Lawmaker to finish Myers' term

SPRINGFIELD - State Rep. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, who was elected to the Senate in November, will get a few extra days of seniority by completing state Sen. Judy Myers' term.

Pension payments delayed

About 45 percent more state workers than were expected took advantage of an early retirement offer that ended Tuesday evening, but many of those people are now facing a couple of lean months.

Births and deaths

Births and deaths for Thursday, January 2, 2003

Police investigate fatal shooting in Urbana

URBANA - A 20-year-old Champaign man was shot to death Tuesday night as he stood in the street in the 1200 block of North Busey Avenue, talking to a family in a car. Urbana police said they have not arrested anyone in the murder of LaQuentin R. Hughes, who was pronounced dead at 7:48 p.m. Tuesday at Carle Foundation Hospital.

'Weed cop' makes fields, streets safe

You do what for a living? It's a question Richard Layden, 75, of Hoopeston has heard more than a few times in the past 13 years.

UI center gives students lessons in leadership

URBANA - College is supposed to prepare students for a productive life by giving them knowledge of their chosen field and the ability to think critically. A leadership center at the University of Illinois is also teaching them the practical skills they'll need on the job, such as an awareness of their own values and how to work in a team.

County GOP hires first coordinator

CHAMPAIGN - For the first time, the Champaign County Republican Central Committee has hired a paid administrator/coordinator to help with the party's organizational and fund-raising efforts. Jennifer McLennand, 40, of Champaign, a former legislative aide to state Rep. Rick Winkel, began working for the county party in early October in a part-time (about 30 hours per week) capacity.

Board picks new Champaign library director

CHAMPAIGN - The Champaign Public Library Board today hired the director of the Anderson, Ind., Public Library to run the Champaign library. Marsha Grove is expected to start in February.

Burglaries net penalties for two men

URBANA - Two men involved in a series of business burglaries in Rantoul were each sentenced to probation this week but ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution. Edward Thomas, 25, and James Burgess, 20, who listed the same address in the 200 block of East Grove Avenue, Rantoul, were each sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to the Sept. 20 burglary of the Grove Street Bar and Grill, 201 E. Grove St., Rantoul.

Church to dedicate new building

DANVILLE - Members of the Vermilion Heights Christian Church invite the public to join them Sunday in celebrating the completion of their new church building. Barbara Darr, a member of the church, said the congregation held the first service in the new building on Dec. 1, and now they want the public to see the result of about five months of construction. The new building is at 725 Oakwood Ave. in the Vermilion Heights area, which is on the west side of the city along U.S. 150.