Savoy village board eyes agreement over MTD annexation

SAVOY – Seven months remain in the two-year period of non-annexation of Savoy approved by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board in December 2005.

And while the non-annexation period has given the Savoy village board the chance to take a breather from the MTD debate, village staff and MTD officials have been working behind the scenes to try and reach middle ground on annexation.

Former UI football player fires attorney

URBANA – Former University of Illinois football player and accused residential burglar Derrick McPhearson fired his attorney this morning and had his case set for Monday.

Champaign attorney Mark Lipton asked Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis this morning to allow him to withdraw from representing McPhearson on charges of residential burglary alleging he entered four apartments on campus intending to steal in early March.

Parents of victims attend trial in Kankakee

Jim and Barb Esworthy of Ogden are pretty sure that Terry Clark just doesn't get it.

Court documents say Clark's father was an alcoholic. When he was 3, his mother was killed in a drunken driving crash. His own son, 3, was killed by a drunken driver in 1981.

Two teams vying for Orchard Downs project pitch plans

URBANA – In one room it was the Devonshire Group.

In the other room it was the partnership made up of Vermilion Development, Fox Development, The Atkins Group and Clark-Lindsey Village.

Arrest not tied to school threat at PBL

PAXTON – Paxton police have arrested Austin T. Lemley, 17, of rural Ludlow on a charge of disorderly conduct, a class "C" misdmeanor, following an incident that occurred during Tuesday's lockdown at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School.

Staff found a threat of violence against the students written on a wall in a high school bathroom Tuesday afternoon, and school officials immediately put the school in a code red lockdown and called police.

Boyfriend reported finding woman's body in creek

URBANA – Police are investigating the possibility that an Urbana woman whose body was found in the Boneyard Creek might have been murdered.

According to a complaint for a search warrant submitted to Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis, Urbana police investigators learned that it was Heather Muntean's boyfriend who called authorities to report finding a body in the creek about 7:40 a.m. Wednesday.

Man convicted of another DUI, 10 years after Esworthy deaths

KANKAKEE – A Kankakee man who killed two young women from Ogden 10 years ago in a drunken driving crash near Chebanse is likely headed back to prison for another driving under the influence conviction.

A Kankakee County jury, after having four questions within five minutes of starting their deliberations, took an hour to convict Terry Ray Clark, 45, of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under revocation.

ICC denies Ameren's request for rate increase

SPRINGFIELD – Ameren customers were spared another increase in their power bills on Wednesday, thanks to the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Back in November, the ICC granted Ameren a $97 million increase in the delivery rates it could charge its Illinois electric customers in 2007, less than half the $200 million the utility had asked for.

Water, sewer, garbage rate increase likely in Hoopeston

HOOPESTON – Hoopeston residents will likely see higher rates for water, sewer and garbage service.

"The water-sewer department has operated in a deficit for the last four out of five years," Alderman Bill Crusinberry said. "We've got to raise more money." The repair of two water tanks alone will cost half a million dollars, he said.

Suspension urged for Urbana lawyer who defrauded client

SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission hearing board this week recommended a suspension of at least six months for Urbana attorney Charles E. Petit.

"The misconduct of (Petit) consisted of knowingly and repeatedly making false statements to his client, and breaching his fiduciary duties by attempting to obtain fees for work that he had not performed," the hearing board said in its report. "Clearly, (Petit's) misconduct demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity."