Former youth minister pleads not guilty in sexual exploitation case

URBANA – A Rossville man who formerly worked as a youth pastor pleaded innocent in federal court Monday to five counts of sexual exploitation of children.

Andrew L. Thomas, 46, who listed an address in Rossville, was charged with attempting to coerce boys to engage in sexually explicit conduct for photos between January 2007 and March 2010.

Urbana council delays action on landmark; petitioner unable to attend

URBANA – Action to designate the 135-year-old home of former Urbana Mayor Eli Halberstadt as a historic landmark has been postponed until next week's Urbana City Council committee meeting.

Vermilion County considers another property downtown

DANVILLE – More than a month after the county board voted down purchasing the former Union bus terminal to house the county maintenance department, county officials are considering buying a different downtown building for the same purpose.

Road work will close Savoy streets this week

SAVOY — Road surfacing will intermittently close some streets in Savoy starting on Wednesday morning.

Daytime road closures are expected on the following streets:

Victim in fatal collision identified

ELLIOTT — A 55-year-old Gibson City woman was killed Monday morning when a car hit the bicycle she was riding on a highway in rural Ford County.

Champaign council to vote on wrongful-death settlement

CHAMPAIGN – Nearly a year after the fatal police shooting of 15-year-old Kiwane Carrington, the city council this week could approve a $470,000 wrongful-death lawsuit settlement with his family.

Centennial educator among eight finalists for state teacher of the year

CHAMPAIGN – A Centennial High School teacher is among eight finalists for the Teacher of the Year award from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Susan Thomas, who teaches social studies, was nominated for the award by Ryan Remole, a counselor at Centennial.

Champaign native on panel researching Toyota problems

With an eye toward finding the problem that caused Toyotas to accelerate suddenly, a Champaign native has been named to an elite national panel.

Toyota has recalled more than 8 million cars in the last year, and the carmaker argues its equipment was not defective.

Champaign police chief to suspects: We'll put an end to this

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney has news for the young men responsible for more than a dozen unprovoked beatings, mostly in the campus area, in the last month.

Permission sought from state to move Hoopeston nursing home

HOOPESTON – Hoopeston Regional Health Center has applied to a state planning board for permission to relocate its Community Memorial Nursing Home to a separate site, away from Hoopeston Community Memorial Hospital.