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URBANA – Sen. Dick Durbin announced $2.8 million in federal funding for agriculture research at the University of Illinois at a meeting with researchers and college officials Tuesday.
Included in the fiscal year 2004 Agriculture Appropriations bill is $844,000 for the university's Soybean Disease Biotechnology Research Center.
TOLONO – The library district that includes Tolono, Savoy and Sadorus has asked for a 51 percent increase in property taxes.
Library officials don't really expect to receive that much more money due to tax caps, but they are asking for the increase to maximize the library's revenue from new construction, which isn't covered under tax caps.
URBANA – His father was a high school physics teacher in England, but a career in the field that he's now won a Nobel Prize for was the last thing on Anthony Leggett's mind.
He received his first undergraduate degree in classical languages and literature, studying Greek and Roman philosophy.
ATWOOD – News travels fast in small farming towns like Atwood.
Just last week, Gary Appleby learned his friend, farmer Don Mauck, had been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and liver. By Monday morning, about 20 combines started rolling down U.S. 36 on their way to harvest Mauck's fields.
RANTOUL – Rantoul wants to be the home of the Farm Progress Show.
The village will make a formal proposal within several weeks to become one of two permanent homes for the Farm Progress Show, according to Village Administrator Gary Adams.
URBANA – Episcopal priests representing some 40 congregations in central and southern Illinois met in Urbana over the weekend and adopted a resolution against naming unmarried persons living in sexual relationships to church leadership roles. The resolution also disapproves of blessing homosexual relationships.
The move stems from the August election of a gay man, living openly with another man, to bishop status in New Hampshire. It also refers to the decision by the national Episcopal organization to support the blessing of same-gender unions.
CHAMPAIGN – First a basketball coach, now a police chief.
Carbondale residents might be feeling today like their city is an employment training service for Champaign-Urbana.
Twin City Honda-BMW in Savoy plans to double its service department space to better accommodate its growing customer base, said Ron Bowen, the dealership's general manager.
Work on the expansion has already started. Concrete is being poured for more customer and employee parking space, because a new service building will take up part of the existing lot, he said.
URBANA – In national public library ratings, the Urbana Free Library once more has scored high – despite ongoing construction that might be keeping circulation down.
Urbana Free Library Executive Director Fred Schlipf said he was happy that Urbana registered a high score for the fifth straight year. It was ranked sixth in the state – competing mostly with wealthy Chicago suburbs in the ratings released Friday.
URBANA – Champaign County government's reliance on the public safety quarter-cent sales tax to pay for everyday operations of county government – and not just new construction projects – is growing.
The proposed fiscal 2004 county budget shows the county spending $608,900 in public safety sales tax funds to pay for electric and utility costs of public safety county buildings. That's at least double what was being spent on operations just two years ago.