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All News Content

News-Gazette office to be closed on Saturdays

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign office of The News-Gazette will be closed on Saturdays, beginning this weekend.

The office was open for years on Saturdays, mostly to accept payments from carriers. But changes in the paper's billing practices mean the carriers no longer have to come in on the weekends.

Urbana project moves ahead

URBANA – A Northbrook company has been tentatively selected by the city to develop a project that would bring four retail storefronts and 30 residential condominiums to downtown Urbana.

The city of Urbana intends to begin negotiating soon with Brinshore Development LLC about the proposed $7.5 million project, to be called Stratford Center, according to Bruce Walden, Urbana's chief administrative officer.

State planning to enforce no-call phone list with fines

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has something on her schedule today beside her regular duties – she's going to stop telemarketers from calling her.

Today's the first day Americans can ask their federal government to put them on a huge "no-call" list.

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.

Area police agencies will leave Task Force X

CHAMPAIGN – Local police agencies are pulling out of Task Force X – the multiagency drug investigations unit for Champaign County, law enforcement officials announced Wednesday.

Champaign police Deputy Chief John Murphy said the main reason for the move is to allow agencies to be more flexible in their use of the officers currently assigned to the unit.

Area technology centers land grants

Three community technology centers based in Champaign-Urbana received training grants from the state Wednesday.

"Having a well-trained and diverse workforce is a key element in attracting new and expanding businesses to Illinois, which then creates job opportunities for the people in this state, said Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Citizens blast Illinois Power

CHAMPAIGN – City officials from Champaign and Urbana are planning their next move after two hours of unrestrained bashing against Illinois Power.

A Wednesday night hearing on IP's service and reliability – following a 30-minute power outage that affected thousands of customers in Champaign that afternoon – drew a roomful of unhappy institutional and commercial customers, homebuilders, contractors, developers and elected and appointed officials. Everybody had an outrage to share. And all appeared eager to enlist the city's muscle to correct the situation.

Beverage superstore opening in Savoy

SAVOY – A portion of the long-vacant former Festival Foods building will be filled with an upscale beverage superstore by Christmas.

The Savoy Village Board voted 4-2 Wednesday to amend its liquor ordinance to create a new 12th liquor license.

Two finalists for principal discuss plans

CHAMPAIGN – Two finalists – men with completely different styles – talked to parents Wednesday night about expectations and action plans for the new Edison Middle School principal.

The finalists are Stephen Lucas, a University of Illinois faculty member who's an academic expert on middle school education with past experience in the classroom and administration, and Richard Patton, a Champaign native who most recently taught special education in rural Alaska where challenges include finding programs and activities to engage the native peoples there.

Officer on leave pending investigation

URBANA – An Urbana police officer who shot at a man he believed was reaching for a gun has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Urbana Police Chief Eddie Adair issued a release Tuesday saying officer Sean Taylor, 26, who's been on the department for two years, fired one round at Richard Bryan Martinez on Friday night.