Danville school board to choose firm to update electrical systems

DANVILLE – Danville school board members on Wednesday could take the next step in replacing the outdated electrical systems at Cannon and Edison elementary schools.

Board members will vote on whether to select an architectural and engineering firm to draw up specifications for both projects.

Ron Henton, the district's buildings and grounds director, said both schools still have their original main breaker boxes.

Expansion frees up room for American Eagle work

SAVOY – Flightstar Corp. has made an 8,000-square-foot addition to its complex at Willard Airport to help accommodate the servicing of American Eagle aircraft.

Each night, the company's airline division provides maintenance and cleaning services for five American Eagle regional jets – three from Chicago, one from Dallas and one from Milwaukee.

All but the Milwaukee jet bring passengers to and from Willard; the Milwaukee jet comes strictly for maintenance.

Urbana council puts land acquisition for Olympian Drive on hold

URBANA – In a study session vote Monday night, council members in Urbana agreed to take measures for land acquisition out of the process for extending Olympian Drive for the time being.

Resolutions to be considered for a formal vote in April would implement pacts with the Illinois Department of Transportation and with Champaign County and Champaign. The resolutions, which will remain in committee for now, involve a $5 million grant to design and acquire land for extension of Olympian Drive.

One lane of Bradley Avenue to be closed for 3 days

CHAMPAIGN — One lane of Bradley Avenue will be closed for three days while AT&T completes the boring of underground fiber optic lines.

A westbound lane of Bradley Avenue will be closed between Neil Street and Hickory Street beginning Wednesday.

Westbound Bradley Avenue will be reduced to a single lane of traffic in the area through Friday, weather permitting.

Woman arrested for burglary in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign woman was being held at the Champaign County Jail Monday in connection with the burglary of a Champaign home.

Karen Russell, 50, who listed an address in the 0-100 block of East Bellefontaine Street, Champaign, pleaded innocent Monday to felony burglary.

According to a Champaign police report, Russell entered a home in the 1400 block of North Hickory Street, Champaign, on March 19 with the intent to commit theft.

Man arrested for vehicle burglaries in Urbana

URBANA — A Champaign man is being held at the Champaign County Jail in connection with the break-in and burglary of seven vehicles in Urbana.

Melvin Parker, 21, who listed an address on the 1900 block of Karen Court, Champaign, pleaded innocent Monday afternoon to two counts of felony burglary.

According to Champaign County Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Jackson, police reports said Parker broke into seven vehicles in the 800 and 1000 blocks of East Kerr Avenue, Urbana, on March 19-20.

Fire, blast at Equistar in Tuscola; no one hurt

TUSCOLA — A fire Monday morning at the Equistar chemical plant near Tuscola is under investigation by the company and by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

The fire, which began in the furnace room of the ethanol operation, was seen and reported by an employee about 8:45 a.m., according to Equistaf officials. .

No one was injured.

Tuscola Fire Chief Steve Hettinger said his department was called on mutual aid at 8:48 a.m.

“There were multiple 911 calls,” Hettinger said.

UI owns empty space but pays $4 million to rent others

URBANA – A string of commercial spaces on the first floor of a University of Illinois parking deck sit empty, almost six years after the $26 million garage was built.

Meanwhile, three blocks away, a university unit is paying more than $250,000 a year to rent offices in a privately owned building developed by a firm whose board of directors includes a UI Foundation executive who was also once a UI vice president.

UI professor emeritus dies in Florida mid-air plane crash

Lee H. Sentman III, 73, who taught for 35 years at the UI, died Saturday when his experimental plane collided with another small plane about four miles south of Williston, Fla.

Two people aboard the other plane also were killed, the Levy County sheriff's office told The Associated Press. Their names have not yet been released.

Mr. Sentman was flying an RV-6 experimental aircraft at a gathering of experimental plane enthusiasts.

He was a professor emeritus with the University of Illinois who lived in Dewey before moving to Florida.

Champaign family welcomes 2 additions in span of weeks

CHAMPAIGN – Jill Kjorlien and Lee Alexander figure they change at least 20 diapers a day.

They're experts at mixing baby formula.

They do a lot of laundry – on average, about two loads a day.

They've rearranged furniture to fit the cribs and baby paraphernalia into their home.

They juggle feeding, changing, and putting to sleep two infant daughters, while still trying to give their 2 1/2-year-old son the attention and play time he needs.

They get through it with a lot of coffee.