Interim principal hired for Dr. Howard School

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board on Monday appointed a University of Illinois administrator and product of the Champaign school system as interim principal of Dr. Howard Elementary School.

Jennifer Heinhorst-Busby is currently director of the Office of Clinical Experiences for the UI College of Education, where she oversees the placement of more than 600 student teachers per year. She has been at the UI since 2002.

Road check yields three drug charges

GIBSON CITY – A "Click-It or Ticket" roadside safety check resulted in the arrest of a Chicago man on drug charges at a highway intersection in Gibson City after police found nearly 80 grams of crack cocaine.

Following the routine stop Saturday night at the intersection of routes 9, 47 and 54 in Gibson City, Ford County sheriff's deputies arrested Derrick Moore, Jr., 20, for having no valid driver's license.

Cashier gets probation for theft

URBANA – A Champaign man convicted of stealing from his employer was sentenced Monday to four years of probation.

Bilal Ali, 24, who listed an address in the 1900 block of Karen Court, was also ordered to make restitution of $1,000 to Kirby Foods, the owners of the Jerry's IGA store at 2110 Round Barn Road, C, where Ali worked as a cashier.

Couple charged with forcing their way into apartment

URBANA – An Urbana couple was charged Monday with residential burglary for entering an apartment in that city, apparently intending to get even with the people there over a drug deal gone awry.

Shannon Gatewood, 37, and Linda Jones, 41, who listed an address in the 1300 block of Silver Street, were charged with residential burglary for forcing their way into an apartment in the 900 block of South Lierman Avenue about 1 a.m. on Sunday.

Champaign man gets 30 years for selling crack cocaine

URBANA – A Champaign man who possessed more than a pound of crack cocaine intended for sale was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison.

"If you choose to immerse yourself in a large-scale drug operation ... you can expect a large-scale sentence when you are caught," Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd told Bryant Smith.

Georgetown mayor schedules fireworks

GEORGETOWN – Mayor Darrell Acord said Monday that there would be a fireworks display at dusk on Wednesday at the Georgetown fairgrounds. In case of rain, the display will be held at dusk on Saturday.

In other matters, officials agreed to send three city workers to a three-day conference in mid-September by the Illinois Potable Water Operators Association in Springfield. The topics covered at the conference will include operator certification updates, leak detection and laboratory services.

Danville developer seeks committee's OK

DANVILLE – An ice-cream parlor, a pub, a movie theater and a billiards room could soon sprout up on a piece of land across from Winter Park, but you'll have to live there to use it.

These amenities may be part of a $3 million to $5 million senior retirement community that Primrose Retirement Communities could open in Danville next fall, if the city planning and zoning commission approves a rezoning request for 955 E. Winter Ave. on Thursday.

Danville board to consider Judge's request for assistant

DANVILLE – Last month, the Vermilion County Board rejected a proposal to give the county auditor another employee. Next week, the board will be presented with a similar request from the Vermilion County Courthouse.

The county's finance committee on Monday night approved a request from presiding Circuit Court Judge Claudia Anderson for an administrative assistant at an annual salary of $23,000. The assistant would take the place of an existing part-time position.

Vigil held on anniversary of toddler's death

DANVILLE – When Ray Skidmore heard about the candlelight vigil to mark the 1-year anniversary of Reagan Williams' death, he felt compelled to be there.

Skidmore, a lieutenant with the Tilton Fire Department, responded to the 911 call for help at a Tilton home a year ago, and started CPR on a 2 1/2-year-old, who was unconscious. The child was Reagan.

Budget extended, as is fight between lawmakers

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday signed legislation to keep state government running through the end of the month. It's still unclear whether that will be enough time to resolve the budget stalemate now in its sixth week of overtime.

"While it was imperative to avert a potential shutdown, passing a one-month budget does not solve our state's problems," Blagojevich stated in a written release, adding that "we now have an opportunity for a fresh start."