UPDATE: Urbana admin accused of trying to secretly record closed board meeting

URBANA — An Urbana schools administrator who allegedly intended to secretly record a closed session of the school board has been criminally charged with eavesdropping.

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said she filed the Class 4 felony charge on Thursday against Samuel Byndom, 35.

UPDATE: 2 to 3 inches of snow reported in Champaign County

UPDATED, 5 p.m.:

CHAMPAIGN — Downtown and Campustown businesses need to clear snow in front of their properties within 48 hours, the city said Thursday afternoon.

Businesses have until 2:45 p.m. Saturday to comply by shoveling a path that's 4 feet wide or the width of the sidewalk, whichever is smaller.

Corner properties also need to clear sidewalk ramps.

Former Champaign police officer charged with soliciting sex

URBANA — A former Champaign police officer who allegedly offered to pay a prostitute to have sex with him earlier this summer has been charged with soliciting a sex act.

Joe Ketchem, 50, who was the department's liquor-enforcement officer, has been sent a summons to appear in Champaign County Circuit Court on Nov. 29 to be arraigned.

Woman charged with harassing Durbin, Duckworth

BENTON (AP) — A southern Illinois woman has been charged with making more than 200 harassing phone calls to U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth over a five-month period.

The Southern Illinoisan reports a federal grand jury indicted Jura L. Perkins last week. She's charged with one felony count of repeated harassing communications.

J.C. Penney withdraws profit guidance, cuts sales outlook

PLANO, Texas (AP) — Shares of J.C. Penney plunged before the opening bell after the company withdrew profit guidance and lowered its sales expectations for the year.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, declined 5.4 percent. Analysts were calling for a 0.5 percent decline, according to FactSet.

Walmart flexes its muscle against Amazon

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart, armed with grocery and other online services, is proving it can do battle with Amazon.

Schwan's sold to South Korean firm for $1.8 billion

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — A food distributor with deep roots in Minnesota has been sold to South Korea's largest food company.

U.S.-China rivalry challenging entwined Asia-Pacific region

SINGAPORE (AP) — The rivalry between the U.S. and China in the Asia-Pacific is proving "awkward" for Southeast Asian nations that do not want to have to choose between their friends, Singapore's prime minister said Thursday as he wrapped up a regional summit.

UPDATE: Champaign teachers union files notice of intent to strike

UPDATE, 10:45 a.m.:

CHAMPAIGN — The president of the Champaign teachers union said the group has officially filed its intent-to-strike notice after another bargaining session failed to yield a tentative deal Wednesday.

Georgia Dems doubt Kemp's claim of 'insurmountable lead'

ATLANTA (AP) — As Democrats ratcheted up their attacks on Georgia Republican Brian Kemp, he claimed Wednesday that results certified by county election officials confirm he has an "insurmountable lead" in the governor's race.