Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell

Fire department: Champaign blaze intentionally set

CHAMPAIGN — Fire officials said that a late night blaze that displaced residents of a Champaign duplex was intentionally set.

Nobody was reported hurt.

Champaign Fire Department Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Smith said firefighters were called to a working fire at 201 W. Columbia Avenue at 10:24 p.m. Saturday.

The blaze was called in by a passerby, Smith said.

Urbana man killed in crash

Update Friday 8:18 a.m.

MAHOMET — The Champaign County Coroner says an Urbana man was killed Thursday night in an accident about a mile north of Mahomet.

Coroner Duane Northrup says 29-year-old Lyle Owens died at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana around 8:10 p.m. An autopsy has been scheduled for Friday.

Congregation's new cross rose from emerald ash borers' destruction

Here's a story about the dreaded green beetle responsible for the deaths of hundreds of ash trees in Urbana — but with a happy ending.

Among the many casualties of emerald ash borer disease was an already-milled tree that CLAUDE COLE spotted one day north of Urbana while on his way to Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery.

ISP investigating crash on Illinois 47

MAHOMET — State police are at the scene of an accident on a state highway north of Mahomet.

Illinois State Police at Pesotum confirm that troopers were called to a crash on Illinois 47 approximately one mile north of Mahomet.

The crash reportedly took place shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday.

According to preliminary information, at least one person was seriously injured.

Wednesday's prep highlights: Blue Devils blast Tigers

VILLA GROVE — Madison Burwell belted a pair of home runs and drove in four runs and Kyleigh Block legged out a two-bagger to lead Villa Grove softball to an 11-2 nonconference home win over Urbana.

Hurler Jordyn Ray pitched a complete game for the Blue Devils (1-3), limiting the Tigers (0-2) to five hits and fanning 13 Urbana batters along the way.

Woman dies in Douglas County crash

CAMARGO — A Malta, Ill., woman died in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday morning in rural Douglas County.

Police said that Joan M. Biebel, 66, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sen. Durbin doesn't plan to seek U.S. presidency

CHAMPAIGN — While many of his Democratic colleagues have thrown their hats in the ring for the White House in 2020, Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday that he won't be joining them.

"Some people come to me and say I should run for president," Durbin said. "I went to my wife, Loretta, and she said it's OK if I wanted to. I said there's one condition: She gets to pick the country."

Urbana police investigating robbery at gas station in city's south

URBANA — Police are investigating a robbery over the weekend at a gas station on the city's south side.

According to a police report, at 11:35 p.m. Friday, a 54-year-old woman was in the parking lot of the Circle K convenience store at 1821 S. Philo Road when two men began to hit her.

They took the woman's money and ran off.

Stalled contract talks have WAND-TV blacked out on DirecTV, U-Verse

CHAMPAIGN — Monday was the fourth straight day that DirecTV satellite customers were unable to watch "Days of Our Lives," "The Blacklist," "The Voice" and other NBC programs broadcast on local affiliate WAND-TV.

As a result of stalled contract negotiations, DirecTV pulled the plug on the Decatur television station Friday, and U-Verse, also owned by AT&T, has joined the blackout.

Dozens turn out for open house on Bradley Avenue bridge replacement

CHAMPAIGN — When the Bradley Avenue bridge crossing Interstate 57 was built in the 1960s, that part of west Champaign was largely a rural area.

Neither Parkland College nor most of the associated businesses and housing developments along Bradley had yet emerged.