CHAMPAIGN – Six college-age students escaped injury early today when fire consumed the rental house on campus where they were staying. Two of them are in police custody for setting the fire.
Champaign police Sgt. Geoff Coon said Sean Carey, 22, and his brother Kevin Carey, 19, who lived at the fire-ravaged house at 906 S. First St., C, were arrested for aggravated arson early today after admitting they set the fire. "They had been lighting newspapers on fire on the front porch on two separate occasions Sunday evening. They left and came back after being out and started doing it again," Coon said. "It went up pretty good on the front porch."
DANVILLE – A Chicago man is scheduled to stand trial this week in Vermilion County Circuit Court for the first-degree murder of a Danville man in January 2004.
Andre Smith, 31, faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, home invasion and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, in addition to first-degree murder charges.
URBANA – A Champaign County judge regarded as an expert in traffic offenses, most notably driving under the influence, has been asked by the state's judges to take a fresh look at how bond is posted in traffic cases.
"The task is huge," Judge Jeff Ford said of his recent appointment by the Illinois Conference of Chief Circuit Judges.
RURAL RANKIN – A Ford County Board member was killed early this morning when his truck collided with a semitrailer truck south of Rankin.
Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson said Michael F. Rieken, 62, of Paxton was pronounced dead at 5:16 a.m. at the scene of the accident on County Road 3550 North and Illinois 49.
DECATUR – A former Monticello High School teacher and coach pleaded guilty on Friday for the indecent solicitation of sex from a child through the Internet.
Larry Albaugh, 53, of Monticello, pleaded guilty to a Class 3 felony count of solicitation of sex from a child under the age of 17. Judge Ted Paine dismissed a second count.
The Illinois Supreme Court upheld convictions in two Champaign County criminal cases on Thursday.
The defendant in the first case was Ricky A. Patterson, who was convicted of the June 2002 murder of 31-year-old Derrick Prout. Patterson was also convicted of arson and concealment of a homicide, and was sentenced to serve at least 52 years in prison.
RANTOUL – The death of a 38-year-old Rantoul woman, who was killed in an accident early Monday at the Conair Corp. manufacturing plant at Rantoul, is being investigated by the Champaign County coroner and Rantoul police.
Coroner Duane Northrup said that Andrea Guajardo was pronounced dead at 10:13 a.m. Monday at the Carle Foundation Hospital emergency room in Urbana.
URBANA – The owners of the Home Run Food Mart, 1509 Washington St., have sued Urbana, seeking to overturn a city demand that the business must hire an armed, licensed security guard or face the loss of its package liquor license.
The suit was filed Wednesday in Champaign County Circuit Court.
Champaign native Sarah Fay is on life support in Hawaii, where her family hopes she can live long enough to birth her child.
The 1989 Champaign Central graduate was beaten into unconsciousness the day after Thanksgiving; her boyfriend has been arrested. Though doctors declared her brain-dead, her body continues to sustain a baby boy, whom she had decided to name Josiah.
RANTOUL – Richard Quick has been reinstated as Rantoul's fire chief.
Circuit Judge Michael Q. Jones ruled Monday that, while Quick's actions to have a firetruck repaired in Urbana rather than by the village's central maintenance department violated village policy, those actions did not warrant removing Quick as fire chief.