URBANA – A mayor who changed Urbana has won a statewide award from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Hiram Paley, a University of Illinois mathematics professor who was elected Urbana's second Democratic mayor in 1973, will be awarded the Roger Baldwin Award Oct. 1.
CHAMPAIGN – A five-fold increase in the number of poor people receiving general assistance is prompting the City of Champaign Township supervisor to ask for $228,000 in budget amendments.
City of Champaign Township Supervisor Linda Abernathy warns that she expects the township to plow through most of its general assistance reserve funds by the end of the fiscal year, next June 30.
URBANA – A judge ordered Wednesday that a teen-ager accused of setting fires at Urbana Middle School be detained pending juvenile court proceedings.
Judge Harry Clem ruled that there was probable cause for a juvenile charge of aggravated arson and ordered that a 15-year-old Urbana male be held at the Champaign County Youth Detention Center.
SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission hearing board has recommended a two-year suspension for Monticello attorney Leonard Keith Hays Jr., who admitted committing forgery and perjury in his own divorce proceedings.
Hays, who represented himself, told the commission's hearing board: "I can't completely understand what caused me to do what I did" and "I cannot provide any definitive reason that is acceptable to me," the hearing board report stated.
URBANA – Champaign County's drug court program has received a major boost, in the form of a federal grant of nearly $200,000, aimed at keeping more convicted criminals drug-free and crime-free.
The $199,830 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice was to be announced this morning by U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, at the Prairie Center Health Systems offices in Urbana. Prairie Center provides the treatment for drug court clients.
URBANA – Champaign County's new associate judge has a background in defending employment and discrimination cases for private and public sector clients, civil rights and municipal liability cases.
Richard "Rich" Klaus, 41, of Champaign, was selected from a field of 13 applicants. A partner in the Urbana firm of Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, located across the street from the courthouse, Klaus will sit in traffic court beginning Oct. 3.
DANVILLE – In about 10 seconds, the newest member of the Danville Fire Department was able to locate a few drops of kerosene in an open field next to fire station No. 3.
From Holland, she will be assisting the fire officials in determining arsons by tracking down as many as 16 different accelerants used to start fires. She also might fall asleep on the floor and drink from the toilet.
URBANA – A 10-member task force has been appointed to look into whether the city of Urbana should create a citizens police review board that would investigate citizen complaints about improper police conduct.
The Urbana City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to approve Mayor Laurel Prussing's recommendation to create the task force. The panel has been given a January deadline to report back with a recommendation and possible alternatives for how such a body would work.