Judge to rule on IP investigation

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said on Monday that Illinois Power's service problems in Champaign and Urbana show why an investigation is needed into the utility's finances, but the Illinois Commerce Commission staff disagrees.

The debate now heads to an administrative law judge, who will either rule on the request for an examination, or put the question to the Illinois Commerce Commission for a decision in January, said ICC spokeswoman Beth Bosch.

It's Your Business: Zelma's restaurant to open in Champaign

Zelma's, a new restaurant venture by local pizza legend Ralph Monical, is set to open Dec. 17 at the new Windsor Galleria in Champaign.

The menu will include pizza, sandwiches, jumbo-size wings and salads, said Monical's son, Steve, who will manage the restaurant.

ICC will take look at IP deal

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Commerce Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to investigate Illinois Power's plan to transfer its Tilton generating facilities to its parent company, Houston-based Dynegy Inc.

Dynegy would give Illinois Power a $66.4 million IOU in exchange for the facilities if the deal is approved.

Sheriff says probe complex

CLINTON – The mother of three children who drowned in Clinton Lake and her boyfriend have been arrested for the children's murder.

DeWitt County Sheriff Roger Massey said Wednesday that Amanda Hamm, 27, and Maurice Lagrone Jr., 28, both formerly of Clinton, are being charged with nine counts of murder apiece, three counts in the death of each child, using different definitions of homicide.

Flu vaccines running low at area medical facilities

Local health care providers are struggling to keep up with an almost relentless demand for flu shots as supplies of the vaccine dwindle fast.

Long lines are forming where doses of the vaccine remain, and other local immunization sites have run dry and are turning patients away.

Nobel winners get through ceremony without a hitch

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – University of Illinois Professor Anthony Leggett was thinking about a handshake as he received the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Specifically, Swedish King Carl Gustaf's handshake, which had gone under the arm of the hand holding their gold medals and diplomas sometimes, and sometimes over for the Nobel laureates who had preceded Leggett.

New ethics law will have local impact

SPRINGFIELD – The new ethics bill the governor signed into law this week, along with another measure enacted last month, are being touted as a way to clean up state government, but the legislation will also have an impact at the local level.

As a former Champaign County recorder, state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, a co-sponsor of the ethics bills, said she believed it was important to keep the rules consistent across all levels of government.

More diversity in pension firms sought

SPRINGFIELD – All of the state's public pension funds need to use more minority-owned and female-owned money managers and brokers, but the State Universities' Retirement System is the worst, said state Sen. Tony Munoz, D-Chicago.

"It's pretty much unacceptable to me," said Munoz, chairman of a special Senate committee on public pension investments.

State farm bureau leader offers parting advice

CHICAGO – Outgoing Illinois Farm Bureau President Ron Warfield challenged hundreds of farmers Monday to pressure Congress to pass an energy bill next year, to continue growing products with the consumer in mind and to promote agritourism in the state.

Warfield spoke at the 88th annual Illinois Farm Bureau meeting, being held in Chicago through Wednesday.

UI students do assignments through Web

No rest for the weary in Professor Louis Wozniak's Introduction to Control Systems engineering class.

Students even had to pop into the University of Illinois College of Engineering's Control Systems Lab to work on an assignment over Thanksgiving break.