URBANA – Champaign County State's Attorney John Piland, a two-term incumbent Republican, beat back a primary challenge Tuesday from Urbana attorney Bruce Ratcliffe.
Piland won the GOP primary, 54 percent to 46 percent.
RANTOUL – Three months after the Rantoul Village Board approved a five-year contract with the World Free Fall Convention, that contract still hasn't been signed by convention leaders.
The village board held a special meeting on Dec. 15 to approve a contract to keep the event at the Rantoul airport through 2008 because convention President Don Kirlin said he needed enough advance time to advertise the event in international sky-diving publications.
CHAMPAIGN – City of Champaign police made a case for why their department should be allowed to purchase 25 Tasers – a device that shoots two electric darts to incapacitate its human target with a 50,000-volt charge – at a community forum Monday night at a north Champaign church.
But few in the audience of more than 50 people, most of them black, seemed convinced that Tasers are an effective new "less lethal" police technology that can substantially reduce suspect and officer injuries, as Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney described them.
News-Gazette staff writer Brett Dawson ranks the NCAA tournament''s four regions, from first to worst:
MONTICELLO – Preschool students at Monticello's White Oaks School know exactly where space is, they know what's up there and they know how to get there.
And just in case there's a shortage of space food or a delay in their flight, they've designed space ships that dispense M&Ms and other snacks.
CHAMPAIGN – Undaunted by the morning snow, Andrew Jones stopped during his daily walk to cast his ballot in the Illinois primary – in shorts.
"I vote every time," Jones said as he headed back outside.
CHAMPAIGN – At the end of the 2003 football season, a 1-11 Illinois football team staggered off the field. Literally and figuratively.
The physical wounds have mostly healed. Receiver Lonnie Hurst (broken leg), running back Pierre Thomas (broken leg) and quarterback Jon Beutjer (back surgery) opened spring practice Monday on the field instead of the bench.
Dan Galyen is an Illinois basketball fan, but he won''t break his bank trying to see the Illini this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.
Galyen, a former Illinois student trainer from Georgetown who graduated in 1994, is returning to the area with his wife, Krista, after a stint in the Navy in Virginia. He''s heading back this week and thought about catching the Illini''s first-round NCAA tournament game against Murray State at Columbus'' Nationwide Arena.
For a change, Illinois is on the other side of an off-court distraction.
One of the top players on Murray State''s Ohio Valley Conference champions will miss Friday''s 11:25 a.m. game against Illinois, the school announced today, after he and a teammate were arrested last Saturday.
Out of more than 1,800 water suppliers in Illinois, only three have met the state's recommended level of fluoride in water each month for the last 20 years or more, and one of them is in Champaign County, according to statistics released Monday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Illinois American Water Company's Champaign District has met the goal each month during the last 20 years, the department reported.