City exploring options to cut power costs

CHAMPAIGN – The city council on Tuesday will consider ways to reduce an anticipated $300,000 increase in the city's electric bill.

The city has submitted a $3,600 check to the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to participate in an energy-buyers cooperative that is being formed by the local chamber and the Decatur and Peoria chambers.

Mother 'furious' with Urbana school officials

URBANA – The parent of a young girl at Thomas Paine School who is believed to have been molested by second-grade teacher Jon White a year ago said she is "furious" with Urbana school district administrators and feels they are working to protect each other more than students.

"They're still stonewalling. This has to stop. We have to stop protecting careers over kids," said the mother, who agreed to talk to The News-Gazette on the condition she not be identified. The News-Gazette has a long-standing policy of not identifying victims of sex crimes.

Cultural center proposed at Danville's Carver Park

DANVILLE – He was the first black dentist in Danville when he moved to the area from Texas in 1918.

He organized events such as a visit by Olympic great Jesse Owens to raise money for the Laura Lee Fellowship House.

Boil order in effect for Potomac neighborhood

POTOMAC – Some residents in Potomac are being encouraged to boil water after a water main break.

Potomac residents who live in the 100 block of North Vermilion Street from Illinois 136 to Aemity Street are under a boil order until further notice, according to a release from the village of Potomac.

Debt plan for Vermilion nursing home on the table

DANVILLE – If county officials like the plan, the Vermilion Manor Nursing Home will spend the next three years taking small, monthly bites out of the $880,000 it owes the county rather than swallowing the debt all at once.

"This will benefit the nursing home by not slashing any other cash flow at this time," said Jim McMahon, Vermilion County board chairman.

CERL tech glad to answer the call in Iraq

On her second stint in Iraq, Vickey McDonald, a grandmother who lives in rural Rankin, was on her way from Tikrit to Mosul when she and her companions drove into a mortar and rocket attack.

They ducked out of their armored sport utility vehicle and into the nearest Iraqi police station for refuge – only to find the station was the focus of the attack.

Volunteer a boon to C-U in may ways, including as translator

CHAMPAIGN – For the better part of the 30 years she's lived in Champaign, Lucia Scully has volunteered at her children's school, a local hospital, delivering meals to senior citizens, running a low-cost food distribution program, and as an election judge.

But the native Peruvian seems to have found her real calling working as a volunteer translator for Spanish-speaking clients of the Frances Nelson Health Center in Champaign.

IBM taps local researchers to turn PlayStation 3 chip to science

Those fast cars barreling around the track or the kung-fu fighters duking it out on the screen, all rendered in cinema-like quality, just look like a game.

What you're really witnessing is a sophisticated physics simulation – that is to say, simulation of the physical world.

Ethanol project near Royal to break ground this spring

ROYAL – When Walker Filbert and other Pike County leaders started making plans to build an ethanol plant at Griggsville, the fuel enhancer made from corn was selling for less than $1 a gallon.

But four and a half years later, that price has nearly quadrupled, ethanol is the talk of the market, the Pike County project has expanded to a site at Royal in Champaign County and planners are ready to break ground this spring, after they wrap up a few details, at a 62-acre site just north of the JBS United elevator .

It's your business: Sea Boat lands 2nd location in Champaign

Sea Boat restaurant will be bringing its popular fish sandwich and an expanded menu to a second location in Champaign.

Qaiyim and Baseemah Abdullah, who own the original Sea Boat at 1114 N. Market St., C, have leased the former Denny's dry cleaning building at 403 W. Kirby Ave., along with a new partner in the second Sea Boat, Curley Lee of Champaign.