Stretch of Champaign's Fifth Street to honor late pastor

CHAMPAIGN – Dedication of an honorary street for the late Rev. Joe Somers will be Wednesday in Champaign.

Fifth Street from Grove Street to Bradley Avenue will be marked as Honorary Joe Somers Street. The dedication ceremony is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Fifth and Grove streets.

Family still seeking answers in Gifford teen's death

GIFFORD – Tyler Reynolds was a fairly typical 19-year-old. He was going to college, had a steady job he liked, and enjoyed partying on the weekends.

He also had a car that he revered and a family he loved.

Illinois barns' diversity captured in book by photographer, wife

CHAMPAIGN – When Larry Kanfer and his wife, Alaina, started planning their photographic book on Illinois barns, they did research on the Internet and in libraries, trying to find the right barns to showcase.

"That attempt turned up dry," the couple wrote in their new book, "Barns of Illinois." "We could not find the emotionally rich stories and histories we were looking for. But when we turned to people – the farmers, barn lovers and friends of the Larry Kanfer Gallery from the past 30 years – the project came alive. We were overwhelmed with so many evocative descriptions of and emotional stories about barns that hundreds of people shared with us."

Courthouse clock tower fundraising close to goal

URBANA – The citizens' committee that has been raising funds to pay for the restoration of the clock and bell tower at the Champaign County Courthouse is only about $50,000 short of its $1.15 million goal, county board member Steve Beckett said at Thursday night's board meeting.

The committee recently passed the $1 million mark in funds raised, Beckett said.

School worker leads effort to develop a community center

URBANA – Elysia Monroe works 10 hours a day in Champaign, but she lives in east Urbana and wants her three children to do their homework and socialize safely after school.

Monroe is hoping a soon-to-open community center will be the answer for her three teenagers.

Blacks fear loss of say after consent decree expires

CHAMPAIGN – Black community members will be talking next week about how to ensure they continue have a voice in equity issues in the Champaign school district after its consent decree ends.

"We're scared. The trust level is low," said Imani Bazzell, a community activist and parent who served on a district equity committee and has long been involved in educational issues in Champaign. "The fear is, when the judge stops looking, are you going to pull the rug out from under us?"

Nominations accepted for Danville Rotary Club award

DANVILLE –Nominations are being accepted for the Danville Rotary Club Vocational Service Person of the Year Award.

This award is presented to a local person who best exemplifies the ideals of Rotary and the practice of high ethical standards in their chosen vocation.

Killing leaves Hammond residents in shock

HAMMOND – Hammond residents expressed disbelief on Monday that a woman was murdered in their rural community over the weekend.

"I've lived in Hammond my whole life, and I never dreamed somebody would get killed here," said Hunter Hale.

Fundraisers promote United Way's annual drive

DANVILLE – For the next few weeks, the friendly faces of Jim Anderson and Mike Hulvey will be out to spread the word on behalf of the agencies funded by United Way of Danville Area.

Anderson and Hulvey are campaign co-chairmen for the United Way's official annual fundraising effort, which got under way Sept. 9.

National Guard troops return to emotional outpouring

CHAMPAIGN – Stephanie Daly sprinted across the Assembly Hall floor the moment military leaders released National Guard soldiers to return to their families.

Daly leaped into the arms of her husband, Sgt. Carl Daly of Carbondale, whom she married mere weeks before he was sent to Afghanistan one year ago, and embraced him.

"I've been looking forward to this day for the whole year," said Carl Daly, who coordinated food, medical and veterinary services while in Afghanistan.

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