Veterinarian takes swan off lake to prevent attacks on birds, kids

RANTOUL – Mute swans are graceful, friendly birds that live in harmony with other creatures.

Not so fast, says Dr. Dennis Stubblefield, a long-time Rantoul veterinarian, who said the swans – which are not native to North America – can be cranky and downright dangerous to humans and animals.

Champaign man to be charged with murder of sister

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign man accused of killing his older sister in her home Thursday has a history of mental illness and had hurt her before, court documents show.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Maury D. Butler, 54, will be formally charged Monday with the first-degree murder of Jean Butler, 58, of 409 E. Columbia Ave., C.

Parkland names outstanding faculty members

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College has named faculty members Julie Weishar and Charles Mueller as their Illinois Community College Trustees Association 2010 Outstanding Full-time and Part-Time Faculty Members, respectively.

Patients hoping for law to legalize medical uses

SPRINGFIELD – With three heart attacks and several strokes in his past and a nagging back ache that's plagued him since he was a young man, retired Thomasboro hog farmer Mel Key says he could use the pain relief a little marijuana would offer.

But he's not about to risk running afoul of the law.

Officials exploring options for police complaint process in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Officials are about "halfway" through their review of the police complaint process, according to Deputy Police Chief Holly Nearing, and they should be ready to announce their findings some time after April.

Forest preserve sets cleanup days

Champaign County Forest Preserve District staff again want people to help clean up the five forest preserve sites.

The district-wide spring cleanup will be conducted on two upcoming Sundays, rain or shine, according to Kim Horbas, volunteer coordinator for the district.

"Last year, it poured, but we had a lot of fun and got a lot done," Horbas said.

Urbana woman treated after three-vehicle collision near fire station

URBANA - An Urbana woman was treated for injuries she received in a three-vehicle collision in east Urbana about 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Man charged with slaying sister

CHAMPAIGN – Police responded to reports of a fight Friday in northeast Champaign, only to discover a woman's body in the course of their investigation.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup identified the woman as Jean Butler, 58.  An autopsy done Saturday revealed she died of multiple blunt force injuries.

Rossville man pleads innocent in sex assault case

DANVILLE – A 46-year-old Rossville man on Thursday pleaded innocent to a charge that he sexually assaulted a teen-age boy, whom he was mentoring.

State programs offering Energy Star rebates

If you've been thinking about buying an Energy Star washer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer or room air conditioner, an upcoming promotion might give you the perfect reason to do so.