Illini guard to speak after memorial golf scramble in Gibson City

GIBSON CITY – Illini point guard Trent Meacham will be the featured speaker at a banquet Monday, following the Greg Arends Memorial Golf Scramble at Railside Golf Club in Gibson City.

Both golfers and nongolfers are invited to the banquet beginning at 5:30 p.m. following the golf tournament. Dinner reservations alone are $10 and can be made by calling Bonnie Arends of Melvin at 388-2401

Urbana robbery, attempted purse-snatching may be related

URBANA – Police are investigating a gas station robbery and attempted purse-snatching in southeast Urbana that may be related.

Detective Harley Rutledge said a 20-year-old Urbana woman reported that a man tried to grab her purse in the 800 block of East Florida Avenue about 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Two Charleston residents convicted of tax fraud conspiracy

PEORIA – A federal jury found two Charleston residents guilty of tax fraud conspiracy earlier this week.

Kenton W. Tylman and Debra J. Hills, both of Charleston, and Brent A. Winters, of California, were accused of hiding nearly $7.3 million in income from the Internal Revenue Service through the sale of sham trusts and financial packages.

Rantoul man accused of stealing from UI lockers

URBANA – A Rantoul man accused of stealing from lockers at the University of Illinois is due back in court Aug. 1 to appear with an attorney.

Robert A. Ward, 30, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Eater Drive, Rantoul, was arraigned July 18 on a Class 2 felony charge of burglary, accusing him of entering a building with the intent to commit a theft.

Champaign man arrested for gas station robbery in Urbana

URBANA – A Champaign man was arrested late Thursday for robbing an Urbana gas station.

Billy J. Palmer, 53, who listed an address in the 500 block of North Victor Street, was arrested for armed robbery of the Collins Oil station, 808 E. Main St., U, according to Urbana police.

Running club's Run With the Dogs set for Saturday morning

CHAMPAIGN – Members of the Champaign-Urbana running club, Second Wind, will have lots of extra legs, albeit hairy ones, to run with Saturday morning.

Seven or eight dogs from the Champaign County Humane Society are joining club members once again for a two-hour run, jog or walk at Meadowbrook Park.

Champaign district hires Urbana native as principal

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district hired an Urbana native as principal for Bottenfield Elementary School Thursday night.

The Champaign school board approved hiring Matthew Foster. He is currently assistant principal of Independence Elementary School in Bolingbrook, in the Valley View school district, a position he's held for the past three years.

Champaign County's jobless rate at highest in 18 years

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign County's unemployment rate has jumped to the highest point in at least 18 years – and is no longer one of the lowest in the state.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday that 6.5 percent of the county's labor force was out of work and looking for a job in June. That was up from 4.9 percent in May.

UI prof points out flaws in nursing home bookkeeping

URBANA – A University of Illinois accounting professor said Thursday the county nursing home's books are flawed.

Rachel Schwartz, who has offered her services to the county unpaid, told the Champaign County Board that there are discrepancies. For example, the home reported spending $342,875 for contract rehabilitation services in fiscal 2007 on its unaudited expense report, but gave the state a $567,495 figure for the same expense.

Man convicted of sex abuse faces up to seven years

URBANA – A former Urbana business man faces a maximum penalty of seven years in prison for having sex with a minor two years ago.

A Champaign County jury of eight men and four women convicted Cameron Belk on Thursday of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, despite his contention that he thought the young woman he was having sex with in his store was 17 or older.