June 2010

June 2010

Around the Big Ten

News from the home cities and states of the Big Ten universities:

IOWA: Successful petition drive for vote on bar law

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa City Clerk Marian Karr says a petition drive has collected enough signatures to put the city's 21-and-older bar law to a vote.

Youngsters get jobs for summer - plus a kick-start for future - in Rantoul program

Eleven-year-old Ryan Ingerson has two jobs this summer.

He mows a lawn and helps clean Rantoul's public sites and church parking lots.

Health agencies in Danville, elsewhere in Illinois, hold out hope for federal money

DANVILLE – People keep calling and asking, why aren't you open on Fridays any more?

In Normal, they're all ears for CornBelters

NORMAL — It is the early evening on a gloomy, overcast Tuesday, but the impending rain hasn't dampened Steve Malliet's mood.

The president and general manager of the Normal CornBelters – a first-year professional baseball team – is hanging out near the entrance gates, umbrella in hand, greeting fans as they enter the new 7,000-seat stadium.

Legends, Lists & Lore: Mike Durkin

Thirty-four years ago, former Illini track star Mike Durkin qualified for the 1976 United States Olympic Team by running the fastest 1,500-meter race of his life – a time of 3 minutes, 36.72 seconds – finishing third to Rick Wohlhuter and Matt Centrowitz.

It was about four seconds faster than his previous best time of 3:40.3 and the equivalent of a 3:54 mile. A product of Chicago's Holy Cross High School, Durkin competed during the golden age of prep distance running in Illinois. He finished second in the state meet in the mile in his junior and senior years despite running times that would win state championships almost any other year. As a junior in 1970, Durkin ran a state-record time of 4:09.5 but narrowly lost to Andy Rupert of Proviso West. In his senior year, he ran the mile in 4:07.3 but lost by a second to Dave Merrick of Lincoln Way. At Illinois, Durkin had a stellar career, winning nine individual Big Ten track championships. His freshman year at Illinois he captured the Big Ten outdoor mile run title, defeating Michigan State's reigning NCAA indoor mile champion Ken Popejoy. After graduating from Illinois in 1975, Durkin decided to stop running despite having run a 3:56.7 mile his senior year and focused on law school and working at Chicago's Merchandise Mart. Eight months later, after watching an Illini track meet at the Armory, he once again caught the running bug and eventually qualified for the '76 Olympic team. At the Montreal Games, Durkin ran an excellent time of 3:38.7 in his first-round heat of the 1,500 but missed qualifying for the semifinals by one-tenth of a second because of an unusually fast first-round heat after his. The gold-medal race was won with a time slower than Durkin had run in his heat. For the next two years he attended and graduated from law school, passing the bar in 1978 and beginning his legal career at the firm that he is now a name partner of, now called Storino, Ramello & Durkin. In 1979, he decided to begin training for the 1980 Olympic Trials. Durkin again finished third at the Trials to earn the final spot in the 1,500 on the Olympic team. His dream for a second Olympic experience was shattered when then-President Jimmy Carter persuaded the U.S. Olympic Committee to boycott the Moscow Summer Games. Durkin is currently village attorney for Elmwood Park, Forest Park and Streamwood.

Klee's Corner: Abrams is a player - Is he a point guard?

CHAMPAIGN – After Chicago Mount Carmel lost its first game at the Illinois team camp, senior guard Tracy Abrams looked like someone kicked his dog.

"That team definitely wasn't better than us," he said afterward. "We didn't come out hard enough."

Evans places seventh in shot put

DES MOINES, Iowa — Illinois senior Aja Evans finished seventh in the shot put with a toss of 54 feet, 91/2 inches Saturday at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Evans, a five-time All-American, finished seven spots better than she did last year.

UI says larger student body would build revenue

URBANA — The Urbana campus could raise revenue by increasing the number of students, particularly those from out of state who pay higher tuition, as well as increasing its online presence, a University of Illinois budget team reports.

Crimes reported to police

In crimes reported to area police:


Area companies receive SBA loans from federal stimulus legislation

CHAMPAIGN – Sixteen area companies received Small Business Administration loans in 2009 that were enhanced by the federal economic stimulus bill.

The biggest loan to a company listed in the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission's report on local economic stimulus spending was $2,165,000 to Village Market, which operates the newly expanded Mahomet IGA.