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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.

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."

Harold welcomed home

CHAMPAIGN – Coming full circle and receiving a standing ovation from the audience, former Miss America Erika Harold on Thursday evening took the Virginia Theatre stage where she had won her first local pageant.

After thanking those attending the "Strengthen the Spirit" homecoming event in her honor, Harold belted out the hymn, "To God Give the Glory," setting the tone for her short and rapidly delivered speech.

Sidewalk barricade upsets neighbors

RANTOUL – Residents of an east Rantoul neighborhood say they are upset by a barricade that was put up by a village board member and her husband to block a sidewalk that leads to an elementary school.

Lori Walsh said she saw Ray and Helen Lewis put the barricade across a sidewalk that runs from Birch Street to Pine Street leading to Eastlawn Elementary School on Sept. 19. Helen Lewis is a member of the Rantoul Village Board.

Loading zones proposed

CHAMPAIGN – Those trucks that block traffic lanes in downtown Champaign while drivers make deliveries could soon become a thing of the past.

City staff members are planning to designate five commercial loading zones in the downtown area by mid-October, where truckers and delivery people will be expected to park. Those who continue to block city streets face, potentially, a ticket and a $75 fine.

Alloy ordered to pay $1.08 million in damages

URBANA – Stacy Wathen said her participation in a lawsuit against a neighborhood foundry with scores of her neighbors was not primarily about the money. It was about the right to enjoy the home she's lived in for 11 years and not having to worry about her toddler playing outside.

On Wednesday, after some 12 hours of deliberations over two days, a Champaign County jury found Alloy Engineering & Casting of Champaign liable for $1.08 million in damages to 36 of 80 original plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed two years ago. The suit alleged that emissions from the foundry were damaging property and diminishing the quality of life for neighbors of the 52-year-old foundry.

Farm show cleanup a massive endeavor

HENNING – England-based manufacturer Ron Daffern had hoped to spend Thursday showing farm equipment to throngs of visitors at the 2003 Farm Progress Show and building a customer base in the United States.

Instead, he spent what was to be the last day of the show packing up to go home.