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All News Content

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.

UI research puts senior citizens on exercise regimens

Older people feel better when they exercise, even moderately, and a series of University of Illinois studies may be showing one good reason why.

Exercise, besides conferring numerous benefits such as improved cardiovascular and muscular fitness, may be beefing up the body's immune system, which tends to decline as we age.

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.

Meeting with communications faculty planned

URBANA – Provost Richard Herman plans to meet with the College of Communications faculty within the next couple of weeks to discuss the issues raised in an evaluation of the college.

Herman appointed a committee in May to assess the college and make recommendations for its future, after calling off a dean search for the college.

Nursing home plans to appeal $15,000 fine

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday fined the Champaign County Nursing Home $15,000 for two alleged violations stemming from incidents that occurred last year, but the nursing home has requested hearings to appeal both.

The 243-bed facility does not have to pay the fine until a final decision is made on the appeals, Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Tammy Leonard said.

Students from Japan visit UI to sharpen their language skills

Julian Elias' University of Illinois summer school class at Lincoln Hall looks ordinary at first glance.

Not on second glance. Students might be watching parts of an episode of "Friends," or listening attentively to the tune "If I Had a Million Dollars."

Free Fall Convention 'bigger, better'

RANTOUL – This year's World Free Fall Convention drew 500 more sky divers to the Rantoul airport than a year ago.

Convention spokeswoman Beth Mahlo said Friday that 3,000 men and women took to the skies over Rantoul during the 10-day festival, which concluded on Sunday.