Hoopeston to pay $50,000 to replace computer system

HOOPESTON – Hoopeston plans to change its computer system. The city council voted unanimously to let Civic System of Wisconsin replace its outdated computer service at a cost of $50,000.

The system has been having problems, crashing and not working as well as it did, Alderman Bill Goodwine said.

One of 10 job fairs for vets set for today in Danville

The state has scheduled a series of 10 job fairs for veterans, including one today in Danville.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Illinois Employment and Training Center office at 407 N. Franklin St. Veterans' job fairs are also being held today and Friday in other Illinois cities.

Danville's 3rd pawn shop open for business

DANVILLE – One hour after receiving his city pawnbroker license, Kevin Johnson had the "open" sign at his Vermilion Street pawn business turned on.

His first customer of the day was a woman selling speakers.

Officials report marked rise in ag enrollment

CHAMPAIGN – Enrollment in Parkland College agriculture classes dropped to 75 students in 1985, and college officials worried about the future of the program.

But today, enrollment grows almost every year in classes teaching skills students need to be a success in the workplace. Bruce Henrikson, head of the college's agri-business program, said advisers and students realize that farming is a high-tech business and they need education after high school to become a success.

Sidney officials against proposed water rate increase

SIDNEY – Village officials will be taking a stand with Champaign, Urbana, Champaign County, the University of Illinois, Savoy and St. Joseph against a proposed water rate increase by Illinois American Water.

Illinois American filed for a rate increase of almost 60 percent on Aug. 31, saying it would be used to help pay for a new $51 million water treatment plant near Bondville and other investments in the system.

Expert on bees gives students tour of lab

URBANA – A group of Thomas Paine Elementary School fourth-graders were some busy bees on Tuesday morning.

They braved the cold, taking a yellow school bus down a bumpy gravel road to a little hive of a lab on Lincoln Avenue in Urbana. There, they met University of Illinois Professor Gene E. Robinson, a leading researcher on bees and a guy who knows a drone from a queen – as do the kids.

Few surprises in Champaign County filings for Feb. 5 primary

URBANA – The Feb. 5 primary doesn't have many contested races at the county level, with a notable exception for Champaign County state's attorney.

Monday was the filing deadline, and Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden said there weren't many surprises.

Woman beaten, raped in Urbana

URBANA – Police in Urbana are investigating a report that a domestic dispute escalated into a sexual assault.

According to a police report, a man and woman had a domestic dispute early Tuesday morning in the 1300 block of East Michigan Avenue. The man agreed to leave for the night, but returned, the report said.

Two cars reported stolen

University of Illinois and Champaign police are investigating reports of stolen cars in separate cases.

Employees at Hertz Rental at Willard Airport in Savoy told UI police that a 2007 Ford Mustang was stolen from a parking lot at the airport between Oct. 26 and Sunday. Police said the keys to the car had been locked inside the vehicle by the previous renter. The Mustang was valued at $19,000.

Champaign residents speak out against tax increase

CHAMPAIGN – The city council continues to catch heat from residents upset about the city's proposed $19 million property tax levy.

At Tuesday night's city council meeting, council members voted unanimously to establish the tax levy for property taxes payable next summer at $19 million – a 13 percent increase over the $16.7 million in property taxes the city collected this year.