Governor's deputy chief of staff quits amid investigation

SPRINGFIELD – A rural Paris woman who has been an assistant to Gov. Pat Quinn for six years has suddenly resigned from her position as Quinn's deputy chief of staff.

Carolyn Brown Hodge, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, resigned from the governor's staff Friday night upon reports that the state's Office of the Executive Inspector General had confiscated her computer to determine whether she was doing political work on state time.

No Democrats file for Champaign's countywide races

URBANA – Champaign County Democrats don't have candidates for any of four countywide seats up for election next year, but they have three candidates for two seats in one county board district and four candidates for two spots in another.

At the close of the candidate filing period on Monday, only Republican incumbents had filed for county clerk (Mark Shelden), sheriff (Dan Walsh), county treasurer (Dan Welch) and regional superintendent of schools (Jane Quinlan). But Democratic Party officials can fill the positions on the Nov. 2, 2010, ballot by slating candidates, so long as they do it by April 2.

Johnson: Health care bill not a bipartisan measure

CERRO GORDO – Americans will come to regret the day their Congress approved a national health care program, U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson predicted Monday night.

The five-term Urbana Republican spoke to a small group of about 30 people at the Cerro Gordo High School gymnasium. It was his 15th town hall meeting in the 15th Congressional District this year, and nearly all of the hourlong session was devoted to the upcoming health care vote.

Vermilion primary will have three contested races

DANVILLE – There will be three contested local races in the Feb. 2 primary election.

Three Republicans are vying for two seats in District 3 of the Vermilion County Board, and five Democrats are vying for two seats in District 5.

Man's vehicle leaves Interstate 57, sinks in pond

TUSCOLA – An Edgewood man died Monday afternoon when his car left Interstate 57 near Tuscola and was submerged in a pond beside the highway.

Sgt. Bill Emery of the Illinois State Police said Calvin Jones, 84, died before two Douglas County sheriff's deputies and two Tuscola firefighters were able to pull his body out of the water.

Fire in Mahomet only a training exercise

MAHOMET – Firefighters from the Corn Belt Fire Department are at the scene of a fire in the 200 block of Prairieview Road in Mahomet, but firefighters report it is a training exercise.


Coroner identifies body of Mahomet woman

MAHOMET – Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has identified the woman who was found dead outside Mahomet Monday morning.

Northrup said Holly Cassano, 22, of Mahomet, was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m. Monday at her home on Dupage Street in Candlewood Estates, a mobile home park.

Two arrested for almost 1,500 pounds of marijuana in truck

URBANA — Two men are being held at the Champaign County Jail on $150,000 bond each after state police found 1,455 pounds of marijuana inside a rental truck headed from Houston to Danville.

Man dies when car goes into pond along I-57 near Tuscola

TUSCOLA — An Edgewood man died Monday afternoon when his car left
Interstate 57 near Tuscola and was submerged in a pond beside the highway.

Deputies looking into apparent Mahomet area death

Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said sheriff's deputies were sent to the Candlewood Estates mobile home park near Mahomet at 10:38 a.m. Monday. They found the body of a woman, whose identity has not been released, he said.

"We are investigating as a probable homicide at this time," Walsh said. "We are investigating, with the assistance of the state police."