Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Group upset over tree removal at Lake of the Woods

MAHOMET — A group of avid users of a large section of Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet is upset about the way dozens of trees have been removed this year without any notification or discussion.

The group hopes to voice its displeasure at a meeting of the forest preserve board at 6 p.m. today at the Izaak Walton Cabin at Lake of the Woods.

Sale of seats Friday to benefit theater's restoration effort

CHAMPAIGN — It's believed that the seats in the Virginia Theatre have been playing an integral role to performances and movies in downtown Champaign since about 1939.

GOW: Kay Gilliland

Kay Gilliland's garden at her home in Savoy on Thursday, June 28, 2012.

Expert: Give trees a good soaking to save them from stress

CHAMPAIGN — Forget about your lawn, says Jay Hayek, just water your trees.

Central Illinois Daily Life: July 2012

News-Gazette staff photos from central Illinois in July of 2012.

Salt Kettle Rest Area on Interstate 74 not quite ready to reopen

OAKWOOD — Motorists eager to use the Salt Kettle Rest Area on Interstate 74 just east of Oakwood will have to wait a while longer.

The rest area has been closed for six months because of "septic issues," but an Illinois Department of Transportation official says it may reopen by mid-fall.

Democracy in action in song list for Freedom Celebration's fireworks

CHAMPAIGN — "R.O.C.K. in the USA" needs to be on the list. It's the opener this year.

Ray Charles' "America The Beautiful" is a classic. Throw it on the list.

Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger"? Sure.

What would the fireworks show during the Champaign County Freedom Celebration be without music?

Danville police to be on lookout for seat belts, drunk drivers

DANVILLE — If your Independence Day plans involve getting into a vehicle, buckle up and don't drink and drive.

That's because Danville police will be cracking down on drunk and unbuckled drivers during a special traffic enforcement, which runs through Wednesday. The crackdown is part of the statewide, "Independence Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and Click It or Ticket campaign.

Volunteers work on new floats for Independence Day parade

PHILO — Susan Ward and more than 15 other volunteers spent the weekend reviving a longtime Independence Day tradition: making floats for the Champaign County Freedom Celebration parade.

The float builders gathered at a shed Saturday in rural Philo to build two original floats.

Dry conditions force Monticello to cancel its fireworks show

MONTICELLO — Organizers of the Monticello Freedom Festival have joined several other Illinois communities in canceling fireworks because of exceptionally dry conditions.

Tuesday's show planned for Lodge Park north of town will not be rescheduled.