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All News Content

Danville revokes Fetch Um taxi's license

DANVILLE – A local taxicab company's license has been revoked after its owner was found guilty of six city ordinance violations.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer ordered Winter Bruce of Fetch Um Transportation, 708 N. Vermilion St., to surrender his business license and permits to the city by noon Monday and to cease all operations by or before that time.

C-U dims electricity study

CHAMPAIGN – A preliminary study to look at what it would take for Champaign and Urbana to implement a municipal electric system may be put on hold, as the cities wait to see whether St. Louis-based Ameren will improve service and upgrade the local electric infrastructure.

Ameren announced earlier this week that it will spend $2.3 billion to acquire Illinois Power's distribution centers from Dynegy, as well as Dynegy's 20 percent stake in a Joppa coal mine.

Fighting bacteria the 'natural' way

University of Illinois researchers have revealed nature's method of making a potent antibiotic, a process which scientists have been trying to reproduce since the late 1980s.

The discovery by UI chemistry Professor Wilfred van der Donk and colleagues could lead to making powerful new antibiotics the natural way. That's important in an age when growing antibiotic resistance is a concern in medicine and other fields, and when the threat of terrorist attacks with biological weapons looms, heightening the need for new antibiotics.

No-frills higher education budget proposed

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was happy to see its $52 million Lincoln Hall renovation project listed as a top priority in the Illinois Board of Higher Education's budget proposal this week, but the overall outlook for the state's universities and community colleges was a little more bleak.

The board's proposed budget for the year beginning July 1 represents "a careful, realistic way of thinking" in light of the state's current fiscal crisis, said executive director Dan LaVista.

Elimination of merit awards recommended

SPRINGFIELD – Scholarships for Illinois' top high school graduates may be the latest casualties of the state's budget crisis.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the Illinois Board of Higher Education are recommending that the state eliminate funding for the Merit Recognition Scholarship program for the year beginning July 1.

Club drug prevention project launched

URBANA – University of Illinois students, along with more than two dozen counselors, police officers, medical professionals and social service agencies, gathered Thursday to kick off a new program aimed at preventing the growing spread of Ecstasy, methamphetamines and so-called "club drugs" among young adults.

Project X, a statewide project using $2.5 million – mostly from assets seized from people convicted of drug crimes – is being organized to combat the use of those drugs.

Coach firing sparks furor

CHAMPAIGN – On the eve of a regional basketball championship game, Champaign school officials fired a popular Franklin Middle School coach who admits he pushed a player down on the bench.

That player: Superintendent Arthur Culver's seventh-grade son, Alexander, who coach Todd Anderson says swore at him when he removed him from the game because he was playing poorly. Culver, who attended the Wednesday sectional game at Tolono's Unity Junior High School, took his son home before the game ended with a Franklin victory.

Teen-agers in Oakland park case identified

OAKLAND – The Douglas County coroner has released the name of a teen-age boy from rural Hindsboro who was found dead in a state park early Thursday.

Coroner Joe Victor said Eric Richardson, 17, of rural Hindsboro, was found dead in a remote area of Walnut Point State Park by friends around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Willard clear for Delta negotiations

CHAMPAIGN – Delta has been cleared for takeoff from Willard Airport based on the initial return of nearly $900,000 in ticket commitments from the flying Champaign County business community.

Securing the services of the nation's third leading carrier is a milestone local officials have been working toward for months in an effort to bring the traveling public back to their home regional airport.

Legislators pursue gaming to raise revenue

SPRINGFIELD – The chairmen of the House and Senate gaming committees are betting that a plan to legalize video-poker payouts in bars, add slot machines and tables to existing riverboats and put slots at racetracks will win the support this year that it failed to garner last spring.

"I think we can put together a coalition to pass this legislation, or I wouldn't be here today," said state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, who reintroduced a package of gambling bills Wednesday that he claimed could generate up to $2.3 billion in new state revenue the first year, plus an extra $1 billion or so each year after.