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Respect for all serves new Parkland police chief well

CHAMPAIGN – Von Young Jr. has a simple philosophy in law enforcement: Treat everyone with respect.

It has worked well for him in more than 20 years of law en-forcement. He's continuing that approach in his new job as po-lice chief at Parkland College.

Summer reading and all that jazz

CHAMPAIGN – Can jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker inspire youngsters to pick up books in the summer?

Cassiette West-Williams and her colleagues say they can, and they tested that theory this month at the Douglass Branch Library with classrooms of youngsters willing to be part of their experiment.

TIFs offer boost, but who pays?

When Louise Smith of Urbana was buying a pair of jeans at the Factory Stores at Tuscola outlet mall last week, she was taking advantage of a tax increment financing district, but didn't realize it.

"I just came to get a good deal on some clothes," Smith said. "I didn't even know it was in a tax district."

County budget gets boost

URBANA – Champaign County Recorder Barb Frasca says the workload at her office in recent months has her and her five full-time employees "about ready to pull our hair out."

Record low interest rates are leading to record numbers of mortgage refinancings and healthy real estate sales. She's projecting her office will handle as many as 60,000 mortgages, deeds and related real estate documents this year, compared to 45,097 during fiscal 2002, which was a record.

UI to raise tuition by 5 percent

CHICAGO – The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a 5 percent tuition increase Friday, after the UI administration changed its position and recommended the lower increase.

The 5 percent increase means students at the Urbana-Champaign campus will pay $133 more per semester, beginning this fall. With the increase, their tuition will be $2,784 per semester.

Urbana man dies serving in Kuwait

URBANA – An Urbana man has died serving in the Army in Kuwait.

Spc. Cory A. Hubbell, 20, of Urbana was hospitalized Wednesday evening with breathing difficulties at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, an Army statement said.

New Miss Illinois named

OAKBROOK TERRACE – Andrea Fritz of Schaumburg, Miss Chicago, was crowned Miss Illinois on Friday night.

Alexandra "Alli" Harold, 21, of Urbana was second runner-up, one place higher than she finished in last year's pageant. Last year, she was third runner-up to her older sister, Erika Harold.

Widow of crash victim loses

URBANA – An almost three-week long civil trial in Champaign County Circuit Court concluded Thursday night with a disappointing outcome for the widow of a man killed in a 1996 plane crash.

But the jury verdict is being hailed by those who view the aviation insurance industry as under siege by lawyers.

Senior job program changes hands

CHAMPAIGN – A program that provides employment training for more than 50 older workers will continue, but not under the auspices of the Urban League of Champaign County.

The U.S. Department of Labor chose not to renew a $15 million grant to the National Urban League for the Seniors in Community Service Employment Program, $400,000 of which went to the Urban League of Champaign County.

Investigators of shooting seek witness

URBANA – A team investigating the shooting of a Phoenix man last Friday night by police are asking that a witness contact them.

Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that a man approached Deputy Jonathan Reifsteck shortly before 10 p.m. Friday, June 20, to say there was a person slumped over the steering wheel of a truck on East University Avenue near Smith Road.