All Courts Police and Fire Content

All Courts Police and Fire Content

Policing our schools: Urbana's Cory Koker

Urbana school resource officer Cory Koker is charged with patrolling all nine public schools, with a focus on the middle and high schools. In his four-day, 40-hour workweek, Koker has a mass of responsibility. News-Gazette reporter Amy F. Reiter and photographer Robin Scholz tailed him on Wednesday to find out just how much.

Puppy recovering from assault

TUSCOLA – A puppy that was severely abused – possibly by three junior-high age boys – is recovering from surgery and may have a new home.

Called Biscuit, because of her creamy tan color, the Lab-mix pup is living with a dog-rescuer in Macon County until the vet releases the dog for adoption. The dog was rescued one evening in late March from an alley on the east side of Tuscola by Elvis and Vanessa Bunch.

Reward offered for lead in recent shooting

CHAMPAIGN – Lennie Conerly, 79, huddled in her bed late Thursday night as gunshots shattered the peace of her neighborhood in the 300 block of West Tremont Street.

Champaign police are continuing to investigate the shooting that left an Indiana man dead and a Champaign woman and a Champaign man injured.

Manslaughter case against Pirtle hinges on evidence ruling

URBANA – The lawyer for former Champaign City Council member J.W. Pirtle wants incriminating evidence about a faulty furnace kept out of his client's involuntary manslaughter case.

If Mark Lipton is successful, it could mean the felony charge against Pirtle, in connection with the carbon monoxide death of a man in a property Pirtle managed, would have to be dismissed.

One man killed, two injured in Champaign shooting

CHAMPAIGN – An Indiana man was killed and two Champaign residents wounded in a shooting late Thursday in Champaign.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Charles E. Woodson II, 28, of Hammond, Ind., was pronounced dead at 11:50 p.m. Thursday at the scene of the shooting in the 300 block of West Tremont Street in Champaign.

Reckless homicide charges dropped

URBANA – Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz Wednesday dismissed reckless homicide charges against one of two men who struck a pedestrian on campus in 2004, leading to her death.

In doing so, Rietz said she could not find that Ioannis Tziligakis, 31, now of New York, had acted with a "willful and wanton disregard" for the safety of Nadia Chowdhury.

Mayor makes in-house pick for Urbana police chief

URBANA – Urbana's long blue line got its choice for police chief.

With a large, supportive contingent of fellow officers looking on, 21-year Urbana police veteran Mike Bily was named Tuesday morning by Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing as her choice for police chief.

Schools will get resource officers

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school Superintendent Arthur Culver says he usually isn't given to public displays of emotion.

But he was shouting Tuesday night as he spoke to the Champaign City Council about the need for a school resource officer program in Champaign middle and high schools.

Board OKs resource officers for next year

CHAMPAIGN – After two hours of public comment from a standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 people Monday night, the Champaign school board approved putting full-time police officers in its middle and high schools.

The school resource officer program will begin next fall, pending approval from the Champaign City Council at its meeting tonight.

Man's trial gets under way this week

DANVILLE – The man whom the state has characterized as "the muscle" and the alleged shooter in a Danville woman's death stands trial for murder this week in Vermilion County Circuit Court.

The trial is scheduled to begin today with selection of a jury.