February 2010

February 2010

Cold for now...then moderation

A trio of weather systems will converge on the Northeast, resulting in a prolonged period of heavy precipitation and high winds. Late-week rainfall could total as much as 3 to 5 inches along the New England coast, while snowfall could reach 3 feet in parts of the interior Northeast.

Meanwhile, cold air will spill across the Plains, Midwest, and Southeast. By Friday morning, light freezes will be possible as far south as interior southern Florida.

Hummel in select company

The Big Ten has been the Big Jinx. Purdue's Robbie Hummel (knee) is the latest wounded standout. There's been no official announcement on the severity of his injury. Still, you could field an all-star starting five with players that have suffered injuries:


Tenant check would be helpful in Urbana

Urbana's proposed rental property nuisance ordinance could use attention in at least one key issue.

After sending the original proposal back for a rewrite last year, Urbana city officials once again are taking up an ordinance aimed at reducing public nuisances that occur at rental properties.

The legislation is aimed at abating public nuisances by notifying property owners of the problem and expecting them to fix it. But it also allows the city to get tough and levy substantial fines.

Coke to acquire bottler's North American business

NEW YORK (AP) – The Coca-Cola Co. plans to acquire the North American operations of its largest bottler in a move that mirrors similar deals by its main rival PepsiCo, as both try to gain more control of distribution to keep up with shoppers' changing tastes.

The deal calls for Coca-Cola to give up its 34 percent stake in Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., worth $3.4 billion, and assume $8.88 billion in debt.

Danville school board adds 'critical' building projects to life-safety plans

DANVILLE – Danville school board members on Wednesday laid the groundwork for using life-safety funds to help pay for some "critical" building improvements in the next 12 months.

Board members approved amending the district's 2000 health and life safety plan to include updating Edison and Cannon elementary schools' electrical systems and replacing Garfield Elementary School's roof and a portion of Danville High School's roof.

Another year added to Culver's contract at Champaign schools

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school district Superintendent Arthur Culver got a one-year extension on his contract, in large part because of his work in helping the district successfully satisfy the requirements of its federal consent decree.

The school board evaluated Culver in closed session Tuesday night and voted 4-3 to extend his contract for an additional year, to June 30, 2014.

House panel backs lieutenant governor bill

SPRINGFIELD — Legislation that would require a candidate for governor to
run with a chosen candidate for lieutenant governor was approved by an
Illinois House committee Thursday.

But the bill faces an uncertain future because the powerful speaker of the
House, Chicago Democrat Michael Madigan, plans to offer a constitutional
amendment to abolish the office of lieutenant governor in January 2015.
Madigan will formally introduce his measure on Wednesday.

The sudden interest in the oft-forgotten office of lieutenant governor is

More charges of molestation against former Urbana man

URBANA — The Champaign County state’s attorney has filed additional charges against a former Urbana man alleging he sexually molested another young girl.

Kenji Haley, 31, who last lived in Hazel Crest but formerly lived in Urbana, was charged Wednesday with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child for conduct that occurred between February and April 2004 with a young girl in Urbana who was the child of a woman Haley was dating.

If convicted, he faces a mandatory prison term of between six and 30 years.

Reports of crimes to area police

In crimes reported recently to area police:

— 500 block of South Russell Street: Mahomet man seen looking in woman’s window about 8:50 p.m. Monday.
— Merry Ann’s Diner, 1 E. Main St.: Someone paid for food with counterfeit bill Friday.
— White Horse Inn, 112½ E. Green St.: Purse stolen Saturday.
— 200 block of East Chalmers Street: Window broken Saturday.

Finding our community at the tweetup

Last night, The News-Gazette put together its third tweetup at Jupiter's at the Crossing in southwest Champaign.

Typically, when I mention a tweetup to those who don't understand it, they get a panicked, confused look in their eyes. "What do you do there?" they ask. "You meet people from the Internet in person?"

OK, yes, it's a real-life meetup. And yes, people tweet  at the tweetup. But it's not a bunch of dorky people hiding behind their computer screens.