DANVILLE – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan swapped office clothes for khaki shorts and a sun hat Friday afternoon during a canoe ride on land that her office helped acquire for Kickapoo State Park in an environmental settlement.
"This has been a long time in the making," Madigan said at a news conference. She stood on a hill overlooking a small lake that's part of the 1,135 acres that Dynegy Inc. transferred earlier this year to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as part of a 2005 Clean Air Act settlement. Officials with Madigan's office, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Dynegy and environmental advocacy groups attended the event on the banks of a small lake where Kickapoo and the new property meet.
FISHER – She starts in the cold of January by inserting reminder ads in the local papers urging hobbyists to work on their projects.
In the spring, her ads ask, "How is your garden growing?"
CHAMPAIGN – A nearly forgotten piece of local history will be returning to Champaign's West Side Park later this year.
The old band shell, torn down many decades ago, will be replicated on about the same spot it once stood, near the fountain.
ELLIOTT – Like the motorists who drive its highways, the Illinois Department of Transportation is feeling the pinch of higher oil prices.
"We're operating in a climate of restraint," said Tom Magolan, programming engineer for IDOT's District 3 office in Ottawa.
DANVILLE – Lights, some new paint and a proper restroom are what several youths say Carver Park needs.
The city council agrees. Earlier this week, aldermen approved an application seeking a state grant to renovate the park.
CHAMPAIGN – Mayor Jerry Schweighart says it was his idea.
"I love fountains," he explains.
DANVILLE – Officials with the David S. Palmer Arena think indoor football has a future in Danville, although the arena has terminated its agreement with the owner of the Danville Demolition.
"We want to make room for someone else," said Peter Blackmon, general manager of the arena, referring to arena officials' hopes to attract a new owner.
A game of dodgeball last semester in physical education class turned foul when a boy screamed, "Protect the border! Protect the border! Kill those Mexicans!"
Maria Flores, a senior at Urbana High School, said she walked up to him and told him to say it to her face again. Then she slapped him.
DANVILLE – Plans for this year's East Central Illinois Community Action Agency's Dustbowl are under way, including adult and youth basketball tournaments and a youth basketball and leadership camp.
The 35th annual Dustbowl Tournament is set for July 24-29 at the David S. Palmer Arena. The NCAA men's bracket has been changed from a 16-team, single-elimination tournament to an eight-team, double-elimination invitational. Eight teams that have shown a commitment to the tournament have been invited, agency officials said.
MONTICELLO – So long, Duby.
Nice knowing you, Shorty.
Starting next week, scratches etched on places like the Sun Singer's hips by Duby, Shorty, Dighton, Mark and other folks will be history.