Parents grappling with how much to tell kids

In the midst of allegations of sexual abuse by a teacher at Thomas Paine Elementary School, parents are facing difficult conversations with their children.

Parent Tracy Heilman said she plans to talk with her children, one of whom attends the Urbana elementary school, about sexual abuse. She said it won't be the first time she talked to her child in elementary about how to handle a potentially bad experience.

Pit bulls to be put down for attack on carrier

DANVILLE – Two pit bull dogs are to be euthanized today after a municipal court hearing officer ruled the dogs to be vicious following an attack on veteran letter carrier Wendy Hoskins in December.

Owner Damon O. Beard failed to appear Thursday night on three charges related to the attack that include allowing the dogs to run loose and failing to license the dogs. Owning a vicious dog is a city ordinance violation.

Schlarman pays a lasting tribute to their biggest fan

DANVILLE – Schlarman High School senior Adam Muehl can't think of Monsignor Charles "Bourke" Motsett without cracking a smile.

That's because whenever the beloved priest spoke at high school masses and athletic banquets, he always made the students laugh.

Danville office still in business after truck hit building

DANVILLE – Staff at a local doctor's office want patients and the public to know that they're still in business after a truck ran into the building Wednesday night.

According to police reports, 16-year-old Aaron Bryant of rural Danville was driving his 1997 Ford Ranger at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when the truck veered off the road and hit the northwest corner of the Orthopedic Partners building at 3 Poland Road in Danville.

Texas man convicted of hauling huge stash of cocaine

URBANA – A Texas man was convicted on a federal charge of driving a truck containing about 620 pounds of cocaine from Texas to Illinois.

U.S District Chief Judge Michael McCuskey set sentencing for May 2 on the charge of possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Champaign high schools targeting tardiness

CHAMPAIGN – Central High School Principal Bill Freyman greeted students streaming into the building on a recent morning, asking some about their weekends and teasing others that they weren't dressed warmly enough. But as the clock ticked closer to 8:15, Freyman began urging students to hurry to class.

"Come on, guys. You've got about four minutes," he told a group approaching the school. "Hurry, hurry. You should be able to make it."

Increase in earnings reported by Main Street Trust

CHAMPAIGN – Main Street Trust Inc. reported a 12.7 percent increase in net earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, and record earnings for the year.

Net earnings were $5.069 million for the most recent quarter, compared to $4.497 million for the same quarter of 2005.

Springfield adding flights to D.C.

Come April 24, people will be able to fly directly from Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.

United Express has agreed to begin once-a-day service between the two airports as the result of an incentive package made possible by the Springfield airport authority, the Springfield chamber of commerce and a federal air-service grant.

Urbana teacher accused of molesting students

URBANA – A second-grade teacher at an Urbana grade school has been arrested for sexually molesting children at the school last fall.

Urbana police Lt. Mike Metzler said Jonathon A. White, 26, of Normal, a teacher at Thomas Paine Grade School since August 2005, was arrested as he arrived for work at the grade school at 1801 James Cherry Drive, U, about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Fithian site in development spotlight

DANVILLE – Retail boasts big box stores, but industry also seems to be moving toward the idea that bigger is better, at least in regard to land.

Last year, Japanese automaker Honda wanted about 2,000 acres for a new plant. Fithian was a finalist but lost out, along with two other out-of-state sites, to Greensburg, Ind.