First Christian Church collecting items to send to Joplin, Mo.

CHAMPAIGN — First Christian Church in Champaign is collecting relief supplies to send to Joplin, Mo., to help victims of Sunday's tornado.

A member donated a semi-truck, trailer and driver to take supplies, and the church is collecting a list of items, listed below.

Danville Catholic grade school closes after generations

DANVILLE — Linda Bays can still remember feeling heartbroken when her old grade school, St. Joseph's in Danville, closed 40 years ago.

Those feelings came flooding back when she learned Holy Family School would close its doors at the end of the school year.

Taking life with a grain of salt

Michael Shermer is a scientist and a skeptic. A professional skeptic.

He founded a magazine of the same name, and has built a career debunking popular myths, superstitions and urban legends.

Daily Bread soup kitchen plans its own bus

The Daily Bread Soup Kitchen hopes to have its own weekend soup bus ready to roll in a couple of months.

The nonprofit group, which serves free meals five days a week at New Covenant Fellowship in downtown Champaign, recently acquired a free van and a $5,000 grant to turn it into a mobile food pantry.

An advocate for social justice, Royer leaving job with five decades of memories

Tucked away in the Rev. Tom Royer's overflowing office is a plain box with a sacred name: the Ark of the Covenant.

It holds priceless treasures he's collected during his 50-year journey as a priest – no expensive chalices or religious icons, but humble items like a worn brown children's shoe.

Life Remembered: Rev. Lundy Savage a dedicated visionary

CHAMPAIGN – The Rev. Lundy Savage liked to say "stir it up!" as life advice, a friend recalls, and he certainly did so in his own life.

Life Remembered: St. Malachy priest had impact

RANTOUL – The Rev. Michael J. Bies was only assigned to St. Malachy Catholic Church in Rantoul for a short time, but he made a big impact, said one person who knew him.

The Rev. Bies died last week of cancer, at the rectory of St. Paul Catholic Church, Odell. He was 54.

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.

How Danville Catholic schools are preparing for changes

The transition to the Schlarman Academy concept began with the 2010-2011 school year.

Before the school year, a 16-member Schlarman Academy board of trustees was selected, approved by the Pastors' Board and seated.

Catholic schools in Danville told of plans to close Holy Family

DANVILLE – Faculty and staff of Danville's two Catholic grade schools were told Friday morning that preschool through eighth grade classes will be held next school year at the building now housing St. Paul's.

The Holy Family School building will close.