Man gets the max in ID theft case

URBANA – A veteran Urbana firefighter who had his identity stolen by a man whom he reported to police said Tuesday that he was very happy that a judge gave Esley Carter the maximum sentence.

Carter, 26, who listed an address in the 1200 block of East Michigan Avenue, Urbana, was sentenced by Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis to 15 years in prison for attempted financial identity theft, and five years on top of that for burglary for going into a store and using a credit card that Carter had obtained using the personal information of Bob Mullins.

Local man in line for national leadership

CHAMPAIGN – For Marty Conatser, patriotism is about more than a simple love of country.

For the DeLand native now living in Champaign, it's about action: serving veterans, youths and community members through the American Legion. It's also about supporting troops in Iraq.

Dunkin' Donuts to open store on Prospect

CHAMPAIGN – Dunkin' Donuts plans to open a new store in the former Mobil Super Pantry space at 1302 N. Prospect Ave., C.

Local franchisee Sunil Modi said the new store, which will have a drive-through, is expected to open by the end of the year.

Police seek suspect in bank robbery

DANVILLE – Danville police are investigating a Tuesday bank robbery at the United Community Bank.

Deputy Police Director Doug Miller said that at 10:55 a.m., a man wearing sunglasses walked in the front door of the bank at 921 N. Vermilion St. He handed one of the tellers a note, which demanded money.

Mattoon man in the running for top spot

MATTOON – Another area resident is poised to take national leadership for an organization serving veterans: Tommie Cisna is hoping to become the Sons of the American Legion's national commander in 2008.

Cisna, a 47-year-old Mattoon resident, will be named the leading candidate in August. He'll most likely take that position in August 2008 and hold it until August 2009.

Shooting leaves man dead in an alley

DANVILLE – Danville police today are continuing to investigate the fatal shooting of a 31-year-old male who died early Tuesday afternoon.

Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said police received a call at 12:53 p.m. that shots were fired in the 100 block of Cherry Street between Jackson and Hazel streets. When they arrived, they found a man lying in an alley off of Cherry Street.

Rantoul officials pledge help to laid-off workers

RANTOUL – Village officials in Rantoul say their first efforts in the wake of the news that Collins & Aikman will be closing will be to do what they can to help the employees and their families.

The community of Rantoul learned Tuesday that Collins & Aikman Corp. – the town's largest employer – will close all three of its auto-parts plants in Rantoul, putting more than 500 people out of work.

Collins & Aikman to close all of its auto-part plants in Rantoul

RANTOUL – Collins & Aikman Corp. will close all three of its auto-parts plants in Rantoul, putting more than 500 people out of work, Village Administrator David Johnston said.

Johnston said the company notified the village Tuesday that permanent layoffs will begin as soon as Friday and continue through July 20. He said negotiations to sell the plant to Cadence Innovation broke down, resulting in the closure.

Longtime Urbana educator Williams takes over top job

URBANA – Though it felt a bit like the first day of kindergarten for Preston Williams Jr., Monday was the first day of a job with much more responsibility – and no naptimes.

On Monday, Williams became the head of a school district with more than 4,000 students, the boss of more than 700 teachers and staff.

Another motel standoff ends peacefully in Urbana

URBANA – A Gibson City man who holed up in an Urbana motel and refused to come out when Urbana police went to speak to him is likely to be sent soon to the Department of Corrections.

Daniel McElfresh, 30, had been sentenced in his absence on May 31 to five years in prison for a burglary that he pleaded guilty to in early May.