Board, residents discuss MTD annexation plans

SAVOY – Last month, the Savoy board got its first look at the workings of an agreement between the village and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District that laid out how and when the district could annex parts of the village.

And while public meetings have yet to be scheduled on the topic, a common theme is already emerging in the responses from residents and board members alike: Don't rush into anything.

Third Saturday Market in Arthur will expand

ARTHUR – With the success of the Third Saturday Market in Arthur with crafts, antiques and flea markets, promoters are expanding to include a farmers' market.

As more produce becomes available throughout the Amish countryside, the market June 16 will add a number of vendors selling garden plants and perennials in conjunction with the Arthur Garden Walk, also to be held that day.

Tolono officials get updates on sidewalk problems

TOLONO – Broken sidewalks in the Windstone subdivision need to be fixed, but it's not clear whose responsibility it is to pay for those repairs.

Village Engineer David Happ on Tuesday gave village trustees a list of sidewalk panels that he estimates will cost $19,500 to replace. Most of the 1,952 square feet of sidewalks are in the 300 blocks of Windstone and Deerpath drives and west of two eight-plexes on James Street.

Tolono man accused in battery, rape case

TOLONO – A Tolono man is accused of beating and raping a Tolono woman.

Howard "Wes" Wilson, 31, who listed an address in the 300 block of Vorcey, was arraigned Wednesday on two counts of aggravated domestic battery and one count of criminal sexual assault. Bond on those warrants was set at $250,000. He is due to return to court June 13.

Champaign man accused of assaulting girl

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign man is accused of sexually assaulting a girl under 13 years old.

William A. Holm, 25, who listed an address in the 2900 block of Heritage Drive, Champaign, was arraigned Wednesday on a Class X felony charge of predatory criminal sexual assault.

Rantoul official recommends skate park site

RANTOUL – Rantoul recreation director Rich Thomas knows the perfect place to put a skate park if the village board approves the purchase of used equipment from Paris in Edgar County.

At a study session Tuesday, Thomas suggested the front two tennis courts at Wabash Park would be an excellent location because the surface is paved, the area is fenced and well-lighted and police routinely patrol the area.

Feeling anxious? It's all in your head — but in different parts

You're walking down a hiking trail, you see a snake, or a stick that looks like a snake, and you leap backward like you're aiming to set a reverse long-jump record.

Later, you lie awake in your tent at night worrying about the possibility of a snake crawling into your sleeping bag with you. Maybe you even check the tent zipper, again.

Hoopeston city council raises water, sewer rates

HOOPESTON – City council members agreed to a 7.5 percent rate hike for the water and sewer department to make up for the revenues lost since new water meters have been installed.

"For the last seven or eight years, we have operated in a deficit and have dipped into our reserves," said Alderman Bill Crusinberry. His committee did a rate survey with Rantoul, Georgetown, Gibson City, Paxton, Watseka, Rossville, and Catlin and only one city had lower water/sewer rates than Hoopeston.

Pensions a sticking point in spending plan talks

SPRINGFIELD – Another closed-door negotiating session among the governor and legislative leaders on Wednesday failed to produce a budget deal for the year beginning July 1.

"We're just inching together," said Senate President Emil Jones, D-Chicago.

Mourners pay respects to Danville's first Iraq casualty

DANVILLE – A few of Danville's main streets fell still and silent Wednesday afternoon as Army Spc. Francis Trussel Jr.'s funeral procession passed through the heart of the city and the hearts of those standing along the six-mile route.

Some were acquaintances of the 21-year-old Danville native. But many were strangers moved to show respect for Danville's first casualty of the Iraq war.