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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.
RANTOUL– The Freeman family used to go together to see movies at Rantoul's downtown Wings theater every weekend.
But in February 2000, Chicago-based Kerasotes Theatres shut down the two-screen theater and converted it into a storage building.
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.
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.
URBANA – John Gadau was ecstatic when he heard Nancy Cantor had resigned. To Steve Kaufman, it was "a death in the family."
The only thing these two men have in common is an intense interest in Chief Illiniwek: Gadau bought billboards calling for Cantor's ouster and the Chief's retention; Kaufman has worked tirelessly to attack the Chief as a racist mascot.
CHAMPAIGN – A Franklin Middle School basketball coach fired after a confrontation with the Champaign superintendent's son says support from parents and the community has been "overwhelming."
The Champaign school board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Mellon Building, 703 S. New St., C, and district spokeswoman Beth Shepperd said public comment on the Franklin events is expected.
DANVILLE – A local taxicab company's license has been revoked after its owner was found guilty of six city ordinance violations.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.
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.
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.
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.