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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.


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.


Farm show has soggy ending

HENNING – Sunshine and steady winds out of the southwest had renewed hopes that the 2003 Farm Progress Show would reopen to the public today after Wednesday's show was canceled due to heavy rains, but an additional quarter-inch of rain Wednesday night dashed those hopes.

"We fought a valiant battle, but a losing battle," said Farm Progress Midwest Regional Business Manager Don Tourte at about 10 p.m. Wednesday after deciding that the additional rain would make it impossible to reopen for the final day of the show.


Problems cited at dialysis center

URBANA – The Champaign-Urbana Dialysis Center has been ordered to correct several deficiencies under threat of losing its certification as a provider of renal dialysis services to Medicare patients.

The dialysis center, which is based in rented space at Provena Covenant Medical Center's new medical office building in Urbana, is operated by New York-based Renal Research Institute.


Consolidation of health services studied

CHAMPAIGN – An assortment of public officials are in the initial stages of an inquiry into consolidating health care services for the poor on city-owned land next to Beardsley Park.

Possible outcomes of the initiative could combine services of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District with the Frances Nelson Health Center in a single building or health campus just east of the existing health district main office at 710 N. Neil St.


Trustee selection change sought

SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, has introduced legislation, HB 3832, calling for a return to the election of University of Illinois trustees.

Mitchell, an Eastern Illinois University graduate, said the current system of appointing UI trustees has not provided enough accountability.


Communications task force given three-phase mission

URBANA – A College of Communications task force has been appointed to address the concerns found in a recent assessment of the college, compare it with the five best programs in the country, and come up with a plan for the future that will likely involve some restructuring.

Ron Yates, interim dean of the college and head of the University of Illinois journalism department, announced the members of the task force Wednesday and gave them a written charge for their work over the next few months.


New judge selected for Champaign County

URBANA – A veteran prosecutor and former Champaign police officer has been selected as Champaign County's newest judge.

Champaign County Presiding Judge J.G. Townsend announced this morning that Charles "Chase" Leonhard, 49, of Champaign, has been selected to fill the associate judgeship being vacated by the upcoming retirement of Ann Einhorn. The judges interviewed 16 candidates Friday; the 13 elected circuit judges from the 6th circuit submitted their written ballots that day to the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.


First day offers chance to promote ag products

HENNING – At the Farm Progress Show, companies such as John Deere and New Holland show off their latest and greatest products.

Crowds gathered Tuesday morning and afternoon to marvel at the new, hulking machinery found at the exhibit field and demonstration areas east of Tent City.