Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

Danville weighing its own licensing process for video gambling

DANVILLE — With three Danville establishments already approved for the new state-licensed video-gambling machines, and at least one with terminals churning out winnings and government revenue, the city has decided to consider a local licensing process that would require the establishments to get a sticker and pay a fee for the machines.

Longtime Champaign Park District board member calling it quits

Newt Dodds, a member of the Champaign Park District board since 1975, will not run for another term in the April 9 park board election.

And there are only two candidates for two open spots on both the Champaign and Urbana park boards.

Alvin Griggs is unopposed for a four-year term on the Champaign board, and Tim McMahon is unopposed for a six-year term.

Crystal Lake work ahead of schedule

URBANA — Construction of what is now a $9.1 million family aquatic center at Crystal Lake Park, aided by relatively mild and dry weather, is ahead of schedule, according to the director of the Urbana Park District.

The aquatic center is projected to open next June 1 on the same site as two earlier versions of Crystal Lake Pool, a facility that dates to 1927.

Paxton park board to decide in January on dog park

PAXTON — The board plans to decide in January whether to move forward with a proposed dog park at Coady Park.

Last weekend, the board met at Coady Park with a group of residents, known as the Paxton Dog Park Committee, who are requesting the dog park. While there, the two groups toured the park and discussed three options for the size of the fenced-in facility.

Carle Park pavilion renovation completed

URBANA — The rehabilitation of the iconic pavilion at Carle Park — at least the third such project in its nearly 100-year history — has been completed at a cost of about $270,000.

Ironically, the structural changes to the pavilion are meant to keep people out of it.

Environmental Almanac: Good things happening at Homer Lake

How do you make a well-loved forest preserve even better?

One way is to develop it. Toward that end, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District recently completed installation of what's called a natural playscape at Homer Lake. The playscape differs from a typical playground in that it uses natural materials — plants, boulders, logs and earth mounds — rather than plastic and metal.

Chanute Air Museum turns finances around

The Chanute Air Museum has gone from being in danger of closure because of poor finances just two years ago to having money in the bank.

Nancy Kobel, museum board president, credits the board as well as staff and volunteers for the turnaround.

"We are operating in the black," Kobel said. "I'm thrilled about that."

Restoring the Virginia, November 2012

Photos of the restoration work on murals and architectural details as work continues on the Virigina Theatre on November 28, 2012.

Pontious outlines plans for $30 million multisport facility in northwest Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Richard Pontious, who is seeking to build a $30 million multisport complex in Champaign's Clearview subdivision, said he got the idea from watching his brother's family travel for games.

Parade of Lights 2012

Images from the 2012 Parade of Lights in downtown Champaign.