Judge convicts Clark on weapons charge

DANVILLE – Former NBA player Keon Clark faces a year in jail after his conviction on a misdemeanor weapons charge stemming from a March 2006 incident at his Danville home.

"The evidence in this case shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant possessed a firearm without having a valid firearm owner's idenfication card," Vermilion County Circuit Judge Michael Clary wrote in his ruling, issued Friday.

Urbana Middle School students stay late after gas leak

URBANA – Students at Urbana Middle School were kept inside the school for several minutes past dismissal time this afternoon, after a construction crew hit a gas line on Michigan Avenue on the south side of the school.

Urbana firefighters asked the students to remain inside the school while they monitored the area and the building for natural gas, said Division Chief Tony Foster. Then students were dismissed through the north entrance to the building.

1899 Urbana home burns in early morning fire

URBANA – Brian Adams smelled smoke but didn't immediately realize it was coming from his house in Urbana.

"I got up this morning and I could smell smoke," Adams said. "The windows were open and I thought maybe something was burning outside the house. I came down the stairs and it was very thick smoke, so I called the fire department immediately."

Tolono man sentenced to 20 years for rape, burglary

URBANA – A Tolono man with a history of violent convictions was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for rape and burglary.

Howard "Wes" Wilson, 32, who last lived in the 300 block of North Vorcey Street, pleaded guilty in two separate cases to criminal sexual assault and burglary as his trial on the rape charge was set to begin before a jury.

Urbana school board OKs measure to seek new sales tax

URBANA – The Urbana school board passed a resolution Tuesday night calling for a 1 percent countywide sales tax to be put on the November ballot.

With its vote, 11 school districts in the county have now passed such a resolution. Those districts represent almost half of the county's school enrollment, said Jane Quinlan, superintendent of the regional office of education. State law provides that districts representing at least 51 percent of the county's school enrollment can place a tax question on the ballot by approving a resolution such as Urbana did.

Champaign County nursing home's finances on agenda

URBANA – The Champaign County Board will look at ways to rescue county finances from deficit-spending on its nursing home Thursday night – including the possibilities of raising taxes or even selling the facility.

The finance committee meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Brookens Administration Center, 1776 E. Washington St., U.

Pedestrian died from spinal, cerebral injuries in accident

URBANA – Preliminary autopsy results showed a pedestrian who was hit by a pickup truck in Urbana died of multiple traumatic injuries.

Juwayne L. Edwards Jr., 35, whose last known address was on Sherwood Court in Champaign, was pronounced dead at 3:09 a.m. Sunday. Preliminary results from an autopsy Monday in Bloomington showed Mr. Edwards died due to head and spine injuries from the accident, according to Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup.

Township property tax proposal will be on fall ballot

CHAMPAIGN – City of Champaign Township residents will be asked Nov. 4 to approve a 2-cent increase in the township's property tax rate.

Town board members – also the Champaign City Council – voted 8-0 to place the tax question, which would generate an additional $300,000 annually for the township, on the fall ballot. If approved by voters, the proposal would increase the township's overall tax rate to 5.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

UI researcher: Cells could be super sensors

Study focuses on detecting toxins – and giving warning

Don Cropek says he and his colleagues are trying to put a human on a chip.

C-U Linens 'n Things not among 4 closing

CHAMPAIGN – The Linens 'n Things store in Champaign will remain open, but the ailing retailer says it will close four other stores in Illinois to help streamline itself at a time consumers are spending less on home furnishings merchandise.

The chain's parent company, Linens Holding Co., filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code late last week and named 120 stores that will be closed in connection with its restructuring plan.