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All News Content

Coach's supporters confront school board

CHAMPAIGN – Firefighters, community members and teachers packed the Champaign schools' boardroom Monday to confront administrators about the firing of a popular Franklin Middle School coach.

But they got little satisfaction. After listening impassively to comments about the firing last week of part-time coach Todd Anderson, who was reinstated last weekend for the remainder of the season, board members adjourned into an executive session, with attorneys, that lasted for about 80 minutes.

Krauss adds to Grammy collection

LOS ANGELES – Alison Krauss may need more shelf space.

Krauss, a Champaign native, won three Grammy awards on Sunday night, one for singing with James Taylor and the other two for recordings of her live performances.

Lego lessons learned

Tony Grift is developing a tractor that stops itself from rolling over, a sensor-festooned spray rig that "sees" where fertilizer is needed and a variety of other types of robotic equipment aimed at farming.

"Nobody really likes this whole automated farm idea," the University of Illinois agricultural and biological engineering professor said recently. "But I think it's going to happen. Robots are the future of agriculture."

Dem pushes health care overhaul

MATTOON – Imagine no health insurance deductibles on your paycheck, no co-pays, no premiums, no doctor bills at all.

David Gill can. That's why he's running for Congress.

It's Your Business: Taco Bell opening new Champaign restaurant

A new Taco Bell restaurant is coming to Champaign.

The franchise group that operates the four other Taco Bell locations in Champaign-Urbana has leased the property where Schlotzsky's Deli used to be, at 1707 S. Neil St.

Longer TIF urged by staff

CHAMPAIGN – City officials want to introduce legislation in Springfield to extend the life of the city's downtown tax increment financing district for another 12 years.

And, if an agreement can be reached with other taxing bodies, the city is promising to share each year some of the money the downtown district generates.

Grievance procedures questioned

CHAMPAIGN – Charles Vogel looks back at the last few months and can't quite believe where life has taken him.

The trim, 48-year-old former boxer dislocated his hip while unloading trucks at work last year. Doctors told him he had torn several tendons and needed therapy. Unable to work, he was fired from his job, lost his apartment when his savings ran out, and wound up staying at the TIMES Center in downtown Champaign.

New law forces release of contact prescriptions

CHAMPAIGN – Millions of people who wear contact lenses have a brand new legal right some may never have known they were missing – the right to buy their lenses wherever they choose.

Under a federal law that took effect Wednesday, eye care professionals, such as optometrists and ophthalmologists, must release contact lenses prescriptions to their patients after the fitting process has been completed.

District reinstates coach at Franklin

CHAMPAIGN – School administrators Saturday resolved a controversy that's caused a storm in the district – and the community – by reinstating Franklin Middle School basketball coach Todd Anderson.

They announced that Anderson will be allowed to coach his seventh- and eighth-grade teams until the season ends, but they also announced that he will then resign from his job as coach there.

A place to call home

CHAMPAIGN – With six kids between them, and another on the way, Cynthia and Jamie Bigham were desperate for more room – and a place of their own.

So they were delighted with their new four-bedroom home on Ash Street in Champaign, built with lots of sweat equity and help from the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.