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Later Rantoul liquor sales rejected

RANTOUL – The last call for alcohol won't be changing in Rantoul.

Following a spirited discussion Tuesday evening, the Rantoul Village Board unanimously rejected a proposal by bar owner Keith LaGrone to extend liquor sales on weekends.

UI's Taft, Van Doren halls now blend both genders

CHAMPAIGN – Junior Nick Greene made Taft residence hall home for the past two years before switching over to the adjoining Van Doren this year. That option had been impossible for the last 46 years.

When the two University of Illinois residence hall buildings were built in 1957, Taft was strictly for male students and Van Doren strictly for women. It remained that way until last spring.

Library district seeks tax increase

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.

$2.8 million will aid UI ag research

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.

Area Episcopal priests protest recent decisions

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.

Small community a big help to ailing farmer

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.

New Champaign police chief selected

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.

UI prof nets physics Nobel

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.

Rantoul will make pitch for farm show

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.

Solar variations may play part in global warming

Cyclical, natural variations in the sun's intensity added to manmade factors could make global warming worse than has been anticipated.

That's one implication of a study by University of Illinois researchers and colleagues of the environmental changes recorded in the sediment of an Alaskan lake over the last 12,000 years.