All Courts Police and Fire Content

All Courts Police and Fire Content

5 men charged in credit union robbery

RANTOUL – Two of the five men accused of robbing a Rantoul credit union at gunpoint Monday admitted their roles after their arrests and implicated the others, according to federal court records.

Charged Tuesday with armed robbery of the Community Plus Federal Credit Union, 526 E. Champaign Ave., were: Ahshun T. Collins, 26; Clinton Williams, 33; Rory Tucker, 20; Brad O. Williams, 27; and Bobby L.Riley, 19. Magistrate Judge David Bernthal ruled there was probable cause to go forward to a federal grand jury with the charges and ordered their detention.

Five men in custody following robbery of Rantoul credit union

RANTOUL – Rantoul police arrested five men Monday afternoon in the armed robbery of a Rantoul credit union, following a chase that led officers through a town park where baseball and softball games were being played.

Rantoul police Sgt. Jeff Wooten said police believe one more man who was not caught may have been involved in the holdup of the Community Plus Federal Credit Union, 526 E. Champaign Ave., which is across the street from Rantoul Township High School.

Courtroom animations questioned

Increasingly sophisticated and at the same time easier to do with the ready availability of the necessary hardware and software, animations made for court cases are supposed to assist juries in doing their jobs better.

The idea is that the minimovies can help folks weighing responsibility in a traffic accident, for instance, or trying to sort out indications from a crime scene understand the evidence more clearly and reduce the influence of biases they may have.

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.