Champaign, Mattoon share in federal grant funds

Police in Champaign and Mattoon say money from a federal grant will help them identify and prosecute child predators, fight child sexual exploitation over the Internet and enforce sex offender registration laws.

Champaign and Mattoon police are two of eight Illinois police agencies sharing a grant of nearly a half-million dollars from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ficklin Road in Douglas County to be closed for work

Drivers using Ficklin Road in Douglas County may need to plan to take alternative routes this week.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that Ficklin Road will be closed at the CSX Transportation Railroad crossing in Ficklin, west of Tuscola, for three to five days starting on Wednesday.

Champaign police seek tips on fight last month at UI

CHAMPAIGN – Crimestoppers and Champaign police need help finding people involved in a fight on the University of Illinois campus last month.

According to a Champaign police report, officers were called to a fight at the corner of Third Street and Gregory Street at 1:48 a.m. Sept. 27.

Hoopeston elementary school earns field trip grant

HOOPESTON – John Greer Elementary School in Hoopeston is one of 28 schools awarded a field trip grant to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.

A Midwest Generation contribution to the library foundation allows school and groups that serve low-income youths to visit the museum.

Danville starts survey on desire for recycling service

DANVILLE - This month, residents interested in a curbside recycling program in Danville will have the chance to fill out an online survey and indicate how much they would be willing to pay to have the service.

Residents will receive a message with their sanitary sewer and solid waste bills about how to access an online survey about recycling, said Public Works Director Doug Ahrens.

A state lawmaker's worst bill? The one marked 'unpaid'

To the long list of contractors, vendors and other businesses awaiting payment from the state of Illinois, you can add state legislators and the people they do business with.

The owner of the building where state Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, has his Danville office hasn't been paid since June. Same with the landlord of Democratic state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson's Champaign office. State Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said he had his trash-hauling service cut off for a number of days because of the nonpayment of bills.

Beckman Institute marks 20 years of collaboration

URBANA – In 1985, the Illini baseball field, Strawberry Fields and a cinder track, five laps to the mile, dominated the area near Wright and University.

Within four years, a $50 million facility jutted from the area, a 20-year experiment in bringing scholars from different fields under one roof that has paid off with research that benefits our daily life.

Mental health grant panel has youngsters in mind

CHAMPAIGN – Adrienne Spires has been a counselor, educator and parent of two daughters.

It's that last job that landed her on a panel alongside academics and agency directors who will help decide how to spend a $9 million Champaign County mental health grant.

An interim steering committee appointed this week will begin the planning process for the six-year federal grant, and 10 of the 19 members are teens or parents. The money – $1 million the first year – comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA.

Urbana district hopes suit shows need for sharing info

URBANA – The Urbana school district's lawsuit against the Normal school district is a way for it to recoup some of its financial losses from settlements to students abused by former Urbana teacher and convicted sex offender Jon White, said Joseph Perkoski, the Chicago attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Urbana school district.

The Urbana district has agreed to pay more than $2 million in present-day dollars in settlements to the families of White's victims.

It's Your Business: Women's clothing store to open

This fall, downtown Urbana will welcome a new business.

And it's not a lawyer's office or yoga studio.

The Wooden Hanger will feature new women's clothing made with fabrics such as organic cotton and bamboo.