I-74 lanes reopened following accident

CHAMPAIGN – The westbound lanes of Interstate 74 have been reopened  after a 10:30 a.m. accident Thursday involving a semitrailer tractor truck and another vehicle. Lanes had been closed for about an hour.

Illinois State Police Sgt. Bill Emery said preliminary information was that people were injured but it was not known how many.

Teen driving safety focus of students' campaign

GIBSON CITY – Red isn't just one of the school colors at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School, and winning isn't just for the football team this season.

Students at GCMS were all sporting red ribbons and earning prizes in school colors during October's homecoming and Red Ribbon Week festivities, but their focus was on winning the battle to keep students safe from their number one killer – vehicle crashes.

Board votes to add coed soccer at St. Joseph-Ogden High

ST. JOSEPH – Coeducational soccer will be offered as a sport to St. Joseph-Ogden High School students beginning next fall.

Based on results of a student interest survey, the school board decided Monday that there was sufficient interest in soccer and voted unanimously to add the program.

Pizza delivery driver robbed

CHAMPAIGN – A pizza deliveryman was robbed and threat- ened with being shot while making a delivery in Champaign.

The pizza deliveryman was taking an order to an address in the 100 block of East Garwood Street at 8:49 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Champaign pol- ice spokeswoman Rene Dunn.

Rantoul man held in mobile home fire

RANTOUL – A Rantoul man is in the Champaign County Jail this morning on preliminary charges that he set fire to his girlfriend's mobile home an hour after being served with an order of protection she had obtained against him.

Rantoul police Detective Rodney Sullivan said Robert M. Harris, 36, was arrested about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday for arson and violation of an order of protection in connection with a fire that started about four hours earlier at 1331 Cypress Lane, the home he shared with Stephanie Lientz and her two teenage daughters. No one was home at the time of the fire.

Parkland trustees to discuss campus expansion

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College plans to expand in the next several years to ease overcrowding, make room for new programs, improve the student-services areas and accommodate future growth in enrollment.

The college has an updated campus master plan outlining building projects and renovations. The board of trustees will begin discussing priorities and how to pay for the estimated $86.6 million cost at a special meeting Nov. 10.

Champaign man convicted of pot possession

URBANA – A Champaign County jury Wednesday convicted a Champaign man of possessing cannabis intended for sale, but acquitted him of a more serious charge alleging he also had cocaine for sale.

Fabian Willhite, 27, who listed an address in the 200 block of East Clark Street with co-defendant Rheta Roberts, is to be sentenced Dec. 19 by Judge Tom Difanis. He faces penalties ranging from probation to one to six years in prison.

Champaign County chamber not taking side on sales tax for schools

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce won't support or oppose the school sales-tax proposal on Tuesday's ballot.

In a statement to its members, chamber officials said the decision was made because its membership is "clearly divided" on how to pay for school-facilities needs, and many were undecided on the issue.

Urbana power outage closes middle school

URBANA – Urbana Middle School closed early Thursday due to a power outage.

From about 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. about 2,200 people were without power in the area. Power was restored to all but about 100 customers around 11 a.m., according to Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris. The remaining 100 customers were expected to have their power restored mid-day.

Fire destroys Thomasboro grain elevator under demolition

THOMASBORO – A longtime Thomasboro landmark in the process of being demolished burned to the ground Thursday.

Firefighters were called to the Sharp's Crossing grain elevator, about 2 miles south of Thomasboro, around 10 a.m.