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University YMCA sets schedule for lecture series

CHAMPAIGN – Standing up for one's values in the face of opposing beliefs will be the theme of a series of lectures this semester on campus.

The University YMCA's Friday Forum lecture series begins this week. The lecture series is held every semester at noon on Fridays in Latzer Hall at the YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St., C.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Guard averted Champaign cop's near-tragic choice

HARRODSBURG, Ky. ? The security guard noticed Kevin Crum right away.

It was just after 2 a.m., and Don Barnett was tired. He chugged some coffee and "slapped my face a couple times."

By the time he saw Crum's weapon and bulletproof body armor, Barnett was wide awake and on the phone to the police.

A high-water mark for Salt Fork management

HOMER – The Salt Fork River poured fast last week as it collected the weekend's rains from northern Champaign County and rushed them east into Vermilion County.

At the county line road just north of Homer last Wednesday, the river was 8 to 10 feet above normal, just a few feet under the bridge and in a hurry.

C-U nightclubs: How safe are they?

Thousands of University of Illinois students will pack local taverns and nightclubs this fall.

Few will be thinking of the dangers of being trapped in a crowded nightclub in an emergency, but local officials, bar owners and managers are looking closely at safety issues, like overcrowding and blocked exits.

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-