PersonalCare now available as state insurance package

SPRINGFIELD — A PersonalCare HMO and Open Access Plan are now available to state employees and retirees as 90-day health insurance plans.

The state finalized the contracts and added them to enrollment choices this morning, according to Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services spokesman Mike Claffey.

Champaign's celebration nears close with mural, time capsule, photo

CHAMPAIGN — The city's sesquicentennial celebration is drawing to a close, but maybe when the bicentennial rolls around, residents 50 years from now will have something to look back on.

Park board member decides not to take seat in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Only months after the election, the five-seat Champaign Park District board of commissioners has only four members.

Bambenek will challenge Frerichs; others may, too

DANVILLE — Champaign businessman John Bambenek, 34, has become the first Republican challenger to state Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, in the new 52nd Senate District.

Life Remembered: Ben Cox, one of Freedom Riders

Five decades before he died Sunday at 79, the Rev. Ben Elton Cox Sr. risked his life as one of 13 original Freedom Riders, insisting on desegregating interstate travel in the Deep South during the early 1960s.

Gill considering another challenge to Johnson

BLOOMINGTON — It's a new congressional map and the district has a new number, but Democrat David Gill said he's again looking at challenging U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana.

Gill, who ran against Johnson in the old 15th Congressional District in 2004, 2006 and 2010, said he may face off against Johnson next year in the new 13th Congressional District.

Associate judges all retained

SPRINGFIELD — The associate judges who serve citizens in East Central Illinois will hang on to their jobs for another four years.

Late last week, the director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced that 378 Illinois associate judges have been retained.

Johnson joins lawsuit challenging Obama on Libya

WASHINGTON — A central Illinois congressman said he and nine other members of Congress are suing to stop U.S. involvement in the war in Libya because they believe it is unconstitutional and has little connection to the safety of people here at home.

Man charged with theft in impersonation scam

URBANA — A Champaign man who police say impersonated an ambulance service employee to get a woman's personal information and money from her has been charged with misdemeanor theft.

Kurtis B. Decker, 22, who listed an address in the 0-100 block of East John Street, was arraigned Wednesday and told to be back in court Aug. 9.

Man sentenced to 15 years for robbery

URBANA — An Urbana man involved in a holdup of a convenience store in Champaign in March has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Gregory Rogers, 44, who listed an address in the 1400 block of East Michigan Avenue, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Champaign County Judge Harry Clem to robbery.