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All News Content

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.

Rantoul wants to go to the movies

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.

Chief's fans, detractors react to resignation

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.

Support, questions flow after firing

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 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.