Development plans may include new Flatiron in Urbana

URBANA – Could another Flatiron building arise at the triangular intersection of Springfield Avenue and Main Street?

It might be a long shot, but city officials are interested in redeveloping the site on the western edge of downtown. The city council recently voted to renew a real estate option to purchase the Allman's Auto Repair site at 302 W. Springfield Ave. for possible redevelopment.

Urbana incident nets three more suspects

URBANA – Three more people have been charged with an intrusion into an Urbana apartment last week.

Arraigned and pleading innocent on Friday to felony charges of criminal trespass were Ronald Tolbert, 21, of Chicago and Cherika Foster, 20, of South Holland. Both were released on their own recognizance and are due to return to court for pretrial hearings April 15.

Police seek man who tried to pick up child from school

CHAMPAIGN – Police are investigating an incident in which a man tried to pick up a child from Westview Elementary School on Friday afternoon.

The man said he was to pick up a girl from an after-school program, said Assistant Superintendent Beth Shepperd. He knew the child's name and had some information about her. School officials asked the man for identification to see if he was on a list of people authorized to pick up the child. He didn't produce any identification and left the building, Shepperd said.

Bridge work will close Danville street

DANVILLE – Winter Avenue at the CSX Railroad bridge east of Monterey Street will close at 8 a.m. Monday for the planned replacement of the CSX Railroad bridge.

Also on Monday, Winter Avenue will open to local traffic at Bowman Avenue.

Shorter pool season part of cuts

URBANA – Crystal Lake Pool fans will have to get used to shorter hours and a season that lasts three weeks less than during 2007.

Those are among the budget cuts that the Urbana Park District board tentatively signed off on during a study session Thursday afternoon.

Emergency dispatch funding to increase

Spending for county emergency dispatching will increase about 7 percent for the coming fiscal year.

Members of the Metropolitan Computer Aided Dispatch Policy Board on Thursday approved a budget for the year beginning July 1 that calls for total operations spending just over $4 million and revenues of $4.2 million. That compares to $3.7 million spending and revenues of $3.9 million for the year ending June 30.

Economic Development group to hire interim leader

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County Economic Development Corp. plans to hire an interim executive director, probably within the next month.

The organization, which works to attract and retain business in Champaign County, has been without a director since November, when Jeanne Gustafson resigned. Gustafson had served in that role for three years.

Three area men arrested in three-county drug sweep

The East Central Illinois Task Force arrested 17 people Wednesday on a three-county drug sweep in Douglas, Moultrie and Coles County.

Three area men were arrested: William D. Garrett, 51, of Tuscola, was arrested for unlawful possession of a controlled substance; David W. Miller, 24, of Arthur, was arrested for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance; Jorge M. Gaona, 51, of Arcola, was arrested with delivery of a controlled substance.

State to help kids commute to school

Hoopeston, Danville and Urbana will get some financial help to make kids' walks or bike rides to school a little safer.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Thursday that $8.3 million will be awarded this year for 112 projects around the state to aid in that effort.

UI accused of withholding public records

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois came under fire Thursday for its response to requests for public records.

State Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, criticized the UI for what he sees as a pattern of "unresponsiveness" on Freedom of Information Act inquiries from students and journalists, on subjects ranging from utility costs to the retirement of Chief Illiniwek.