Robbery incidents on campus involve man on bike

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign police are investing one robbery and two attempted robberies all involving a man on a bicycle Thursday night.

The first incident involved a 19-year-old University of Illinois student living in Champaign, according to Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn.

Everything, even kitchen sink, expected at Home & Biz Expo

DANVILLE – Some lucky visitors to the AMBUCS Home and Business Expo this weekend will walk away with $500 cash and a new air-conditioner or furnace.

Two local businesses participating in the expo, which features more than 80 booths and a main stage with entertainment and how-to presentations, are planning major giveaways to visitors who enter drawings at their booths.

Zoning ordinance changed after Urbana duo's complaints

URBANA – It came too late to make a difference in their case.

But Rich Cahill and Gail Taylor's complaints about how the city allowed a developer to expand a neighboring house – without any public hearing or notification of neighbors – have prompted changes to the city's zoning ordinance.

Rantoul gets $390,000 for street work

RANTOUL – Rantoul is getting some federal economic stimulus money to improve village streets.

Rantoul Public Works Director Greg Hazel said Thursday he received an e-mail from the Illinois Department of Transportation letting him know that Rantoul will receive $390,000 for road projects in the village.

Bomb squad hits 'suspicious' suitcase with water

URBANA – Bomb squad members blasted a "suspicious" suitcase with water and portions of the Pennsylvia Avenue Residence Halls were temporarily evacuated as a precaution late Thursday.

University of Illinois police Lt. Skip Frost, commander of the UI-Champaign Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, said a "standard, large, hard-case" suitcase was found by a patrol officer about 11 p.m. Thursday near a door on College Court.

Section of Curtis Road to close for reconstruction

SAVOY – A portion of Curtis Road from Wesley Avenue to Prospect Avenue will be closed starting March 16 as the Curtis Road reconstruction project gets under way.

According to Village Manager Richard Helton, he and Treasurer Clarence Wells will meet with representatives at Chase to determine how to pay for the project.

Man falls three stories from balcony; many citations issued

URBANA - University of Illinois students received more than half of the citations issued Friday night during Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day.

Others received injuries.

The annual event, now in its 13th year, has grown from a promotional event by a local bar owner to a two-day drinking binge across Campustown that draws students and out-of-town fans.

Teen accused of attempted sex assault

CHAMPAIGN – A 15-year-old Champaign boy is in custody after being arrested Thursday morning for an attempted sexual assault in a city park.

A release from Champaign police said a 29-year-old woman was lured into Spalding Park on North Harris Avenue about 9:40 a.m. by the youth, who asked her to help him with a friend who was in trouble.

Campus, city officials prepare for 'Unofficial'

Organized in 1996 by local campus bar owner Scott Cochrane to capture business lost when University of Illinois students left town for spring break, Unofficial St. Patrick's Day evolved into a daylong binge drinking party, attracting young people from other campuses and communities. This year, the Campustown event will be from 11 a.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, with extra police patrols and liquor restrictions between State and Wright streets and Chalmers and Washington streets.

Why it became a problem

Millions of stimulus dollars on way for public housing help

URBANA – Another piece of the economic stimulus pie is on its way to East Central Illinois – more than $4 million for housing initiatives.

The Champaign County Housing Authority will get an extra $1.42 million in capital funds to modernize its public housing stock, and the Danville Housing Authority will receive more than $1 million, according to figures supplied by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money could be available starting in April, officials said.