Federal loan will bring drinkable water to area west of Arthur

ARTHUR – Hauling drinking water in 5-gallon jugs down the road a few miles doesn't sound like fun, and the principal at the Arthur Christian School admits the task has been a huge headache and time commitment for three or four years.

The chore had fallen to the school board president and a generous grandpa of one of the students who attends the parochial school near Arthur. The men had to drive into Arthur once a week to fill the jugs, and then empty them into a 70-gallon tank at the school.

Champaign County court roundup

URBANA – The following Champaign County court cases were resolved recently with guilty pleas entered:

– Jean Shaffer, 22, of St. Joseph, will be sentenced in June for theft more than $10,000. She pleaded guilty to stealing money from her former employer, LaBamba Mexican Restaurant at 1905 Glenn Park Drive, C, between June 2005 and June 2008, while she was employed in the business office.

Danville High school club part of effort to help feed the hungry

DANVILLE – The Danville Area Food Pantry's shelves could be a little fuller next week, thanks to some area students.

Resident says masked men invaded his home, beat and robbed him

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign police are investigating a home invasion and robbery late Wednesday in which three armed, masked men beat up a man, fired a gun at a wall and stole jewelry from the home.

Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn said a 17-year-old man reported he was home in the 400 block of West Beardsley Avenue about 11:45 p.m. when a man with a black hooded sweat shirt over his head and a mask partially covering his face came into his bedroom. The man waved a weapon at him and repeatedly ordered the resident to "give me something."

Police seek information on public restroom fires in Arthur

ARTHUR – Arthur Police Chief Michael Goodman is asking for help solving an arson earlier this month in public restrooms at Jurgens Park in Arthur.

Late on April 9 or early on April 10, someone set a fire near a utility room on the men's side of the restrooms, causing thousands in damage.

'American Idol,' nonprofit make young girl's dreams come true

CHAMPAIGN – Every Tuesday and Wednesday night, 10-year-old Elena Vinton's eyes are glued to the television set, watching her favorite singers perform on "American Idol."

Earlier this month, Elena got an even better view of the show: tickets to see the show in person with her family.

VA volunteers saluted as 'people in action'

DANVILLE – Celebrating People in Action is the National Volunteer Week theme April 19 through 25. The Veterans Affairs Illiana Healthcare System recognized some of its volunteers Thursday with a special dinner and entertainment by its staff.

The woman who is a person in action a minimum of two days each week at the VA is Gloria Nelson, who has accumulated 54 years and 29,607 volunteer hours. That's an average of about 10½ hours each week, since 1955. Nelson was recognized with several other volunteers for reaching various plateaus of volunteer hours Thursday.

Champaign County Board takes action to go to 1 administrator in fall


URBANA – Champaign County Board members Thursday night amended an agreement with one of the county's co-administrators that clears the way for the other to become the sole administrator this fall.

The action came on a night when the board met for three hours but was in closed session for at least half that time. There were four separate executive sessions covering a worker's compensation case, land acquisition, the employment agreement with co-administrator Denny Inman and a collective bargaining discussion.

Not all area police departments have budget for squad car cameras

Although the technology exists for police to record images and audio from their squad cars, not all area police departments can afford it.

"It would be nice to have all the new bells and whistles every year, but I gotta feed prisoners," said Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh.

Sanitary district budget includes $40.5 million in upgrades

URBANA – A major sewer project will boost the costs for the local sanitary district for the coming year.

The 2010 Improvements Project, which is expected to cost about $40.5 million, is intended to upgrade major equipment at the district's Northeast Treatment Plant.