DANVILLE – The AARP-sponsored tax program will provide free tax assistance to taxpayers with low or moderate incomes, the handicapped and the elderly beginning Monday through April 15.
Volunteer counselors, trained in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service, will operate counseling desks at the following times, days and sites:
DANVILLE – A Danville Area Community College organization today is launching an effort to help earthquake victims in Haiti, as well as three international students from that country.
CHAMPAIGN – Leanna Cossman and her husband, Ron, of Champaign loaded up their Honda van Thursday with 500 pounds of medical supplies donated by Christie Clinic and bound for earthquake victims in Haiti.
Cossman is a registered nurse who has helped victims from a variety of disasters, ranging from Hurricane Katrina to the Chicago heat wave, the Decatur ice storm and the Quincy floods.
CHAMPAIGN – This may sound like good news: an emergency shelter for homeless women hasn't had much business this winter.
But volunteers say they know there are women on the streets, so they're trying to spread the word about Austin's Place, an overnight shelter at First United Methodist Church in downtown Champaign.
WASHINGTON – From Tuscola to Korea to Iraq and Afghanistan and now the Capitol Building, Army Sgt. 1st Class John Wright's path has been littered with troubles and triumphs.
On Wednesday, the Bronze Star winner who at 18 was looking at a career in the Tuscola IGA was Sen. Dick Durbin's guest at President Barack Obama's first State of the Union speech and reception.
HOOPESTON – Virginia Yaden has four daughters and an abundance of fancy dresses from events her girls have attended.
The Hoopeston mom asked the Hoopeston Multi Agency if it would like to become involved in making prom and farewell dance dresses and accessories available to area girls and their families.
GEORGETOWN – A Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School teacher and student who were in Haiti two weeks ago when an earthquake destroyed that nation's capital returned home over the weekend.
But teacher Lisa Vitaniemi said her heart remains with friends back in Haiti, who are grieving for lost loved ones and dealing with the massive devastation caused by the Jan. 12 quake.
CHAMPAIGN – In a yearlong tour rebuilding parts of Afghanistan, Army Reserve Col. John Vavrin slept on a cot in his office, traveled in convoys and kept an eye out for "the bad guys."
It's not the same sort of engineering that Vavrin – at 51, old enough to remember slide rules – does in his day job as a mechanical engineer at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, where he has been since 2001.
CHAMPAIGN – The kids have been dropped off at their schools, the pizza dough is rising in the kitchen and there are three hours yet before customers start coming through the doors.
As it does for many, the Manzellas' day begins over cups of hot coffee.
Joe and Nickie Manzella, John and Cindy Manzella, Mary Manzella, and sometimes Frank and his wife, Ellen, gather around the tables or booths of their Italian restaurant.
MAHOMET – As Army Sgt. Cameron Crouch toured the inside of his new home on Saturday, he smiled as he shared his favorite part of the specially designed building.
"The elevator; I'm going to go ride that thing," he said, in reference to the custom-made elevator that will aid him in accessing his full, but unfinished, basement.