Urbana residents' input sought in grant process

URBANA – Residents of Urbana neighborhoods can comment on their needs for affordable housing and other social services in a series of meetings set for early January to begin the planning process for future Urbana grant allocation.

New Year's challenge to C-U area: Give blood

URBANA – Michael Stevenson of Urbana said he was a little nervous the first time he decided to donate blood, about 30 years ago.

The bank where he worked was sponsoring a blood drive, so Stevenson went to the Community Blood Services of Illinois facility on University Avenue in Urbana and rolled up his sleeve.

Situations differ at area animal shelters

Fewer pet owners surrendered their cats and dogs to the Champaign County Humane Society last year than in 2008. But the Vermilion County Animal Shelter took in more animals than it did in 2008.

Vermilion County agency must cut workers, programs

DANVILLE – Effective today, 21 employees at the Center for Children's Services have been laid off and two programs serving young families with children have been temporarily eliminated because the state has not sent the center funding that's owed.

Rose bushes being sold to raise funds

TILTON – The Vermilion County Rape Crisis Center plans to take orders for rose bushes as a fundraiser to help pay for services offered to victims of rape and sexual assault.

The knockout rose bushes, which bloom from May through November, are easy to care for and disease-resistant, according to gardening Web sites.

Two Urbana women making eighth Rose Parade trek

Before feeling extreme envy of two Urbana women spending the week in sunny California, consider this:

Melanie Hall and Patty Palmer are marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade for about 7 miles while wearing 2-inch high-heeled shoes, hosiery and skirts.

Owner raises reward for return of her stolen pit bull

URBANA – Police have investigated a few tips, but the pit bull stolen earlier this month from an Urbana dog park has not been found.

Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said police followed up on several calls about possible sightings of the dog, but none of the four dogs they checked turned out to be Yumi, the dark chocolate and white pit bull terrier reported stolen from the Urbana Dog Park on Dec. 16.

Metaphysics group offering alcohol-free New Year's Eve

URBANA – If you don't want to spend New Year's Eve in a bar, there is an option for you besides The Chorale's annual "C-U at the Virginia" concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.

The School of Metaphysics in Urbana will usher in the New Year on Thursday evening at the Red Herring Restaurant with a non-alcoholic evening that will honor different religions and cultures.

Urbana man hopes for a miracle - a kidney donor

URBANA – On a long list of people waiting for a miracle, Frank Dickerson doesn't know when his turn will come.

Or if it will ever come.

But he can tell you something about what it's like to live on hope, even after another year comes to an end without the one thing he needs most: a new kidney.

Life Remembered: Farewell to N-G journalist Becky Mabry

HOMER – Becky Mabry, who loved Elvis, horses, Amish pie and everything else Amish, and especially her family, died Thursday after a courageous 12-year battle with cancer.

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