Aldermen to decide fate of Gibson City's dispatch center

GIBSON CITY – Gibson City aldermen will vote Monday night on the question of whether to close Gibson City's emergency dispatch center. The vote will be the first step in a "domino" effect for other agencies in the county.

Since the City of Gibson stopped using an answering service for police calls and emergency calls in 1988, it has provided dispatch services for city police, the volunteer fire department and the local hospital ambulance service.

East Urbana resident strives to revitalize his neighborhood

Tyler Fitch said he and his wife, Marianne Downey, knew they had found the house they wanted the moment they first walked in.

Newlyweds at the time, the couple were on their way to look at another house three years ago when they saw a "For sale by owner" sign in the yard of a smaller, wood-frame house at 503 E. California Ave. in east Urbana.

Students' cars to illustrate power of nanotechnology

BROADLANDS – Fuel-cell-powered balsa-wood cars are propelling Heritage High School students into the age of nanotechnology.

Heritage students, working under the watchful eyes of teachers Suzanne Fuller, Carolyn McIntyre and Debra Welch, created six cars, and on April 4, they're going to race them – although they move rather slowly – in front of the whole school to demonstrate what atomic-sized technology can do.

Downtown Champaign restaurant to expand into adjacent site

The Bacaro wine bar and restaurant in downtown Champaign is getting bigger as it expands into the space recently vacated by the Persimmon grocery.

Owner-chef Thad Morrow said when the remodeling is complete, customers will enter through the former Persimmon space at 111 N. Walnut St.

Piatt County housing authority faces budget cuts

CERRO GORDO – Nothing appears amiss at the Cerro Gordo home where Jaime Nichols and her four daughters live.

Wooden knick-knacks from craft fairs crowd the shelves, a cat named Tiger roams the halls and the only things out of order are the girls' rooms, which they apologize for.

Officer gives St. Joseph students lesson in safety

ST. JOSEPH –Third-graders at St. Joseph Elementary School had visits from a sheriff's deputy Thursday and Friday mornings, and the deputy even gave out homework assignments.

School Resource Officer Alicia Maxey asked the students to go home and, with their parents, choose three people to put on their safe list of adults they could trust to pick them up from school or take them places.

Urbana considers incentives for historic preservation

URBANA – Alex Ruggieri Jr. didn't know he was buying a home designed by a famous local architect when he, his wife and his two adult sons purchased the blue, two-story wooden house at 210 S. Grove St.

But Ruggieri learned recently from Urbana Alderman Dennis Roberts that the 1889 home – which he and his sons have spent $50,000 renovating and are planning to rent out – was designed by Urbana architect Joseph Royer.

Be prepared for severe storms, forecasters say

A series of spring storms moving through central Illinois this week serves as a good reminder that people should be prepared for severe weather, officials say.

"Spring storms can cause a variety of damages," said Douglas County Emergency Management Director Joe Victor. "Mother Nature is so unpredictable."

Urbana to consider snow removal options

URBANA – Should Urbana property owners be required to remove snow from the sidewalk on their property?

Should it be a city responsibility?

Two Piatt County men charged with attempted murder

DECATUR – Two Piatt County men have been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and four other felonies for allegedly shooting a Decatur man in the head.

Cody A. Bryant, 17, of White Heath, and Louis H. VonHatten, 18, of Monticello, were also charged Thursday in Macon County Circuit Court with armed violence, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of weapons.

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