No decision yet on Tuscola golf cart ordinance

TUSCOLA – A proposed ordinance to allow golf carts on Tuscola streets stalled Monday night, with city council members agreeing that state law allowed too much room for liability.

The Illinois vehicle code states that golf carts cannot be operated on any street or highway unless a city, township or county authorizes their use on certain roadways. This means that any ordinance allowing golf carts in Tuscola would have to designate specific streets on which they could be operated.

Champaign County courts

URBANA – In crimes recently resolved in Champaign County Circuit Court:

– Kenyo Toombs, 31, whose last known address was in the 200 block of West Ells Avenue, Champaign, was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined $1,240 after pleading guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He admitted that on July 7, 2007, he had a little more than an ounce of cocaine packaged for sale in three bags when Champaign police stopped him for driving under revocation of license.

Rantoul school board OKs new junior high promotion policy

RANTOUL – Officials with the Rantoul City Schools are raising the bar for promotion at J.W. Eater Junior High School.

The school board has approved a revised promotion policy that will go into effect when school starts in August.

Rossville fire district must find new way to finance station

ROSSVILLE – Rossville Fire Protection District officials thought financing was in place for its newly built fire station, but now they must pursue a bond issue that will require voter approval this November.

Dean Grimes, chairman of the fire district's board of trustees, said the board planned to use a special tax levy to partially pay down a $900,000 low-interest loan through the United States Department of Agriculture.

But Grimes said district officials recently discovered that according to state law, a special levy cannot be used to pay a mortgage, and the only recourse to get the necessary revenue is to issue bonds, which requires voter approval.

Champaign focuses on hiring, retaining minority employees

CHAMPAIGN – The city of Champaign had success in hiring minorities during 2007, but saw some of those gains erased when a number of minority employees left city jobs, according to the city's affirmative action audit.

"We're hiring minorities at a higher rate than we are whites," said Chris Bezruki, the city's human resources director. "However, at the same time, we're losing minorities at a pretty rapid clip, so we need to focus on retention."

Champaign County authorities ask for help finding burglars

Champaign County Crimestoppers and the Champaign County sheriff's office this week are seeking help in solving three burglaries in the past month to farm sheds in the areas of Royal and Ogden.

The first burglary occurred in the area of 2100 Champaign County Road 2500E between June 12 and June 22.

Judge rules Calabrese should stay on 103rd District ballot

URBANA – The Republican candidate for the 103rd District state representative has fended off another court challenge.

Champaign County Associate Judge Chase Leonhard ruled Monday that an electoral board was correct in keeping Republican Frank Calabrese on the ballot against incumbent state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana.

Champaign teen gets juvenile prison for role in burglaries

URBANA – A 14-year-old Champaign youth who pleaded guilty to breaking into one neighbor's home in December but admitted to police he participated in other burglaries was sentenced Monday to juvenile prison.

The youth was one of seven teens arrested in May and accused of residential burglaries to homes on Clayton Boulevard and Pomona Drive in Champaign in December and March. Among the items stolen were guns, televisions and other electronic equipment.

Champaign man faces new charges in weekend shooting

URBANA – A Champaign man out on bond faces new charges from a shooting on West William Street in Champaign over the weekend.

Tyjuan Johnson, 24, who listed an address in the 1800 block of Melanie Lane, C, was arraigned and pleaded innocent Monday to charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Ward 2 nominee is sole applicant for Urbana alderman post

URBANA – The man who has been nominated to be the next alderman in Ward 2 says he's a liberal, pro-labor Democrat, but that he won't be "Danielle part two."

David Gehrig, 46, of 304 W. Elm St., was nominated Monday by Mayor Laurel Prussing to replace Danielle Chynoweth, a two-term incumbent who resigned earlier this month. Chynoweth said she was resigning because of growing job duties that will frequently take her out of town.