Parkland makes plans for growth

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College and the owners of the former K's Merchandise Mart are working out final details for the college to buy the building on North Mattis Avenue.

When the deal is done, Parkland plans to remodel the unoccupied part of the building as new quarters for components of its health professions department, including a special room that will house a $150,000, computer-operated human model that reacts like it's alive, used for training at some medical schools.

Food co-op decides it will have to stay private

CHAMPAIGN – The Common Ground Food Co-op will not be completely open to the public after all.

Jacqueline Hannah, the co-op's general manager, and its board of directors decided it would cost too much to meet public health requirements at its location in the Illinois Disciples Foundation building.

Police investigating holdups in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Police are investigating two separate cases in which women were robbed in Champaign on Sunday night.

A 42-year-old Champaign woman reported that she was robbed by two men in the 1100 block of North Walnut Street about 7 p.m. Sunday, according to a report. Some identification and a library card were reported stolen, according to Rene Dunn, spokeswoman for the Champaign police department.

Vendors show off wares at Business Expo

CHAMPAIGN – Audra Martin's drawbridges drew a lot of traffic Wednesday, and there's no wonder why.

The tiny drawbridges, suspended by chains, held trays of chocolate-covered toffee, free for the taking.

Safe break-in investigated

URBANA – University of Illinois police are investigating a case in which thieves apparently used tools from a lab to break into a safe.

The safe was discovered Sunday night in a lab at Talbot Lab, 104 S. Wright St., according to a UI police report.

YouTube founder to give UI's commencement speech

University of Illinois graduate and YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim will deliver the UI's commencement address this May.

Karim, born in 1979, will be the UI's youngest commencement speaker, said Babette Hiles, UI director of special events. Karim will be the university's 136th commencement speaker.

Children's deaths in fire ruled an accident

DANVILLE – A Vermilion County Coroner's jury on Wednesday ruled that the January deaths of two young boys in a mobile home fire in Westville were accidental.

The six jurors also recommended that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigate the case and the well-being of the boys' brother who survived the fire.

Skating program readies for season finale

DANVILLE – Jane Smittkamp likes to spend quality time with her daughter and found a way to do so and get exercise, too.

Smittkamp and her daughter Mary-Hunter Smittkamp of Paris, drive to Danville to participate in the Learn to Skate program at the David S. Palmer Arena.

Rantoul wants to be paid by Free Fall organizers

RANTOUL – A village board member says he thinks the World Free Fall Convention should pay compensation to the village for failing to meet the final two years of its contract to hold the event in Rantoul.

Convention organizers announced on Tuesday they were canceling this year's convention, which had been scheduled for the Rantoul airport. The village had a contract to host the event through 2008.

Danville High School's library club provides computer training

DANVILLE – Linda Cumbow thought a mouse was a rodent that ran on the floor, but Danville High School student Kalipb Wiggins taught her differently.

"It's the little thingy on the screen," Wiggins told the 90 or so senior citizens at CRIS Senior Services on Wednesday.

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