Bement superintendent retiring after 20 years of service

BEMENT – Darrell Stevens said he has seen a lot of changes during his 20 years as Bement school superintendent.

Declining enrollment, increased state requirements for testing, curriculum improvements and increased costs provided constant challenges for the small-town school district.

Drainage plan set to go around Monticello property

MONTICELLO – What began as a typical Monticello City Council session turned into a heated debate over an ongoing drainage project issue.

Steve Scheffler, a Monticello native, voiced his displeasure at the council meeting prior to the council's vote on a resolution that approved ordering material for a drainage project.

Rantoul sets aside funds to serve Latinos

RANTOUL – The village of Rantoul is joining Rantoul Township High School in doing its part to serve the community's rising Latino population.

The Rantoul Village Board voted 6-0 on Tuesday to approve an amendment to the village's community development plan.

Mahomet rates for water, wastewater may increase

MAHOMET – Residents may soon see slightly higher rates for water and wastewater.

The village board voted 5-0 at its Tuesday study session for the increases.

Dog owners told to keep pets on leashes at forest preserves

MAHOMET – In today's news for dogs: No leash, no running around the county's forest preserves.

Under the new rules of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District, all canines must be on a leash at all times while in the forest preserves.

Mansfield animal abuse trial set for June

MONTICELLO – The trial of a rural Mansfield man charged in connection with the deaths of three horses and the starving of a fourth is set for June.

Circuit Judge John Shonkwiler on Tuesday scheduled a trial for Richard Pagel to begin on June 30.

Pay raises included in Westville budget

WESTVILLE – Village officials adopted a $645,360 spending plan for the 2008-09 fiscal year on Tuesday that includes an estimated $16,300 in deficit spending.

The general fund budget includes money for the purchase of a copying machine and a vehicle-mounted radio and camera for the police department, a new curly slide and merry-go-round for Zamberletti Park, a utility vehicle and lawnmower for the streets department and a 35-cent-an-hour raise for all full-time, part-time and appointed village employees.

Police hope security camera image will help find suspect

URBANA – Police released pictures from a bank security camera in hopes that someone will recognize and identify a man who robbed an Urbana bank.

"We are just hoping that someone will recognize him," Morgan said. "These are some pretty decent photos, for a change."

Threat at Tuscola school does not affect attendance

TUSCOLA – Students attended Tuscola Community High School mostly as usual this morning after authorities investigated a threat written in the boys' bathroom.

Superintendent Joe Burgess said school officials found the threat at about 6:30 Tuesday night. They cleared the building and called in Tuscola police, state police and University of Illinois police search dogs.

Two asphalt companies join forces

URBANA – The owners of Champaign Asphalt and MACC of Illinois are forming a new company, Open Road Paving Co., that will manufacture and place bituminous hot-mix asphalt.

The new venture will take in all the asphalt plants owned by Champaign Asphalt and MACC of Illinois, said Joe Lamb, president of both Champaign Asphalt and Open Road Paving.