Fire in town home wall displaces residents

CHAMPAIGN — A fire believed to be electrical in nature damaged a town home in Champaign Saturday evening.

Firefighters were called to the 1600 block of Valley Road, just south of Hessel Park on the south side of Kirby Avenue, at about 7:20 p.m.

Illinois senator says citizens worried about economy foremost

URBANA - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican from Highland Park, made a stop in Urbana Saturday evening to address party faithful.

Appearing at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner held by the Champaign County Republicans, Kirk, who was born in Champaign and spent part of his youth in Sullivan, said he'd held town hall meetings in Springfield and Sullivan earlier in the day.

Expect a windy Sunday

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a wind advisory for Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for most of Illinois' mid-section.

Expect south winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph, strong enough to blow around lawn furniture and trash barrels.

Volition to lay off 16 employees

CHAMPAIGN -- Video game producer Volition has notified 16 employees they'll be laid off April 12.

After the layoffs, the downtown Champaign studio will still have about 220 full-time employees, Volition President Mike Kulas said Friday.

Work planned on Elm Street in Mahomet

MAHOMET -- Elm Street in Mahomet will be closed between Main Street and Dunbar on Monday for a water line extension project.

The work should be done by the end of the working day Monday. In the event of bad weather or other delays, the road will remain closed through the night into Tuesday until the project is completed.

St. Joseph-Stanton fire district seeks tax increase

ST. JOSEPH -- The St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District is asking community members to help them upgrade their equipment and building.

On Tuesday, voters will be asked if they want to pay higher taxes for the department.

The department is made up of volunteer fire and rescue service workers. It serves St. Joseph and Stanton townships and serves 6,800 people.

Former minister pleads guilty to sex crime

DANVILLE -- A former Rossville youth minister and coach pleaded guilty in Vermilion County Circuit Court on Friday to a sex crime involving a teenage boy.

Andrew L. Thomas, 47, of Rossville, waived his right to a jury trial and instead pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual assault-a position of trust, a Class 1 felony, in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence.

Former Champaign man held on sex charges

URBANA -- A Houston man is being held in the Champaign County jail in lieu of $200,000 bond on charges that he sexually assaulted a teen almost two years ago.

Izear Davis, 38, who formerly lived in Champaign, was arraigned on two counts of criminal sexual assault. The charges allege that during July and August 2009, he committed sex acts with a teen-age girl in Champaign.

Champaign man arraigned on burglary charges

URBANA -- A Champaign man who police say used Parkland College funds to buy items that he sold to get drug money is due back in court next month.

Williams aims for stewardship as Danville mayor

DANVILLE - In 2009, Rickey Williams Jr. was elected to his first term as a Danville alderman, and on Tuesday, he hopes to be elected to his first term as mayor.