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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."
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.
URBANA – An exemption cited by Champaign County in partially denying a Freedom of Information Act request about the county's nursing home doesn't exist, according to a lawyer in Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.
The request was filed by Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden. He asked for records on mold problems at the new $20 million nursing home and was denied some of them because they involve "pending litigation," according to a memo drafted by Assistant State's Attorney Susan McGrath dated June 23.
CHAMPAIGN – Garrett Anderson, a 29-year-old who suffered severe injuries while serving in Iraq, says he will be seeking the vacant seat on the Champaign City Council.
Anderson, who lives at 501 Doisy Lane in the Ashland Park subdivision in north Champaign, said Wednesday he intends to apply for the vacancy later this week.
URBANA – Bonds to pay for revamping the heating and cooling systems at the new county nursing home will be examined at Thursday's county board meeting.
Chairwoman Barbara Wysocki said there may be some board resistance to the county paying for the work instead of the contractors.
CHAMPAIGN – City council members have put on hold, for at least two weeks, a proposal to sell a small parking lot and the ManorCare Health Services building.
The city administration had proposed selling the nursing home building at 309 E. Springfield Ave. and the 24-space parking lot, at the southwest corner of Springfield Avenue and Fourth Street, to ManorCare Health Services Inc. for $1.43 million.
SPRINGFIELD – Driving without insurance even once can cost you your license, under legislation Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed on Tuesday.
SB 624, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Winkel, R-Urbana, and state Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, takes effect on July 1, 2007. After that date, motorists caught driving uninsured will lose their licenses for three months and until they pay a $100 reinstatement fee.
URBANA – Urbana police officers and their supporters showed up in force Monday night at a public hearing about a proposal to create a civilian police review board.
While the officers didn't testify, their supporters told the city council, in blunt terms, that they don't like the idea of a citizens panel investigating the validity of complaints against police officers.
URBANA – A week after a minor stroke, Champaign County Board member Catherine Hogue is speaking clearly and able to walk around her hospital room.
Hogue, 66, had the stroke July 10. She said Monday that she hasn't made a decision yet about continuing her campaign to unseat Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden in the November election.
URBANA – A court struggle for documents about the Champaign County Nursing Home will have a hearing by a Champaign County judge.
Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden sued the county, county Co-Administrator Denny Inman and Champaign County Board Chairwoman Barbara Wysocki on July 3 for refusing his Freedom of Information Act request for documents about the mold problem at the new $20 million facility.