Living room fire causes $8,000 damage in Urbana

URBANA – A house at 2305 Brownfield Road in Urbana was left with about $8,000 in damage after fire broke out in the living room about 9:58 p.m. Thursday

The Carroll Fire Department responded to the call, arriving at 10:07 p.m.

It's all Greek: Pickles sold after 18 years

CHAMPAIGN – Pickles Food & Fun has had a long run on South Neil Street, but soon the restaurant will get new owners, some new menu items – and eventually a new name.

Valerie and George Pyle will take over the restaurant at 505 S. Neil St., C, from longtime operators Doug and Margaret Carson on July 1.

Police rally around comrade

TUSCOLA – Tommy Martin started his day Thursday by telling his longtime friend and boss Charlie McGrew that "this is the greatest job in the world and we get paid for it," McGrew said.

McGrew and Martin, both retired from the Illinois State Police, have been sheriff and chief deputy respectively for the Douglas County sheriff's office since December 2004, following McGrew's election the month before.

Gunman's surrender ends hostage crisis

ARCOLA – Gabe Gerhardt, 14, got up Thursday morning figuring on another boring summer weekday in Arcola.

"I actually thought, man, what am I gonna do today," he said, sitting next to the war memorial outside the senior center in the Douglas County community's downtown. "There's not anything gonna happen. It never does."

Manager's family, friends stand by during his ordeal

ARCOLA – When Brad Pullen, the last hostage, was freed from an Arcola bank Thursday, three girls in his family ran exuberantly along Illinois 133.

"He is out! He is out!" they shouted to well-wishers.

Hostage crisis rivets, worries Arcola citizens

ARCOLA – As the drama of the hostage standoff at the First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust office in Arcola unfolded Thursday afternoon, residents gathered in clusters outside police barricades.

Some gathered across the street at the home of Collin Cain in the 200 block of South Locust Street.

Water tower? Not in my front yard

DANVILLE – Aqua Illinois officials have offered two site choices for a nearly $1.9 million water tower to be built west of the Denvale area.

But for neighbors of the area, neither is acceptable.

Danville seeks funds for Carver Park

DANVILLE – Lights, some new paint and a proper restroom are what several youths say Carver Park needs.

The city council agrees. Earlier this week, aldermen approved an application seeking a state grant to renovate the park.

Arcola bank standoff ends with release of last hostage

The standoff at an Arcola bank has ended at about 6:35 p.m. with the release of the last remaining hostage, Brad Pullen, manager of the Illinois Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust.

The suspect in the bank is in police custody.

Owners of area Fox stations to buy local CW affiliate

CHAMPAIGN – The owners of the area Fox TV stations have agreed to buy the CW affiliate in Decatur.

GOCOM Media of Illinois, which holds the licenses for WRSP Channel 55 in Springfield and WCCU Channel 27 in Champaign-Urbana, has agreed to buy WBUI Channel 23 in Decatur from ACME Communications for $4 million, a GOCOM news release stated.