Champaign County home sales decline

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign County home sales fell off sharply in July.

The number of homes sold and closed was 175 – fewer than half the 374 sold and closed in June, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service.

The July figures were also down sharply from a year earlier, when there were 337 sale closings.

Work to start Monday on Park Street in Urbana

URBANA – Reconstruction of Park Street between Wright Street and Goodwin Avenue is set to begin Monday in Urbana.

Planned to be completed in three stages, the entire project won't be done until November, according to a release from the city of Urbana.

Urbana council majority now backs city gas tax

URBANA – After months of discussion, it appears a majority of Urbana city council members support the idea of a local motor fuels tax.

The council will again discuss the topic at a study session, as a committee of the whole, at 7 p.m. Monday at the city council chambers, 400 S. Vine St.

Virginia Theatre work started late, but district confident on deadline

CHAMPAIGN – Contractors responsible for renovation work at the Virginia Theatre started work about a month later than scheduled, but a park district official says he's confident the restoration can still be completed on time.

Reports to police

In crimes reported to area police:


Danville to collect storm debris next week

DANVILLE – The Danville Public Works Department will have a special storm debris collection next week for everyone in the city for limbs, branches and storm-related debris. And, from Aug. 30 through Sept. 3, there will be a bonus collection for yard waste customers who have toters and stickers.

First Mid-Illinois income $1.78 million, down from year ago

MATTOON – First Mid-Illinois Bancshares on Friday reported net income of $1.78 million in the second quarter, down from $2 million for the same period a year ago.

After dividends on preferred shares were deducted, the bank holding company had net income of $1.23 million available to common stockholders.

New judges to take seats in Vermilion County

DANVILLE – Two Danville lawyers on Monday will become the newest members of the Vermilion County judiciary.

Derek J. Girton, a partner with Acton & Snyder LLP, and Karen E. Wall, a partner with Spiros and Wall, PC, will be sworn in as associate judges of the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

UI-Chicago's controversial Ayers to retire

CHICAGO – A controversial education professor at the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois will retire at the end of the summer.

Bill Ayers, a former member of the radical Weather Underground in the Vietnam War era, was an education professor at UIC since 1987.

Danville group accepting donations for after-school, camp programs

DANVILLE – While "The Caucus in the Park" is a free event, Elmwood Community Playground and Civic Group members will be accepting donations for their long-running after-school program and 2011 summer camp.

Board member Owen Nelson hopes to raise about $2,000 for the after-school program, and another $2,000 for the summer camp.