Champaign social-service agencies begin cutting staffs

CHAMPAIGN – State budget woes have forced two Champaign County social-service agencies to begin cutting their staffs and programs, and the losses stand to affect at least 2,000 local people and their already-stressed families.

Developmental Services Center, which serves children and adults with developmental disabilities, cut 18 jobs Monday and has started cutting services to make up about half of the $1.8 million it's losing in state grant money.

Social-service agencies begin cuts after budget fails

CHAMPAIGN – Staff layoffs and program cuts have already begun at some human service agencies after the state Legislature failed to approve a budget providing them with level funding for the fiscal year that began Wednesday.

State funding for some social service programs was eliminated, while others received less severe cuts that still will require layoffs.

Michael Jackson's albums flying off area shelves

CHAMPAIGN – Local record stores are reporting brisk sales of Michael Jackson and Jackson Five CDs, albums and DVDs since the pop-star's untimely death on June 25.

Most shops are out of Jackson-related products or have managed to get their stock replenished, if their distributor has any.

Water main reported broken at Ameren site

CHAMPAIGN – Ameren crews working to remove contaminated soil at the Fifth and Hill streets site reportedly have ruptured a water main, cutting off water service to an undetermined area.

The water company has reportedly provided bottled water to some households, along with a warning that after the main break is repaired, it will take a further 36 hours to purge contamination from the line.

Tilton plans Celebration of Community to benefit pantry

TILTON – Danville Foodstock will partner with several Tilton businesses to host a Celebration of Community to benefit the Danville Area Food Pantry.

The event is set from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and will feature music, food and fun for people of all ages at Tilton Plaza, across from the Georgetown Road Big R Store.

25-cent boost to state minimum-wage kicks in today

CHAMPAIGN – A 25-cent boost in the state minimum wage takes effect today. For those working a 40-hour week, that means an extra $2 a day or an extra $10 a week.

For adults, the minimum wage rises from $7.75 an hour to $8 an hour. For youths under 18, the minimum jumps from $7.25 an hour to $7.50 an hour.

Poker run scheduled to help Danville food pantry

DANVILLE – The Danville Firefighters Local 429 and the Friendly Tavern will sponsor a poker run July 11 to raise money for the Danville Area Food Pantry.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. at the Friendly Tavern, 216 E. South St., with the ride beginning at noon. Participants will visit four sites and then return to the Friendly for the fifth card in the hand. The rider with the best hand will win $500. Riders may pre-register at the Friendly from July 6 through 10. Entry fee is $15 with additional card hands available for $5 each.

Stop Vermilion's Ice Cream Man when he's passing by

DANVILLE – Donny Jenkins still remembers it vividly.

He and his siblings would be playing outside when they would hear the oh-so-distinct chimes of the Good Humor ice cream truck. After hitting up their mom for money, they – along with other neighborhood kids – would follow the sound through the streets until it led them to the truck and its treasure trove of icy treats.

Dueling pianos go silent in Urbana

URBANA — Monday marked the swan song for 88 Broadway.

Teen REACH program packs up as its funding enters limbo

GEORGETOWN – On Monday, participants of the Teen REACH program at Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School ate a snack, decorated baseball caps, then went for a swim.