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Latest planning effort includes all of growing UI campus

CHAMPAIGN – For 30-some years, St. Mary's Road was an unofficial line of demarcation between the University of Illinois campus and farmland to the south.

Even if it was UI land on the south, it was still agrarian, spotted with farms, barns, sheeps, pigs, horses and cattle, and close enough for city kids to ride their bikes over and investigate the rural life in their back yard.


Good friends in high places

SPRINGFIELD – While waiting for his car one night outside a fund-raiser about a decade ago, Champaign native-turned-Chicago roofing contractor Christopher G. Kelly met a gregarious young state lawmaker.

"He just came up and introduced himself," Kelly said.


No student load is heavier than getting out vote

The life of University of Illinois senior Lauren Kidwell is only going to get busier. The president of the College Democrats worked all last week to register students for the March primary election.

"Right now, we are in the middle of a big voter registration push," said Kidwell. "Students are very much under- registered."


Charges filed in infant's death

DANVILLE – An Oakwood man was arraigned on murder charges Friday in Vermilion County Circuit Court in the death of his girlfriend's daughter.

Andrew R. Drollinger, 19, of the 200 block of Barbara Drive, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the death of 10-month-old Macey Duewer, the daughter of Jessica Shields of St. Joseph.


Liquor controversy continues

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign City Council can't seem to get away from the alcohol issue.

At a Jan. 13 study session, the council rejected a proposed three-year moratorium on the number of downtown bars in a controversial 5-4 vote. The council then also instructed staff to draw up a liquor ordinance amendment that would set no cap at all on the number of package liquor licenses. The current limit is 29.


Ex-area officer faces competency hearing

HARRODSBURG, Ky. – The case of a former Champaign police officer accused of plotting to kill a woman and her family in Kentucky has been pushed back pending completion of a competence evaluation.

At a hearing Tuesday in Mercer County Circuit Court, the defense attorneys for Kevin Crum asked that a status hearing be continued while Crum completes a competency evaluation, according to Commonwealth Attorney Richie Bottoms, who is prosecuting the case.


Area official found guilty

SULLIVAN – A jury has found Moultrie County Board member William Wade Baumgartner guilty of perjury for signing election papers for the county board while living in Champaign.

The jury of seven men and four women returned a guilty verdict following four hours of deliberation on Thursday.


Friday the 13th strikes St. Joe man

ST. JOSEPH – A "really very odd incident" resulted in a fire that caused $60,000 in damage and injured a St. Joseph man.

According to Russell Chism, assistant chief of the St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District, firefighters were called to 2260 Wesley Court at 10 a.m. Friday. They found a house with "smoke throughout the residence," Chism said.


Sports injury legislation introduced

SPRINGFIELD – If a patient gets sick, a doctor will prescribe medicine to help them get better.

But if a patient suffers from a sports injury, sometimes the prescribed cure is rehabilitation instead.


Jerry's IGA employee gives account of 2003 robbery

URBANA – Although it happened more than a year ago, it was evident that Debbie Shoemaker is still terrified by having had a gun stuck in her face by a masked man and her employer robbed of thousands of dollars.

Shoemaker was the first witness to testify Wednesday for the prosecution in the Champaign County armed robbery trial of Sean Blackwell, 23, whose last known address was in the 2200 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue, Urbana.