DeWitt-Piatt to begin priority H1N1 flu-shot clinics

CLINTON – The DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department will begin public vaccination clinics Tuesday for H1N1/swine flu.

These clinics are for priority groups only. Those getting first priority for the vaccine include pregnant women, caregivers of infants younger than 6 months old, emergency medical and health care workers, anyone age 6 months to 24 years old and those age 25-64 who have chronic illnesses.

Land-grant law keys wide-ranging talks

URBANA – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and several leaders at the University of Illinois are joining a host of government leaders, presidents of public universities and Lincoln scholars on the campus this weekend to discuss the future of higher education in the United States.

The conference, which kicked off Friday evening, is called "Lincoln's Unfinished Work: The Morrill Act and the Future of Higher Education."

Parking-fine increase on Urbana council's agenda

URBANA – Parking violators in Urbana may face stiffer fines.

Urbana City Council members Monday will discuss a proposal to bring Urbana's fines in line with those in Champaign and at the University of Illinois. It also would raise about $100,000 in revenue. The council meeting is set for 7 p.m. at 400 S. Vine St.

Engineering firm, bank now call downtown home

CHAMPAIGN – Downtown Champaign is welcoming two new companies to its business district.

On Monday, the engineering firm Clark Dietz will move into the ground floor of the Church Street Square building at Church and Randolph Streets. And earlier this week, First Bank opened a branch in the former Great Impasta restaurant at 114 W. Church St.

Arson dog ready to use his nose for clues

CHAMPAIGN – How would you like to have to sniff out gasoline or propane to get fed?

One of the newest employees of the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office relishes the routine and isn't the least bit concerned he'll need substance abuse counseling for his predilection.

Vehicle burglaries reported at Urbana towing firm

URBANA – Champaign County sheriff's deputies are investigating a series of vehicle burglaries at an Urbana towing business.

Sgt. Dave Coffey said between midnight Sunday and 7:30 a.m. Monday, nine vehicles at Reynold's Towing, 1417 W. Kenyon Road, had been damaged or had items stolen from them.

Entryway work under way at Vermilion County annex

But there's no walkway leading up to it, and city hasn't decided what to do

DANVILLE – A crew with McDowell Builders has knocked a hole through the 2-foot-thick brick wall on the back side of the Vermilion County Courthouse Annex to make way for a new public entrance.

Springfield's police chief to take over as METCAD director

CHAMPAIGN – Ralph Caldwell Jr. said Champaign County is one of the areas he was interested in as he neared retirement as police chief in Springfield.

Caldwell, 51, will take over as director of the Metropolitan Computer-Aided Dispatch agency effective Dec. 14. Champaign City Manager Steve Carter appointed Caldwell, and members of the METCAD policy board approved the appointment Wednesday.

Graduate student union plans attention-getting rally

CHAMPAIGN – The graduate student union at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana will rally Monday before a targeted audience: fellow graduate students.

From 8 to 8:30 a.m., the Graduate Employees Organization will rally outside the I Hotel and Convention Center, 1900 S. First St., C, where the Illinois Association of Graduate Schools Conference on Graduate Education and the Economy is being held.

Two companies share promising plans for future

URBANA – It's been a difficult year for many businesses, but two local companies said Thursday they won't let that stand in their way.

The chief executive officer of Champaign-based EpiWorks outlined his company's plan to expand into solar technologies, and the founder of iCyt Mission Technology introduced a new piece of cell-sorting equipment the company plans to distribute internationally.