Local union upset about hiring of Florida company

CHAMPAIGN – Members of the union representing stage hands and riggers who work at the University of Illinois believe the UI has wrongly given their work to a nonunion company from Florida.

More than a dozen members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 482 based in Champaign staged an informational picket near the Assembly Hall on Thursday.

Coroner: Drowning likely cause of child's death

URBANA – The Champaign County coroner says a child who died Tuesday afternoon likely drowned in a pool east of Farmer City.

Coroner Duane Northrup said Lainey Berry, 4, of Mansfield, the daughter of Rodney and Lisa Berry, was pronounced dead at 4:35 p.m. Tuesday at the emergency room of Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

UI statement on admissions opens trustees' meeting

"We are committed to ending any misuse of the admissions process-whether it
is intentional or unintentional-wherever it may exist or from whomever
it may emanate, including the University Board of Trustees."

Early morning fire heavily damages Champaign home

CHAMPAIGN — An early morning fire that heavily damaged a home on Sangamon Drive in Champaign remains under investigation.

Urbana man faces burglary charge in Tuesday break-in

URBANA – An Urbana man has been charged with residential burglary for allegedly breaking into a home in Champaign on Tuesday night.

Jonathan Fuller, 21, who listed an address in the 1300 block of West Beardsley Avenue, is accused of entering an apartment in the 100 block of East Springfield Avenue about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday.

State owes Unit 7 schools more than $400,000

TOLONO – The State of Illinois still owes Unit 7 more than $400,000 for mandated programs in the fourth quarter of the school year just completed.

That figure, coupled with the proposed fiscal year 2010 budget from the Illinois State Board of Education has made Superintendent Michael Shonk's job of balancing the district's budget very difficult.

Champaign County courts

URBANA – In cases recently resolved in Champaign County Circuit Court with sentences imposed by judges or guilty pleas entered by defendants:

– Kenneth Jackson, 42, of Jacksonville was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to deliver cocaine. He admitted that on Nov. 18, 2008, he had about 13 ounces of powdered cocaine that he intended to give to his son to sell.

UI Foundation's president says school did nothing wrong

CHICAGO – The president of the University of Illinois Foundation said he was only a "conduit" when he passed on information from rich donors on behalf of admissions candidates.

Sidney Micek said he can't estimate how many contacts there have been from donors requesting information about admissions.

Stoplight at Green and Goodwin to go dark for work

URBANA – Beginning Friday, the traffic signal at the intersection of Green Street and Goodwin Avenue will be turned off because of work on the signals. Stop signs will be up and the intersection will operate as a four-way stop.

The work is expected to take about two weeks, depending on the weather, and the signal will be turned back on Friday, Aug. 7.

Westville schools officials reveal $10.68 million budget

WESTVILLE – School officials unveiled a proposed $10.68 million budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year Wednesday, but Superintendent Jim Owens said he expects to make lots of changes to the anticipated revenues and expenditures before the school board votes to formally adopt it in September.

Owens said the proposed spending plan anticipates about $10.6 million in revenues as well, but that information from the state about funding keeps changing.