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All News Content

Status hearing on Salt Fork project delayed

URBANA – A hearing on a petition for authority to dredge and clear-cut a 21-mile stretch of the Salt Fork from St. Joseph to Rantoul has been delayed until November at the request of the petitioners.

Jeff Tock, attorney for the Upper Salt Fork Drainage District, said district commissioners want more time to review their engineering recommendations and "potentially" modify the scope of the project.

Community reacts to children's deaths

CLINTON – Thursday was a sad day at Douglas Elementary School, according to Clinton Assistant Superintendent of Schools Jeff Holmes.

Two of three children who drowned earlier this week at Clinton Lake were enrolled at the school.

Board pulls plug on leave, vacation buybacks

URBANA – The Champaign County Board has pulled the plug on the county's generous vacation and leave buyback policy for nonunion employees.

In a voice vote, the Champaign County Board voted Thursday night to end the policy effective Nov. 30, the end of the county's fiscal year, for its nonunion employees. Eliminating buyback is also on the negotiating table in contract talks with 11 different bargaining units that represent unionized county employees.

School districts get grants for construction

St. Joseph and Paxton-Buckley-Loda are among the school districts sharing in nearly $500 million in state school construction grants announced Wednesday.

The matching grants were awarded to 71 school districts around the state.

United Way leader hired for county

CHAMPAIGN – Tammy Lemke has been chosen as the new director of the United Way of Champaign County.

Lemke has been the organization's chief financial officer since April 2002, and takes over from Bill Kitson, who left in June to take a job with the United Way of Greater Milwaukee.

Lake deaths investigated

CLINTON – The driver of a car that sank in Clinton Lake with three children in it has been charged with driving under the influence, and the DeWitt County sheriff said this morning the details of the deaths are a mystery.

"There is no way that I can tell you what happened here," said Sheriff Roger Massey. "None of us know exactly what happened."

Net a force in raising support for a candidate

CHAMPAIGN – Lighting designer Jim Hultquist is almost 20 years older than University of Illinois freshman Justin Cajindos, but they have a common trait: Neither has ever been part of a grass-roots campaign of any kind, let alone the impending presidential race.

Both men and about 40 other community members gathered Wednesday at Green Street Coffee House on campus, joining others across the nation on the Internet as part of a scheduled "Meet-Up Day" to discuss Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign. The crowd ranged from an engineering professor at the University of Illinois to a second-year medical student to young freshmen and older political activists.

UI part of project to study infectious diseases

URBANA – The University of Illinois will join 12 other Midwestern universities and research institutions as part of a regional center to study infectious diseases.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the National Institutes of Health, announced the selection of the institutions that will make up the Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research today. The center will be headed by scientists from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. The UI's Urbana and Chicago campuses will be part of the center.

Police officer pleads innocent to charges

HARRODSBURG, Ky. – A Champaign police officer pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges accusing him of planning to murder a woman and her family.

Kevin Paul Crum, 31, who listed an address in the 1900 block of Lynwood Drive, Champaign, was arraigned in district court on six counts of attempted murder and four counts of carrying deadly weapons. He is also charged with criminal trespassing and improper registration for possessing a stolen license plate.

Council rezones 74 acres

URBANA – The Urbana City Council has cleared the way – zoningwise – for a potential Wal-Mart Supercenter in east Urbana.

Will Wal-Mart soon follow?