UI Social Work building construction set to start in September

Build-out construction is expected to begin this September in the new Gregory Place East building for the University of Illinois School of Social Work.

The school, which currently has offices and classrooms in three different buildings on Oregon Street in Urbana, will eventually occupy more than 30,000 square feet of space in the multi-use building on the east side of campus. The building, at 300 S. Gregory St., U, will house the school, apartments, a Provena Medical Group clinic and retail.

Tree group branching out in west Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A worldwide society based in Champaign expects its staff to grow by 27 people over the next 10 years and is moving to accommodate that growth.

The International Society of Arboriculture, 1400 W. Anthony Drive, C, plans to move this weekend to the former Farm Credit Services building at West Park Court and Country Fair Drive, Executive Director Jim Skiera said.

Police release name of man who died in custody

RANTOUL – Rantoul police have released the name of a man who died in police custody Friday after getting in a fight in Rantoul.

Rantoul police investigator Sgt. Jeff Wooten said Darren F. Wilson, 40, of 1125 Bel Air Drive, Rantoul, was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital at 9:11 p.m. Friday.

Screwdriver used in Urbana gas station robbery

URBANA – Urbana police are investigating an armed robbery at a gas station Sunday night.

Lt. Bryant Seraphin said police were sent to Collins Oil, 808 E. Main St., U, shortly after 10:37 p.m.

Champaign man held on home invasion charge

URBANA – A Champaign man remained in the county jail Monday morning after his arrest Saturday for home invasion.

Champaign police arrested Marcus Deangelo Anderson, 36, of the 1600 block of Dale Drive for an incident that occurred about 11 p.m. in the 300 block of West Columbia Avenue.

Economic seminar cites positives in Ford County

GIBSON CITY – With rising agricultural output and increased property values, employment and retail sales, Ed Scharlau said the glass is more than half full economically in Ford County.

"Very few counties the size of Ford County in the United States would have positive figures like these," said Scharlau, vice chairman of Urbana-based First Busey Corp. Scharlau spoke to about 70 community leaders last week at a Busey Bank economic seminar held at the Railside Golf Club in Gibson City.

Sears looking for dealer-store growth in small towns

CHAMPAIGN – In an age when many retail chains are downsizing, Sears is looking to expand its network of dealer-owned stores in small towns – including several in East Central Illinois.

Specifically, Sears is looking for people interested in opening Sears Dealer Stores in Clinton, Monticello, Paris, Rantoul and Watseka, said Jon Phillips, director of new store development for Sears Dealer Stores.

Cancer society's tour bus stop at Provena canceled

URBANA – The tour bus of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network has canceled its planned stop at Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana today because of mechanical difficulties.

The tour stop will be rescheduled at a later date, the organization said.

Champaign council to look at housing plan for center of city

CHAMPAIGN – City officials want more downtown housing, both to provide a place for downtown employees to live and to supply customers to patronize downtown businesses.

But because of the high cost of downtown development and limited funds for city incentives, most new housing development will likely have to take place at the fringe of downtown, according to a draft "center city strategic housing plan" that the city council will consider Tuesday night.

Crimestoppers seeking information on rape in parking lot

Champaign County Crimestoppers and the University of Illinois police this week are seeking help in solving a case of a rape that occurred at a campus parking lot.

Between 3 and 4 a.m. July 13, a 19-year-old woman was beaten and raped by a man who had given her a ride in a van. The woman told police that she had been in town visiting friends and had gone to a campus bar and then to a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity, 410 E. John St. She said she left the party by herself and accepted a ride with the unknown man.