Federal do-not-call registry popular so far in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – By Tuesday, more than 1 million people in Illinois had signed up for the federal do-not-call list, letting telemarketers know they've had enough.

Melissa Mertz, spokeswoman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said 1.1 million people had signed up by noon Tuesday, mostly through the toll-free phone number.

Donation helps Champaign child read

   CHAMPAIGN ? In many ways, Kody Patterson is just like any other 7-year-old. He plays T-ball and basketball, devours books and cartoons and loves to dance ? especially to hip-hop.

   Most people, his mother says, can't believe he's legally blind.

Governor signs contraceptives bill into law

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law Monday that will save some Illinois women hundreds of dollars in birth control costs each year.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires state-regulated health insurance plans to cover birth control pills, patches, shots and other forms of prescription contraceptive drugs, devices and associated services for women. State employees will also receive those benefits, but the law does not include coverage of abortion or sterilization procedures.

It's Your Business: Grapevine Boutique to open in Sunnycrest Mall

Carol Davis-Hargest says she knows how hard it is for women who aren't skinny to find nice dresses and suits at stores in Champaign-Urbana. So, she's opening her own boutique at Sunnycrest Mall in Urbana that will fill that need for women sizes 14 and up.

Her shop, to be called The Grapevine Boutique, will open in late August or early September, she said.

DNA database slowly growing

SPRINGFIELD – The business of trying to keep track of felons in Illinois by cataloging their genetic material is plugging along, slowly but surely.

Last Aug. 22, then-Gov. George Ryan signed a law requiring any person convicted of a felony to submit a sample of blood, hair or saliva to the Illinois State Police so their DNA could be extracted, a profile developed and the information entered into a database.

New Miss Illinois named

OAKBROOK TERRACE – Andrea Fritz of Schaumburg, Miss Chicago, was crowned Miss Illinois on Friday night.

Alexandra "Alli" Harold, 21, of Urbana was second runner-up, one place higher than she finished in last year's pageant. Last year, she was third runner-up to her older sister, Erika Harold.

UI to raise tuition by 5 percent

CHICAGO – The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a 5 percent tuition increase Friday, after the UI administration changed its position and recommended the lower increase.

The 5 percent increase means students at the Urbana-Champaign campus will pay $133 more per semester, beginning this fall. With the increase, their tuition will be $2,784 per semester.

State planning to enforce no-call phone list with fines

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has something on her schedule today beside her regular duties – she's going to stop telemarketers from calling her.

Today's the first day Americans can ask their federal government to put them on a huge "no-call" list.

Lower tuition increase on table

CHICAGO – University of Illinois trustees will consider an alternative proposal for increasing tuition by a lower amount when they meet Friday in Chicago.
The proposal to increase tuition by 5 percent was added to the board's agenda Monday at the request of Chairman Larry Eppley.

It's Your Business: Combination restaurant to open in late August

The former Hardee's restaurant building at 404 W. University Ave., U, will be converted to a new combination restaurant selling ice cream, doughnuts and sub sandwiches.

A building permit was issued recently to remodel the building as a new Baskin-Robbins/Dunkin Donuts/