Candidates start filing petitions for Champaign school board

CHAMPAIGN – Voters will choose from at least a half-dozen candidates for five open Champaign school board seats, and other potential candidates have until the first of next week to get on the ballot.

Six candidates filed their nominating petitions and other required materials Monday morning at the Mellon Administrative Center. They are: Kristine Chalifoux, John Bambenek, Susan Grey, Greg Novak, Scott MacAdam and Melodye Rosales.

Champaign County taking part in co-op

URBANA – Champaign County is one of the latest additions to an electric cooperative that could save taxpayers money over the next three years.

The county joins Urbana, Peoria and Decatur in an energy buyers' cooperative sponsored by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.

Skirvin won't run for re-election

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school board President Margie Skirvin will not be on the ballot for April's school board election.

Skirvin announced this weekend she has decided not to run for re-election because of health reasons, but she will finish her term on the board.

Mahomet teen takes home $800,000

MAHOMET – How many 19-year-olds need to find an accountant and financial planner?

Jimmy Fricke of Mahomet finds himself in such a position after bringing home $800,000 from the Aussie Millions Tex-as Hold 'em tournament onJan. 19.

Board will vote on Field Stone next week

SAVOY – Two months after plans for a new-and-improved Field Stone subdivision came before the Savoy Plan Commission, the commission on Monday passed a resolution recommending the village board approve the subdivision's preliminary plat, general plan, rezoning and annexation agreement.

The commission first saw plans for the subdivision in August and sent developers back to the drawing board. A new proposal was presented to the commission Nov. 27.

No charges will be filed in wake of Web postings

URBANA – Postings of inflammatory messages to Web sites regarding Chief Illiniwek will not result in criminal charges against their authors, the Champaign County state's attorney said Monday.

"Speech is speech, even if it's stupid," Julia Rietz said.

Thieves break in to Salvation Army safe

DANVILLE – Danville police are investigating a burglary Saturday at The Salvation Army in Danville in which thieves stole more than $250 and caused at least $2,500 in damage.

While shaken by the break-in, a Salvation Army minister said the incident brought the small congregation even closer together.

Officials readying to webcast meetings

DANVILLE – Vermilion County residents may soon be able to watch county board meetings from home.

County officials are testing computer equipment with the hope of broadcasting Vermilion County board meetings over the Internet.

Report shows Danville development doubled

DANVILLE – Commercial expansion and retail development rose to nearly $46.5 million in 2006, more than double the 2005 values of about $17.9 million, according to a report released by the city last week.

"I think the numbers were emphatic proof that ... we did have a good year," said Mayor Scott Eisenhauer.

Laptop with info on 1,400 students stolen at EIU

CHARLESTON – Eastern Illinois University has notified about 1,400 of its students after officials discovered a computer containing confidential information was stolen last week.

A laptop computer was stolen sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday from EIU's Office of Student Life, located on the third floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.