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All News Content

Alcohol's havoc is tamer

URBANA – A police officer responsible for enforcing local liquor ordinances believes there are fewer serious problems these days due to alcohol.

Champaign police Sgt. Scott Friedlein, who has been in charge of the city's alcohol enforcement since 1995, told participants at a daylong seminar Friday on alcohol and other drug issues that there some successes to celebrate, but things that are working have to be continued and expanded.

Utilities warn of high bills for heat

CHAMPAIGN – Central Illinois consumers should brace for higher natural gas prices – and possibly an earlier-than-usual start to higher monthly bills with the winter heating season arriving weeks ahead of the Great Pumpkin.

With the recent cold snap, many furnaces are already on. But it's not too late to make homes more energy-efficient, take steps to conserve on natural gas usage and enroll in monthly budget billing programs offered by the local utilities, say officials of Illinois Power Co. and Ameren Corp.

School board eyes tax increase

ST. JOSEPH – Local school board members face tough decisions in the years to come, and they are looking at options that include tax increases, cutbacks and consolidation.

But Victor Zimmerman, superintendent of the St. Joseph-Ogden High School district, said even though the fiscal year budget projects a $547,885 deficit, the district is not in as dire straits as some school systems.

Studies on aging focus of conference

A Chinese Qi-Gong exercise master will open preliminary activities for an international conference on aging research at the University of Illinois with a public demonstration on Monday.

The presentation is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the UI's Intramural Physical Education Building, Gym 4, 201 E. Peabody Drive, C. It is sponsored by the UI College of Applied Life Studies, Campus Recreation, Carle Therapy Services and the Mettler Center.

Officials warn motorists: Beware of deer

URBANA – Laura Elam of rural Rantoul was driving home on some back roads north of Urbana late Thursday night when some deer ran across the road in front of her car.

"There were five of them," Elam said. "They were just coming across the road. It was either hit one or swerve and maybe flip my car. I really didn't have time to do anything. It was pretty scary."

'Like falling off a wall'

CHAMPAIGN – Michael Igyarto enjoys rock-climbing so much, he figured jumping down the side of a five-story building would offer the same thrill and more.

The University of Illinois freshman in mathematics participated Thursday in an Army ROTC-led training exercise, where students rappel down Memorial Stadium.

Historic UI corn plot damaged by vandals

URBANA – An unidentified group of people damaged the historic Morrow Plots at the University of Illinois recently when they stomped down a number of corn stalks.

The Morrow Plots are the oldest agronomic experiment fields in the United States and include the longest-term continuous corn plot in the world. They were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968.

Officer's suit alleges free speech violation

URBANA – The former head of a local multiagency drug unit claims in a federal lawsuit that three of his own bosses in the state police violated his rights to free speech after he said two Paris men may have been wrongfully convicted of murders.

Lt. Michale Callahan's suit, filed Sept. 23 in U.S. District Court in Urbana by Springfield attorney John A. Baker, claims that on June 16, Callahan was stripped of many of his official duties, relieved of prestigious investigations duties and assigned a much less prestigious patrol duty.

Biodiesel making waves

URBANA – Urbana resident Larry Larson is willing to go the extra mile for the environment.

Every two to three months, Larson drives one of his diesel cars to Rantoul or Bloomington to fill up 10 five-gallon fuel cans with biodiesel, a clean-burning, soy-based fuel.

Biomed imaging center gains devices, attention

A new set of world-class magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, devices at a rejuvenated University of Illinois research center already is attracting a lot of attention.

The UI's Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Facility has undergone some big changes since it became part of the Beckman Institute in July of last year and was renamed the Biomedical Imaging Center.