Teen's arrest spurs concerns on excessive force

CHAMPAIGN – An arrest by Champaign police of a young Rantoul man Friday night, including the use of pepper spray, has raised concerns for some citizens and community leaders.

A group of young people, mostly teenagers who had been attending an open basketball night at the Douglass Center, was apparently convinced that police had used excessive force on a young Rantoul man, but police say they only used force enough to make the arrest.

Five armed robberies reported at start of weekend

Police are urging citizens to take steps to avoid being robbed after a string of armed robberies in Champaign-Urbana early Saturday.

Champaign police received three reports of armed robberies, while University of Illinois and Urbana police each had one. The robberies may have involved subjects with similar descriptions, according to police.

C-U resident's business trip becomes a 'personal sojourn'

When Imani Bazzell went to Africa recently, it was for work.

But the trip was also a spiritual journey for her as she walked the same path slaves once did.

McFarland has Texas-sized hunger to succeed in Champaign

TYLER, Texas – In college, they called Michael McFarland "country boy."

He grew up in Jasper, Texas, near the Louisiana border, but his teachers helped him think outside the boundaries of his small hometown.

Parkland proves to be a perfect partner for UI

CHAMPAIGN – When University of Illinois officials searched for a partner to help make the Global Campus Partnership work, they didn't look far.

More than 1,600 UI students were already enrolled in Parkland College courses, many of them online, and officials tracking outcomes at both schools could see they were excellent.

Oakwood camp marks 75th anniversary

OAKWOOD – As a young Boy Scout at Camp Robert Drake, Phil Dawkins remembers planting pine trees that barely stood knee high as a service project.

On Saturday morning, Dawkins and his son, Matthew, a scout with Troop 101 out of Champaign, were pitching tents at Camp Drake as the breeze was whistling through those same pine trees that now reach about 60 feet high.

Farmer City mulls fair association's latest land exchange offer

FARMER CITY – The director of the group that runs the Farmer City Fair says his organization has offered a park on the south side of town and prime development land next to the Interstate 74 interchange in exchange for the fairgrounds.

If the Farmer City Council agrees with the proposal, it could end a standoff between the association and the city that has stretched for nearly three decades.

Auto parts workers await decision on plants

RANTOUL – As interested buyers start piecing back together the automotive parts industry, area folks are wondering whether Rantoul will be part of the puzzle.

Last November, Collins & Aikman Corp. announced plans to sell or close its operations, including its three plants in Rantoul. The Southfield, Mich.-based parts supplier filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2005 and concluded last fall it couldn't survive.

It's your business: Ice cream tops treats at Arthur restaurant

Lena Otto of Arthur works for a welding business, but always longed to open an ice cream shop, she said.

Last month, she finally did. It's called RoseLen's Coffees and Delights, and you'll find it at 1045 E. Columbia (Illinois 133) in Arthur, in front of the Dollar General store.

Stores plan to stock up on Chief supplies

Don't hit the panic button yet, people.

For those of you who adore all things Chief Illiniwek, hoodies and decals featuring the name or image of the Chief will still be on store shelves tomorrow.

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