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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 – 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.
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.
Two area legislators have introduced a bill that would eliminate the new sanitary sewer permit fees that the state initiated this summer.
Area cities, villages and sanitary districts are paying between $7,500 and $85,000 to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits to discharge treated water from sanitary systems into waterways.
When the first Farm Progress Show was held in Vermilion County in 1953, Danville resident Bob Finley helped park cars. When the show returns this year, he and other members of the International Flying Farmers will help park planes at the Vermilion County airport.
"I'm always interested in meeting the fellow fliers," said Finley, a semiretired farmer and pilot who was recently named the Flying Farmers organization's 2003 Man of the Year.
At a decidedly low-key and sparsely attended Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday, party leaders insisted that the Republicans were unified and energized.
"We're onward and upward, and as I always say, trunks up, we're moving forward," said Republican Party Chairwoman and Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, referencing the party's elephant mascot.
Richard Nazur, 19, spent last year adjusting to being a University of Illinois freshman from out of state.
He left Miami for East Central Illinois and ended up – of all places – in Florida Avenue Residence Hall, but found it hard to meet people and make new friends.