UI student shows passion for politics

Kristin Williamson isn't just studying political science at the University of Illinois, she's living it. The busy mom of a 2-year-old son is also a precinct committeewoman, vice president of the Champaign County Young Republicans and one of 10 fellows selected for the 2007 Illinois Lincoln Excellence in Public Service Series.

The yearlong program, which started in January, is designed to increase the number of Illinois Republican women serving in elected and appointed positions in all levels of government and politics.

Rantoul's housing market attracts emerging Latino population

Last year, Ruben Acevedo purchased Rantoul's all-sports radio station and changed its format to all Spanish-language programming.

It wasn't on a whim: Acevedo was well aware of the village's the growing number of Latinos.

It's your business: Old Bank Inn getting new lease on life

Jeff Curry trained horses for a quarter of a century before he went looking for a new career that would mean less wear and tear on his body.

Some might argue that his choice – opening his own restaurant – won't exactly be easy work.

Two UI football players arrested

CHAMPAIGN – Two University of Illinois football players have been suspended after their arrest Friday night for possession of stolen property and obstruction of justice, police and university officials said.

Sophomore receivers Jody Ellis and Derrick McPhearson were re-leased Saturday after each posted a $2,500 cash bond, according to Champaign County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Morris.

Senator calls for probe of Chief decision

SPRINGFIELD – A state lawmaker is calling for an investigation into how the decision to retire Chief Illiniwek was handled.

"I've written a letter to the attorney general asking her to investigate the actions, proper or improper, on the (University of Illinois) Board of Trustees in the way that they handled this decision," state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington said. "I think that many people are calling into question these actions and the way they took place."

UI's notorious party is "Unofficial" tradition

CHAMPAIGN – Ryan Cokril of Ann Arbor, Mich., grinned as he clutched a beer at a party on Daniel Street on Friday.

"This is awesome, man!" said Cokril, who drove from the University of Michigan with his best friend, Phil Draz of Normal, to take part in Unofficial St. Patrick's Day.

Except for Centennial, school district meets standard

CHAMPAIGN – For the first time, the Champaign school district as a whole and Central High School have met state standards for student achievement in math and reading for the last school year.

All but one of Champaign's schools made adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act. The district recently received achievement test results for high school juniors for the 2005-06 school year.

UI board should be elected, senator says

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, filed legislation on Friday to revert to electing University of Illinois trustees.

"I have had many people that have questioned the behavior of the board, and the fact that such an important body exists in the state of Illinois and is not representative of the people through the popular vote," he said.

Police discover marijuana in UI freshman's bedroom

CHAMPAIGN – A University of Illinois student is accused of having marijuana for sale.

Michael Starr, 19, who listed an address in the 1100 block of South First Street, was arraigned Friday on a Class 3 felony charge of possession with intent to deliver marijuana.

Court dates set in sex crimes case

URBANA – A Champaign man charged with having sex with a teenage girl is set to be back in Champaign County Circuit Court on March 27 for a preliminary hearing

Brian M. Parker, 21, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Garden Hills Drive, was charged in December with three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

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