Neighborhoods watching out for each other

URBANA — Nancy Barrett was shocked.

A year and a half ago, just down the street from her southeast Urbana home, a man brandishing a knife forced his way inside of the home of a 79-year-old woman, robbed and sexually abused her and trapped her in a closet with her hands tied behind her back for four days in January 2011.

Police train groups on how to stay safe

URBANA — Earlier this month, 22 members of the Deerfield Trails Homeowners Association on Urbana's south side got together at the St. Matthew Lutheran Church to start up the city's newest neighborhood watch.

Urbana Officer Preston James provided an hour-long training session for the residents.

Studio Visit: Mary Tangora and Larry Steinbauer

Studio Visit appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Here, Melissa Merli visits with Mary Tangoraand Larry Steinbauier , artists who also operate the Urbana gallery Wind, Water & Light.

Q: What are you working on now, Mary?

Veterans memorial group far from fundraising goal, but leader refuses to quit

It might be taking longer than originally hoped, but fundraising efforts to erect a veterans memorial in Rantoul will continue until the necessary funds are collected.

So said Jim Cheek, chairman of the Rantoul Veterans Memorial committee, whose goal is to raise $150,000.

The group has raised a little more than $30,000 since the effort began almost two years ago.

Bricks still available for police-fire memorial

CHAMPAIGN — A committee raising money for the Champaign Fire and Police Memorial in West Side Park has met its goal but still has for sale about 200 bricks that adorn the concrete apron around the memorial.

Memorials honor fallen police officers

Two services Thursday in Champaign and Urbana honored fallen police officers: one at West Side Park in Champaign, followed by another at the Champaign County Courthouse around 12:15 p.m. Another service was held in Danville, at Sunset Memorial Park.

The services fell during National Police Week, which is May 13-19, and May 15 was National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Ride of Silence is scheduled

The Champaign-Urbana Ride of Silence will be held tonight (Wednesday, May 16) to raise awareness about bicyclist safety and mourn cyclists killed by motorists.

Police memorial events scheduled Thursday

URBANA — Main Street in downtown Urbana between Broadway Avenue and Vine Street and Walnut between Main and Water streets will be closed from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday for the police memorial that will take place on the plaza of the Champaign County Courthouse.

Loyalty cards: Extra savings or invasion of privacy?

Last week's column about loading e-coupons to loyalty cards led to — what else? — lots of reader comments about store loyalty cards!

Whether they love them or loathe them, my readers are chiming in. Several were concerned about privacy.

Dear Jill,

Travels with Mom

Whether it's wandering the Midwest or merely enjoying time together, writer treasures the moments