It's your business: Fitness studio working to Evolve in Champaign

A new fitness studio has opened in downtown Champaign.

Called Evolve, it is located in the Illinois Traction building at 41-B E. University Ave.

Cut student loan rates, senator says

URBANA – If Sara Hernandez hadn't received federal grants and student loans, she probably wouldn't be studying speech and hearing science at the University of Illinois.

"It's always a thing to worry about," she said about paying for college.

Because she's not from a wealthy family, she has to work while at school in order to pay for expenses other than tuition. Her apartment, for one thing.

"It sets you back. There are so many organizations I would have more time for if I didn't have to pay for everything," she said.

Drug charges dismissed in restaurateur's case

URBANA – Drug charges lodged against an Urbana businessman earlier this year were dismissed Tuesday by a Champaign County prosecutor.

Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Carlson dismissed a possession of controlled substance charge against Michael Timpone, 49, of Sidney, after Judge Heidi Ladd ruled on Aug. 25 that cocaine found on Timpone could not be used as evidence against him because it was the result of an improper search by police.

Proposal would put plant near Oakland

OAKLAND – An Oregon-based company has proposed building a plant in Coles County that would convert coal mined in the area into biodegradable diesel fuel and jet fuel.

American Clean Coal Fuels, based in Portland, Ore., is interested in constructing a plant near Oakland through one of its subsidiaries, Illinois Clean Fuels.

Late October earliest opening possible after Urbana pool fire

URBANA – It will be the end of October – at the earliest – before anybody swims at the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center.

The facility has been closed since a fire on July 24. Of the new timeline, park district marketing manager Dana Mancuso added, "it could be longer than that."

State Senate hopeful's ballot status up in air

SPRINGFIELD – Socialist Equality Party candidate Joe Parnarauskis was the subject of fierce debate at the State Board of Elections on Thursday after a tie vote on the validity of his nominating petitions.

The eight-member, bipartisan panel remained deadlocked at the close of the business day, and decided to meet again at 9:30 a.m. next Thursday, said Steven Sturm, legal counsel for the board.

Man sentenced to 50 months in prison for Marmion shooting

URBANA – It's been only 15 weeks since Shawn and Karen Marmion had to hear every parent's worst nightmare – that the oldest of their five children had been killed.

On Thursday, the Champaign couple, flanked by their four surviving children and some 40 friends and family members, bravely held it together as they told their son's killer and the judge hearing his case what impact his actions have had on their lives.

Middlefork bridge work will alter Kickapoo activities

DANVILLE – Hikers and trail runners should be warned that the Out and Back Trail at Kickapoo State Park won't be quite as far "out" or "back" anymore.

Next week, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources crew plans to remove the Johnson Hill Bridge spanning the Middlefork River. The footbridge, which once was a road bridge over the Middlefork River, is part of the 7.6-mile Out and Back Trail at the state park. The trail begins at the main road through the park, winds through the woods and eventually heads west over the Middlefork River before circling around and leading back out the same way.

Officers will be out in force over Labor Day weekend

State police and other agencies will be out in force to crack down on drunken driving over the Labor Day weekend.

"Labor Day has become one of the deadliest holidays nationwide for alcohol-related fatalities," said John Pastuovic, spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Great Lakes regional office in Chicago.

Foreign language curriculum expansion considered in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A group of Champaign teachers is studying how to expand the foreign language curriculum in the district, with the goal of establishing a K-12 language program.

The school district needs to sell its good points to compete with the area's private schools, said Stacy McAndrew, a Centennial Spanish teacher and content area chair for foreign language.

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