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Rantoul to consider later liquor sales

RANTOUL – The owner of Keefer's Lounge wants Rantoul's bars to stay open until 2:30 a.m. to better compete with Champaign and Urbana.

"The people of Rantoul are going to spend their money in the bars anyway; it's just a question of whether they are going to do it in Champaign-Urbana or stay here in town," said Keith LaGrone, owner of Keefer's Lounge.

Ex-worker files discrimination complaint against city

CHAMPAIGN – The former parking programs manager for the city of Champaign has filed a federal complaint contending he was demoted because he is black.

Norman Hale, 53, filed the charge of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on July 21, contending the city had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by demoting him without just cause.

UI trustees to weigh conflict-of-interest plan

CHAMPAIGN – IllinoisVentures, a University of Illinois program designed to help technology-related businesses get a start, is considering investing in a company that's seeking management help from UI President James Stukel's son, Paul.

The UI's Board of Trustees will be asked Thursday to approve a "conflict-of-interest management plan" that would pave the way for an investment in PRZM Technologies.

Events planned for Sept. 11 remembrance

URBANA – A flag that flew over the Pentagon will be raised Thursday to commemorate Sept. 11, 2001.

The flag is one of 161 flags that flew over the Pentagon a year ago to mark the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and four airliners.

Professors work to span generation gap

When Professor Janet Keller began teaching, Jimmy Carter was elected president, the Apple computer made its way to the market and a movie about a boxing underdog named Rocky took the viewing audience by storm. That was 1976, almost 10 years before the incoming University of Illinois freshmen were born.

Since then, four presidents have taken office, the once state-of-the art Apple computers are now relics and Sylvester Stallone has made four additional Rocky movies, making him far less of an underdog. There is an obvious generation gap between Keller and her students.

No certainty in hiring

CHAMPAIGN – When Champaign police hired Kevin Crum, a Champaign-Urbana native who had grown up to become a cop in Kentucky, they thought they knew what they were getting.

A background check, psychological testing and references were all good, so Crum, 31, was hired under Champaign's experienced officer program. Crum's Aug. 30 arrest in Harrodsburg, Ky., on charges of attempted murder and carrying deadly weapons shocked people in both Champaign and Kentucky.

Researchers seeking positive uses for viruses

Viruses are adept at delivering their genetic material to the inside of our cells.

And while it often makes us sick, there's nothing personal about it. The viruses do it to replicate and survive.

Public defender changes sought

URBANA – Champaign County's presiding judge is suggesting a rather sweeping change in the way poor people accused of felony crimes are represented.

Judge J.G. Townsend has proposed hiring two more full-time public defenders and doing away with the contracts now held by four local attorneys to represent indigent clients.

It's your business: Orders being taken for new cemetery book

Mother and daughter Hope and Holly Labisky of Champaign have been photographing and researching cemeteries in Illinois for seven years, and they are sharing their findings in a new book called "Cemeterying with Hope."

Holly Labisky also started her own publishing business called For More than Pavement to bring out the 200-page book, for which she and her mother are taking orders and offering delivery.

A man of many, many talents

SAVOY– Bill Smith is a longtime Eastern Illinois University professor, an avid cross-country skier, a published author and a three-term member of the Savoy Village Board, but he says he is just happy to be alive.

Smith is on the road to recov-