Meet the 'Griswolds' of Mahomet

MAHOMET – It began as a few lights on the shrubs and the light pole 30 years ago.

"It just started growing from there," said Dixie Schoonover.

Now the holiday display at the Timberview Drive home of Dixie and her husband George has about 80,000 lights that cover the home's roof, trees, bushes, windows and even part of the neighbor's yard.

Community project continues holiday tradition

PAXTON – The need to help others "hit home" when Sally Warnick lost her job as office manager at Concrete Technology Inc. in the spring of 2009.

Cancer society seeks volunteer cosmetologists

CHARLESTON – Women undergoing cancer treatments often feel they don't look their best, but cosmetologists willing to volunteer some time can help give them a confidence boost.

Anonymous donors help out working man

CHAMPAIGN – Marvin Pickett faced a Christmas quandary Wednesday – he doesn't want to take, but people want to give.

DACC official organizes benefit for animal shelter

DANVILLE – Before moving back to Danville, Dawn Nasser worked at a Humane Society in Savannah, Ga., and before she moved away, she volunteered at the Vermilion County Animal Shelter.

These experiences made her keenly aware of the needs of shelters, especially in winter.

GCMS board approves higher tax levy

GIBSON CITY – GCMS school board members gave final approval to a 7.8 percent increase in a tax levy to fund the 2011-12 school year's budget.

Blood banks seek donors over next weeks

URBANA – Blood donations are greatly needed over the next few weeks, according to Community Blood Services of Illinois.

Donor centers in Urbana, Rantoul, Mattoon and Danville will be closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but open on other days through the end of the month.

Life Remembered: Lonnie Clark long a voice on civic issues

URBANA – Friends say the community has lost a great leader, civil activist and passionate golfer.

A former Urbana alderman, although that is only one highlight in a long list of his civic activities, Lonnie Clark Sr. died on Dec. 10 at the age of 70.

Gearhead: Chuck Hanner

Chuck Hanner likes classic muscle cars, and found his 1966 Pontiac GTO to replace the 1965 GTO he wishes he had never sold.

Robeson family puts history down on paper

CHAMPAIGN – It took more than 10 years to compile and publish a history of Robeson's Department Store and the family behind it.

But after a succession of collaborators, "Remembering Robeson's" is finally available.