Most area credit unions report profits in second quarter of 2008

CHAMPAIGN – There was a slight increase in the number of area credit unions reporting losses during the second quarter of 2008, according to statistics filed with federal regulators.

Of 34 credit unions in East Central Illinois, seven reported losses during the second quarter, compared with five during the first quarter.

Working moms facing off for state's attorney spot

URBANA – For the first time in Champaign County political history, two full-time working mothers want to be the county's top prosecutor.

Democratic incumbent State's Attorney Julia Rietz, 39, of Champaign is being challenged by political newcomer Janie Miller-Jones, 38, a Republican from Rantoul.

Next step for county courthouse project: Waiting for funding

URBANA – Urbana and Champaign County are embarking on a public art program together, taking baby steps.

In this case it's not the controversial Giant Lincoln Head proposed by a distinguished local artist, Frank Gallo, but something more modest and functional.

In August 2007, French artist Frederic Beaugeard, who lives in Urbana, won a competition for a "Downtown Newspaper Rack Project, which entails designing a newspaper rack structure to be located in front of the Champaign County Courthouse on Main Street in downtown Urbana," as the city described it.

Beaugeard, 40, was educated at Paris' top art school and has exhibited in France, Egypt, South Korea, Slovakia, Sweden and Kuwait. His design, called "Urbanastand," incorporates both functional news racks and an etched-glass background featuring famous news stories from The News-Gazette and the Urbana Courier, which printed its last edition in 1979.

The city's Web site notes "This project is still in the design stage. Look for the installation of this multifunctional piece in the fall of 2008."

As the fall days tick away, though, nothing has gone further than paper on the project. It could take a couple of years, or more, for "Urbana-stand" to be constructed just west of the courthouse entrance, says Anna Hochhalter, Urbana's public arts coordinator.

Get to know the manager of Common Ground Food Co-op

13 things to know about Jacqueline Hannah, general manager of the Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana

1. Today is her birthday. She turned 35.

2. She's a working mother, married to Michael Hannah, a stay-at-home dad who cares for their nearly 2-year-old son, Eli. They live in east Urbana.

Jewish families erect sukkot to mark third fall holiday

Temporary housing constructed last weekend will be torn down by Tuesday.

But it was meant to be temporary.

Simple wooden, plastic or cloth-covered structures in the yards of residences are huts for the celebration of Sukkot, the third of three fall Jewish holidays. The first two are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

The Hebrew word "sukkot" stands for both the name of the holiday – which, translated into English, is the Feast of Tabernacles – and two or more hut structures. A single hut is a sukkah.

Vendors sought for Covington, Ind., school's bazaar

COVINGTON, Ind. – Covington Elementary School will sponsor its annual holiday bazaar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the school.

Vendors interested in booth information or registration should contact the school at 765-793-2254 or write to Holiday Bazaar, c/o Mitzi Barnes, 1110 7th St., Covington, IN 47932.

Champaign school, park boards, council to meet as one

CHAMPAIGN – Members of the Champaign school board, the city council and the park district board will meet Monday evening to talk about plans for two schools in north Champaign.

The school district plans to rebuild Washington Elementary School and expand Garden Hills Elementary School, and add programs to make each a magnet school. Both schools are next to parks, and the park board has pledged to work with the school district on the proposed projects.

Champaign man arrested in Chicago for Urbana shooting

CHICAGO – A Champaign man was arrested in Chicago on Thursday on a warrant for an Urbana shooting last week.

Kenneth Nolan, 28, was arrested at 12:30 p.m. Thursday by the U.S. Marshal's office, according to Urbana police Lt. Bryant Seraphin.

Nolan was wanted on a warrant for attempted murder, accusing him of shooting a 28-year-old Danville man on Oct. 9. Nolan's bond on the warrant was set at $500,000.

3 retired Urbana school employees appear for hearing

URBANA – Three retired Urbana school district employees appeared in court Friday morning for a routine hearing on misdemeanor charges that they did not file a report with the Department of Children and Family Services about knowledge or suspicions of child abuse concerning former Urbana teacher Jon White. White was convicted of 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, eight of them in Champaign County and two in McLean County.

Former Superintendent Gene Amberg, former Principal Janice Bradley and former Human Resources Director Carmelita Thomas all had their cases continued. Their next court date is Dec. 12.

Calabrese has uphill battle with Jakobsson for 103rd District

CHAMPAIGN – Twenty-one-year-old Frank Calabrese faces a tall order in challenging state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, in the 103rd House District.

Though active in student government at the University of Illinois, where he's a senior majoring in history, Calabrese is a newcomer to the local political scene.