April 2005

Da mob is back in da news

If you love stories about organized crime, be sure to check out the newspaper stories on the latest federal indictment against Outfit members in the Chicago area. Everything from the mob monickers to the stories of the hits on bigtime mobsters, like the


Who''s that Illini?

I''m best known as one of the premier short sprinters in Illinois history. I hold the UI school mark for the 60 meters, and my best finish in national competition came in the 1996 NCAA indoors, where I took third in the 55 meters. I was fourth in the same event a year later and took eighth in 1998.


Tentative OK for domestic partner list

URBANA – The Urbana City Council voted 6-1 Monday night to give its tentative approval to creation of a domestic partner registry.

Final approval of the registry, which would be open to all couples, is expected to come at the council's meeting next Monday. It will likely be the last act of the current city council before the newly elected city council and mayor are sworn in Monday.


UI''s Head hires agent

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois guard Luther Head has signed an agent and will play at the NBA predraft camp in Chicago next month, he said Monday.

Head, a 6-foot-3 senior, has signed with Chicago-based agent Mark Bartelstein, who has represented several former Illini over the years. Considered a borderline first-round pick, Head is working out in Champaign until he completes classes early next month.


IHSA director: Peoria's the place for tournament

BLOOMINGTON – U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson didn't need to wait for the official announcement to voice his displeasure about the IHSA's impending decision to keep its boys' basketball state tournaments in Peoria.

"I believe the decision is flat-out wrong," Johnson said this morning. "I don't dislike Peoria, but the tradition, history and facilities (in Champaign-Urbana) can't compare."


The butchers shop: Sisters dangerous playing ball, in mall

CHAMPAIGN – They are sisters who hail from the state''s softball hotbed, Casey-Westfield, and they have made a major impact at their respective universities. Along their path to prominence in the same sport and in the same community, however, are a series of differences.

One is 5-foot-6 and a natural left-handed hitter who uses her quickness to excel in softball. Away from the game, she loves to shop.


Student spreads word about buckling up

URBANA – More than most kids her age, Kati Pisula has grasped the meaning of a "teachable moment."

It probably came to her seconds after her mother released her from her seat belt as she was hanging upside down in their overturned car in a median on Interstate 57 just over a week ago.


Family welcomed new look at case

URBANA – The brother and sister of a man murdered in 1986 testified Monday in a federal civil case that they were happy that the murder investigation was being given another look by a state police lieutenant.

"We felt that the original trial, justice hadn't been served," said Andrea Rhodes Trapp, sister of Dyke Rhodes. "The truth hadn't been found out. We wanted somebody to look at this again."


Drag racing crash damages dealer vehicles

CHAMPAIGN – More than $300,000 damage was caused by two men who were drag racing Saturday and lost control, one of them crashing into expensive import autos at a dealership on Marketview Drive, according to Champaign police.

The two cars were driving east on Marketview Drive about 1:30 p.m. Saturday when they lost control, police said.


Ebert event a wrap

CHAMPAIGN – Roger Ebert's seventh annual Overlooked Film Festival at the Virginia Theatre ended on an upbeat note Sunday with "Taal," a Bollywood musical extravaganza that harkens back to the golden age of the American musical.

The colorful three-hour blockbuster from India tells the story of an innocent rural girl, played by the beautiful Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss World, who falls in love with a young man from a rich family, loses him after his father disrespects hers, and becomes a world-famous singer. She nearly marries her video producer before getting back with Manav Mehta, her first love,during an extravagant scene at the end.