Updated: Vote now unlikely on Big Broadband; consultant is ill

Updated 5:15 p.m. CHAMPAIGN – As council members continue to weigh the benefits of the proposed Big Broadband network and the doubts about its feasibility, a Maryland consultant who audited the proposal was to return to Champaign this week to field questions from the city council. But on Monday, the consultant told city officials he won't be here because he's ill.

More charities added to state income-tax form options

If you're in a sharing mood this tax season, some Champaign County charities hope you send a piece of your state income tax refund their way.

Or, alternatively, add a few dollars to your tax payment for their cause.

The state's network of food banks and the six Illinois Crisis Nursery agencies are included for the first time as eligible charities for taxpayer checkoff donations.

New Lincoln penny to be unveiled this week

SPRINGFIELD – The new Lincoln penny will be introduced in Springfield this week.

Ed Moy, director of the U.S. Mint, will be on hand to talk to coin enthusiasts Wednesday night and introduce the new coin Thursday morning.

A coin forum starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library's multipurpose room at 112 N. Sixth St., Springfield.

Attendees may meet Moy and ask questions about U.S. coinage. No new pennies will be available until Thursday.

Vermilion board to weigh loan extension for health agency

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Board could make things more difficult for the Vermilion County Health Department Tuesday night if the board does not extend a $300,000 loan the department owes the county.

The loan was made to the health department last year to help with its state-caused cash flow problems. The department has been unable to pay back the loan, so the board, which has extended the loan once, now must consider whether to extend it again.

Crime report

Police report the following:


– 200 block of East Armory Avenue: Brown leather wallet, debit card, credit card, driver's license and University of Illinois identification card stolen Friday.

– 900 block of South Fourth Street: Driver's side door of car damaged Friday.

– 1000 block of Broadmoor Drive: Car broken into Saturday; GPS system, 100 jazz CDs and two CD cases stolen.

– 800 block of Bloomington Road: License plate stolen from vehicle Saturday.

Help sought in solving Mahomet bank robbery

CHAMPAIGN – Crimestoppers and Mahomet police are asking for help solving a bank robbery in Mahomet last month.

At 10 a.m. Jan. 19, a man entered the Busey Bank at 312 E. Main St., Mahomet, displayed a handgun, and demanded money from the teller. He got an undisclosed amount of money and walked from the bank to the east.

Vermilion health agency's Community Care program at risk

DANVILLE – Later this month, Alice Gasper will turn 86, and she'll likely celebrate as she usually does, eating pizza with her son in her home.

Last year, Gasper's home health care worker, Lori Rouse, also brought pizza to celebrate Gasper's birthday. It wasn't a work visit, but one of the extra visits made by Rouse, who also drives a school bus.

Urbana council's study session to focus on trash haulers

URBANA – If that beep, beep, beep that wakes you up in Urbana is not your alarm clock, but rather a garbage truck at 3 or 4 in the morning, the Urbana City Council may talk about solving your problem.

Urbana council members will talk at a study session Monday night about trash haulers who make too much noise too early in the morning

'Wicked' returning to Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre

CHICAGO – The smash musical "Wicked" will return to Chicago, beginning Dec. 1 for an eight-week run.

The most successful show in Chicago history, "Wicked" will be presented at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St.

Rhythm and Raag starting new 12-week session

URBANA – Rhythm and Raag, an institute for the performing arts of India, will start a new 12-week session of classes by Feb. 15 for sitar and by March 1 for tabla and Hindustani vocals.

The sessions will continue to May 10.