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County 911 can now trace cellphone calls

URBANA – Emergency dispatchers were able recently to track down a call from a woman who was involved in a fight with her husband, thanks to improvements in the local 911 system.

Greg Abbott, 911 coordinator for the Metropolitan Computer-Aided Dispatch service in Urbana, said Monday that cellphone users now have a new level of 911 access available.

Changes to put middle schools on same page

CHAMPAIGN – Carol Stack faced formidable issues when she examined Champaign middle school programs to see how they could be standardized.

For one thing, day length and class length at the three Unit 4 middle schools were all different. For another, the schools all offered different types of math instruction and at one school, Jefferson, the foreign language program was completely different from those at Edison and Franklin.

Urbana endorses tram idea

URBANA – Urbana City Council members, unlike their counterparts in Champaign, decided Monday night they aren't willing to give up yet on a proposed $178 million tram project.

Urbana aldermen voted 5-2 to endorse a fixed guideway or tram system as the locally preferred alternative for improving the local mass transit system, and to support the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District's efforts to apply for federal funding for continued study of engineering, design and costs and benefits of such a system.

Monticello hopes to put trail proposal in motion

MONTICELLO – The city of Monticello hopes to acquire a stretch of an abandoned railroad bed as the first part of a proposal hiking and biking trail linking Monticello with Allerton Park.

If the initial project succeeds, recreation enthusiasts hope to extend the trail northeast to White Heath and dream of eventually extending it further east to Champaign-Urbana and on to Kickapoo State Park near Danville.

Gleeful Illini fans party like it's 1952

SAVOY – It was a celebration 52 years in the making, and Illinois fans did it up right Sunday night when welcoming home their Big Ten Conference champion Illinois men's basketball team.

"Fifty-two years is a long time, but we finally pulled it off," Illinois junior guard Luther Head told a spirited crowd – estimated by one Flightstar charter company official to be about 1,500 people – that flocked to Willard Airport after the Illini clinched the title outright for the first time since 1952 with a 64-63 victory against Ohio State.

Carle plans to eliminate smoking on campuses

URBANA – In the spirit of setting a good example and creating the healthiest possible environment for staff, patients and visitors, Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Clinic say they'll be kicking smoking all the way off their campuses starting Sept. 1.

That means smokers who wants to light up on a Carle property won't only have to leave the buildings to do so. They'll have to leave the grounds.

Engineering open house grows

Battling robots and voting machines that don't just record the votes – they do the voting, too – are among the attractions scheduled for the annual University of Illinois Engineering Open House this week.

This year's open house will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, mostly in buildings on and around the UI Engineering Quad clustered near Springfield Avenue between Wright Street and Goodwin Avenue in Urbana.

It's Your Business: Kinko's making a move in Campustown

Remodeling is under way on the new Campustown location for Kinko's, which plans to move from 606 S. Sixth St., C, to 613 S. Wright St., C, this spring.

Shop manager Debbie Montgomery said the move is set to take place in mid-May, and the Kinko's on Sixth Street will remain open until then.

3 candidates vying for circuit judgeship

URBANA – With no Democrats in the primary, three Republican candidates are trying to fill the seat vacated by Judge John DeLaMar almost two years ago.

The three have tried to stay above controversy or attacks on each other, and all three are experienced, so the main issue, according to the candidates, is which experience is the most important.

'Carving out' mental health care

CHAMPAIGN – When two Champaign psychiatrists left Christie Clinic and set up new practices in Coles County last year, many of their Champaign-Urbana patients took on an out-of-town commute to continue treatment with the same doctors.

Now Drs. David Kopacz and Allan Crandell say many of their patients are fretting about another potential disruption to their mental health care – one that affects their insurance coverage.