COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dee Brown never met Matt Heldman, never shook his hand or carried on a conversation.
But the two share a special bond.
Greetings from chilly, foggy, snow-covered Columbus, Ohio, which is celebrating its second day of sniper-free living. No one was happier to hear the news than Brett Dawson, Jeff Mezydlo and myself. Charles McCoy has become more notorious than Maurice Clarett these days.
It''s the first time in Columbus for Mezydlo, so we did a little sightseeing Thursday morning. I''m sure there are museums and art galleries somewhere, but we headed straight for the Mecca of Columbian culture: Ohio Stadium. That''s the 100,000-plus-seat home to the Ohio State football team.
University of Illinois students voted by more than a 2-1 margin to keep Chief Illiniwek as the symbol of the university after a two-day online referendum. Unofficial vote totals show 9,161 in favor of keeping the Chief to 4,027 against, or 69.5 percent to 30.5 percent.
Student Election Commission co-chairwoman Kristin Keaty said more than one appeal to the vote has been filed. She declined to elaborate on how many. The appeals will be heard by the 11-member commission at 11 a.m. today in Illini Union Room 314 A.
ST. LOUIS – Illinois wrestling coach Mark Johnson has promised his team will someday win a national title. After today''s quarterfinals, it appears unlikely it will be this year.
Johnson''s Illini got off to a fast start Thursday at the NCAA meet, leading after the opening session at Savvis Center. The team slowed its pace, however, in Thursday''s night session and today''s quarterfinals.
MATTOON – Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Coles County has asked the state's Health Facilities Planning Board to call a public hearing on the proposed outpatient surgery and recovery center Carle Foundation Hospital wants to build in Charleston.
Sarah Bush Lincoln's President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Barnett said the application Carle submitted to the state for a Certificate of Need has "serious flaws."
SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois overstated the amount owed to it at the close of its last budget year by nearly $2.9 million and returned $72,000 more than necessary in interest payments to the federal government, according to a state audit released Thursday.
The overstatement of outstanding payments due to the UI was in two main areas, the College of Dentistry in Chicago and the parking account in the university's Auxiliary Facilities System, the audit reported.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A year ago, Brian Randle was watching the NCAA tournament at home in Peoria. On Thursday, he got his first look at the "big show" up close.
Randle and fellow Illinois freshmen Rich McBride and Warren Carter are making their NCAA tournament debut. Randle began soaking it all in as media crammed Illinois'' locker room at Nationwide Arena.
Illinois'' softball team has stayed close against top-notch competition so far at the KIAKlassic in Fullerton, Calif., but it hasn''t broken through.
The Illini lost 5-2 Thursday to seventh-ranked Oklahoma, a day after losing 4-1 to the nation''s top team, Arizona.
URBANA – A bitterly disputed plan to dredge and clear trees along the Salt Fork between Rantoul and St. Joseph will be allowed to proceed, likely this fall, Champaign County Circuit Judge Michael Jones ruled Thursday.
The ruling is a victory for the Upper Salt Fork Drainage District, which initially sought the $335,000 assessment for the work last summer. The project has been held up in a series of disputes with conservation groups over the environmental impact and necessity for the project.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The banners hang high from the light posts in downtown Columbus.
Restaurants and bars proudly welcome NCAA tournament fans, enticing them with drink and food specials. When else but tournament time can a fan partake in an eight-hour happy hour?