Urbana bar owners: Level playing field a must

URBANA – If the Champaign City Council votes to exempt bars and clubs from the smoking ban, then the Urbana council will need to follow suit – or risk seeing several of its taverns suffer or go out of business.

That's what three downtown Urbana bar owners are saying in the wake of last week's election.

Gibson City mayor wants resolution against gross receipts tax

GIBSON CITY – The Gibson City Council could be taking a stand on Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed gross receipts tax this evening.

Mayor Dan Dickey said he has placed a resolution on the agenda for the meeting opposing the tax.

Officials to give report on township's financial situation

CHAMPAIGN – City of Champaign Township Supervisor Linda Abernathy and city staff will make a detailed presentation Tuesday about the township's financial situation and the level of township programs that should be offered.

The presentation will take place at the city council study session, which begins at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St. The city council doubles as the township board.

Robbery suspect arrested; two others sought

URBANA – University of Illinois police have arrested an Urbana man in connection with at least two robberies on the university campus.

According to a UI police report, three men robbed an individual who was walking in the Engineering Quad near the Boneyard Creek at 10:55 p.m. Friday.

Three thefts of gasoline reported over weekend

URBANA – Three drive-offs were reported to Urbana police over the weekend.

An 18-year-old Urbana man was given a notice to appear in court for a charge of theft when he could not pay for gas in a car that another man drove away about 3:15 p.m. Sunday at the Collins Oil, 808 E. Main St., according to one police report.

House fire causes $30,000 damage

URBANA – A fire caused an estimated $30,000 damage to a home in Urbana on Saturday night.

According to an Urbana Fire Department report, firefighters were called to a blaze at 1202 W. Ellis St. at 8:12 p.m. When firefighters arrived four minutes later, they found flames coming out of a home. The firefighters had the blaze under control by 10:42 p.m. and left the scene a few minutes later. Nobody was injured in the fire.

Event provides opportunity to think

If you leave the event some University of Illinois researchers and students are putting on Sunday with some new things to think about, it would be appropriate.

Sponsored by the UI Neuroscience Program and School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, the annual "Brain Awareness Day," the local version of a national Society for Neuroscience program, is all about the organ you use for thinking.

First ward meetings in a year scheduled

DANVILLE – Residents will soon have a chance to sit down and talk with city leaders as officials prepare for another round of ward meetings.

Ward meetings are typically hosted twice a year and allow aldermen, city administrators and the mayor to hear, firsthand, residents' concerns and questions.

Lawyer describes prisoner's ordeal

CHAMPAIGN – When attorney Gary Isaac first began representing Mamdouh Habib in a prison at Guantanamo Bay, the Australian man of Egyptian decent had nearly given up hope.

Habib was barefoot and chained hand and foot in a fetal position on the floor. His fingers still had scars from torture he said he had endured in an Egyptian prison.

New student trustee joins DACC board Tuesday

DANVILLE – Before Dr. Ron Serfoss takes his place on the Danville Area Community College Board of Trustees, another newly elected trustee will be seated.

Jessica Gulley was elected as the DACC board student trustee in late March. She will be sworn into office at Tuesday's board meeting.