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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.


UI seeks jump in state funds for '05 budget

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois is asking for a $79 million increase, or 7.3 percent, in state operating money for the next fiscal year to hire more teachers, reduce class sizes, increase the number of courses offered and give raises to faculty and staff.

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a budget request for fiscal 2005 at its meeting Thursday in Springfield.


I-74 deaths ruled homicide, suicide

URBANA – An investigation indicates that a Danville man and a Maryland man whom he forced into the path of a semitrailer truck on Interstate 74 had not encountered each other before the crash, according to Illinois State Police.

A Champaign County coroner's jury Thursday in Urbana ruled that the July 28 deaths of Seth Meiller, 24, of Lutherville, Md., and Gary Allen Myers, 43, of 406 Dennison Drive, Danville, were homicidal and suicidal, respectively.


Parkland enrollment has slight decline

CHAMPAIGN – Reversing trends that have spiraled upward for two years, fall enrollment at Parkland College has dropped slightly.

But officials say that won't affect state funding for the college because the critical number – of credit hours – continues to grow.


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.


Study shows ingesting bacteria not always a bad thing

URBANA – Since the time of Genghis Khan, scholars have debated the five-second rule or its ancient equivalent.

Its solution eluded some of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, but now a Chicago student has solved the problem in a University of Illinois laboratory.


Infected mosquitoes found in Urbana park

URBANA – Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found in August in a popular Urbana park, but the district says it shouldn't be cause for extra concern.

Health officials found the infected insects on "three or four different dates" in August in Meadowbrook Park, said Dana Mancuso, spokeswoman for the park district.


Supervalu plans to add positions in Urbana

URBANA – Supervalu's distribution center in Urbana will add 25 jobs this year as a result of new business gained in a swap with C&S Wholesale Grocers.

"We're going to be adding 25 full-time jobs and seeing a business volume increase of 7 or 8 percent over where we are today," said Mike Guth, general manager of the local distribution center.


16 attorneys apply to be associate judge

URBANA – Sixteen attorneys have applied to become Champaign County's newest associate judge.

The list includes two local attorneys who are already running for a vacant circuit judgeship, three current Champaign County assistant state's attorneys and the county's public defender.