Drug take-back event set for April 30 in Tuscola

TUSCOLA -- The Douglas County sheriff's office will accept unused or outdated prescription medication on April 30, between 12:01 a.m. and midnight.

The office is at 920 S. Washington St., Tuscola, just off U.S. 36.

Citizens seek public review of new maps

CHAMPAIGN -- A number of area residents Saturday urged lawmakers to allow citizens to review and comment on new congressional and legislative district maps before they are approved by the General Assembly.

But it's not certain that will happen.

Nobody injured in house fire in Gifford

GIFFORD A late-afternoon fire Sunday caused an estimated $60,000 damage to a home in Gifford.

According to Gifford Fire Chief Rich McFadden, firefighters were called to a one-story house in the 100 block of East Willard Street in Gifford at about 5 p.m. Sunday.

McFadden said the home was unoccupied and was being remodeled.

Strike by building-, food-service workers at UI averted

URBANA A strike by building- and food-service workers at the University of Illinois was averted when union members voted to approve a tentative contract.

Service Employees International Union Local 73 Field Organizer Ricky Baldwin announced that union members voted Saturday and Sunday to approve the two-year contract.

Inmate confesses to Oklahoma killing 25 years ago

URBANA -- With a few local unsolved murders and missing persons cases nagging at him and his colleagues, Curt Apperson didn't know what to expect on a recent Saturday when an inmate wanted to talk to someone about a murder.

Hearing a confession to a 25-year-old murder in Oklahoma had certainly not crossed the mind of the Champaign County sheriff's detective.

Abe Lincoln really did sleep here

URBANA -- When Sarah Nixon and George Gasyna moved to Urbana in 2006, the home they found on Illinois Street was a fixer-upper, to say the least.

Sewer work to close Champaign streets

CHAMPAIGN Starting at 7 a.m. Monday, the 600 block of West Columbia Avenue and the 500 block of North Harris Street will be closed to through traffic to allow installation of a storm sewer crossing in the intersection of Columbia and Harris.

Bike to Work Day scheduled

Whether you usually drive to work or take the bus, or you're a committed bicycle commuter, you can join hundreds of other local residents in getting to work (or school) by bicycle on May 3.

Fourth-graders go digital in Danville

DANVILLE -- At a school where cellphones, iPods and hand-held video games are banned, one teacher actually is encouraging her students to power on one of the hottest new electronic gadgets during class.

Southwest Elementary School teacher Wendy Heeren recently introduced Kobo wireless e-readers in her classroom to boost literacy among her 19 fourth-graders.

Soccer facility, road projects on agenda

URBANA -- The city council on Monday could formalize approval of a couple of measures members already supported this week: It may give the final go-ahead for an indoor soccer facility to be located at 2400 N. Willow Road and a green light to a revised plan for Olympian Drive.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.