'No-refusal' DUI checkpoint scheduled in March 2011

URBANA – Champaign County law enforcement officials are going to be tightening the screws on potential drunken drivers Friday night.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said motorists stopped in a roadside safety check in Urbana who refuse to submit to chemical testing will be given an offer they can't refuse:

Warning sounded about financial scam

DANVILLE – Danville police are warning the public about a scam that at least one elderly resident has fallen victim to recently, according to Deputy Director Doug Miller with Danville police.

Lampmaker plans to ramp up production

CHAMPAIGN – Eden Park Illumination is producing a few hundred microplasma lamps every few weeks at its plant in west Champaign, co-founder Gary Eden said.

In the next 12 to 18 months, the company hopes to move to larger-scale production, said Eden, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois.

GOP plans to propose several million dollars in budget cuts

SPRINGFIELD – Next year's state budget needs to be cut by between $4 billion and $6 billion, Senate Republicans said Thursday.

And they pledged to unveil next week what Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, called a "menu" of possible budget cuts.

Champaign teen accused of battering a teacher

URBANA – A Champaign teen accused of battering a teacher at The Pavilion School is due back in court March 29.

Hassan J. Sayles, 17, who listed an address in the 1400 block of Comanche Drive, was arraigned Thursday on two counts of aggravated battery. The charges allege that on Feb. 17, Sayles tried to choke Dean Dillon, 63, of Champaign and punched him in the face.

Urbana man gets 5 years for 4th DUI conviction

URBANA – An Urbana man was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for his fourth driving under the influence conviction in nine years.

Champaign County Judge Rich Klaus called Chad Lange's case "immeasurably sad" before sentencing him to the number of years the prosecutor had recommended.

Two pleas result in prison terms

URBANA – A Rantoul woman who kicked a correctional officer is headed to prison for six years.

Jessica Elmer, 25, of the 200 block of Marco Drive pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated battery. Because of her criminal record, she had to be sentenced as a Class X felon.

Part of Pennsylvania Avenue closed for repairs

URBANA  - The city of Urbana  is making storm sewer repairs on Pennsylvania Avenue at its intersection with Busey Avenue. The west bound lane of Pennsylvania  Avenue to 50 feet east of the intersection with Busey Avenue wil be closed until Friday at noon.


Malawians pay visit to sister city of Urbana

URBANA – Sorry, Champaign. Urbana has a different sister city.

Visitors from Zomba, Malawi – Urbana's African sibling – are in town this week to meet with city and University of Illinois officials to discuss how to further the two governments' relationship and create an understanding of different cultures between each city's inhabitants.

Panel backs 2 bills to ease smoke ban

SPRINGFIELD – Two bills aimed at reversing part of the 3-year-old Smoke Free Illinois Act passed out of a House committee Wednesday.

One measure (HB 1965) would apply only to the 10 authorized casinos in the state that have seen their revenues plunge since the smoking ban was enacted.