All Courts, Police, and Fire Content

All Courts, Police, and Fire Content

Champaign man faces drug, robbery charges

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign man is accused in separate cases of having drugs for sale and robbing a man at gunpoint.

Justin Battle, 24, who listed an address in the 500 block of East Clark Street, was arraigned and pleaded innocent Monday to charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and armed robbery.

Farmers search for method to stop drug-related thefts

Turn on the lights! Get the tanks out in the open.

That's the message Champaign County sheriff's deputies have for suppliers of and farmers using anhydrous ammonia.

Meth labs: From small problem to big business

CHARLESTON – Drug investigators think tougher laws already might be affecting the way illegal methamphetamine is made, with fewer but possibly larger home meth labs.

Sgt. Mark Peyton, an Illinois State Police supervisor for the multiagency East Central Illinois Task Force, credited success drug investigators had last year to tougher laws regarding pseudoephedrine, cooperation from local merchants and law enforcement and greater awareness by citizens of the dangers of meth and meth labs.

Villa Grove teen gets 17 years in prison for sex crimes

TUSCOLA – A Villa Grove teen convicted of sexually molesting two young girls was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison.

Judge Frank Lincoln imposed the sentence on Brett Gaston, 17, who pleaded guilty in January to molesting sisters between November 2003 and June 2004. The girls, ages 6 and 4 at the time, were clients in his mother's home day care in Villa Grove.

Female student accused of setting Centennial fire

CHAMPAIGN – A 16-year-old female student at Centennial High School was arrested Thursday for setting a fire that caused the school to be evacuated last week.

Champaign police spokeswoman Joan Walls said detectives arrested the girl about 1 p.m. Thursday on a juvenile charge of aggravated arson and that she was taken to the Champaign County Youth Detention Center.

Philo bank robbery investigated

PHILO – Champaign County sheriff's deputies are continuing to investigate a bank robbery in Philo.

Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said this morning his office and the FBI were jointly investigating the robbery Thursday at the Philo Exchange Bank branch facility at 401 N. Lincoln.

Bill would change domestic-violence bail rules

DANVILLE – Kenneth and Kathy Divan were prepared to take their grandchildren and leave the state when they heard that their son-in-law, who was accused of murdering their daughter, could get out of jail.

"We were concerned about him getting out," said Kathy Divan, whose son-in-law, Kenneth Gray, 34, of Newtown, faces first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of their daughter, Kimberly Gray, 34. "We were concerned for our grandchildren and our own safety."

Officials warn of phishing scams

Two women at the University of Illinois fell prey to someone "phishing" for financial information.

Authorities warn citizens not to give out any personal information, including Social Security numbers, bank account or credit union account information or credit card numbers to anyone online.

Uni High assistant track coach accused of molesting students

URBANA – An assistant track coach at University High School is accused of molesting two girls since last fall.

Yuri Ermakov, 23, who listed an address in the 1000 block of East Colorado Avenue, Urbana, was arraigned Monday on two separate counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Dialogues with Champaign police spur changes

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign police are responding to some of the suggestions they heard from Champaign residents during 14 citizen and police dialogues held last fall.

Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney said the dialogues, which were scheduled last summer after the release of a state traffic stop report, proved valuable to the department.