5 people safely evacuated from Urbana apartments

URBANA – Michael Mrozinski was sitting on a couch in his Urbana apartment when he heard a fire alarm sound Tuesday evening.

He immediately smelled smoke and knew it was time to evacuate. But there was one problem: his two cats were loose.

Urbana Rotary supports growth of backpack food program

A program that sends backpacks full of food home with needy schoolchildren every weekend will expand to a fifth Champaign County site next fall.

Ford County/Paxton office will close later this month

PAXTON – For the second time in two months, the Illinois Department of Human Services is slated to close its office on West Ottawa Road in Paxton – and this time, the lawmaker who tried to keep it open thinks it will close.

C-U Mass Transit District sets hearing on fall service

CHAMPAIGN – Plans by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District for service this fall will be discussed at a public hearing in Champaign.

The hearing is set for 5 to 7 p.m. July 22 on the fourth floor of Illinois Terminal, 45 E. University Ave., C.

Sidney group wants voters to decide on sewage issue

SIDNEY – A group of Sidney residents wants to block the village from establishing a sanitary sewer system without voter approval.

Village Clerk Janet Akers reported Monday that a petition is now being circulated to place the issue on an election ballot and that 115 have signed it to date, surpassing the 80 required by law. The deadline to submit the petition to the county clerk is Friday, and the soonest that voters could have their say would be the Feb. 2, 2010, primary.

Champaign social-service agencies begin cutting staffs

CHAMPAIGN – State budget woes have forced two Champaign County social-service agencies to begin cutting their staffs and programs, and the losses stand to affect at least 2,000 local people and their already-stressed families.

Developmental Services Center, which serves children and adults with developmental disabilities, cut 18 jobs Monday and has started cutting services to make up about half of the $1.8 million it's losing in state grant money.

Police looking for five suspects in Danville double shooting

DANVILLE – Danville police are searching for five suspects in connection with Monday morning's double shooting on Cleveland Avenue that killed one Danville man and injured another.

"The information we've received is that there were possibly five suspects," said Doug Miller, Danville police deputy director.

Champaign property assessments flat or decreasing

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign property owners are getting some good news in the mail: flat or lower property assessments. But that news isn't good for local taxing bodies.


On property taxes payable next summer, property assessments in the city are either flat or, in nine neighborhoods, going down slightly. Property owners should have received their assessment notices Tuesday or today in the mail.

Champaign County courts

URBANA – The following cases were resolved recently in Champaign County Circuit Court:

– Jason Cuppernell, 35, of Loda, was sentenced to six years in prison for domestic battery with a prior domestic battery conviction and aggravated cruelty to animals. He pleaded guilty to both charges, admitting that on Feb. 8 he beat his girlfriend at her home on Mitchell Court in Rantoul, breaking her cheekbone and bruising her face and torso.

Real estate agents show interest in 2 township buildings

CHAMPAIGN – The City of Champaign Township buildings at the southeast corner of Green and Randolph streets might be sold in coming weeks.

Township Supervisor Pam Borowski told town board members Tuesday night that she has been approached by two commercial real estate agents interested in purchasing the township supervisor's office at 603 S. Randloph St. and the township assessor's office at 201 W. Green St.