Council to consider lawsuit settlement

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign City Council will consider Tuesday whether to pay $110,000 to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against the city by the family of Gregory Brown, who died in October 2000 after a struggle with several Champaign police officers.

Under the proposed settlement, the city would contribute $110,000 to the settlement of the case, and the city's insurance company would pay another $75,000.

Savoy in talks to land Schnucks

SAVOY – The village and a developer are in talks to bring a Schnucks grocery to Savoy.

The grocery would be part of a face-lift at The Savoy Plaza, near the corner of U.S. 45 and Curtis Road.

Monticello officials consider gasification facility

MONTICELLO – City leaders are considering trying to convince a private company to build a biomass gasification plant in Monticello that would convert waste, crops or other products into energy by producing gas.

For example, a wood gasification plant treats scrap wood, landscape waste and other wood to produce a gas that can fire a turbine to generate electricity.

Staffing company will open center in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Glotel, an international staffing company, plans to open an office in Champaign that will recruit people to fill information-technology jobs nationwide.

The office, at 1902 Fox Drive, will employ nine people when it opens next Monday but could employ as many as 40 to 60 in the next year or so, said Greg Schweinzger, vice president of sales for Chicago-based Glotel North America.

UI hits milestone of 500,000 degrees

URBANA – Jennifer Reardon received the e-mail last week.

On Sunday she will be the 500,000th student to receive a degree from the University of Illinois.

Four of 12 possible coal plant sites in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – One-third of the potential sites for a $1 billion "coal plant of the future" are in Illinois, according to a U.S. Department of Energy announcement on Tuesday.

"FutureGen will be a stepping stone toward a cleaner, more energy-secure future," said a written statement from U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman. "We are extremely pleased that we have 12 quality locations now in the running. One of these sites ultimately will become known worldwide as the place where a new generation of zero-emission energy plants made its debut."

Students blast Blagojevich's aid initiative

URBANA – Gov. Rod Blagojevich was forced to defend a new state financial aid program aimed at the middle class and his support for higher education during a stop at the University of Illinois.

Blagojevich also criticized the NCAA's ruling on Chief Illiniwek and supported his right to use an executive order to grant benefits to same-sex domestic partners of state employees.

Atwood police officer's gun fires during struggle

ATWOOD – An Atwood police officer's gun fired during a struggle with a motorist Tuesday morning, wounding the motorist, according to Atwood Police Chief Michael Keenan.

According to a police report and Piatt County State's Attorney Leonard Rumery, Officer Kevin Mante saw a pickup truck towing a two-wheeled trailer on Main Street in Atwood at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Governor extends benefits coverage to same-sex partners of workers

SPRINGFIELD – Same-sex domestic partners of most state employees will soon be eligible for benefits, including health insurance, dental and vision coverage, under an executive order the governor filed on Monday.

"This is about fairness and equality," the governor stated in a written release. "I want the people who work for me to have access to good benefits and good health care, and that's what this accomplishes."

New alumni center on campus opens doors with activities

URBANA – Four chairs in a foyer – that was the extent of the reception area in the old University of Illinois Alumni Association offices.

Now visitors can head to an alumni lounge to sip cocktails and watch a Fighting Illini game on a flat-screen television. Or have a seat on a couch beside a fireplace in the library and flip through a yearbook.

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