Champaign County Y breaks ground with three-fourths of money raised

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County YMCA has raised more than $12 million of the $16 million goal it set for a new facility in southwest Champaign.

That enabled the Y to break ground Wednesday for the new building at 2501 Fields South Drive.

Work on the 75,000-square-foot facility is expected to get under way immediately, with completion targeted for early 2012.

Woman puts passion for gardening to work at VA

DANVILLE – As an engineering technician at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System, Tonya Moore typically works on projects such as new roofs and water-line repairs.

That makes her most recent project, creating a healing garden for residents with dementia, quite different.

Gearhead: Norman Comer

Norman  Comer, a founding member of the Illini Collector Car Club has a beauty of a 1940 Mercury convertible sedan he still drives sometimes.

Children hear history from veterans of World War II

CHAMPAIGN – The Holy Cross sixth-graders were a bit fidgety Thursday morning as Charles "Chick" Bruns marched them across Europe and Africa with stories of his World War II service. Not all of what the 92-year-old infantryman from Champaign was telling them was sinking in.

Tale of two veterans

PAXTON – While sitting in the kitchen of the house on Paxton's east side that she has called home for the past 53 years, Hazel Peterson fondly recalls how she met – and quickly fell in love with – her future husband, John.

Life Remembered: Co-founder of Honor the Chief Society 'had a wonderful way about herself'

SAVOY – The co-founder of the Honor the Chief Society, who also had a lifelong interest in the visual and musical arts, has died after a long illness.

Jean M. Edwards, 89, of Savoy died Saturday.

Neighborhood association dropoff locations

You can drop off nonperishable food items or monetary donations at the following sites from 9 a.m. to Noon Nov. 13. If your neighborhood doesn't have an association or your association isn't participating, you can still drop off items at any of the locations:

– Meadowlawn Area Neighborhood Association, 511 Meadowlawn

Seven neighborhood groups in Danville teaming up for food drive

DANVILLE – Several years ago, only a handful of neighborhood associations existed in Danville.

Now there are more than 20, and several of them are joining forces this week to help people throughout the city.

100 'difference makers' honored as part of conference

CHAMPAIGN – The extent of the number of "difference makers" in the area's black community might have been crystallized Friday in how difficult it was to fit them all in one picture.

Parkland's Gina Walls wins national teaching honor

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College professor of sociology Gina D. Walls has won the 2011 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development's Teaching Excellence Award for Parkland College.

The annual award is given to a faculty member whose dedication to teaching and leadership excellence is evident by effectiveness in the classroom.