All Politics and Government Content

All Politics and Government Content

15 candidates will vie for council seat

CHAMPAIGN – A baker's dozen. Plus two.

That's how many people – 15 in all – applied for the vacant at-large seat on the Champaign City Council by Tuesday's deadline, thanks to a last-minute flurry of applications.

Democrats draw fire for petition challenges

URBANA – The Socialist Equality Party and the Greens got together Monday to condemn the Democrats for challenging their petitions.

Joe Parnarauskis, a Socialist Equality candidate for state senator in the 52nd District, called the Democrats' move a "high-level conspiracy to deny the people of Illinois the right to vote for a candidate of their choice."

Sale of nursing home building on agenda

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign City Council will consider again Tuesday a proposal to sell a small city parking lot and the ManorCare Health Services building.

The council was asked to approve the sale of the properties at 309 and 313 E. Springfield Ave. two weeks ago, but council members had questions about the sale price and even the wisdom of getting rid of the properties.

Member says board should be more open

URBANA – A Champaign County board member says the county could go further after releasing documents about fixing mold problems at the new nursing home

Greg Knott, a Republican from St. Joseph, is one of the county board members – along with Democrat Steve Beckett – who examined documents about the $24 million facility before State's Attorney Julia Rietz released them to The News-Gazette and Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden.

Glory days have passed for Rantoul's Chanute base

RANTOUL – A marmalade cat sprints through the rubble of an old Air Force operations building that fell from its own weight after termite infestation.

"That's our rodent control system," explains Rantoul village Administrator David Johnston.

The building's filled with asbestos and lead-based paint. A few hundred yards away is an even larger building– White Hall – that's also full of asbestos and lead-based paint. White Hall is better known as Buckingham Palace to hundreds of thousands of airmen who passed through it from 1939 until Chanute Air Force Base's closure in 1993.

Ex-child care center director seeking seat

CHAMPAIGN – The former director of the Champaign County Nursing Home Child Care Center is seeking to join the Champaign City Council.

Karen Foster, 55, 2113 Blackthorn Drive, C, submitted an application last week for the vacant at-large council seat, joining Bill Glithero and Robert West in formally applying for the seat.

City falls short on minority hiring goal

CHAMPAIGN – The city did not meet its goal for minority work force representation in 2005.

Champaign's goal was to have 14.7 percent of its work force be minorities, but the final percentage was 12.5 percent.

The figures are contained in the city's 2005 affirmative action report, which will be discussed by the Champaign City Council at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The council meets in study session in council chambers at the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

Illinois home to several cemeteries with Civil War-era burials

Rows of white marble slabs stretch into the distance, stark reminders of the cost of war.

Not all those buried in National Cemeteries were killed in battle. Some died later of their wounds, while others died as a result of injuries or disease. For others, death was simply a matter of old age. But at the Mound City National Cemetery, one of the most striking things is the large number of Civil War dead – especially unknown soldiers.

Governor provides more funds for research

SPRINGFIELD – For the second year in a row, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has bypassed the General Assembly and used his executive authority to provide public funding for controversial embryonic stem cell research.

"It would be wrong to ask sick and injured people and their loved ones to wait for the tides in Springfield and Washington to change before research into potentially life-saving cures can move forward," Blagojevich said in a news release on Thursday. "That's why I am directing $5 million in state funds this fiscal year to continue supporting the research being done. Investing in research that can save lives and prevent serious illnesses is more than a sound public health strategy, it's our moral obligation."

County board seeks additional $4 million for nursing home

URBANA – Champaign County Board members voted reluctantly yet unanimously to seek another $4 million in bonds to finish the ill-fated county nursing home, hoping to recoup some $2.5 million of that.

The original cost of the nursing home was $20 million.