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All News Content

Dem foresees election board

URBANA – The chairwoman of the Champaign County Board expressed confidence Wednesday that board Democrats will take a preliminary vote next week to create a countywide election commission that would strip election duties from County Clerk Mark Shelden's office.

Patricia Avery, D-Champaign, said she believes she has the 14 board votes necessary to create an election commission to oversee county elections. She also said she believes she has a solid majority to put a proposal on the ballot to eliminate the county recorder's office and have those duties assumed by the county clerk.

Plans for medical clinic move ahead

URBANA – A medical clinic designed specifically for Urbana schoolchildren could become a reality as early as next year.

The clinic at Urbana High School would also offer social and psychological services, and the need exists for all those services, said officials who reviewed the plans at a recent Urbana school board study session.

C-U residents to see increase in water bills

SPRINGFIELD – Champaign-Urbana consumers will pay about 15 percent more for water on their next monthly bills.

The Illinois Commerce Commission voted this week to grant new rates to the Illinois-American Water Company throughout the state.

NCAA wants Indian symbols to be reviewed

URBANA – The University of Illinois could have to undergo yet another analysis of Chief Illiniwek and its effect on the campus, under recommendations recently approved by the NCAA.

The organization's executive committee approved a recommendation asking schools with American Indian mascots, nicknames or logos to complete a "self-analysis" to determine if the mascot, nickname or logo can be viewed as offensive.

Mars set to circle 'close' to Earth

If you're planning to travel to Mars, right now would be a good time to get your tickets and shots. The red planet will be at its closest to Earth in nearly 60,000 years in late August.

The planets will be a mere 35 million miles apart.

Pupils will head back to school in new facilities

More than 1,400 area students will walk into brand-new buildings this month as construction wraps up at Monticello, Fisher and Rantoul schools.

Crews at Monticello Middle School are working on the mechanical systems and the parking lot to get the building in order for the first day of class on Thursday, Aug. 21.

Answers sought in beating of area man

CHAMPAIGN – Frederick "Freddie" McNeal spent his 44th birthday Sunday clinging to life in an Urbana hospital.

His mother and cousin reported Tuesday that he remained in a coma at Carle Foundation Hospital, having undergone surgery on Saturday.

Teachers, district close to deal

URBANA – Administrators today confirmed that a tentative agreement for teachers' contracts is in reach.

"About 1 a.m., all the elements fell into place," said Superintendent Gene Amberg today. "But we have some work to do today to make sure all items are in place. We have a tentative agreement on concepts, language and money, and we have to make sure they're all in line."

Later last call under proposal

CHAMPAIGN – The last call for drinks at bars and taverns could soon be extended in Champaign, and Urbana council members say their city might quickly follow suit if Champaign acts.

The Champaign City Council will consider at its meeting next Tuesday a proposal to extend alcohol sales from the current 1 a.m. cutoff to 2 a.m., or even 2:30 a.m.

Man resentenced to 4-year prison term

URBANA – Brady Smith, a former probation officer and middle school dean convicted of trying to get a child to perform a sex act, was resentenced to prison Monday.

Smith, 47, of Urbana, was convicted at a bench trial on Nov. 13, 2001, of indecent solicitation of a child for attempting to get a 14-year-old boy to have sex with him on May 20, 2001. He was originally sentenced to three years of probation.