Air Force has 616-acre gift

RANTOUL – Air Force officials offered the village of Rantoul a surprise gift on Thursday.

But Village Administrator David Johnston said the village isn't ready to accept it.

Attorney to look at legality of ordinance

Urbana attorney Steve Beckett said Thursday he has been hired by a local bar owner to look into the legality of the ordinance banning smoking in most public places in Champaign.

"I've done some work for a particular bar owner," he said. "I'm obviously looking at passage of the anti-smoking ordinance and its validity and enforceability."

Owners of vicious dogs put on short leash

SPRINGFIELD – Owners of dangerous or vicious dogs now face tougher penalties if their pets attack, under a bill Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed into law on Wednesday.

"Dogs can make great companions, but if they're not trained well or restrained, some dogs can also pose serious threats – especially to children," Blagojevich stated in a written release. "We've seen too many people seriously injured by dogs whose owners allow them to act more like wild predators than pets."

Despite questions, 2nd TIF district heading for vote

MONTICELLO – The second proposed tax increment financing district in Monticello appears to be heading toward a city council vote later this month.

But a number of questions remain about the size and shape of the district and even the process used for its creation.

Man receives 20 years for robbery, clubbings

URBANA – A Champaign man who participated in robbing and clubbing two men at a Champaign business last summer was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison.

Because both the victims sustained great bodily harm, Quentin S. Robinson will have to serve at least 17 years of his sentence. He was given credit for 273 days already served.

Customers to get notices on meter work

DECATUR – AmerenIP customers can expect interruptions in electrical service of a minute or two while new automated meter readers are installed on their existing meters.

Natalie Hemmer, spokeswoman for the Decatur-based utility, said the work to install the automated readers on some 186,000 electric and gas meters began a couple of weeks ago in the Champaign service area and is expected to be complete in early 2007.

Man receives 40-year term for murder

URBANA – A Champaign man who fatally stabbed another man apologized to the victim's family and his own moments before being handed a 40-year prison sentence.

"Drugs have taken over my life. It's hard knowing I've taken someone's life," said Steven Evans Jr., 30, as his mother quietly cried.

Danville officer kills man during foot chase

DANVILLE – A veteran Danville police officer has been placed on paid leave after fatally shooting a Danville man during a foot chase at the Fair Oaks housing complex early Tuesday morning.

Aaron Moss, 27, of Danville, was pronounced dead at 12:47 a.m. Tuesday at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, according to the Vermilion County coroner's office.

Autopsy results show inmate had heart attack

URBANA – Preliminary autopsy results show a Champaign County Jail inmate who died over the weekend suffered a heart attack.

An autopsy done in Bloomington on Tuesday indicates Quentin Larry, 36, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Hedge Road, C, had a cardiac infarction or deadening of part of the heart, Coroner Duane Northrup said this morning.

Smoke hasn't cleared for hookah bars

CHAMPAIGN – Garenne Bigby opened his Champaign hookah bar, Nargile, about 2 years ago. After a slow start, the business at 207 W. Clark St. is doing well.

But hookah's days could be numbered in Champaign-Urbana if a smoking ban in most public places goes into effect. That possibility has Champaign City Council member Ken Pirok suggesting that bars that offer hookah should be exempt from the smoking ban.

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