Danville Y takes aim at $100,000 for fund drive

DANVILLE – Danville Family YMCA officials are gearing up to launch the second part of its annual Strong Kids campaign, and this year, their goal is to raise $100,000.

"We'd just like to thank the community for all of their support. This is really helping a lot of people and a lot of families," business manager Paulette Myers said of the fundraiser, which allows the nonprofit organization to provide programs to children, seniors and families who are experiencing financial hardships.

Electrical work at Cannon, Edison up for discussion in Danville

DANVILLE – Danville school board members will continue to discuss at a special meeting today whom the district should hire to draw up plans to replace the outdated electrical systems at Cannon and Edison elementary schools.

Last week, administrators recommended hiring Schmidt & Associates of Indianapolis to draw up specifications for both projects. The firm would be paid $38,000.

Video: Bluegrass Jam at Lincoln Square

A look at the weekly bluegrass jam at Lincoln Square Village by Susan Kantor of the University of Ilinois' College of Media's multimedia lab.

Police seeking attackers in Neil Street incident

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police are looking for two men who attacked a man Sunday evening.

Sgt. Jim Rein said that at about 6:34 p.m., a 54-year-old Champaign man was walking north on Neil Street approaching Arcadia Drive when he was approached by two men, one of whom punched him in the back of the head. Both of the men then tried to steal the man’s backpack.

Several vehicles slowed as drivers saw what was going on, apparently scaring off the muggers, who ran east.

Urbana man on trial for sexual assault of child

URBANA — An 11-year-old girl told a Champaign County jury Tuesday that Mareo Womack took advantage of her sexually on three different occasions when she was in his care.

Womack, 32, who listed an address in the 1400 block of West Beslin Street, Urbana, is charged with 12 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child for various sex acts he is accused of committing in December 2008, and July and September 2009.

Sewer work to close lane on section of Devonshire

CHAMPAIGN — An eastbound lane of Devonshire Drive will be closed for 100 feet beginning Monday.

The lane closure is necessary to complete a sanitary sewer main repair at the southwest corner of Devonshire and Fox Drive.

The lane is expected to reopen by April 12, weather permitting.

At the intersection of Fox and Devonshire, eastbound traffic will be moved to the center turn lane. No turns will be restricted.

Centrue parent's 4th-quarter loss at $14.5 million

ST. LOUIS – Centrue Bank's parent company reported a $14.5 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2009, resulting in a net loss of $38.1 million for the year.

For shareholders of St. Louis-based Centrue Financial Corp., that amounted to a loss of $2.48 per share for the quarter and a loss of $6.61 a share for the year.

Nonperforming loans increased every quarter at the bank last year, and by year's end they amounted to 9.14 percent of total loans, according to reports the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

Wednesday spells end of era for Ed Kieser on WILL

URBANA – On April 19, 1996, lights went out from Decatur to Monticello to Urbana to Odgen, as high winds swept them down.

Ed Kieser was still broadcasting from WILL-AM, using data from the new Lincoln Doppler radar, as well as calls from a close-knit ring of weather spotters, on newfangled cell phones.

And in those homes, when TVs and desktop computers went black, listeners continued to hear tornado warnings from Kieser on battery-powered radios.

Solo Cup loses $4.5 million for quarter, $35.7 million for year

URBANA – Solo Cup Co. reported a $4.5 million net loss in the fourth quarter of 2009, resulting in a net loss of $35.7 million for the full year.

It was the fourth time in the last five years the Lake Forest-based maker of disposable cups posted a net loss.

"The global economic recession that started late in 2008 and continued in 2009 had a significant impact on our 2009 operating results," the company said in its annual report issued last week.

Free two-day symposium scheduled on Abraham Lincoln at UI law school

CHAMPAIGN – Abraham Lincoln lovers who may not have gotten enough of the legend during the bicentennial of his birth last year have another chance this week.

A symposium on the nation's 16th president will be held free of charge at the University of Illinois College of Law from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, with a reception from 4:30 to 5:30 Thursday.