All News Content

All News Content

Mourning loss

CLINTON – A pastor of the family that lost three children in a drowning at Clinton Lake said family members expressed their gratitude to the emergency personnel who tried to save the children.

The Rev. Billy Bell of the Clinton Assembly of God Church on Friday said no words can express the grief the Hamm family experienced when Christopher Hamm, 6, Austin Brown, 3, and Kyleigh Hamm, 23 months, all of Clinton, drowned in a car that went into the lake Tuesday night.

Couple gives $1.5 million for UI project

URBANA – A Champaign couple is donating $1.5 million toward a new University of Illinois alumni center to be built on the east side of campus.

UI Alumni Association President and CEO Loren Taylor announced the gift from Jack and Marjorie Richmond on Thursday. The Richmonds made the gift in honor of Jack Richmond's parents, the late Arthur and Mildred Richmond.

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.

Judge says part of act is invalid

URBANA – A Champaign County judge has declared a portion of the state's sex offender registration act unconstitutional.

It will now be up to the Illinois Supreme Court to decide whether Judge Tom Difanis' rationale is sound.

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.