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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.

Proposal made in spill case

SPRINGFIELD – Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has issued settlement demands to the University of Illinois and others responsible for the ammonia spill that killed more than 100,000 fish in the Saline Branch and Salt Fork River in July 2002.

Attorney Jim Morgan of the attorney general's office said the state is seeking penalties, recovery of the costs of investigations, a study of damage to the waterways and an evaluation of activities that can be undertaken to improve the quality of the river.

Visitors bureau center opening at Market Place

CHAMPAIGN – When Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau officials looked around for a common destination for tourists in the local community, they didn't have to look beyond the heady lure of new clothes, carousel rides and a food court.

"They all go out to the mall," said Sue Wedig, marketing director for the local visitors bureau.

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.

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.

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.