Gathering for the green

CHAMPAIGN – "Green" is in, for everything from home remodeling to Earth-friendly cleaning products.

Hoping to capitalize on a surge of environmental consciousness, Greenpeace launched a local campaign Sunday to fight global warming and pressure Congress to take the lead.

Greenpeace supporters gathered in West Side Park to record 10-second video petitions for Rep. Timothy Johnson, R-Urbana, and paint panels for a tapestry they will present to Johnson at a meeting next month.

Court won't hear McGinty petition challenge

The long-running challenge to a county board member's candidacy has ended by default.

The Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear the challenge to the petitions of Urbana Democrat Brendan McGinty, he has learned.

Presiding judge sends jurors home

URBANA – Some people showing up for jury duty at the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana this morning were sent home, not because there were no trials for them to hear but because construction had displaced them.

"We've got no place to put these jurors," an irritated Presiding Judge Tom Difanis said this morning. "What am I going to do with them? Have them stand in the construction area?"

Urbana superintendent might get raise, new goals

URBANA – Schools Superintendent Preston Williams' job description may grow, along with his salary.

Board president Mark Netter said that at the Tuesday school board meeting – at 7:30 p.m. at the Burkhold- er Administrative Service Center, 205 N. Race St., U – the board will look at adding two goals to the superintendent position.

3 arrested after reports of shooting in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Two men and a teen-ager were arrested following reports of a shootout in north Champaign on Saturday.

Police said two cars were involved in a shootout in the 500 block of East Eureka about 1:50 p.m. Saturday. The shots damaged a window, but no one was injured, police said.

Danville girl safe after search by police

DANVILLE – A 14-month-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert and a police search west of Danville on Sunday was later found unharmed near her home in Indiana, officials said.

Chelsea E. Netemyer had been abducted between 6 and 9 a.m. Sunday from 2326 North Stop 19 in Vigo, Ind., about 12 miles south of Terre Haute, Ind., according to the alert issued by the Vigo County sheriff's department.

Vote planned on Rantoul water-system study

RANTOUL – Rantoul has changed a lot over the last eight years.

A Wal-Mart SuperCenter and Meadowbrook Farms' pork processing plant provide jobs on the west side, while Rantoul's largest employer – Collins & Aikman – closed its doors.

Vermilion health chief asks to raise mileage rate

DANVILLE – Vermilion County's health department administrator thinks the county's mileage-reimbursement rate is too low and has asked for an increase.

Administrator Steve Laker, who has as many as 40 employees getting mileage reimbursements, has asked the county board to consider increasing the current reimbursement rate to the same level as the federal rate approved by the Internal Revenue Service, which is currently 50.5 cents per mile.

Vermilion County has a floating rate that is 2.5 cents less than the federal rate. Currently, the county rate is 48 cents a mile.

How to avoid problems with produce

Michelle Kim pushed her cart around the aisles of produce inside Schnucks grocery in Urbana this spring, picked up a couple containers of berries and bagged a variety of other fresh fruits and vegetables.

She wishes she could buy more organic produce at the Urbana farmers' market, but she explained Schnucks is convenient. In either case, she doesn't think much about the possibility of it making her sick – or killing her.

Receptionist stays positive despite the inhumanity she's exposed to on the job

CHAMPAIGN – Jan Orr hears lots of the bad side of humanity. But friends and relatives say that part of her job with the Champaign Police Department hasn't colored the way she leads her life.

Orr, 47, is the receptionist for the Champaign Police Department investigators. Among her duties are transcribing tapes for detectives and helping to disseminate bulletins and information for the Champaign County Crimestoppers organization.