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URBANA – Administrators and teachers for the Urbana school district met Monday with a mediator, but a gulf remains between two sides in contract talks.
"We're still working," said Urbana Superintendent Gene Amberg of the four-hour session. "The mediator works between the two groups, and we didn't meet face to face. He's our conduit. "
DANVILLE ? Authorities are still seeking clues in two tragic incidents ? one in Champaign County and one 30 miles away in Vermilion County ? and trying to determine whether they are linked.
"Naturally we're taking a look at that because of the fact there's family members involved," Danville police Lt. Doug Miller said of a possible connection between the suicide along Interstate 74 of 43-year-old Gary Myers of Danville on Monday and the deaths in Danville of his parents in an apparent double homicide that may have occurred on Saturday.
URBANA – A new AmeriCorps grant will fund a project to survey hunger needs in East Central Illinois and set up new programs to feed the poor.
The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will receive $89,600 for 14 part-time AmeriCorps members to evaluate and expand services offered by food pantries and other emergency food programs in a 14-county area.
SPRINGFIELD – Plans for state scientists to study underground water supplies in the Champaign area and around the state went down the drain Tuesday, when Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed a bill calling for the survey.
"While I support the study of the state's groundwater supply as a comprehensive and long-term approach to water supply management in Illinois, due to the state's diminishing revenues, we do not have the money available to fund the study at this time," the governor said.
CHAMPAIGN – PitBull has a new master.
The security software with the canine name was developed by Savoy-based Argus Systems Group to protect computer operating systems and keep electronic transactions secure.
ST. JOSEPH – Two men were killed Monday in a series of crashes on Interstate 74 that followed the murders of a Danville couple.
Champaign County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Fabian said this morning that the case is still under investigation, but is being handled as a murder-suicide, based on statements from eyewitnesses and evidence collected at the scene of the crashes just east of St. Joseph.
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently signed a new law to ensure that when someone says no to sexual activity, it means no, even if he or she said yes earlier.
State Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, who sponsored the legislation, said the new law is needed because a statute similar to Illinois' current law has been the subject of debate in California courts.
SPRINGFIELD – The state and federal governments are suing the University of Illinois for more than $3 million, alleging fraud in the liver transplant program at the university's hospital in Chicago.
Two similar suits against Northwestern University and the University of Chicago were settled Monday. Neither admitted any wrongdoing or liability, but Northwestern agreed to pay almost $23,600, and the University of Chicago will pay $115,000.
DANVILLE – When Camerun Blaylock stands trial a second time for the 1993 murder of a Tilton man, he will be represented by the same attorney who put on his first defense.
Circuit Judge Dale Cini of Mattoon on Monday denied Richard Doyle's request to be dismissed from the case, citing the Danville attorney's familiarity with the now 9 ½ -year-old case.
GEORGETOWN – Amateur artists and photographers are being encouraged to display their work at the Georgetown Fair, scheduled for Aug. 3-9 this year.
New categories and rules have been established this year for the fine arts show and prize money is available for first through fifth places, plus Best of Show.