Every day, Brad Uken looks up from his computer monitor and sees a vision.
It's nothing supernatural, though.
CHAMPAIGN – The wish list of what Champaign school board members would like to see the district pay for includes everything from expanded foreign language offerings to making buildings more energy-efficient to more library clerks.
Chief Financial Officer Gene Logas asked board members to give him their ideas of programs they'd like to see the district invest in, at Monday's school board meeting. By presenting their ideas early in the budget process, the initiatives they suggest stand a better chance of being included in the district's budget next year, he said.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – A Tennessee man accused of the double murder of Jerry and Sue Haigh of Champaign waived extradition Monday on a fugitive warrant from Indiana and is expected to return to court today on a fugitive warrant from Illinois.
Kenneth Sean Kelly, 35, whose last known address was in Johnson City, Tenn., was arrested Saturday by local police there on a warrant for probation violation from Monroe County, Ind.
The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday 59-38 to approve the nomination of a prominent Mississippi judge to a seat on a federal appeals court. But the lengthy battle necessary to confirm Leslie Southwick shows again how dangerously politicized the judicial nomination process remains.
U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin led the opposition, contending that Southwick should be rejected because he is white and any judicial nominee from Mississippi to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals must be black. Durbin has long opposed many of President Bush's judicial nominees. Unfortunately, Illinois' other U.S. senator, Barack Obama, not only opposed Southwick, but also supported an unsuccessful filibuster to block the Senate from voting.
President Bush signaled to Congress last week that he is prepared to veto a gigantic $23.2 billion water resources bill that was sent to him with overwhelming support in the House and the Senate. That kind of backing (381-40 in the House and 81-12 in the Senate) almost assuredly means his veto, a rarity in this administration, would be overridden.
But he should do it anyway, if only to give challengers in next year's elections the chance to point out that members of Congress voted not once but twice for mammoth overspending.
Some students from Danville High School and University Laboratory High School in Urbana will be out trick-or-treating on Wednesday evening, but they won't be asking for the typical mini-candy bars, candied apples and wax vampire teeth.
Instead, they're hoping to score canned goods, boxes of macaroni and cheese and jars of peanut butter.
DANVILLE – A Danville businessman has been indicted on charges of theft, forgery and fraud involving the operation of his license and title business, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.
John Clark, 42, of Danville, was indicted by a Vermilion County grand jury Friday on three counts of theft, nine counts of forgery and 11 counts of fraudulent filing of tax returns as the operator of Shannon's License Shop, a title and license business that operated at 206 E. South St. in Danville, according to a release from the Department of Revenue.
SPRINGFIELD – The state's prison system is going completely tobacco-free on Jan. 1, 2008, the same day the statewide smoking ban takes effect.
After that date, cigarettes, cigars and all forms of smokeless tobacco will be considered contraband. Inmates will not even be allowed to smoke in the outdoor areas of the prison grounds.
DANVILLE – Circuit Judge Michael Clary delayed a hearing Monday to reconsider Keon Clark's prison sentences until the former NBA player is returned to the custody of local law enforcement.
Clark, 32, of Danville, was arrested Oct. 18 by U.S. marshals in Houston, where he had been in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, according to court documents.
SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga, and Champaign firefighter David Tomlinson will square off in the 105th District Republican primary this spring.
It will be the first opponent for Cultra, who ran unopposed for the open seat in 2002 and again in 2004 and 2006.