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All News Content

Police chief candidates down to five

CHAMPAIGN – Five candidates, four of them from out of state, have been selected as finalists to be interviewed next week for the position of Champaign police chief.

Two internal candidates from the Champaign Police Department did not make the final cut.

State alleges Moultrie official lied

SULLIVAN – The state has filed charges against a member of the Moultrie County Board because he allegedly doesn't live in Moultrie County.

On Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Steve Nate filed both a felony charge and civil suit in circuit court against William Wade Baumgartner, 29, alleging that Baumgartner has been serving on the Moultrie County Board since 2002 while living in Champaign.

Labor Day parade 'bigger, better'

CHAMPAIGN – Some 44 entries are scheduled to participate in the third year of Champaign-Urbana's revived Labor Day parade on Monday.

?It gets bigger and better every year,? said Judy Stoll, the AFL-CIO community services liaison.

Schools still coping with computer woes

CHAMPAIGN ? Ken Reed and six Champaign schools technology employees won't be taking a well-deserved holiday this weekend.

Instead, they'll spend the long weekend closeted in the district's computer laboratories, trying to purge systems of remnants of the SoBig virus and its variations, viruses and so-called worms that virtually shut down the district's PC system just as school was about to begin.

Cities weigh options on power

CHAMPAIGN – Upset with Illinois Power's quality of service and reliability, top city officials with Champaign and Urbana have met several times with University of Illinois officials to explore what options they have, including the possibility of creating a municipal electric system.

Champaign City Manager Steve Carter said four or five such meetings have taken place in recent weeks and that, while the talks have not centered exclusively on the municipal power issue, that topic has been discussed extensively.

Shedding light on outage

This month's massive electrical blackout was a wake-up call heralding the need for improvements, including federal oversight, in the nation's power transmission system, a University of Illinois professor says.

The good news: Transmission is a relatively small part of electricity bills, about 10 percent, said UI Professor George Gross. Capacity – new power-generating facilities – is the big cost and there was a healthy 25 percent margin left in the Northeast region hit by the blackout.

Illinois attorney general issues Allerton opinion

SPRINGFIELD – Attorney General Lisa Madigan has advised the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court to stay out of the debate over the University of Illinois' proposed sale of farmland near Allerton Park.

But the effect of the opinion on the potential sale depends on whom you ask. Proponents of the sale say Madigan's advice means it can go forward; opponents say they think the opinion would prevent the sale.

Chanute cleanup director leaves for new position

RANTOUL – The man who has been in charge of environmental cleanup efforts on the former Chanute Air Force Base has left for a different job.

Tim Brecheen, environmental coordinator for the Chanute Air Force Real Property Agency, left Rantoul last week to take another position within the federal government in the Northeast, according to Carl Sahre, public affairs spokesman for the agency.

Peer Court catches eye of other communities

DANVILLE – Liya Hussmann Rogers gets excited when someone from another community calls with questions about Vermilion County's Peer Court program.

"That means they're considering a program in their area," said Hussmann Rogers, executive director of the youth court program. "I think that the program can benefit kids everywhere, not just here."

Blast in Iraq injured soldier from Mattoon

MATTOON – An Iraqi explosive blew off his fingers and tore a hole in his shoulder, but Mattoon native Todd Rauch remains optimistic, his grandfather says.

Spc. Rauch, 20 years old and assigned to the 527th Military Police Company, was wounded early Aug. 21 while serving in Baghdad.