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Alloy case may take up to six weeks

URBANA – Current and former residents of a west Champaign neighborhood are hoping a Champaign County jury will find one of their industrial neighbors responsible for damage to their property and award them money.

Eighty plaintiffs brought suit in March 1991 against Alloy Engineering & Casting of Champaign, 1700 W. Washington St., C, alleging that the company, which makes exhaust manifolds for General Motors light trucks and sport utility vehicles, has emitted particles into the air that damaged their homes and cars and diminished their general enjoyment of their property.

Burnham plans get tentative OK from council

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign City Council has given a tentative go-ahead to a $35 million redevelopment proposal for the old Burnham Hospital site.

Council members voted unanimously, 8-0, to support the broad outlines of a potential development agreement with The Atkins Group under which the city would demolish the old hospital and environmentally clean up the site by next spring. In turn, Atkins would spend $35 million buying the 7-acre site from the city and constructing 330 to 340 apartments and 12,000 to 26,000 square feet of retail space over the next two years.

New parking deck will help relieve crunch

URBANA – The north side of the University of Illinois campus is filled with cranes, backhoes and cement mixers.

Construction for a new National Center for Supercomputing Applications building will begin in the next few weeks, and contractors should finish the exterior of the Siebel Center for Computer Science next month. While the new buildings mean more space for laboratories and researchers, they also mean more people needing a parking space every day when they come to work. And the buildings are going up where several small parking lots used to be.

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.

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.