All Courts Police and Fire Content

Officers will be out in force over Labor Day weekend

State police and other agencies will be out in force to crack down on drunken driving over the Labor Day weekend.

"Labor Day has become one of the deadliest holidays nationwide for alcohol-related fatalities," said John Pastuovic, spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Great Lakes regional office in Chicago.


Teen's words to be heard at murder trial

URBANA – A Champaign teen's statements implicating himself in the brutal murder of a Parkland College police officer will be heard at his trial next month.

Champaign County Judge Thomas Difanis ruled Wednesday that statements by Phillip Harris, 17, to Urbana police detectives a year ago were voluntary and that he had made a "knowing, intelligent waiver of his right to counsel."


Workers salvage some patient records from eye clinic

DANVILLE – As fire investigators on Sunday launched a probe into Saturday's fire at Chittick Family Eye Care, other workers at the scene salvaged a treasure from the rubble – a number of metal file cabinets containing valuable patient medical records.

A worker from Thomas Excavating used heavy equipment to scoop up the cabinets, which had fallen from the second floor into the basement during the blaze, and set them on Harrison Street. Then firefighters, two Chittick optometrists and other volunteers loaded them into trucks to take offsite.


Champaign officer wounds man with gun

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign man was shot by police early Sunday after he refused to drop a long-barreled gun that turned out to be a BB gun.

At 1:07 a.m. Sunday, Champaign police were sent to the 4100 block of Crail Road to investigate a report that a man with a gun, possibly a rifle, was walking around a residence, according to a Champaign police press release.


Basement blaze ravages Danville building

DANVILLE – Danville fire officials still are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a busy eye clinic in downtown Danville on Saturday.

While no one was injured in the blaze at Chittick Family Eye Care, at least 60 residents were evacuated temporarily from the nine-story Wolford Apartments and others from Your Family Resource Connection's women's shelter nearby.


Officer to face third charge in Taser incident

URBANA – Prosecutors filed a new charge Friday against a Champaign County corrections officer accused of using a Taser improperly on a jail inmate.

Judge Thomas Difanis arraigned Sgt. William Alan Myers, 37, of Pesotum on a new Class 4 felony charge of disorderly conduct.


Screening process review suggested after jail death

URBANA – A coroner's jury recommended a "thorough review of the screening process" at the Champaign County jail facilities in the wake of the death of a 36-year-old Champaign man.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Quentin Larry, 36, of 1511 Hedge Road was pronounced dead at 6:10 a.m. May 28 at Carle Foundation Hospital.


Police investigating death as a suicide

RANTOUL – Authorities have identified a man who was struck and killed by an Amtrak train struck on the north side of Rantoul on Thursday morning.

According to a report from the Rantoul Police Department, a train hit a pedestrian at 6:37 a.m. just north of the Knights of Columbus Hall on the 1000 block of North Ohio Street in Rantoul.


New resource officers ready to offer hand to educators

CHAMPAIGN – By the time students arrived at Centennial High School on Wednesday, got their schedules and started class, Champaign police Officer Ed Wachala had been at the school for more than two hours.

On the first day of class, Wachala, Centennial's school resource officer, made sure residents moved their cars from no-parking zones near the school and walked the neighborhood with Centennial Principal Judy Wiegand, reminding students they should be on campus.


Amtrak train hits, kills pedestrian

RANTOUL – An Amtrak train struck and killed a pedestrian on the north side of Rantoul this morning.

According to a report from the Rantoul Police Department, a train hit a pedestrian at 6:37 a.m. just north of the Knights of Columbus Hall on the 1000 block of North Ohio Street in Rantoul.