Washington, Ill., is full of both optimistic signs and lots of construction crews as the town rebuilds after a half-mile-wide tornado devastated the area last November.
(Alan Greenblatt/NPR)
April 23, 2014

In Illinois, A Town That’s Half-Destroyed But Filled With Hope

Washington is just starting to rebuild. Much of the central Illinois town was wiped away by a half-mile wide tornado last November. In all, 1,108 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable — a huge share of the housing stock in a city of 15,000.


The restored Alma Mater statue prior to re-installment on the U of I campus.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
April 07, 2014

Alma Mater Restoration

The Alma Mater, the iconic statue outside Altgeld Hall, and the backdrop for countless graduation day photos, will be returning to her pedestal Wednesday after a lengthy absence to be restored.


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Ann-Marie Stimphson and Wes Kocher of Champaign plant a tree on Saturday, April 5, 2014 in Gifford, Ill.
(Sean Powers/WILL)
April 05, 2014

New Trees in Gifford Help Rebuild Community

If you travel to the Champaign County town of Gifford, you will still find destroyed homes and trees snapped like twigs by a tornado last November. After a long, bitter winter, people are working to put the community back together.


A mural depicting the March 28, 1864 riot between between Union troops and Southern sympathizers in Charleston, Ill.
(Courtesy of the Charleston Riot 150th Anniversary Steering Committee)
March 28, 2014

Charleston Riot 150th Anniversary

This weekend, the Coles County city of Charleston will be commemorating a riot that happened at the court house and town square March 28, 1864...150 years ago...between Union troops and Southern sympathizers.


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The USDA's Colleen Callahan present Gifford Mayor Derald Ackerman with a check to made needed improvements to the town's water plant and tower.
(Sean Powers/WILL)
March 24, 2014

Gifford Awarded USDA Grant For Water System Improvements

Four months after a powerful tornado ripped through the Champaign County town of Gifford, the community is getting help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to replace its water plant and water tower


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