Champaign man convicted in drug trial

URBANA – A Champaign County jury Wednesday convicted a Champaign man of possessing more than a pound of crack cocaine intended for sale.

Bryant Smith, 37, who listed an address on Sherwood Court, testified he had no knowledge of or connection to the 17.3 ounces of crack cocaine and the 19 grams of powdered cocaine found on Nov. 30, 2006, in an apartment in the 2400 block of North Neil Street, Champaign.

Papers detail Exley's separation deal with Parkland

CHAMPAIGN – Documents released Wednesday show that Parkland College will pay former president Robert Exley his $170,000 salary prorated for up to nine months.

In addition, Parkland and Exley agreed not to say negative things about each other, and each said they would keep the agreement secret.

Police investigate Champaign carjacking

CHAMPAIGN – Police are investigating a carjacking at a Champaign parking lot.

An 18-year-old Champaign man reported that he was with his brother at Market Place Mall and the brother spoke to some other men he apparently knew, according to Champaign police. The Champaign man said he did not know the other men, but one of them asked for a ride.

Police reviewing death of UI student

URBANA – Urbana police and the Champaign County coroner are investigating the circumstances surrounding a University of Illinois student who fell to his death from a fourth-floor balcony Wednesday morning.

Coroner Duane Northrup said an inquest will be held later to determine the manner of death for Seung Il "Sean" Lim, 20, an engineering student from Algonquin.

Former Champaign grocery to have new life

CHAMPAIGN – Many decades ago, the second story of this vintage downtown building sheltered the cars of local folks who didn't want to drive during the snowy winter and muddy springtime.

And in the days when people still walked to the grocery store, the ground floor of this same building housed the local A&P store.

Illinois House advances a budget

SPRINGFIELD – Rebuffing the governor's calls for a costly universal health care program, House Democrats on Wednesday night approved a limited-growth budget for the year beginning July 1.

Their proposal advanced by a vote of 63-53.

Video conferencing available for troops' families

Families in East Central Illinois and around the state with soldiers serving in Iraq will get a chance to have a high-tech video conference with them on July 12 and 13.

Participants must register online at no later than 5 p.m. June 10 to be eligible for a time slot. Reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Consultants hired to help guide fate of Fischer Theater

DANVILLE – The fate of the city's 19th century landmark theater could rest on a market study that will start next week.

Consultant Sid McQueen of Atlanta-based McQueen and Associates is set to meet with civic leaders, those in the arts community and the Vermilion Heritage Foundation board beginning Monday to start work on a market study that could determine the future of the 1884 landmark.

Friends, co-workers recall Pesotum fire chief

PESOTUM – Pesotum residents remember Calvin Woodworth as a generous man who devoted the better part of his life to helping the 521 residents of his home town.

Mr. Woodworth, 62, the longtime Pesotum fire chief and village maintenance and water supervisor, died May 18 following a battle with a rare form of melanoma.

Police expand ground search for missing Sadorus woman

URBANA – When Naomi Arnette didn't show up for a Tuesday court hearing involving the return of her children to her care, it sent Champaign County sheriff's investigators out again.

They've been searching for the missing Sadorus woman for more than a week now.