Officials praise restructuring work in Danville schools

DANVILLE – At Danville High School, freshman attendance is up, and discipline referrals are down. Teachers have more opportunity to hone their professional skills.

And Principal Mark Neil has made more than 75 classroom visits, largely thanks to the addition of a school administration manager.

Grandson faces two murder charges in Iroquois man's death

WATSEKA – A rural Milford man accused of the brutal murder of his grandfather is due back in court later this week.

Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine said two counts of murder were filed Monday, accusing Leonard "Martin" Badenhorst, 22, of killing Herschel Fleming, 79, by beating him on the head and chest.

Special census shows Urbana growth, will yield dividends

URBANA – Urbana has topped the 40,000 mark in population for the first time, according to results from a special census.

Urbana's new population total is 40,550, an increase of 3,188 residents over the 37,362 figure given the city following the 2000 census, city officials said at Monday's city council committee meeting.

Two Champaign County theft cases result in probation

URBANA – A Champaign man who admitted stealing prescription medication from a nursing home and an Urbana man who admitted stealing about $19,000 worth of property were sentenced in separate cases Monday to probation.

Judge Heidi Ladd sentenced Michael Rast, 46, whose last known address was in the 800 block of Haines Boulevard, Champaign, was sentenced to 30 months of probation.

Police arrest shoplifting suspects

CHAMPAIGN – A Rantoul woman suspected of shoplifting was arrested Sunday afternoon after she crashed a pickup truck into a pole while fleeing from police.

Champaign police Sgt. Matt Crane said Rebecca Sue Mabry, 37, also known as Hall, of the 1200 block of Sycamore Lane, Rantoul, and Jack Adkins, 35, of Ludlow, were seen leaving the Market Place Mall around 3:45 p.m. with clothing they had allegedly stolen from the Sears store.

2 girls arrested after fight on bus

CHAMPAIGN – A teenage girl received superficial cuts on her face as a result of a fight on a school bus this morning.

Champaign police Sgt. David Griffet said a 17-year-old female and a 16-year-old female were arrested for aggravated battery and disorderly conduct. The two got into an argument on a Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District bus headed to Central High School when the fight broke out at 7:19 a.m., he said.

Police seek information on 2 recent break-ins

Champaign County Crime-stoppers and the Champaign County sheriff's office this week are seeking information on two separate but similar burglaries to businesses.

Someone broke a window to enter the Hideaway of the Woods Restaurant and Bar, 809 S. Prairie Road, Mahomet, during the early morning hours on Sept. 4.

Developer seeks zoning change for apartments near Paxton

PAXTON – The city's planning commission has called a meeting for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at city hall to consider an application by Meuser Construction & Excavation Inc. to rezone a parcel of farmland just outside city limits to make way for a four-unit apartment building.

"I've got a similar building just up the street," said Steve Meuser, the owner of the Paxton-based construction company. "It's a little smaller, but it's a similar building (as the one being planned)."

Budget of Danville Area Community College up for vote

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College trustees on Tuesday will hold a public hearing on a proposed $27.63 million budget for the 2009 fiscal year.

Trustees then will vote on whether to adopt the spending plan, which has been on display for 30 days.

Nursing home's finances discussed

URBANA – County officials have met with the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce to discuss concerns about finances at the nursing home.

The concerns arose after University of Illinois accountancy Professor Rachel Schwartz addressed the business group about the county nursing home's ledgers, in particular the use of contract labor, including therapists on a contract with a Texas firm.