Consultant: Nursing home can turn profit

DANVILLE – Vermilion Manor Nursing Home lost almost a million dollars last year, but a financial consultant thinks the county-owned facility can be profitable not only this year but also for at least the next four.

Mike Harmon of Harmon and Associates in Danville told county board members Tuesday night that the key to making the 233-bed nursing home profitable would be reducing the largest expense – personnel costs – which constituted about 88 percent of the nursing home's expenses last year.

Danville graffiti ordinance held over business concerns

DANVILLE – Action on a proposed graffiti ordinance was postponed Tuesday night until changes could be made to the ordinance to ease requirements for business owners.

Members of the city council's public services committee questioned how the proposed ordinance affects local businesses.

Westville mayor eyes plan for replacement of culvert

WESTVILLE – Mayor Jeff Slavik said Tuesday he was still reviewing the options, but planned to have a recommendation for the replacement of the stormwater culvert at the Trinity United Church of Christ for the village board to consider next month.

The project, which involves the replacement of a deteriorating drainage culvert, will likely require about 60 feet of 36-inch-wide pipe and the replacement of some damaged sections of road and sidewalk, Slavik said.

Governor signs education coordination bill

SPRINGFIELD – A new state law is designed to help coordinate the state's education systems better from preschool through the end of college.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed HB 1648 on Tuesday, creating the new Illinois P-20 Council.

One killed in three-vehicle crash

An accident on Interstate 74 this afternoon killed the driver of one of the three vehicles involved.

State police said the accident, at 12:15 p.m., involved two semitrailer trucks and a passenger car.

Demolition delay gains support

URBANA – Developers wanting to tear down an older house in Urbana could soon face a mandatory 45-day delay, and the possibility that the house could then be declared a city landmark, making it much more difficult to get city approval for demolition.

Urbana aldermen, meeting as the committee of the whole, gave a tentative endorsement Monday night to the concept of demolition delay, despite a negative recommendation from the city's planning staff.

UI's new initiative gets first billing

URBANA – University of Illinois faculty members convened for the annual faculty meeting Monday, at which they could hear from administrators and raise any issues or questions on their minds.

One of the first topics brought up by faculty members was the new Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Fund, an initiative started by donors and alumni to support teaching and curriculum development, research, lectures, scholarships and more. The academy fund launches on campus later this week with a forum featuring Robert Novak and Steve Forbes.

Police investigating BB gun drive-by shootings in Urbana

URBANA – Police are investigating a rash of recent BB gun attacks in South Urbana.

According to police reports, men and women were walking or jogging on various streets when someone in a car drove by and shot them with a BB or pellet gun Sunday. Urbana police Investigator Tim McNaught said all the attacks involved three to four men in their late teens or early 20s in a lighter-color older four-door car.

Area Guard units coming home

CHAMPAIGN – About 30 National Guard soldiers from the Champaign Armory will be among those returning from the front line in Iraq as early as next week.

No date has been set for the return of the soldiers from Company B of the 634th Forward Support Battalion, who have been serving with Company A of the same battalion, which has its headquarters in Mattoon.

C-U baseball franchise in works

CHAMPAIGN – Since its opening in 1988, Illinois Field typically has sat empty during much of the summer.

That would change if a group intent on bringing minor league baseball to Champaign-Urbana reaches final agreement with the University of Illinois on use of its baseball facility.