Seven hopefuls seeking seat on Unit 4 school board

Residents in the Champaign school district will have seven candidates to choose from in the April school board election.

There are three seats up for election on the school board this spring.

Gibson City Council votes to allow zoning variance

GIBSON CITY – Discussion surrounding a zoning variance for property in Jordan Industrial Park involved a few feet, but threatened to create a larger division among Gibson City Council members at Monday night's meeting.

The matter was finally resolved with a 7-1 vote to uphold the zoning board's recommendation for approval of the variance, but not before council members had their questions answered.

Tuscola to have contested races in Wards 1, 4

TUSCOLA – For the first time in a decade, some voters will have a choice of candidates for the Tuscola City Council.

Two candidates filed petitions this week for single seats for alderman from Ward 1 and Ward 4. The deadline for submitting nominating petitions was Monday afternoon.

2 running for mayor in Villa Grove

VILLA GROVE – Two newcomers have filed petitions to challenge incumbent city officeholders in Villa Grove's spring elections.

Thelma "Boots" Blaney will run against Mayor Ron Hunt in April. Blaney is retiring in May from a 23-year career at Kraft Foods in Champaign.

Bad economy could mean good deals on potential vacations

Post-its dot Lisa Hettinger's desk, a neon rainbow covering about 2 inches of 2009 travel itineraries.

While Hettinger loves to travel, the trips aren't for her. She's an owner at L & L Travel Agency in Champaign, and instead of having January downtime, she's found a stream of customers calling and e-mailing about travel plans.

Farmers get facts about leasing land to wind-energy firms

DANVILLE – Chrisman-area farmer Joe Glick was contacted about a month ago about putting a wind turbine on his property in southern Vermilion County, and even though Glick believes in the wind-energy concept, he wants more information about the effect of leasing land for the turbines.

"I was looking for an unbiased opinion," Glick said.

Georgetown-Ridge Farm bus lease plan approved

GEORGETOWN – School officials voted Monday to lease four new buses and to retire four older buses.

The Georgetown-Ridge Farm school district has a fleet of about 20 buses – 12 of which are leased from Superior Coach Sales of Perrysville, Ind.

Rantoul man charged with home invasion

URBANA – A Rantoul man is accused of breaking into an ex-girlfriend's home and attacking another man.

Derrick Amos, 31, who listed an address in the 400 block of South Lincoln Avenue, was arraigned Monday on a Class X felony charge of home invasion, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of between six and 30 years upon conviction.

Sentencing date set for drug-dealing brothers

URBANA – Two brothers convicted of selling heroin in Champaign during part of 2004 and much of 2005 face up to 30 years in prison.

Champaign County Judge Harry Clem set sentencing for Mark Motton, 45, and William Motton, 51, for Feb. 23 after a jury convicted them Friday of several drug-related counts in a three-day trial.

Two options on table for Champaign high school redistricting

CHAMPAIGN – Families in the northern and southern parts of the Champaign school district, and in a few central neighborhoods, would see a change in the high school their students will attend under two proposed redistricting plans.

The Champaign school board reviewed two options for changing the boundaries for Central and Centennial high schools at its meeting Monday night.