Mourners stand shoulder to shoulder for Carrington

CHAMPAIGN – A smiling, helpful boy who liked basketball and computers was remembered at the funeral for 15-year-old Kiwane Carrington on Friday. At the same time that friends and family expressed outrage, they also expressed hope for peace.

Onarga man found guilty of one felony charge

WATSEKA – An Onarga man was acquitted of one felony charge and found guilty of another Friday in connection with last summer's shooting of Onarga's police chief.

Richard J. Hubeny, 53, had been charged with aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm – both Class X felonies because a police officer was the victim – along with a misdemeanor count of domestic battery, after shooting Onarga Police Chief Phil Statler in the arm on June 6 while Statler was responding to a domestic disturbance at Hubeny's home.

State pauses its premium payments to Health Alliance

URBANA – The state of Illinois' financial condition has become so bad that officials have told Urbana-based Health Alliance Medical Plans that the company won't receive any more premium payments from the state until Dec. 10.

Health Alliance insures 78,600 active state employees and employee dependents, and was last paid by the state Aug. 26 for the July premium. The state's average monthly premium payment to Health Alliance is $33 million, spokeswoman Jane Hayes said.

Friends remember 15-year-old slain in scuffle

CHAMPAIGN — Friends at the funeral for 15-year-old Kiwane Carrington remembered him Friday as a computer and basketball fan who was always ready to help.

Mr. Carrington, who was fatally shot in a scuffle with Champaign police a week ago, was also remembered for his favorite phrase, “Straight up!”

UI still doesn't have H1N1 vaccine for students

URBANA — Parents of University of Illinois students wondering how soon their kids will be vaccinated for H1N1/swine flu will have to wonder a bit longer.

Residents escape early morning fire in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN - Two Champaign residents escaped a house fire early Friday.

Pavement sinks on Walnut Street in downtown Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — The left lane of Walnut Street, just north of Main Street in downtown Champaign, has a large hole in the pavement.

Mayor wants local penalties for bar violations

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois Liquor Control Commission wants a crackdown on underage drinking, but Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart would like to have local, rather than state, sanctions for bars where minors are found in possession of alcohol.

Speaking Thursday to members of the Champaign Liquor Advisory Commission, Schweighart said he will get legal advice from the city attorney's office and then talk to a state liquor commissioner about doing local enforcement on liquor license violations based on citations to minors caught having alcohol during police bar checks.

Hynes: Plan to fix budget won't be popular

URBANA – For a gubernatorial candidate seeking votes in a tough primary contest, Dan Hynes had a lot of bitter medicine to deliver to Champaign County Democrats at a fundraiser Thursday afternoon.

"I can guarantee you that if you look at my budget plan on our Web site you'll find something in there that you don't like," the three-term state comptroller told about 50 people at a $50-a-plate fundraiser at Kennedy's in Urbana. "You'll find something in there that hits home with you, maybe not in a great way. But that's the nature of the situation that we're in. It's the nature of the mutual sacrifice that we're going to ask."

UI, GEO contract talks at a standstill

URBANA – The Graduate Employees' Organization at the University of Illinois has until next week to form a committee to discuss a possible strike on the Urbana campus.