October 2009

October 2009

Arson dog ready to use his nose for clues

CHAMPAIGN – How would you like to have to sniff out gasoline or propane to get fed?

One of the newest employees of the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office relishes the routine and isn't the least bit concerned he'll need substance-abuse counseling for his predilection.

A year later, mom still seeking justice for daughter

URBANA – Yvonne Jayne and her family will be lighting a candle Sunday night in memory of her late daughter. They're hoping it will shed light on the plight of victims of domestic violence.

April Ruthann "Rudy" Rahming, 23, died Oct. 25, 2008, under circumstances that are less than clear to authorities.

Doctor not sunny on tanning chief's claim to cut risk

CHAMPAIGN – Looking to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer?


Some new billboards in Champaign-Urbana say it can be done by soaking up more sun or visiting a tanning salon.

But a local doctor said there are more legitimate, better ways to cut your risk.

Paxton among 30 DCFS offices set to close

PAXTON – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is closing 30 of its offices across the state, including one in Paxton, as a cost-cutting measure that DCFS officials stressed would have no impact on the services the department provides.

UI trustees committee accepts Herman's resignation

CHICAGO – Richard Herman's resignation as chancellor of the University of Illinois was accepted unanimously by the board of trustees' executive committee Friday in a meeting that lasted less than 11 minutes.

Herman turned in his resignation Tuesday after months of revelations about interference with UI admissions by politicians and trustees. Last month, President B. Joseph White resigned.

Champaign council to review 'use of force' policies

CHAMPAIGN – The city of Champaign has scheduled a city council study session for Nov. 10 to review the police department's recently revised "use of force" policies.

Meanwhile, in response to questions at last Tuesday's council meeting about the police department's "use of deadly force" procedures, the department released a statement Friday claiming the local policy "is taken directly" from Illinois law.

County sees rise in home sales, dip in median price

More homes were sold in Champaign County last month compared with a year ago, but they sold at a lower price.

The median sales price for homes, including condos, sold in Champaign County in September was $135,500, down about 16 percent from September 2008, when the median price was $162,061, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Bill would protect those who lost their dealerships

DANVILLE – Legislation aimed at helping Illinois automobile dealers that lost a franchise because of manufacturer reorganization moves to the state Senate next week.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, shot through the House with extraordinary speed in the first week of the fall veto session. It was heard in a committee on Oct. 14 and passed the full House, 115-0, the next day.

DeWitt-Piatt to begin priority H1N1 flu-shot clinics

CLINTON – The DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department will begin public vaccination clinics Tuesday for H1N1/swine flu.

These clinics are for priority groups only. Those getting first priority for the vaccine include pregnant women, caregivers of infants younger than 6 months old, emergency medical and health care workers, anyone age 6 months to 24 years old and those age 25-64 who have chronic illnesses.

Land-grant law keys wide-ranging talks

URBANA – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and several leaders at the University of Illinois are joining a host of government leaders, presidents of public universities and Lincoln scholars on the campus this weekend to discuss the future of higher education in the United States.

The conference, which kicked off Friday evening, is called "Lincoln's Unfinished Work: The Morrill Act and the Future of Higher Education."