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URBANA – Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing doesn't speak German, but she's headed to Germany on Saturday for a weeklong business trip, where she plans to tell shareholders and officials of energy giant RWE that they should let U.S. communities like Urbana and Champaign purchase their water systems.
CHAMPAIGN – As a return on an investment, it doesn't get much better.
The Champaign City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to spend $127,000 to have the U.S. Census Bureau conduct a special census counting residents in eight different subdivisions that are relatively new or were annexed by the city last year.
URBANA – A coin toss decided incumbent Barbara Wysocki is one of two Democratic candidates in the county board's ninth district.
Or maybe not, since Lisa Bell, who tied with her, then lost the coin toss, "absolutely" intends to file for a recount in the next five days.
URBANA – A proposed $4 million, 57-unit apartment project at the northeast corner of Main and Harvey streets was put in jeopardy Monday night when the Urbana City Council rejected a zoning variance request.
The council's 4-2 vote to deny Urbana developer Howard Wakeland's request to have the building encroach 8 feet into the required 15-foot setback along Main Street went against the unanimous recommendation of the city's Zoning Board of Appeals and the recommendation of city planning staff.
SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to help Champaign, Urbana and other Illinois towns acquire their local water systems passed the House overwhelmingly on Monday.
The measure, SB 3046, would allow cities to use eminent domain to acquire the local water system without having to go through the Illinois Commerce Commission.
DANVILLE – When Danville resident Tina Hallmark bought a cellular phone about a year ago, she and her roommate, Amanda Baird, dropped their home telephone service.
"We figured using a cellphone would be easier," said Hallmark, who made the move to trim expenses. "You can take it with you anywhere. You also get more features on a cellphone than on a home phone. I get Internet access. I can take pictures and video. And I have mobile-to-mobile service, so when I talk to my friends, it's free."
MAHOMET – Citing differences with Mayor Debra Braunig, Mahomet Village Administrator Teri Legner has resigned.
Legner submitted her resignation letter late last week. She said Friday will be her final day working for the village.
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation to create an independent redevelopment commission for the former Chanute Air Force Base, sending the measure on to the governor for his signature.
"Of course I'm very, very happy," Rantoul Mayor Neal Williams said. "This has been an ongoing process for the last couple of years with a group of individuals who truly care about Rantoul and want to see us overcome the closing of the Chanute Air Force Base. … We believe that this is what is required to help us get over that and continue the healing process."
MONTICELLO – Monticello city leaders hope to hold a special election sometime this summer to seek the public's approval for a proposed $6.2 million civic center.
The facility would include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an oversized gym, a running and walking track, a senior citizen's center, a teen center and exercise equipment.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign, Urbana and Savoy want to jointly study how to best provide parks, trails and open space in new growth areas.
And that includes the possibility of requiring mandatory land or cash donations from subdivision developers.