Paxton native looking to more stunts after monster truck back flip

PAXTON – Tom Meents tried to keep his newest stunt close to the vest.

But when the firetrucks, police cars and ambulances drove onto his property on an early March afternoon, hundreds of curious Paxton residents flocked to the scene to see what the monster truck daredevil was up to this time.

"Every time somebody hears a truck out here and sees it moving, they know something's going to happen," Meents said.

The snooping spectators witnessed a spectacle. Meents, an eight-time Monster Jam World Champion, kicked his 10,000-pound vehicle, named Maximum Destruction, into full throttle. The truck, 22 feet long and 10 feet high, rammed into a 14-foot-high dirt wall and flipped end-over-end high into the air before landing back on all four tires.

Residents of Autumn Glen apartments get deadline to move

RANTOUL – Natural-gas service has been shut off to a large Rantoul apartment complex, and the village has posted the apartments as unfit for occupancy.

Tenants of Autumn Glen apartments, on Hobson Drive on Rantoul's northeast side, have until 5 p.m. May 27 to move out. Water service will be shut off on that date.

UI architect Rose lauded for his part in Guggenheim restoration

URBANA – Research architect Bill Rose of Urbana will pick up an award today in New York for his contributions to the restoration of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.

His consulting firm, William B. Rose & Associates, and six other firms that worked on the long-term project were to receive the Excellence in Historic Preservation Award from the Preservation League of New York State this evening at the New York Yacht Club.

Zoning ruling won't affect couple's plans for orchard

DANVILLE – Lindsay and Marie Varner are forging ahead with their plans for an organic apple orchard on West Lake Boulevard on Danville's north side, despite the Danville planning and zoning commission's recommendation against changing the property's zoning from residential to agriculture.

Champaign woman adds preaching to practice for life

CHAMPAIGN – As a wife, mother of two, teacher of computer classes, church elder and perennial volunteer, Judi Geistlinger's days are very full.

So why, you might ask, would she add such a weighty responsibility as becoming a Presbyterian minister to her life load?

Gardeners set aside space in plots to grow food for those in need

CHAMPAIGN – Young tomato plants peek out of the ground at the TIMES Center garden, destined to become sauce or salad at the shelter's soup kitchen.

Longtime volunteer Frank Ford Jr. tends the garden, which he planted in 2000 when the center moved from McKinley Presbyterian Church to downtown Champaign.

Autumn Glen residents in Rantoul making plans to move out

RANTOUL – Many residents of Autumn Glen apartments in Rantoul have started looking for a new place to live.

They believe the closing of the apartment complex is inevitable.

Crosspoint Human Services to honor longtime volunteer

DANVILLE – For several years, volunteers have tried to organize a fundraiser for Crosspoint Human Services to help support its many programs and the people helped by those programs.

This year, the strategic planning committee of the agency's board of directors got the job done.

Area receiving extra food and shelter assistance

CHAMPAIGN – Lesliee Hartman pinches pennies, buys in bulk and sometimes relies on food stamps to feed her family of six.

New council members ready to be sworn in

Six new city council members will be sworn in this week in Urbana (Monday), and Danville and Champaign (Tuesday).

Following are profiles of the six, including three in Champaign, two in Danville and one in Urbana.