DANVILLE – The East Central Illinois Community Action Agency will honor three Danville men for their service to the community at its 43rd annual dinner meeting.
Jim Crose of Crose Insurance handles the agency's insurance plan, but he does a lot more than that, according to Odette Watson, educational Talent Search supervisor for the agency.
Of Danville Area Community College's many success stories, Laura Williams stands out in DACC President Alice Jacob's mind.
In 1980, Williams, who had dropped out of high school when she got pregnant, enrolled in DACC's GED program. Earning her GED gave her the confidence to try a couple of college classes, and she went on to earn her associate degree in 1986. While working a number of jobs on campus, Williams earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois and later a master's in higher education administration.
Mykayla Thomas came into the world with an umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, survived on feeding tubes for several days and spent almost a week in neonatal intensive care.
Her mom had to wait two long days before she could hold her newborn.
Little wonder those days were stressful for April Browder, then an 18-year-old single mom. Too worried to eat or sleep, she lost her pregnancy weight – and then some – within a few weeks.
"It was very scary," says Browder, now 21.
As the birth of her second child, Clayton, approached last fall, Browder sought help from the Crisis Nursery of Champaign County. Family specialist Cherylanda Trice told her about a new program for moms at risk of perinatal depression.
URBANA – Have an old musical instrument you're not using? Maybe a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan could use it.
Marajen Allen of VFW Post 630's women's auxiliary in Urbana said her group will take responsibility for mailing guitars, drums, flutes and horns to soldiers overseas. Electronic music players are also welcome, she said.
URBANA – Unhappy with the results of previous programs aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency in Champaign County, officials charged with that responsibility are going to try something new.
They've chosen a program with a track record of getting a whole family not only to start therapy but also to finish it. In mental health jargon, it's referred to as an "evidence-based practice."
RANTOUL – The village plans to increase spending on social services to help children, low-income residents, black teen parents and senior citizens.
The Rantoul Citizens Advisory Committee has recommended increasing spending for social services from $35,000 in 2008 to $40,977 and increasing its allocation for emergency home repairs from $276,055 to $342,027.
CHAMPAIGN – Feline-friendly musicians will take the stage today at Mike & Molly's to raise money for the Champaign Area Trap, Spay/Neuter and Adoption Program.
The volunteer organization provides spay/neuter assistance to low-income families; trap, neuter and return programs for feral cats; and foster and adoption services for stray and special needs cats.
DANVILLE – Anyone who wants to file a complaint with police after 11 p.m. at the Danville Public Safety Building will have to come back after 6:45 a.m., now that the city's personnel cuts have taken effect, eliminating the third-shift records clerks at the Danville police department.
It's one area where the public will notice a direct impact of the city's cuts that eliminated, effective Friday, 24 positions. The cuts were made to reduce the city's long-term expenses.
URBANA – Just a few minutes before their step performance, Kenny Patton and Terrell Wyms check out the crowd in the Urbana High School Commons.
Hundreds of people fill the room, the heat rising from the crowd, as they gather around booths and tables. "It's kind of a shocker to me," said Wyms, a freshman at UHS, of their soon-to-be-audience.
URBANA – The first and only class that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. taught at Morehouse College in Atlanta drew just eight students.
Civil rights veteran Julian Bond, the current chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was one of them.
And on Wednesday night, Bond, 69, drew a few hundred students to the University of Illinois' Alice Campbell Alumni Center during the last of a series of public interviews with black leaders as part of a collaboration between the University of Illinois and The History Makers, an oral archive project based in Chicago.