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All News Content

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.

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.

Community foundations will share contribution

CHAMPAIGN – The Community Foundation of Champaign County, along with 17 other community foundations across the state, is the recipient of a $530,000, five-year grant from the Grand Victoria Foundation to help with child care, land-use preservation and workforce development.
The Grand Victoria Foundation is an arm of the Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin, which distributes 20 percent of the casino's net annual operating income to communities across the state. Some $12 million has been committed by the casino foundation over the next five years.

Lower tuition increase on table

CHICAGO – University of Illinois trustees will consider an alternative proposal for increasing tuition by a lower amount when they meet Friday in Chicago.
The proposal to increase tuition by 5 percent was added to the board's agenda Monday at the request of Chairman Larry Eppley.

Champaign County clerk shuts down Web site

URBANA – Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden has shut down his office's Web site after a county board panel would not approve a new job classification and pay raise for the employee who maintains the site.

Shelden said he disabled the Web site on June 18. The move came one day after the Champaign County Board's policy committee rejected a proposal to create a new position – computer support specialist – that Shelden said he intended to fill with a current deputy county clerk, Luke Stowe.

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.

Water safety stressed in new state campaign

Kids and water don't mix, unless they're closely supervised, a new state initiative urges.

It doesn't take a large swimming pool for small children to be at risk; two Chicago-area children drowned last year in half-full buckets, according to Sherry Barr, a team coordinator with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.