Update: Severe thunderstorm watch issued for the area

UPDATED 11:40 p.m. Wednesday

The National Weather Service has canceled a severe thunderstorm warning for southern Champaign County, eastern Douglas County, northern Edgar County and southern Vermilion County and another one for northeastern Champaign County.

Piatt County election results April 9, 2013

Results from contested races in Piatt County:

√ indicates apparent winner.

Tom Kacich: Legislators use trivial issues to prove their autonomy

For some members of Congress, especially those in "swing" districts that are neither overwhelmingly Republican nor Democratic, it's important to show their independence from their party leadership.

Davis criticizes nature of sequestration cuts

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said Wednesday that he believes the Obama administration has enacted so-called "sequestration" budget cuts for maximum political impact.

First Mid leaders get raises

MATTOON — The top management of First Mid-Illinois Bancshares got salary increases ranging from 3 percent to 10.8 percent last year, the company disclosed in its proxy statement this month.

But those five officers saw much larger percentage increases in total compensation, thanks to stock awards and incentive plans.

Winter storm watch issued for East Central Illinois

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for all of East Central Illinois except Ford and Iroquois counties from late Saturday through Monday morning.

Ford and Iroquois counties are under a separate winter storm watch from Sunday morning through Monday morning.

Snow accumulation of five to eight inches and wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour are expected.

Woman dies in Piatt County crash

La PLACE — One woman died and a second was injured as a result of a two-vehicle collision in southwestern Piatt County Thursday morning.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Jorden Austin, 20, died at 5:13 p.m. Thursday in the intensive care unit at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Piatt voters will have advisory say on rural lot size

MONTICELLO — Should Piatt County reduce the 20-acre minimum required for home-building on agricultural land? Voters will get a chance to chime in on this issue through an April 9 advisory referendum. The question was placed on the ballot by the Piatt County Board.

UI staffer objects to mass email; Davis' office says message was approved by House panel, not political

CHAMPAIGN — A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said that a mass email sent to thousands of residents of the 13th Congressional District last week had been approved by the House franking commission and was not of a political nature.

But a University of Illinois staff member said that he objected to receiving the personal message on his UI account.

Truck driver injured in I-74 crash

UPDATED 6:20 p.m.

MANSFIELD — A 49-year-old truck driver from Mattoon was injured in a crash Thursday in Mansfield.

According to a state police release, Mark A. King was driving a semitrailer truck north on Piatt County Road 1300 E, approaching the Interstate 74 westbound entrance ramp at Milepost 166 at 10:26 a.m. Thursday.