Champaign County courts

URBANA – The following criminal cases were resolved this week in Champaign County Circuit Court:

– Charles McKinney, 35 of the 900 block of West Beardsley Avenue, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He admitted that on April 25 he took money from a Yellow Checker cab driver while on State Street in Champaign. After McKinney got out of the cab, the driver called police and followed him until police picked him up.

Plan to stabilize downtown Rossville buildings OK'd

ROSSVILLE – Just one week ago, Rossville Village Board members held an open meeting to give residents an opportunity to ask questions about its plan to stabilize several village-owned downtown buildings.

On Thursday, the board voted unanimously to do exactly that, using tax-increment-financing-district money for the project. In addition, the board approved a $79,000 proposal by Contois Masonry & Concrete Contractors of Donovan for the masonry work on buildings at 114, 116 and 118 on the north side of East Attica Street and 113, 115 and 117 on the south side of the street.

Heritage students enjoy experts' work in creating gardens

HOMER – Master Gardener Joan Lane, with support from naturalist Suzanne Smith, designed and maintain the prairie courtyard garden at Heritage Elementary School in Homer.

The two women volunteer their time in this and two other gardens at the school.

Owens Funeral Home will move to Y property in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Owens Funeral Home plans to move to the McKinley YMCA property on West Church Street after the Champaign County YMCA moves to southwest Champaign, according to the family that owns the funeral home.

Julia Yost Hersom, great-granddaughter of the funeral home's founders, said Friday the family hasn't determined yet whether both buildings on the McKinley property will need to be torn down to make way for the funeral home.

UI Alumni Association opens door for all students, alums

URBANA – The University of Illinois Alumni Association is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Every UI student, past or present, is now automatically a member, no dues required.

Prosecutor: Drug probe prompted fatal Champaign shooting

URBANA – The fatal shooting of one man and wounding of another another, according to prosecutors, stemmed from a drug investigation gone bad.

Granville Sanchez Johnson, 29, of Champaign, was arraigned Friday on eight counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Parkland students getting on track for motorsports industry

CHAMPAIGN – Scott Breeding of Rantoul took a chamois to a freshly washed green and white Chevy Malibu Thursday afternoon at Parkland College, and Lucas Lange of Gibson City drove it onto the trailer that would take it to the St. Louis area, where they would be drag racing.

Farmers' market responds to need at public health district

CHAMPAIGN – There was fresh corn on the cob, and plenty of it.

Ripe tomatoes, peaches, squash, berries, potatoes, onions and peppers, too.

Local businessman up for appointment

DANVILLE – Local Democrats have chosen a former Danville alderman and businessman for appointment to a vacant seat on the Vermilion County board.

The board on Tuesday will consider appointing Robert Boyd, 46, of Danville to the District 8 seat vacated by Democrat Karen Jones-McKissack, who resigned in June.

Two robberies reported in Urbana neighborhood

URBANA – Police in Urbana are investigating two separate street robberies in the same neighborhood.

In one case, two unknown men approached three Urbana male teenagers at a gas station in the 1500 block of East Washington Street about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to a police report.