All Living Content

All Living Content

Beepers, strobe lights considered for buses

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District is considering putting beepers or strobe lights on buses in an effort to increase safety.

The C-U MTD board discussed adding the devices in the wake of a recent fatality involving an MTD bus on campus.

Bellflower native loses arm in roadside blast

URBANA – An Urbana National Guard soldier was severely injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, but is undergoing reconstructive surgery and in good spirits.

Champaign attorney Sheryl Fitzjarrald, mother of Garrett Anderson's wife, Sam, just came back from visiting Anderson, who lost his right arm and suffered a broken jaw when the bomb exploded.

Making progress in positions of power

Latino voting power is swelling in America. Still, even though two Latinos have been named to local government positions for the first time, don't expect a surge here yet.

According to Census Bureau projections, by 2050, one out of every four Americans will be Latinos – more than 100 million. The fastest-growing ethnicity in Americas, Latinos are surpassing blacks as the nation's largest minority group.

Recalling the lost

TOLONO – Sherry Cripps can't go to sleep unless she has paper and pencil on her nightstand. Most nights, she doesn't sleep well anyway. Her mind races to recall items consumed by fire at her home on May 6.

And when an item comes to mind, she dares not let a second pass before recording it. That's because she has exactly one year from the date the fire destroyed almost all her family's possessions to recall them and file claims with her insurance company in order to be compensated.

Schools' condition shocks teacher

URBANA – An Urbana woman who brought aid to out-of-work teachers after Hurricane Katrina says the nation needs to open its eyes to endemic poverty in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Urbana High School social worker and teachers union president Grace Mitchell spent four days in New Orleans, Jackson, Miss., and Baton Rouge, La., delivering money collected for out-of-work educators in those two states and viewing the destruction done by the storm, especially to the schools.

Utilities make concessions for customers

SPRINGFIELD – The state and federal dollars set aside for Illinois' Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program will go a little farther this year, thanks to concessions made by major utility companies.

At the state's request, Ameren, Nicor Gas, Peoples' Energy and Commonwealth Edison have agreed to waive reconnection costs and suspend deposit requirements for LIHEAP customers. Those costs can add $400 or more to a heating bill, according to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office.

Old Timer created family of listeners

The Old Timer has gone up to that Gobbler's Knob in the sky.

Robert Kent McConkey, better-known as The Old Timer on two area radio stations, smoked his last cigarette and played his last tune Tuesday. He was 70 and had been in failing health.

Events mark Illinois State Geological Survey's centennial

Illinois had a State Geological Survey as early as 1851, but by 1875, legislators decided it was no longer needed.

Pretty much every county had been looked at and state officials figured there wasn't much more to learn about the state's geology.

Champaign Off-Track Betting to close doors and reopen at the Brickhouse

URBANA – The Brickhouse bar and restaurant in east Urbana will become the new home to off-track betting later this month.

Champaign Off-Track Betting, 2002 W. Springfield Ave., C, will close its doors Oct. 16 and reopen at the Brickhouse, formerly known as TK Wendl's, on Oct. 20 or 21, said Bill Welbes, operations manager.

Panel to draft relief proposals

SPRINGFIELD – Gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon have pinched the pocketbooks of area families, businesses, school districts and local governments. The costs of everything from pizza delivery to airplane tickets to furniture have risen along with fuel prices.

But after the fifth and final hearing of the House Republican Task Force on Motor Fuel Pricing on Tuesday, its chairman, State Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, admitted there is little the state could do about that.