Barracks to be named for Piatt County Marine

MONTICELLO – The Marines are naming a barracks for Piatt County's only Medal of Honor winner.

Pfc. Robert C. Burke, one of 13 brothers and sisters from Monticello, died on Go Noi Island, Vietnam, on May 17, 1968 – but only after saving his fellow Marines from enemy fire.

Unit 4, teachers plan contract talks

CHAMPAIGN – School and teacher union negotiators in Champaign will meet later this month to discuss the contract proposal teachers have made.

Contract negotiations began this week for Champaign teachers, whose three-year contract will expire at the end of June.

Barfly under new ownership

CHAMPAIGN – There's a new owner at Barfly in downtown Champaign, and he's planning some changes.

Chris Knight, who also owns The Blind Pig pub downtown, closed on his purchase of Barfly at 120 N. Neil St. a week ago.

Teen plans upright life after conviction

URBANA – A Rantoul teen convicted of resisting and obstructing police in a north Champaign park more than a year ago told the judge sentencing him Friday that he has changed since then.

"My mom raised me to be respectful," said Brian Chesley, 19, whose refusal to stop to answer a police officer's questions on March 30, 2007, resulted in a misdemeanor conviction.

Champaign board to vote on putting sales tax on ballot

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board will vote Monday night on putting a 1 percent countywide sales tax on the November ballot.

If it approves the resolution, voters will have their say on the issue in November. State law provides that districts representing 51 percent of the county's school enrollment can place the tax question on the ballot. Eleven other districts in the county have already approved such a measure, and Champaign's approval would push the enrollment percentage over the 51 percent.

Champaign schools panel mulls when school days begin

CHAMPAIGN – When the Champaign school board asked the district to move fall semester exams and the end of the semester to before winter break, members knew that meant school would likely start a little earlier in August.

But many teachers, most of whom work in buildings without air-conditioning, objected to the earlier start date. The calendar would have had them back at work on Aug. 14, and children back in the classroom Aug. 18.

Fourth-grader honors grandmother in essay contest

DANVILLE – Nancy Henderson thought she was going to a Cannon Elementary School assembly on Friday to watch her 10-year-old granddaughter, Honesty Morgan, get an award.

She didn't realize that she was the guest of honor, too.

April home sales slump in Champaign County

CHAMPAIGN – The extent of the housing slump in Champaign County became more apparent in April, with home sales down more than 30 percent from April 2007.

Statistics released by the Champaign County Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service showed 177 homes were sold and closed on in April. That was down from 263 in April 2007, a drop of 32.7 percent.

Family hoping arrest in Mexico leads to justice

BUCKLEY – A Buckley family whose teen-age son was killed by an impaired driver almost four years ago is "cautiously optimistic" that they may finally get justice for their son and brother.

Fernando Nunez, 24, the man accused of killing Zachary Mingee, 15, of Buckley, on Sept. 11, 2004, is now in custody in Mexico City, Mexico, awaiting the possibility that he may be returned to Iroquois County for prosecution.

Campus robbery suspect in custody

18-year-old allegedly robbed a man, then hid in building's garage after fleeing police pursuit

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign police arrested an 18-year-old man Friday night after an armed robbery and a chase that led to a search of a multistory apartment building on the University of Illinois campus.