New restaurant in Urbana bringing more than food

URBANA – The opening of Montana Mike's Steakhouse next Monday gives Urbana not only a new eating option but also a new source of jobs.

"So far, we've hired 185 people," said Greg Schmidtknecht, who with John Frenz has the franchise for the new restaurant. "We received almost 800 applications."

Lukes take over from Lukes: Varsity Room gets new team

DANVILLE – The younger generation of Luke family is taking the reins at The Varsity Room, 108 N. Vermilion St.

Cousins Maure and Grant Luke have assumed the day-to-day operation of the downtown Danville restaurant from owners Ned and Steve Luke.

'No one who deserves big money will work for less': Group backs UI administrators

URBANA – With the University of Illinois in a financial hole, maybe the answer is to raise salaries for UI administrators.

That's the semi-facetious basis for a Facebook group, "Students for increased UI administrator pay."

The manifesto of the group, founded by Mark Baker, a computer science/economics student in his second year:

Traffic plan for new Washington school in Champaign draws some concerns

CHAMPAIGN – A proposed traffic plan for the new Booker T. Washington Elementary School calls for making the block of Grove Street in front of the school one-way for one hour before and one hour after school.

But some local residents have concerns about the plan.

Champaign council backs increased funds for Garden Hills programs

CHAMPAIGN – A Garden Hills after-school program likely will be expanding, and city officials say other neighborhoods could expect to see similar programs in the future.

CCAMR group home under new management

The county's oldest group home for developmentally disabled adults will be under new management starting Saturday, the latest casualty of the state's budget crisis.

Man sentenced to seven years in shoplifting case

URBANA – An Urbana man who tried to shoplift a number of items from a local department store was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison.

That didn't take long: Black's portrait bill headed to Quinn after minute of consideration in Senate

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate didn't waste much energy Tuesday debating a bill to prohibit the use of state funds for a portrait of an impeached and convicted governor.

Black urges state to work on laws to allow more use of waterways

SPRINGFIELD – A resolution urging the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to work with groups to develop laws permitting expanded use of state waterways was approved 10-0 by the House Agriculture Committee.

I-74 crash sends two to hospital

URBANA — A Danville woman and her one-year-old child were treated at Carle Foundation Hospital following a two vehicle crash on Interstate 74 east of Urbana Tuesday morning.