Thanksgiving in Urbana: Turkeys captured

URBANA – Chet Utterback was at the poultry club's omelet breakfast Tuesday when his cell phone rang.

The turkeys were back, his wife told him.

Possum Trot alumni open new eatery

URBANA – A new restaurant called The Timbers plans to open Thursday in the former Ned Kelly's building in Urbana.

Restaurant owners Johnny and Cheryl Lee have been working to get the place, at 1601 N. Cunningham Ave., U, ready for guests. They have decorated the place with colorful toy trucks and tractors and moved a piano into the entry area.

Ned Kelly's saying 'G'bye' to 3 locations

URBANA – Fans of Ned Kelly's Steakhouse can still enjoy the remaining restaurant in Bloomington, but the three others in Urbana, Springfield and Peoria have closed.

Ned Kelly's Ventures, the limited liability company that operated the restaurants in Springfield and Peoria, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on March 19, listing assets of $1,217,550 and liabilities of $2,454,988.

$2.5 million in West Nile prevention grants distributed

SPRINGFIELD – Those new tires you bought helped provide $2.5 million in West Nile virus prevention grants to local public health departments, including those in Champaign and Vermilion Counties.

In 2003, the state began charging a 50-cent fee on each new tire purchased to help pay for surveillance and other public health activities related to preventing mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile. On Tuesday, 87 public health departments received grants from that fund.

Playground co-chair earns 74th award

DANVILLE – Though the AMBUCS Playground for Everyone opened in 2001, Bob Richard's work on the 30,000-square-foot, universally accessible structure in Winter Park did not end.

The playground co-chairman helped add an open-air pavilion and other amenities to draw more families to the park. Then he and co-chairs Bill Fulton and his nephew, Bill Fulton, put their knowledge of building playgrounds and desire to help others into two more projects – AMBUCS Independence Playground, which opened in Lincoln Park in 2004, and AMBUCS Sprayground for Everyone that's in the works for Garfield Park.

Youth's arrest sparks heated debate at council meeting

CHAMPAIGN – An incident last Friday in which a young man was subdued by Champaign police, pepper-sprayed and arrested for resisting arrest became a topic of heated debate at Tuesday's city council meeting.

At one point, Mayor Jerry Schweighart, a retired police officer, escorted Champaign resident Martel Miller out of the council chambers, without resistance, because Miller kept interjecting comments and asking questions of council members after he had already spoken for five minutes.

Danville mayor asks council to join him in opposition to tax

DANVILLE – Members of the city council may join Mayor Scott Eisenhauer in officially opposing the governor's proposed gross receipts tax.

During Tuesday night's city council meeting, aldermen were given a packet of letters written by businesses and Vermilion Advantage last month to state leaders opposing the governor's proposed gross receipts tax. The packet also included a draft letter from the city.

In midst of war, soldier finding time to create

CHAMPAIGN – Staff Sgt. Sean Caddy doesn't waste his free time while serving in Iraq.

The Champaign native has written a novel, "9 Deceiving Faces," and created a hip-hop album with military overtones. He's trying to market them both, which isn't easy for a guy who has six months to go in Iraq.

Fire caused by charcoal grill damages siding

BONDVILLE – Fire sparked by a charcoal grill too close to a house caused about $1,000 damage to a rural Champaign home early today.

Champaign County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Coile said Robert Rowe of 2326 S. Staley Road, C, had grilled on his back porch Monday night and after he was done, pushed the grill up close to the house.

Police seeking man found in women's dorm room Sunday

CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois police are looking for a man who entered a dormitory room as women slept Sunday.

A release from the UI News Bureau said the women were sleeping in their room at Van Doren Hall, 1215 S. Fourth St., C, and awoke about 7:50 a.m. to find a man standing in their room.

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