Peterson's second wife besieged by press after interview

PAXTON – A group of local, metropolitan and television reporters waited Friday outside a home in Paxton, hoping to speak with the second wife of Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson, who has been described as a suspect in the recent disappearance of his fourth wife and whose third wife died mysteriously in 2004.

However, Vicki Connolly never appeared at her daughter's home in the 400 block of East Larson Street.

Chicago man arrested for campus hit-and-run accident

CHAMPAIGN – A Chicago man was arrested for driving into two pedestrians and then leaving the scene of the accident near campus early Friday.

Ali Jackson-Bey, 29, was arrested for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, reckless driving and driving without a valid license, according to Champaign police Lt. Jon Swenson.

Death of man restrained by police ruled accidental

URBANA – The death of an Urbana man who had been handcuffed by police – reportedly for his own safety – was ruled an accidental death by a Champaign County coroner's jury Thursday.

The six-person coroner's jury made the ruling at an inquest in the death of James L. Pelmore Jr., who had lived in the 2200 block of Easy Street.

Academy gives hope to students behind on credits

CHAMPAIGN – When Columbia Center Principal Charles Hogue and Dean of Students Cynthia Keller-Higgins put together a spreadsheet last summer listing all their high school students and the credits they had earned, a number of students caught their attention immediately.

Even though the students were 16 and 17 years old and ought to be upperclassmen, they had each earned only 12 credits or fewer. One student had only one credit. It takes 22 credits to graduate from high school in Champaign.

Rantoul school district requesting increase in tax levy

RANTOUL – Rantoul City Schools will ask for $3.9 million in property taxes next year, 11.7 percent more than this year's levy.

State law requires increases of more than 5 percent to be subject to a truth in taxation hearing, which is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Dec. 18.

Apartment complex going up on University Avenue

URBANA – A Dallas-based real estate firm is planning to build a $17 million, 161-unit apartment building on the north side of University Avenue.

The Trammell Crow Co., through a limited liability company, plans to start construction this spring at 1008-1012 W. University Ave. The site is currently a strip mall between Hot Wok Express and the Gold and Diamond Exchange. The strip mall will be demolished.

Westville intensifying its roar

WESTVILLE – If you're driving Illinois 1 between Westville and Georgetown in the next two days, you'll have a lot of reading to do.

The Westville High School cheerleading squad has lined the highway with signs cheering on the football team that's just one game away from a second consecutive appearance in the Class 2A state championship game.

Widespread cleanup efforts on horizon for Rantoul

RANTOUL – U.S. Air Force site officials have nearly completed the investigation phase of the former Chanute Air Force base, and they're ready to start a widespread cleanup of the most contaminated sites there.

"This is a milestone," said Paul Carroll, an environmental coordinator for the Air Force, at the quarterly Restoration Advisory Board meeting. "But there's a lot of work remaining."

Value of Danville's assets up $7 million

DANVILLE – The value of city assets – everything from equipment to money in the bank – rose by $7 million over the previous year, a recent audit found.

Aldermen received the city's fiscal 2006-07 audit earlier this month in anticipation of their discussion of it Tuesday.

Rape charges against Champaign man dropped

FORT WORTH, Texas – A Texas rape charge against a Champaign man was dropped last month.

Horace Lee Wilson, 48, was released after the rape charge was dropped by prosecutors there.