Savoy's goal to bring connectivity to the village, but it did not make its way into the upcoming fiscal year budget.

AmerenIP defends cleanup plans for Fifth and Hill site

CHAMPAIGN – A neighborhood group is blasting as "outrageous" a state-approved cleanup plan for the Fifth and Hill street site of a former manufactured-gas plant, saying AmerenIP should be required to remove contaminated groundwater from the site.

The cleanup plan also shows that a major portion of the site, and a small area off-site, are releasing vapors with contaminants in excess of proposed state indoor standards, according to Claudia Lennhoff, a leader with the Fifth & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign.