LONGVIEW – Champaign County sheriff's deputies believe that the same person or persons have been responsible for setting four fires in southeastern Champaign County over the last nine months and as many as seven different fires in the last three years.
"We aren't 100 percent sure whether the fires are all tied together, but we have a reason to believe all four might have a single source," said Lt. Ed Ogle of the Champaign County sheriff's office on Monday.
URBANA – Traffic crashes that result in death do not always rise to the level of a serious felony for the people who are involved, Champaign County's chief prosecutor said Monday.
State's Attorney Julia Rietz commented in the wake of guilty pleas entered in two separate traffic cases that resulted in death.
URBANA – In 1854, Abraham Lincoln's political career seemed to have fizzled out, and he was back to practicing law on a circuit that included Urbana and Danville.
He was at the Champaign County Courthouse in May that year when he heard the news that Congress had passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, making it possible for slavery to be extended into that large swath of land.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign City Council member Ken Pirok pleaded guilty Friday to driving under the influence, but had other traffic charges against him, including failure to report an accident and improper backing, dismissed.
Pirok was sentenced to 12 months of court supervision, fined $700 and must do 150 hours of community service work, according to the negotiated plea agreement that was approved Friday by Associate Judge Richard Klaus in Champaign County Circuit Court.
URBANA – A rural Champaign youth who admitted making a racist remark to a woman at the Hillel Foundation on campus last spring was sentenced Friday to 18 months of probation.
"We have enough conflict between religions, races and cultures in this world. We don't need any more," Champaign County Judge Harry Clem told the 16-year-old.
CHAMPAIGN – An autopsy done on a toddler who died in a house fire in Champaign Monday showed he died of smoke inhalation.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said a pathologist Wednesday found soot in the lungs of Demetrius Lenard, 3, of 1313 Hedge Road.
URBANA – A man was arrested for robbery as he was released Tuesday from a hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound after shooting himself, according to Urbana police.
Bruce Jarrett, 19, who listed an address in the 1800 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue, Urbana, was arrested for armed robbery and other charges, according to Sgt. Bryant Seraphin.
CHAMPAIGN – A 3-year-old Champaign boy died Monday evening in a fire at 1313 Hedge Road, Champaign, a residential neighborhood directly north of Kraft Foods.
Champaign Fire Deputy Chief Tim Wild said the child was found in a closet in a bedroom of the single-story home. His mother and two siblings escaped the fire that heavily damaged the home.
URBANA – A car used in the kidnapping of a local restaurant chain owner has been seized by investigators.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Cox, arguing for the detention of Adrian Lopez, 32, said at a hearing Thursday in federal court in Urbana that authorities executed a search warrant and seized a car used by Lopez in the kidnapping of Antonio Aguas.
URBANA – Emergency calls on cell phones are now being tracked more precisely by 911 dispatchers in Champaign County.
Greg Abbott, 911 coordinator for the Metropolitan Computer-aided Dispatch service, said the agency handles all wireless calls in the county.