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All News Content

Consumer, inform thyself, experts urge

CHAMPAIGN – Shortly after she took office in January, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan spent a Friday afternoon answering phone calls to her office.

Not to her surprise, two-thirds of the calls were from Illinois consumers complaining about telemarketers, Internet fraud scams, spam and other issues.

Farm show a washout, not a bath

HENNING – Instead of spending Thursday checking out the latest yield mapping software at the 2003 Farm Progress Show, Franco Faldini was pacing his hotel room in Indianapolis thinking of what he could do with his time.

The wheat and sunflower farmer from Argentina was one of tens of thousands of visitors who could not attend the 50th anniversary show north of Henning after organizers canceled the show Wednesday and Thursday due to heavy rains and mud-soaked fields.

Learning the hardest way

CHAMPAIGN – Tinisha Grider has packed a whole lot of learning into the last year, and the 28-year-old single mother has not had the benefit of college.

About a year ago, a man she thought she loved threw a coffee cup at her, cutting her arm so badly she required 17 stitches.

Confronting a psychiatric crisis

CHAMPAIGN – It was about nine months ago that University of Illinois senior Jennifer Tayabji lost her psychiatrist at Christie Clinic and found herself in urgent need of another to take over her care.

She soon learned just how difficult it would be to find an opening in any psychiatric practice in the local area.

Psychiatrists – those medical doctors who specialize in treating mental disorders – are in heavy demand and short supply in Champaign County and some surrounding communities.

Horse owners to vote on checkoff

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois horse owners are being asked to vote Tuesday, Oct. 7, on a statewide checkoff program that will cost them about $1.85 per year per horse, the Horseman's Council of Illinois said.

The checkoff is estimated to bring in $250,000 to $400,000 per year for educational and promotional programs, said Kevin Kline, professor of animal sciences at the University of Illinois. Kline helped launch the checkoff proposal.

Sisters to visit UI for anniversary of ruling

URBANA – In the fall of 1950, along with 19 other parents, Oliver Brown tried to enroll his two daughters, Linda and Cheryl, in a segregated school in Topeka, Kan.

When the school district would not allow the black children to enroll in a school designated for whites, Brown and the other parents sued. Their lawsuit ultimately led to the U.S. Supreme Court declaring school segregation unconstitutional in 1954.

Illinois Power for sale

Officials at Exelon Corp. in Chicago and Dynegy Inc. in Houston say they have entered into exclusive discussions about the sale of Illinois Power Co.

Illinois Power serves 590,000 electric customers and 415,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, including most residents of Champaign and Vermilion counties.

Park district seeking input

CHAMPAIGN – The shape of fun to come will be molded, park district officials say, by what the community has to say about it.

The Champaign Park District is embarking on a long-range planning process that kicks off with a town meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Virginia Theatre.

Student drinking also an issue at Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. – Peter Wilder oversees fraternity rush events at the University of Wisconsin, from social gatherings to flag football games at Camp Randall Stadium. He's never attended a bar or Greek mixer at the University of Illinois before, but he feels confident speaking about his campus' party school label.

"I think it is fairly accurate. Anywhere you go, you are going to find a place to party," said Wilder, 21, a member of Chi Psi. "The night life is pretty wild sometimes."

Champaign continues hunt for police chief

CHAMPAIGN – The search for a new Champaign police chief appears to be going slower than originally envisioned.

Champaign City Manager Steve Carter said a month ago he hoped to have a police chief selected by the end of September from among a group of five finalists. But Carter said Friday the search isn't yet at the point where he's ready to hire someone.