Town has sweet taste of victory in cough syrup fight

BUCKLEY – This small farming community known for its Dutch heritage and success on the summer-league baseball field has secured itself a new reputation.

Buckley is now known as the Capital of Bad Taste.

Tuscola officials see opportunities in aftermath of pick

TUSCOLA – The publicity Tuscola has received and the extensive research into its proposed FutureGen site will ultimately help Tuscola to land another major industrial development, community leaders say.

"This has put us on the world map," said Tuscola School Superintendent Joe Burgess, who also is president of the board for Tuscola Economic Development Inc. "Right now would be the easiest time for a company to come to Tuscola because all the environmental studies that were done for FutureGen are complete. I'm positive that a forward-thinking company will take advantage of the opportunity to come to Tuscola."

Man arrested in car theft

URBANA – A Champaign man is accused of driving a stolen van.

Donald L. Brown, 28, who listed an address in the 1300 block of Lockraven Road, was arraigned and pleaded innocent Tuesday on a Class 2 felony charge of possession of a stolen vehicle.

Energy Department asks to rework deal with alliance

While Mattoon residents and Illinois lawmakers expressed elation at the announcement that the FutureGen plant has its sights set on Coles County, the U.S. Department of Energy wants to restructure its agreement with the Fu-tureGen Alliance.

Jack Slutz, the acting principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy, released a statement Tuesday calling for restructuring the current agreement between the federal government and the alliance, which is composed of power companies from all over the world.

Mattoon residents hope FutureGen will give area a lift

MATTOON – A day after the announcement that their city will be home to a $1.5 billion clean coal-burning power plant, residents agree that Mattoon is about to see some dramatic changes.

"What a great day for Mattoon and for Coles County," said Angela Griffin, the president and CEO of Coles Together, which put together the proposal for FutureGen. "The eyes of the world are on us."

Danville council rejects duplex zoning request

DANVILLE – A noticeably smaller city council may have had an effect on a zoning decision that was defeated Tuesday night.

A petition by Mennenga Construction to convert a single-family house at 1209 E. Fair-child into a two-family duplex failed by a 6-3 vote.

Catlin mayor to sit in on meeting about park improvements

CATLIN – Mayor Clay Woodard said Tuesday that he plans to attend the next meeting of the park committee, and that he sees improvements to the village park in the near future.

Earlier this fall, Catlin Village Board members asked for the formation of an advisory park committee to study the park and to make recommendations to the board about improvements.

Pension crisis brings fears about health care

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois still has one of the most chronically underfunded state pension systems in the country, but a potentially bigger problem is looming: the health care bills for all those retirees.

According to a 50-state study released by Pew Charitable Trusts on Tuesday, Illinois' unfunded pension liability for state workers, judges, lawmakers, teachers and university employees was $41 billion in 2006, while its projected bill for retiree health care, dental and life insurance benefits was an estimated $48 billion for state workers alone.

Rossville board: Drivers endangering kids safety

ROSSVILLE – The Rossville-Alvin School Board is asking the village board and police department for help with traffic problems at the elementary school and high school buildings.

Drivers are ignoring the warning stop-arm sign on shuttle school buses at the high school as Hoopeston and Bismarck-Henning students are being loaded, Rossville superintendent Carl Sartwell said.

Proposal heads to council with few changes

DANVILLE – An advisory committee did not make many changes to a proposed ordinance for a city rental-registration program Tuesday night. The plan now moves to city council members.

Since July, the committee has debated new measures to prompt more compliance among the city's landlords. Mayor Scott Eisenhauer appointed the committee earlier this year following a housing plan he proposed to reduce blight and increase rental registration compliance.