Champaign, Urbana trying out LED streetlights for 90 days

URBANA – Three new streetlights on North Lincoln Avenue, just north of Michigan Avenue, could represent the future of street lighting in Champaign-Urbana.

The lights are LED – light-emitting diode – street lights provided to the city by Relume Technology of Oxford, Mich., on a 90-day demonstration basis.

Champaign County Court roundup

URBANA – The following criminal court cases were resolved recently in Champaign County with pleas or sentences imposed by judges:

– Michael Harris, 18, of the 200 block of East Washington Street, Urbana, was sentenced to five years in prison for unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle. He pleaded guilty, admitting that on Aug. 20, he was in a sport utility vehicle that had been stolen from KCM Auto Care, 1502 N. Cunningham Ave., U. The vehicle had been abandoned, but Harris' fingerprints were found on it.

Ministry sells property on Robinson Court

CHAMPAIGN – Any home sale is a coup in this market, and Restoration Urban Ministries was relieved to get this mortgage off the books.

The Christian-based homeless ministry sold its property on Robinson Court – five duplexes, four homes and an empty lot near Washington and Russell streets – to a local developer for $650,000 on Dec. 1. The asking price was $1.2 million, the appraised value, when the property was listed in October 2007.

Agency overseeing Animal Welfare Act considers seeking charges against Rantoul

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Agriculture is considering asking the Champaign County state's attorney to file a criminal suit against Rantoul for the treatment of certain animals at the Rantoul dog pound.

John Kim, acting general counsel for the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Welfare, which administers the Animal Welfare Act, said personnel with the department have discussed several cases of alleged neglect at the pound.

Heritage board OKs sound system

HOMER – Heritage school board members voted to purchase a new high school gym sound system, giving superintendent Andrew Larson final discretion to accept either one of the two lowest bids, at $6,800 or $8,100. Larson said the new system will have better sound distribution, wireless microphones, and an mp3 input.

Larson said the existing system was damaged by students who turned the volume too loud. He said student access to the new system will be tightly controlled. Larson said he hopes the system will be in place before the next school play on March 15.

East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra to perform Monday

URBANA – The East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra will present a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the University of Illinois' Smith Memorial Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., U. The concert will be in the recital hall.

The orchestra is made up of middle and high school students from Savoy, Sidney, Mahomet, Monticello, Champaign and Urbana as well as home-schooled students. Kevin Kelly directs it. The concert will feature the William Tell Overture by Rossini as well as pieces by Strauss and Shostokovitch.

Help available for getting your financial house in order

Layoffs. Home foreclosures. The stock market tanking.

It seems it's all bad news, all the time, when it comes to the economy.

Time to get your finances in order.

More people are seeking help with doing so now, says Kathy Sweedler, an educator in consumer and family economics at the University of Illinois Extension.

Parkland College trustees to vote on bonds next month

CHAMPAIGN – Jim McGuire told the Parkland College Board of Trustees Wednesday night they should go ahead with plans to issue bonds for nearly $35 million in construction and remodeling work on the campus.

McGuire, a Champaign resident and University of Illinois employee who has taken classes at Parkland over the years, was the only person to speak at a public hearing on the proposal to sell funding bonds.

Paying lunch fees online OK'd by Westville school board

WESTVILLE – School board members approved a plan Wednesday that will allow lunch fees to be paid online with major credit cards.

Under the Illinois Funds E-Pay system, schools and municipalities can offer parents and utility customers the option to pay bills online.

Catlin mayor cautions residents about nighttime solicitors

CATLIN – Mayor Clay Woodard is asking residents to be wary of solicitors who visit homes after dark.

Woodard said the village is being targeted by a team of people who reportedly knock on residents' doors around 8 p.m. saying they are carpet or upholstery cleaners. If they are permitted into the house, they look for prescription drugs or other items to steal.