Weibel selected as new Champaign County Board chair

URBANA – Democrats took five votes to unite behind a peacemaker, C. Pius Weibel, as the chairman of the Champaign County Board.

The current Democratic chair, Barbara Wysocki, and vice chair Steve Beckett, both of Urbana, held on to committee chairmanships, though.

Vermilion County Board makes sweeping changes

DANVILLE – It's a new era for the Vermilion County Board.

Today, there's a new county board chairman, longtime Danville businessman Jim McMahon. There's an all-new, seven-member finance committee, except for one holdover, Nikki Bogart, D-District 5. And, for the first time, the county's going to do some strategic planning.

Mattoon man admits to role in kidnapping

URBANA – Antonio Aguas and his brother, Ramiro, sat next to two FBI agents in the federal courthouse in Urbana on Monday as a Mattoon man admitted a brutal, terrifying kidnapping.

Francisco Antonio Villalobos, also known as Adrian Lopez, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and using a gun in a crime of violence in connection with the abduction of 32-year-old Antonio Aguas.

Carbon monoxide detectors to be required in nearly all homes

SPRINGFIELD – Carbon monoxide detectors will soon be required in almost every home in Illinois.

A state law that takes effect on Jan. 1 requires the devices in any building with sleeping rooms that has either an attached garage, a fireplace or any appliance that uses fossil fuels like natural gas, propane, oil, gasoline or wood.

Fahey sworn in as judge by husband

DANVILLE – Not long after Nancy Fahey decided to run for circuit judge, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After two surgeries and radiation treatments, she came through the ordeal with a good prognosis and an even stronger determination to run for the office and win.

Caucus in Vermilion County may have violated act

DANVILLE – A local Democratic party caucus held last month to discuss a nominee for chairman of the Vermilion County board may have violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Tonight, the Vermilion County board holds its organizational meeting to swear in newly elected board members and to choose a new county board chairman. County Board Chairman Bill Boyer, a District 3 Democrat, lost his bid for re-election to the board on Nov. 7.

Council poised to OK Burnham work

CHAMPAIGN – For what city officials hope will be the last time, a reworked Burnham development agreement will come before the city council Tuesday night for approval.

Redevelopment efforts at the former Burnham City Hospital site have been going on for more than five years, with the current developer, The Pickus Companies of Highland Park, the third the city has worked with.

Urbana school board to get updates on programs

URBANA – Urbana school board members will hear Tuesday about the progress of a variety of middle school, high school and adult education programs.

The school board meets in study session at 7:30 p.m. in the Burkholder Administrative Service Center, 205 N. Race St., U.

Rantoul officials question tax increases for library

RANTOUL – Back in 2000, the Rantoul Public Library received $208,600 in property taxes.

This year, taxpayers are giving the library more than $325,000, and the library board is asking for more than $344,000 in 2007.

Guest's actions helped contain blaze

CHAMPAIGN – A houseguest's actions helped keep loss from a Champaign house fire to a minimum late Sunday, according to the fire department.

Champaign firefighters were called to the fire at 703 S. Prospect Ave. at 11:05 p.m. Sunday, according to Dena Schumacher, spokeswoman for the department.

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