Four teens charged with beating

URBANA – Four teens from Rantoul and Gifford have been charged in connection with the beating of a Thomasboro man that occurred last month.

Rantoul police detective Justin Bouse said the victim, 22, sustained broken facial bones in the Feb. 23 attack for which he had to have surgery.

Police arrest man, find 126 pounds of cannabis

URBANA – Champaign police and Champaign County sheriff's deputies are continuing to investigate who might be responsible for 126 pounds of cannabis found in a northwest Champaign neighborhood Wednesday morning. One person has been arrested.

Champaign police Sgt. Tom Walker said both departments have recently received several complaints about possible drug trafficking in the Dobbins Downs neighborhood.

Rather says hard work is key to success

How did Dan Rather go from being a college student manning a rural Texas radio station – characterized as no more than an outhouse with an antenna on the top – to the long-running evening news anchor for CBS?

"I think the single-most important thing is be determined to work hard," he told University of Illinois students Wednesday evening.

EIU students indicted in federal case

SPRINGFIELD – A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted four Eastern Illinois University students for conspiring to make and pass more than $1,500 in counterfeit money.

Charged were: Gavin J. Groves, 19, of Olney; Benjamin T. Inman, 19, of Paris; Kyle E. Pittman, 19, of Newton, and David M. Skubic, 19, of Wilmington. The indictment alleges the four bought paper and used a color copier/printer in an EIU residence hall to make color copies of $20 bills. The counterfeit notes were cut and lotion was rubbed into them to make them appear more genuine.

Woman files complaint against bar owners

CHAMPAIGN – An Urbana woman has filed a complaint against the owners of Memphis on Main, contending she was discriminated against at the downtown tavern last month for her anti-smoking views.

Cheri Manrique filed the complaint, alleging discrimination in public accommodations, Tuesday with the Champaign Community Relations office. She contends she was discriminated against Feb. 17 at the bar on the basis of personal appearance, political affiliation and physical disability.

Health care initiative good idea, officials say

The News-Gazette asked people involved in health care in the local area to give us their reaction to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed health care initiative, Illinois Covered.

Here's what they had to say:

Colleagues laud UI professor's devotion

URBANA – University of Illinois colleagues say Jim Corbin brought pet food into the 20th century – creating the modern, nutritious, balanced diets most owners feed their dogs and cats today.

Professionally, Mr. Corbin also created special scientific diets for laboratory animals, such as the monkeys that helped Dr. Jonas Salk create the vaccine that conquered polio.

Danville girl suffers cancer relapse

DANVILLE – Students and adults alike at Northeast Elementary Magnet School are rallying around the family of a third-grader who is fighting leukemia for a third time.

The news that Jenna McMillin's cancer had returned came late last week – only 1 1/2 weeks after the 8-year-old had returned to school for the first time since leaving in May 2006 to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments and a bone-marrow transplant.

Couple opening new steakhouse in Urbana

URBANA – Longtime area restaurant owners Johnny and Cheryl Lee plan to open a steakhouse at the former Ned Kelly's site in Urbana later this month.

To be called The Timbers, the restaurant will serve steaks, chops, ribs and seafood, Johnny Lee said.

University would get more aid than was expected

SPRINGFIELD – The governor's proposed budget boosts state university funding by 1.9 percent, more than the 1.5 percent the Illinois Board of Higher Education asked for, but far less than the schools initially requested.

Although the University of Illinois asked for an 8 percent increase, UI President B. Joseph White seemed happy with a quarter of that, about $11 million more than the UI received for this year.

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