All Courts Police and Fire Content

All Courts Police and Fire Content

Champaign County jail population shrinks

URBANA – Champaign County has come a long way from the day in February 1981 when then-Sheriff Joe Brown set up cots on the third floor of the courthouse to make his point that he needed more space for prisoners.

For a change, the jail is undercrowded.

'It's satisfying knowing my work makes a difference'

Kimberly Harden is a police social worker who provides support and help for victims of domestic violence and other crimes in Rantoul. The future of her job is in doubt because of government budget cuts. Here's a look at her typical day and how she helps people in this northern Champaign County village:

Scam artists take aim at job hunters

Job seekers should beware of a new scam linked to a popular Web site, according to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Madigan's office received two complaints, and reports from other states, indicating scam artists contacted job hunters through regarding a "donations handler" position with an international housing charity, according to a release from Madigan's office.

Complaint filed against attorney from Urbana

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has filed a complaint against Urbana attorney Charles E. Petit, alleging that he made numerous misrepresentations to a client and billed her nearly $11,000 for work he did not perform.

The client was the widow of John Steinbeck IV, whose father, John, wrote the classics "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men," among others.

Report shows Danville parking garage stairwell had past problems

DANVILLE – The Danville parking garage stairwell where 17-year-old Charles Christopher Gaston died after concrete stairs collapsed had problems in the past, according to a report released by the city on Monday.

Mr. Gaston's body was found on April 5 in the four-level city parking garage at 22 N. Walnut St. Mr. Gaston died of severe head injuries, said Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson.

Husband acquitted in brutal slaying of his wife

PAXTON – Robert Osborne checked out of the Ford County jail about 6:20 p.m. Friday, some 30 minutes after a jury acquitted him of the first-degree murder of his wife of six years.

According to Cindy Lewis, mother of the 29-year-old Gibson City man, Osborne had plans to return to her home in Ohio, where she intended to send him out looking for a job first thing Monday.

Mahomet woman killed in collision with semi truck

INDIANA – A Mahomet woman was killed early Wednesday morning in a head-on collision with a semi truck on U.S. 136, according to a release from the Vermillion County, Ind., Sheriff's office.

The accident entrapped Sheryl Tooker-Nielsen, 45, in the 1992 Ford Explorer she was driving at about 5 a.m. Wednesday when, according to witness reports, her vehicle swerved over the center line and into the path of the semi. The truck was not pulling a trailer.

Champaign man hurt in shooting Thursday night

CHAMPAIGN – For the second straight night, Champaign police were dispatched to investigate a shooting.

Officers were sent to the 400 block of West Eureka Street about 9:40 p.m. Thursday, according to Champaign police Sgt. David Griffet. A gunshot victim was found, taken to a hospital and treated and released for non-life-threatening injuries, he said.

Police have a plan for keeping offenders away from children

Do you live near a school, playground or day care center?

If you do, there are laws that are intended to prevent child sex criminals from living nearby.

But the laws are not always clear on some terms – such as what constitutes a park or day care center. Different jurisdictions handle such enforcement differently and, so far, locally, it's been rare for prosecutors to file charges.

Co-workers say officer killed in crash dedicated to work, family

BONDVILLE – An Illinois State Police investigator killed in a two-vehicle crash south of Bondville Friday will be remembered as a dedicated officer, husband and father, according to a colleague.

Sgt. Rodney Miller, a 16-year veteran trooper, died as a result of a crash at 4:43 p.m. Friday at Windsor and Bondville roads, authorities said Saturday.