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All News Content

UI football great receives club's stamp of approval

CHAMPAIGN – Just in time for football season, the Champaign-Urbana Stamp Club is selling a "first-day cover" featuring University of Illinois legend Red Grange.

"A first-day cover is an envelope with a stamp that's canceled on the first day of a stamp's issue at some post offices," said Louise Toft, president of the Champaign-Urbana Stamp Club. "The U.S. Postal Service has announced a Red Grange stamp, and the club is preparing envelopes that have an additional illustration on the left-hand side.

Basketball game incident yields mixed verdicts

URBANA – A Champaign County jury Thursday returned a mixed bag of verdicts against two Champaign women charged with aggravated battery and resisting and obstructing police stemming from a spirited Urbana High School basketball game more than a year ago.

Latasha Cain, 23, and Chandra Gill, 28, University of Illinois students and roommates, were arrested as a result of their conduct at a Jan. 25, 2002, game against Decatur MacArthur that the Urbana team tied with a three-point shot in the last few seconds of the game.

Referendum for election panel

URBANA – Champaign County voters will probably get to have a say on whether there should be a county election commission.

Following a highly emotional debate, the Champaign County Board voted 14-13 Thursday against creating a county election commission, with Democrats Louis Smith of Rantoul, Steve Beckett of rural Urbana and Tom Betz of Urbana joining 11 Republicans in defeating the proposal.

Urbana Fire Department gets new division chief

URBANA – The director of Arrow Medical Services and Airlife for the past seven years is quitting that position to become a division chief with the Urbana Fire Department.

Mick Humer, 40, of Tolono will start his new job Sept. 8 as one of the fire department's four division chiefs at a salary of $60,000.

Man gets life sentence for 1999 murder

DANVILLE – Contrary to his vocal outbursts of frustration in previous court appearances, convicted murderer Joshua Kruger broke down during his sentencing hearing Wednesday, professing innocence and making apologies moments before Circuit Judge Thomas J. Fahey called him a threat to society and sentenced him to life in prison.

"Substantial incarceration is necessary to protect the public; anything else would be inconsistent with the ends of justice," said Fahey, adding that Kruger's 82-year-old victim, Peter Godels, was in his home, in bed reading, the night Kruger and his accomplice, Henry Graham, invaded his house and beat him to death in July 1999.

Two teens arraigned on murder charges

URBANA – Two teen-agers accused of beating a Champaign man to death face a minimum of 20 years in prison, if convicted of murder charges.

Michael Johnny Ray Cooper, 17, who listed an address in the 1400 block of Briarcliff Drive, Urbana, and Willie D. Barry, 16, who listed an address in the 600 block of Glen Burnie Drive, Champaign, both were arraigned Wednesday on adult charges of first-degree murder. Each faces five counts of murder in the slaying of Fred McNeal, 44, of Champaign.

Sweetcorn Festival has new activities

URBANA – The Marshall Tucker Band, a classic country-rock group that began in 1972 by opening shows for the Allman Brothers, will headline the musical acts Saturday evening at the 28th annual Sweetcorn Festival in Urbana.

The Marshall Tucker Band is scheduled to perform at 8:30 p.m., while blues artist Lonnie Brooks of Chicago will perform the night before at 8 p.m. More than a dozen local and regional groups will perform on five stages throughout the festival, which will open at 5 p.m. Friday and reopen at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Republicans field candidate for House seat

Champaign County Board member Deborah Frank Feinen is announcing today that she will challenge Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, for her seat in the Illinois House.

Republican Feinen enters the race after former Rep. Tom Berns, R-Urbana, announced he would not attempt to regain the seat he narrowly lost to Jakobsson in 2002.

Interim dean for UI college selected

URBANA – The head of the University of Illinois journalism department will take over as interim dean of the College of Communications.

Ron Yates, who was appointed head of the journalism department in 1997 after a long newspaper career, will be interim dean beginning Thursday, according to a release from UI Provost Richard Herman.

Champaign bar hours change

CHAMPAIGN – Look out, Las Vegas ... this toddlin' town can rock until the crack of 2:30 a.m., 365 days a year, effective immediately.

But city council members don't expect Champaign to become a Sodom of the plains.