Rantoul man sentenced to prison for breaking into his place of employment

URBANA — A Rantoul man with several criminal convictions was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for breaking into a bar where he worked.

Christopher Bradley, 36, who listed an address in the 1000 block of St. Andrew’s Circle, pleaded guilty before Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd to burglary, admitting that on Nov. 7 he broke into Tams Bar & Grill at 424 S. Century Blvd., Rantoul.

Man gets nine years in prison for role in Watseka man's death

WATSEKA – An Iroquois County judge on Monday sentenced a Watseka man to nine years in prison for his role in the death of a Watseka man.

Chad Walwer, 25, had pleaded guilty in December to unlawful possession of weapon by a felon, admitting that he brought a gun to McSki's Lounge in Watseka on April 14 that Jeffrey Hite, 31, is accused of using to fatally shoot Roger McVay.

New city awards to honor those who have led, improved Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – City officials are hoping the community will take advantage of a new awards program created to recognize those who have led or improved Champaign in some way.

The city's Neighborhood Services Department is accepting nominations until March 1. Nominees and winners of awards in six categories will be recognized during the city's annual Neighborhood Leaders Meeting, this year on April 14.

Champaign council member leaving

CHAMPAIGN — District 5 city council member Dave Johnson will resign his position following the March 2 city council meeting, according to a press release.

Johnson will be moving to Cleveland to begin a new job, according to the release. He has served on the city council since his election in April 2009.

The council will discuss the process to fill his vacant seat during its March 2 meeting, according to the release. His replacement would serve until April 2011, at which time voters would select who would complete Johnson’s 4-year term.

Two Champaign men plead innocent to burglary charges

CHAMPAIGN – Two Champaign men pleaded innocent Monday to burglary charges in connection with a Feb. 10 incident at a Champaign home.

Wyatt Blissit, 20, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Garden Hills Drive, Champaign, and Channing Profit, 18, who listed an address in the 2500 block of Campbell Drive, Champaign, pleaded innocent to felony residential burglary.

According to Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark, Blissit and Profit entered a home in the 3900 block of Tallgrass Drive about 10:15 p.m. Feb. 10 with the intent to commit theft.

Champaign man charged with armed violence

CHAMPAIGN – Bond has been set at $50,000 for a Champaign man charged with armed violence.

Shaun Butler, 29, who listed an address in the 200 block of East Washington Street, Champaign, was charged Monday with one count of armed violence, a Class X felony.

According to Champaign County Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark, police arrested Butler after they found him armed with a .380 caliber pistol while possessing meth with the intent to deliver it in the 200 block of East Washington on Friday.

No one hurt in hostage situation at Mahomet's Heritage Inn Motel

Mahomet Police Chief Jerry Gamble said police officers were called to the Heritage Inn Motel at 801 E. Eastwood St., Mahomet, at 4:09 p.m. Tuesday after the mother of a 33-year-old woman reported that her daughter was being held at knifepoint against her will in Room 50 of the motel.

When Mahomet police and Champaign County sheriff's deputies arrived a few minutes later, they set up a perimeter around the building, according to Gamble.

After police made contact with the man inside the motel room, he surrendered to police without incident, Gamble said.

UI's College of Media names head of journalism department

URBANA – Reporting and photography could be entering a golden age, says the new head of the journalism department at the University of Illinois.

"My belief is that people will realize what a value-added proposition journalism is," with citizen journalists teaming with trusted institutions to offer a variety of words and images never before available, Brian Johnson said.

Life Remembered: Trooper Voges 'gave 120% on her worst day'

OGDEN – Sue Voges wasn't one to go silently into the night.

Indeed, the 53-year-old Ogden woman engaged the cancer she had for 11 years with an indomitable spirit to the end, which came Monday morning at her home where she was surrounded by family and friends.

While many cancer victims go down fighting, those who knew Voges well say what may have set her apart was her willingness to share her experience to help others with their own health care decisions or to just brighten their day.

UPDATED: Some area roads slick, snowy

Light snow was falling in East Central Illinois Thursday morning and while no hazardous weather is forecast, the state says some area roads are slick.

Illinois State Police Sgt. Bill Emery said between 8:04 and 8:25 a.m., there were  three crashes on Interstate 74 on both sides of the highway at the Illinois Central overpass just east of the Market Place Mall on Champaign's north side. There were no serious injuries in any of the reports.

Police in town  were also responding to a few fender benders.