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.

Police investigating commercial burglaries

Police in Urbana and Champaign are investigating separate commercial burglaries.

Urbana police arrested a man early Friday in one case.

YMCA finds local buyer for building

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County YMCA has agreed to sell its building at 500 W. Church St., C, to a local buyer for $1 million, said Kay Machula, chairwoman of the Y's campaign for a new facility in southwest Champaign.

The closing on the deal is tentatively slated for Nov. 1, Machula said. But the buyer, whom she did not identify, has agreed to let the YMCA lease space in the building until Dec. 31, 2010, or whenever it's ready to move, whichever comes first.

3 former educators charged in Jon White case aftermath

URBANA – Charges filed against former Urbana school administrators are justified and come as no surprise, say lawyers for several victims of a former teacher there.

On Wednesday afternoon, State's Attorney Julia Rietz filed misdemeanor charges of failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect against Gene Amberg, 58, of Urbana, former Urbana schools superintendent; Carmelita Thomas, 57, of Champaign, former human resources director of the district; and Janice Bradley, 55, of Champaign, former principal of Thomas Paine Elementary School.

Three men face attempted murder, weapons charges

URBANA – Three men accused by a prosecutor of ambushing a van with three other men in it Wednesday evening in Champaign are due to return to court later this month.