Attorney says Danville murder trial will be continued

DANVILLE – Alexis Brigham was scheduled to stand trial next week for the July 2008 murder of a Danville man, but the trial will be continued, his attorney said Friday.

Prosecutors are moving to amend one of the charges, saying that Brigham personally discharged a firearm, which caused the death of Zellner D. Brown IV.

First-time homebuyer credit proves enticing

CHAMPAIGN – Philip Fiscella is only a year out of college, but already he's the owner of a duplex in west Champaign.

The 22-year-old Fiscella bought the duplex at 1614 W. Union St. for $115,000, nearly $10,000 less than the original asking price of $124,900, he said.

Magnet school themes on Champaign agenda

CHAMPAIGN – After delaying a vote last month on magnet school themes for Garden Hills and Washington elementary schools, the Champaign school board is scheduled to consider the matter again at its Monday meeting.

The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St.

Lexington man critical after Ford County crash

SIBLEY – A Lexington man remained hospitalized Friday in critical condition following a drunken-driving crash in western Ford County early Thursday.

A release from Illinois State Police at Ashkum said Patrick Dixon, 33, was driving in the wrong lane of Illinois 47 at Ford County Road 1125 N about 4 a.m. Thursday and hit a tanker truck that had tried to avoid Dixon's car.

Distillers: State low-balling potential video gambling revenues

SPRINGFIELD – An industry group says state lawmakers have seriously underestimated the amount of money a new tax on video gambling will provide and is urging Gov. Pat Quinn to instead veto the proposed increases in liquor taxes.

Local housing sales down, but may be on way up

URBANA – Philo residents Carol and Donald "Butch" Clark bought a condominium in Urbana last September, figuring it would better accommodate Butch's motorized wheelchair.

They figured their three-bedroom brick home in Philo would sell quickly.

But 10 months later, the house at 206 Cleveland in Philo's Willow Run subdivision remains on the market, its price lowered from $250,000 to $229,500.

July 4th parade float creators still rewarded for efforts

URBANA – After weeks of planning and work, the big puffy dog was ready to roll.

He had only one problem: The sky poured down rain on that July Fourth morning, and the dog's body was covered in hundreds of tiny bits of paper on his Independence Day float – not exactly rainproof.

Recycling expansion in Urbana to be discussed

URBANA – Urbana City Council members will continue discussing adding small businesses to the city's recycling program.

The topic, first introduced by Alderman Charlie Smyth two weeks ago, is on the agenda for Monday's study session as the Urbana council meets as committee of the whole at 7 p.m. at the council chambers, 400 S. Vine St.

Champaign police reports

Champaign police handled several reports recently:

Judge: Trial must be held in Mass Transit District case

URBANA – A judge has ruled that the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District has the authority to annex territory and that the Champaign Southwest Mass Transit District was properly established by a referendum.

Judge Chase Leonard, in a written order released Wednesday, also ruled that a trial must be held to determine the final claim of the C-U MTD that the C-SW MTD was formed in bad faith.