URBANA – Among the dozens of gifts at Mark and Lisa Thurber's house under the Christmas tree this year is one that can't be covered with pretty paper and bows.
It arrived Tuesday in the form of a signed court order allowing the Sadorus couple to adopt four children whose lives were forever changed about two years ago, when their mother went missing.
A thick layer of ice coated East Central Illinois on Tuesday afternoon and evening, its glittering beauty on trees belying its danger on streets and sidewalks.
It caused slips, falls and car accidents. State police reported icy conditions on interstates and on entrance and exit ramps. Some ramps were too icy for traffic to drive up, according to dispatches on the state police scanner.
CHAMPAIGN – 'Twas the night before Christmas and this Santa was resting.
Gary Cutler, a.k.a. the "Vet Med Santa," had delivered his last load of toys to the Salvation Army's Toys for Tots Champaign.
URBANA – More than 150 area residents are getting food for their Christmas dinners, thanks to the efforts of the Champaign County Farm Bureau.
On Friday morning, Farm Bureau members delivered enough food items to provide meals for 152 people to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.
DANVILLE – Renaissance Danville board members are not ready to give up on their organization, despite losing Renaissance's primary source of funding from the city of Danville.
The all-volunteer board met Friday morning to discuss the future of the organization for the first time since learning that the city of Danville plans to cut the organization's funding for the remainder of the current fiscal year and for all of next year.
Household waste increases by more than 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, according to recycleworks.org.
PAXTON – Stan Foster of Paxton has won DeWalt's Top Finish Carpenter Award after a dual stairway he built was chosen the top project in a competition that attracted more than 150 entrants.
As a result, Foster will receive $34,272 in prizes, including a table saw, air compressor, speed-belt sander and planer, plus Carharrtt clothing and tickets and pit passes to a NASCAR race.
DANVILLE – Danville schools Associate Superintendent Mark Denman will step into the district's top job next year.
School officials on Thursday announced he was selected to replace Superintendent Nanette Mellen, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
DANVILLE – When Whitney Fox and her family were doing a little shopping at Champaign's Market Place Mall last month, the young Danville woman was amazed to be confronted by her own image in an athletic apparel store window.
The Danville Area Community College sophomore knew the store promotion was coming out, but didn't know when.
URBANA – If he doesn't watch out, Santa might find himself out of a job this holiday season.
Some Christmas angels at the Transitions Resale Shop at Lincoln Square filled the wish list – and more – of one Urbana family that is giving back to the community despite facing its own challenges.