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Champaign woman charged with weapons offenses

URBANA — A Champaign woman is due back in court on July 14 after being charged with two felony weapons offenses.

Shantell Bernadette Brown, 39, who listed an address in the 400 block of East Columbia Avenue, Champaign, was charged Thursday with one count of reckless discharge of a firearm and one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Aviation talk in Savoy turns into debate on drones

Area congressman Rodney Davis is taking input from local stakeholders about drones back to Washington.

The Taylorville Republican gathered a group of local officials and business and community leaders Thursday at Willard Airport in Savoy to hear their concerns on a variety of aviation issues. But the bulk of the hour-long session was spent discussing unmanned aerial vehicles.

Visit Champaign County, Urbana rekindling funding relationship

The head of Visit Champaign County said the tourism agency plans to increase its promotion of the city Urbana after the city council gave preliminary approval to funding the group earlier this week.

Senate sends Rauner higher-ed spending bill; veto likely

SPRINGFIELD — Senators sent a series of higher education spending bills to Gov. Bruce Rauner Thursday, although it's almost certain the governor will veto them.

Updated: Suspect caught within minutes of Champaign bank robbery

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign man was in custody within minutes of allegedly robbing a bank in the heart of Champaign Thursday morning.

Champaign police Lt. Dave Shaffer said officers were called to the Regions Bank, 111 S. State St., for a robbery that happened at 9:16 a.m.

UPDATE: Dogs lost in Champaign house fire (w/video)

1:25 p.m. Thursday

CHAMPAIGN — Fire heavily damaged a single-story home and took the lives of two dogs Thursday morning.

St. Joseph man sentenced to probation in metal theft

URBANA — A St. Joseph man who admitted stealing steel pillars from an Ogden company was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation.

Kyle Helfrich, 33, pleaded guilty to felony theft, admitting that on two occasions in January and February he stole steel pillars and beams from ShapeMaster in Ogden.

Man sentenced to four years for burglary plea

URBANA — A Champaign man who admitted he entered a neighbor's apartment to steal electronics has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Judge Tom Difanis agreed to recommend that Andre L. Brown, 33, who last lived in the 300 block of East Green Street, get drug treatment in prison.

Plea to weapon charge brings 3-year sentence

URBANA — A Bellwood man who was carrying a gun and cannabis at the same time in Champaign last summer has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis agreed to recommend Ashton Adger, 23, for the Department of Corrections' boot camp program following Adger's guilty plea Thursday to aggravated unlawful use of weapons.

Street closures listing

Here is a list of street closures and road construction in East Central Illinois, provided by public works offices: (If your public works department wants to send one, submit it via email to breaking@news-gazette.com.)