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Funding a 'stream of opportunities'

URBANA – Four companies are in line to become the first beneficiaries of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Corp. center in Champaign-Urbana.

The companies that have already received the money or will do so soon are:

Tough sell looms for new ice rinks

CHAMPAIGN – Dennis Timpanaro, a University of Illinois senior, is among the many students who use the UI Ice Arena.

On a recent morning, he was strapping on skates for a physical education class he's taking. He's a hockey fan – he's president of the Harassing Illini, the fan club for the UI Hockey Club – but his own skating needs work.

'Drinking is big issue' on campus

All Michael O'Connor remembers is that he blacked out. He was at a party with friends having a good time, and before he knew it, he had downed 10 alcoholic drinks. It was the first time the University of Illinois senior in computer engineering couldn't recall the previous night's events.

"It was kind of scary when I started remembering again," said O'Connor, 21. "The last thing I knew is that I was at a bar."

UI pay change takes effect

URBANA – Next week, many University of Illinois employees will be getting a smaller-than-usual paycheck as the UI changes its pay date.

But some will also be getting a second check in the mail, for a short-term loan to help them meet their expenses for the month.

Champaign schools work to correct busing issue

CHAMPAIGN – For some riders and drivers and even some district officials, the debut of Champaign schools' new busing schedule was a little bumpy.

Dan See's 6-year-old daughter wanted to ride the bus to her new school, Robeson Elementary, but things didn't go well that first day – or the second.

Ex-school official convicted by jury

URBANA – A former Champaign middle school dean in prison for indecent solicitation of a child was convicted Friday by a Champaign County jury of possession of firearms ammunition.

The latter charge against Brady Smith, 47, stemmed from a search that Macon County probation officers did of Smith's Urbana home Aug. 12, 2002.

Pastor accused of sex abuse

DANVILLE – A Danville man who recently opened a homeless shelter for teen-age mothers and their children has been arrested on a preliminary charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Willie Hall, 42, was arrested at 4 p.m. Thursday on the sexual abuse charge, according to Danville Police spokesman Larry Thomason.

Roofing restoration

And you thought that roofing job you did at the house this summer was a beast.

Robert Ousterhout has been reroofing since 1997, and he's just now getting done.

Police say Crum had checklist

HARRODSBURG, Ky. – Kevin Crum, now a former Champaign police officer, had practiced plans to murder a family in Kentucky and had a list of things to do and things to bring, a Harrodsburg detective testified Thursday.

Crum, 31, who had been living with a friend in the 1900 block of Lynwood Drive in Champaign, has been charged with and pleaded not guilty to six counts of attempted murder, four counts of carrying concealed deadly weapons and lesser charges of criminal trespass and operating a vehicle with a stolen license plate.

Farm show considers permanent locations

URBANA – When the 2003 Farm Progress Show kicks off Sept. 23 in Henning, it will have been 50 years since the "Super Bowl" of farm shows has been held in Vermilion County.

But residents may not have to wait another 50 years for the three-day event to return to their county.