All Politics and Government Content

All Politics and Government Content

Majority of student assistance panel members replaced

SPRINGFIELD – The governor's office has quietly replaced the majority of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, with four of the new appointments coming just days before the panel's meeting Friday.

There is nothing unusual on the agenda at this point, but some state legislators worry that the Blagojevich administration has a surprise up its sleeve.

Governor signs cold medicine measure into law

SPRINGFIELD – Starting Jan. 15, Illinois shoppers must show a photo ID and sign a log book in order to purchase most nonprescription cold medications.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation on Wednesday classified ephedrine and pseudoephedrine as "schedule V controlled substances," making them more difficult for both the legitimately congested and the illegal methamphetamine manufacturer to obtain.

Sheriff: Tasers effective law enforcement tools

URBANA – Despite the alleged abuse of a Taser gun by a Champaign County correctional officer on an inmate earlier this week, Sheriff Dan Walsh stands behind their use.

"I still view it as a very effective tool of law enforcement when used properly," Walsh said at a news conference late Wednesday morning, about two hours before one of his veteran correctional officers appeared before a judge to answer criminal charges of misusing one.

All Kids measure becomes law

SPRINGFIELD – Surrounded by children at a Chicago elementary school press conference, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed his All Kids insurance plan into law on Tuesday.

"Today marks a major achievement for Illinois families who are doing everything they're supposed to do – working hard, paying their taxes, raising their families – but still can't afford health insurance for their children," Blagojevich stated in a written release. "With All Kids, every child in Illinois will be able to go to the doctor for regular checkups, or to the dentist to fill a cavity, or to the eye doctor to get a prescription for glasses. With All Kids, every child can get the care they need when they need it."

Decision on new highway building expected

URBANA – The Champaign County Board will consider Thursday whether to go forward with construction of a $7 million Highway Department building in east Urbana.

County officials say the proposed 40,000-square-foot building is needed because the department's 24 employees are currently scattered among different buildings in the county campus in east Urbana – with engineers and office employees at the Brookens Administrative building and highway maintenance employees in an older pole-barn building.

Sidewalk work only a first step

CHAMPAIGN – Charles Laurent says he won't be using the new sidewalk in front of his house much.

But Laurent, a retiree who lives at 1702 W. Springfield Ave., C, still thinks it's a good thing that the city has finally installed a sidewalk along the north side of West Springfield.

Residents to see zoning proposals

When Eric Thorsland and his family moved to a farmstead northeast of Mahomet about nine years ago, they were surrounded by one open field after another.

How things have changed.

Off and running: County's project taking the pulse

After nearly three decades since a major community planning session, Champaign County needed a new vision, direction and sense of forward movement, said John Dimit, chief executive officer of the county's Regional Planning Commission.

So began the official planning for Big. Small. All. Champaign County, a visioning project that has been in the works since early 2003, but only in neighborhood buzz for the last couple of weeks.

Change made to property upkeep plan

CHAMPAIGN – In response to a resident's complaint about firewood storage, the city of Champaign has modified a proposed revision of the city's property maintenance code.

Debra Karplus, 605 W. Columbia Ave., C, appeared at the Nov. 1 Champaign City Council meeting, where the council was set to adopt the 2003 International Property Maintenance Code for the city.

Urbana won't vote on reducing speed limit

URBANA – The city of Urbana is backing the decision of the Champaign City Council this month to retain a 25 mph speed limit in the University District and will not lower the speed limit to 20 mph in campus areas of Urbana.

Urbana Public Works Director Bill Gray said the city had been planning to bring the proposed 20 mph speed limit to the Urbana City Council for consideration Monday in committee.