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All News Content

Champaign car booting starts Monday

CHAMPAIGN – The Denver boot is about to become the Champaign boot.

The Denver boot, which wraps around a wheel and prevents it from moving, will be used in Champaign, starting Monday. It will be reserved for people who have five or more outstanding parking violations that are at least 30 days old and when people have not responded to a final city notice to pay up.

Ex-Franklin coach seeks damages from district

CHAMPAIGN – A lawsuit filed against Champaign schools Wednesday sheds light on what happened during an encounter between the superintendent's son and his basketball coach.

The suit, filed by former Franklin Middle School Coach Todd Anderson, highlights events that led to his firing and then reinstatement after a confrontation with Superintendent Arthur Culver's son, Alexander, at a seventh-grade basketball game early in February.

Education plan gets mixed reviews

SPRINGFIELD – A rare Senate committee of the whole hearing lasting more than seven hours Wednesday did little to change the minds of lawmakers wary about Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plan to strip the State Board of Education of its duties and set up a new Department of Education under his control.

"As I learn more and more of the details in the governor's plan, I cannot support his particular takeover effort," said state Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa.

Tools let network operators see their way to security

Had it not taken place in East Central Illinois, it might have seemed like an odd conversation for two computer networking guys to be having.

More than a year ago, Jim Barlow, chief security engineer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and Kiran Lakkaraju, a doctoral student on NCSA's Security Incident Fusion Tool team, were talking cornfields.

Immigrant licenses measure advances

SPRINGFIELD – The cause of immigrants who lack Social Security numbers but wish to obtain driver's licenses and buy insurance edged forward in the House on Wednesday.

The House Executive Committee voted 10-2 to allow the licenses for an estimated 300,000 undocumented immigrants who could be eligible in Illinois.

Obscure state agency carries heavy burden

Gary Meyer is the first to admit most Illinois consumers probably have no idea what he does, or even that the bureau he works for exists.

As a products and standards inspector with the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Weights and Measures, Meyer travels the state measuring and weighing products, whether it's a bushel of potatoes or a container of potato salad.

Praise for shelter aired

CHAMPAIGN – On a cold Saturday morning in December, Charles Doty got up from his cot at the TIMES Center and was shocked by the face that stared back at him in the bathroom mirror.

His eyes were nearly swollen shut. His face, neck and feet were full of fluid. He sat down to have a cup of coffee, thinking he might feel better. A staff member for the homeless shelter hurried over, saying "We've got to get you out of here."

Two Urbana teaching jobs among possible cuts

URBANA – Sharply divided school board members added one teacher's job to their list of potential cuts Tuesday, and at least one more job is on the line.

Board President Joyce Hudson didn't attend the meeting because she was sick, but she watched the action on cable television, phoned staff members to communicate her opinions on issues, and when the vote on teachers' jobs and several other issues stalled at 3-3, Hudson came in to tip the balance in favor of those cuts.

Five-man band lets music do the talking

CHAMPAIGN – "The Flintstones Theme" has probably never before been played at the University YMCA's Know Your Universities series, whose topics rarely lend themselves to cartoons.

New York jazzman Cecil Bridgewater changed all that Tuesday with a beboppy rendition of the animation theme, as well as "Take the A Train," in which his five-man band rivaled Duke Ellington's.

Health center can't keep up with demand

CHAMPAIGN – For more than two years, the growing medical needs of low-income and uninsured people have been steadily gaining on what Frances Nelson Health Center in Champaign has to offer.

About a month ago, the clinic could no longer keep up. It started a waiting list for new patients, and those on it now number about 200, said Frances Nelson's site director, Andrea Goldberg.