All Politics and Government Content

All Politics and Government Content

Student loan sale critics express concerns

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois' public university presidents may have backed a plan to fund a new, merit-based tuition tax credit by privatizing state student loan operations, but other parts of the higher education community remain critical.

A pair of University of Illinois students and the financial aid directors from Parkland College and Danville Area Community College were among those who expressed concerns at a Statehouse hearing on Wednesday.

Two Democratic county board candidates seek recounts

URBANA – Two Democratic county board candidates filed Wednesday to have precincts recounted.

Steve Beckett finished first March 21 in the District 9 Democratic primary. After outstanding ballots, including absentees, were counted Tuesday, Champaign County Board Chairman Barb Wysocki and first-time candidate Lisa Bell ended up in a dead heat, with former board member Bob Kirchner coming in fourth.

Trip to Germany on tap for Urbana mayor

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.

City council votes to fund special census

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.

Coin toss goes to chairwoman in District 9 race

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.

Developer angry after city denial

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.

House passes water system legislation

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 dials wrong number for revenue

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 official to resign at end of week

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.

Chanute bill sent to governor

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."