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All News Content

Danville Wings will stay put for next two seasons

DANVILLE – Although the contract has not yet been signed, the Danville Wings and David S. Palmer Arena have agreed to keep the hockey team in town for at least the next two years.

In a joint announcement Thursday afternoon, team and arena officials said the two sides have agreed in principal to a two-year contract, which will be signed in the near future when Wings General Manager Josh Mervis returns from a business trip.

Chevy's coming to downtown Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Downtown Champaign's growing entertainment district appears to be getting its first chain restaurant.

Developers of the One Main building, now rising up from the corner of Main and Neil streets, said Thursday they have a tentative agreement for Chevy's to take over some 15,000 square feet of the first floor upon completion of the building, set for April.

Stratton placed on watch list

CHAMPAIGN – Even as its test scores have improved more than at any time in its brief history, Champaign's Stratton Elementary is the only school in East Central Illinois to appear on the State Board of Education's watch list.

The school, which opened in 1998, is one of nearly 600 schools in the state to appear on that list, and state officials say that means districts where the named schools are located must give students a chance to switch to better performing schools in the district.

Urbana hospitals offer new radiation therapy

URBANA – A new kind of radiation therapy that gives cancer patients a better chance of survival and reduces side effects is now being offered at both Urbana hospitals.

Carle Foundation Hospital and Provena Covenant Medical Center have both added "Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy," which improves cure rates by delivering more powerful, precisely-targeted doses of radiation to a tumor while sparing the healthy tissue around it.

Urbana woman loses money in scam

URBANA – An elderly Urbana woman was apparently defrauded in another example of a lottery or sweepstakes scam, according to Urbana police.

The 84-year-old woman, who lives at the Clark Lindsey Village, received a phone call Monday from a man who convinced her that she had won second prize in a sweepstakes, according to Urbana police Lt. Michael Metzler.

Michigan sky diver dies in Rantoul

RANTOUL – A 59-year-old Michigan man died following a sky-dive Wednesday at the World Free Fall Convention when his parachute malfunctioned.

Champaign County Deputy Coroner Duane Northrup said the man was pronounced dead at 6:09 p.m. near the north end of a runway at the Rantoul airport. The man's name was being withheld pending notification of his family.

$6 million released for UI facility

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently thawed a $6 million grant to the University of Illinois to help move the Illinois Natural History Survey into more spacious facilities at the UI Research Park.

The survey, which is part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, has been seeking relief from its cramped quarters on the UI campus for more than a decade now, said Chief David Thomas.

Grants will help kids prepare for school

For the first time, agencies in the region have been awarded state grant money to help preschool children prepare for school – a mission that historically has been left to school districts in Illinois.

In Champaign County, Provena Behavioral Health's Mental Health Center was awarded a $135,000 grant and the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission was awarded a $90,000 grant.

'Sesame Street' makes changes to boost learning

URBANA – Cookie Monster, Ernie, Bert and other "Sesame Street" characters this year will step up their low-key campaign to improve youngsters' reading skills.

And that new emphasis will help the 17 teachers and representatives of area agencies who met at WILL's University of Illinois studios Wednesday teach the children, parents and guardians they serve how to work together to prepare students to master skills they need to succeed in school, said Holly Downs, coordinator of WILL's Ready to Learn program.

Options to fund sewer work weighed

URBANA – A new fee hike is in store for water users, builders, developers or all three.

The Urbana & Champaign Sanitary District is seeking approval from its board to boost its fees to pay for the extension of sewer mains to open up thousands of acres to new development south and west of Champaign.