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All News Content

Governor's plan erases deficit

SPRINGFIELD – To solve what he estimates is a $1.7 billion deficit, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today proposed a $43.5 billion operations budget for the year beginning July 1 that spares the University of Illinois from major cuts, but will mean higher taxes for large farms and corporations, and elimination of funding for the Council on Food and Agricultural Research and other grants.

According to budget director John Filan, the governor plans to cut costs by $840 million, and expects to generate $945 million in new revenues on top of modest $280 million in estimated base revenue growth. That's enough to cover the deficit and a $340 million net increase in spending without raising the sales or income taxes, he said.

Reaction to white-only scholarship divided at UI

Members of some University of Illinois student organizations were divided in their reaction to an East Coast university group's decision to set up a white-only scholarship.

The College Republicans chapter at Roger Williams University now offers a $250 scholarship for white students only, a move they said was designed to protest affirmative action.

State handing out 5 ag scholarships

Applications are now available for "Excellence in Agriculture" scholarships from Illinois Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka's office.

"Agriculture education is so important to keeping the industry alive and well in Illinois," Topinka said in a written statement. "By encouraging today's students, we can help ensure agriculture's success well into the 21st century."

Jury to decide on price tag for farmland

URBANA – A jury will decide how much the University of Illinois pays for a farm near Savoy – the owner's estimate is about twice the university's.

Judge Arnold Blockman opened the eminent domain proceeding Monday by instructing jury members that their job isn't about deciding whether the state can take the Burwash farm at First Street and Old Church Road, but how much it will have to pay for it.

Man convicted of armed robbery at Jerry's IGA

URBANA – A 23-year-old Urbana man with a history of violent crimes faces up to 30 years in prison for his most recent conviction.

A Champaign County jury on Monday convicted Sean Blackwell, whose last known address was in the 2200 block of Cottage Grove Avenue, of the Feb. 2, 2003, armed robbery of an employee at the Jerry's IGA, 2010 S. Philo Road, U.

Ladies in the making

BISMARCK – When Norma Claypool holds a tea party, she has lots of advice for the young ladies sitting around her dining room table.

The Bismarck resident very seriously tells her young guests, "There are two things a lady should never leave home without: her smile and deodorant."

Intruders hasten Prairienet upgrade

URBANA – Prairienet officials expected key services to be back in action today after an attack shut down most of the community computer network for East Central Illinois.

Intruders attempted to install "sniffing" software to collect Prairienet e-mail addresses, passwords and other information, but the software was incompatible with Prairienet's mail system.

It's Your Business: Campustown shop features high-end clothing

Paris' Boutique, a store featuring high-end clothing for women, opened earlier this month in Campustown at 202 E. Green St., C.

The owner, Paris Seloover of Farmer City, said she is carrying casual and dressier clothing in such brands as Ella Moss, C&C California, Seven for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, Blue Cult, Chip & Pepper and Yanuk.

Common bond crosses cultures

DANVILLE – Laughing, joking and talking at a Valentine's Day party at the Danville Family YMCA, 17-year-old Gaelle Cintre of France and 16-year-old Danny Labordo of the Philippines don't appear to be from different cultures or speak different languages.

"We're living the same things far from our families," said Cintre, referring to Labordo, herself and the other Rotary exchange students who are thousands of miles from their homes while attending school in East Central Illinois.

UI vets say mad-cow risk to cats and dogs is low

During the peak of the mad cow outbreak in Great Britain in the 1990s, about 100 cats were diagnosed with a feline version of the brain-wasting disease.

But the risk of a cat or dog contracting mad cow disease from its pet food is rare, said veterinarians with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.