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Paruch Suksod, 23, has been at the University of Illinois since January, but his road to being an American college student is just beginning.
Born in Thailand, Suksod spent the past eight months brushing up on his English skills before beginning as a full-time student this fall.
CHAMPAIGN – Steve Chalke has the Wright idea.
The Savoy engineering consultant is building a replica of the Wright brothers' 1903 airplane, with hopes of having it done by Dec. 17, the 100th anniversary of their first flight.
URBANA – The groundbreaking agricultural research at the University of Illinois has included development of an early weaning system to improve the quality of beef cattle and a test to identify carriers of spider lamb syndrome, a genetic condition causing deformities of the legs and spine in sheep.
Scientists have done their cutting-edge work with animals housed in out-of-date facilities built in the early part of the last century.
CHAMPAIGN – The lunches at Marujita's Small World School aren't your typical preschool fare – chicken enchiladas, red beans and rice, seafood paella.
"I don't give them corn dogs or hot dogs," Crisalida Thomassie, owner and director of the English-Spanish preschool at 1305 S. Mattis Ave., C, said with a laugh.
By the early 1970s, after Dutch elm disease had mostly finished its decades-long run in Champaign-Urbana, less than 50 of the more than 14,000 elms in the community were left standing.
Some residents, sometimes tearfully, still recall street sides, parks and other green spaces, once shaded by stately elms, reduced to fields of dead stumps.
TOLONO – Two men were killed in a two-vehicle collision southeast of Tolono on Friday morning.
Champaign County sheriff's Lt. Charles Deakin said the collision happened at the intersection of county roads 600 North and 1200 East, also known as South First Street extended, at 6:28 a.m.
URBANA – A Fithian man faces charges of illegal hauling of a farm chemical that's also used for making methamphetamine.
Todd Mitchell, 44, was charged by Champaign County prosecutors Thursday with a Class 4 felony of illegal transportation of anhydrous ammonia. Mitchell is due to return to court Aug. 14 with a private attorney after he was denied the appointment of a public defender. His bond was set at $10,000 and recognizance also was denied.
CHAMPAIGN – A University of Illinois professor says major rolling blackouts like the one that struck the Northeast on Thursday could strike in the Midwest, but representatives from two area electric companies say they aren't so sure about that.
Tom Overbye, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UI, said Illinois is part of the same electrical grid that left as many as 50 million people without electricity on Thursday afternoon.
URBANA – A Champaign County jury on Friday convicted a Champaign man of shooting a man during a mugging last December, even though he said his friend fired the shots.
The jury took 20 minutes to find Clint King, 21, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Comanche Drive, guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting Brandon Lee in the arm on Dec. 18 while Lee was walking in the 100 block of South First Street in Champaign.
URBANA – Local hospitals and Willard Airport all have electrical power backup plans, as required by law.
Generators would kick in within seconds after a blackout at Carle Foundation Hospital and Provena Covenant Medical Center, both in Urbana, and Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville.