Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Roberts officials consider creating park district

ROBERTS – The Roberts Village Board is considering creating a park district to help support the Roberts Gym.

Rick Flessner, village board president, said the gym has been funded by donations for more than a decade, with gifts of about $200,000 during that time.

Prussing wants tougher language on housing support from Carle

URBANA – Mayor Laurel Prussing wants to amend a plan for the Crystal Lake neighborhood to require, rather than encourage, Carle Hospital to support one-to-one replacement housing when homes are lost due to a Carle expansion.

But Carle is "not willing" to agree to such a requirement, a Carle official said.

Bryant Cottage gets reprieve of one month

BEMENT – Area residents will have a few additional weeks to visit Bryant Cottage and other state historic sites before the doors are closed.

But the governor's plans to shut down historic sites have forced the cancellation of a traditional holiday event at the Bement landmark.

Revelers enjoy Halloween, despite cloud of shooting threat

The Bananas in Pajamas duo were not going to let a shooting threat thwart their Halloween activities on Green Street.

It was just after 9 p.m. near the intersection of Green and Wright streets. The pair – dressed as bananas in blue-striped pajamas – walked quickly toward Green Street, where traffic began to pick up.

YMCA, Larkin's Place to team up at southwest Champaign site

CHAMPAIGN – When he used to drive by the Champaign County YMCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Regional Director Tim Johnson couldn't help but think to himself about what an incredible resource it could be.

But he didn't realize just how much of a resource the YMCA could be until he read about a Champaign mother's quest to build an all-inclusive play space where developmentally disabled children like her daughter, Larkin, would feel welcome.

Forest preserve district seeks funds for fixes

MAHOMET – The Champaign County Forest Preserve District board is asking voters to approve a property tax hike to purchase additional forest preserve land, to develop a new bike and horse trail connecting Urbana to Kickapoo State Park and to improve infrastructure at the five county forest preserves.

But Champaign County farmers are leading efforts against the ballot question proposal because they oppose using property tax money to acquire more land, including farmland.

Champaign school, park boards, council to meet as one

CHAMPAIGN – Members of the Champaign school board, the city council and the park district board will meet Monday evening to talk about plans for two schools in north Champaign.

The school district plans to rebuild Washington Elementary School and expand Garden Hills Elementary School, and add programs to make each a magnet school. Both schools are next to parks, and the park board has pledged to work with the school district on the proposed projects.

Ex-teacher/pastor gets probation in child porn case

DeLAND – A former pastor and DeLand-Weldon English teacher has been sentenced to two years of probation for possessing child pornography.

On Monday, Associate Judge James Coryell sentenced Randy L. DeJaynes, 57, who listed an address in Forsyth, to two years of probation. He must also complete sex offender treatment, pay restitution and fines totaling $12,945, pay a $200 DNA fee and register as a sex offender.

Monticello officials get look at pool bathhouse designs

MONTICELLO – City officials got a peek at the early architectural designs for the new pool bathhouse that is expected to be open next summer.

According to the plans, which are still under development, the new 5,700-square-foot bathhouse will feature concrete and epoxy floors, and a concession stand.

Farmer City officials get updated on projects

FARMER CITY – Several projects are nearing completion or have been successfully resolved, Farmer City council members learned from City Manager Trent Smith.

Smith reported city electrical power plant workers had power restored to 90 percent of affected residents within 1.5 hours Saturday afternoon following a fire at the Weedman substation. Smith said the likely cause of the fire was a bird's nest.