Published 1 month 3 weeks ago
By Pam G. Dempsey/ -- Urbana city inspectors, under an agreement with Champaign County, may be visiting the Cherry Orchard property soon to inspect one of its eight buildings.Cherry Orchard is a now vacant property south of Rantoul owned by the Ramos family, who used the property to house migrant workers.
Published 2 months 1 week ago
What began as a reaction to the news that University of Illinois students would have to attend class during sub-zero weather quickly escalated into a discussion of racism, sexism and white-privilege that will take place during the #ONECAMPUS forum on February 6.

It all began on Sunday evening of January 26 after Chancellor Phyllis Wise sent a mass email to students that campus would be open for business the next day. Angered by the decision, a handful of students took to venting their frustrations using the social media service Twitter.
Published 4 months 3 weeks ago
By Cheryl Silver/ -- This month marks the fourth anniversary of my father’s death. It’s also the fifth year I’ve recognized November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

My dad’s story is eerily similar to so many others who’ve battled the disease. In July of 2008, he complained of a minor pain in his stomach.  When a double-hernia surgery didn’t resolve the issue, his doctor recommended a CT scan.

On September 8, 2008, that scan revealed a 3-centimeter mass on the head of my dad’s pancreas.
Published 4 months 3 weeks ago
On Nov. 17, a set of tornadoes tore through the Midwest, leaving shattered homes and shattered lives. (See related news coverage at News-Gazette and Illinois Public Radio)
Two days later, our own Acton Gorton took a drive through Gifford the hardest-hit village of our area, to document the aftermath.
Published 7 months 1 week ago
By Robert Holly/ -- Champaign-Urbana social-media users have erupted with posts about the unusual crimes that have occurred throughout the past few weeks. Those crimes range from the mysterious, to the serious, to the downright ridiculous.

On Sept. 6, many Champaign-Urbana area residents tweeted about the Amber Alert issued in response to the abduction of a 13-year-old girl. Those who tweeted about the alert include @chambanamoms and dozens of news outlets.
Published 7 months 2 weeks ago
By Pamela G. Dempsey/ -- I don’t know if Tom Lemke ever considered himself a civic journalist, but I did.

He shied away from writing for publication on our site,, but never hesitated to pick up the phone and report all the happenings of his neighborhood - Wilber Heights - a place he called home for more than 60 years.

Clarence Thomas Lemke, 67, died Sunday.
Published 8 months 1 week ago
By Krizia Vance/For -- College is an investment that many people see as a chance at a better life or a dream career. While it may be a smart investment, it’s a pricey one that could leave many college students in a financial bind years after they receive their degree. On one hand, it’s no surprise that many students are taking out various loans as that “quick fix” to pay for their college education. On the other hand, student loans are proving to be the bane of their existence post-college.
Published 8 months 2 weeks ago
By Acton Gorton/CU-CitizenAccess - Some good news for retirees living in Champaign County nursing homes: none of the in-house kitchens and dining facilities have failed health inspections in the past two years.

The best scoring nursing home is Heritage Rehab and Health Care Center, located at 1315B Curt Dr. in Champaign, with an average score of 93.5 points.
Published 11 months 3 weeks ago
CU-CitizenAccess worked with faculty from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science to secure a grant from the state that offers skills training to help participants secure jobs. The money was used to place community ambassadors in public computer labs to offer computer literacy training and workshops to underserved populations from the Urbana Free Library, Salt and Light Food Pantry and Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park as well as a public computer lab in East St. Louis. 

We've asked our local community ambassadors to blog about their experiences.
Published 1 year 1 month ago
By Karen Barton/For