Coin-operated machine break-ins investigated

URBANA – Police are investigating a series of break-ins to coin-operated machines in Urbana.

Someone broke into a newspaper vending machine and a tire air pump machine at Freedom Oil, 501 S. Vine St., U, between 12:05 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, according to a police report,

Charleston firm begins cleaning up Farmer City Cemetery

FARMER CITY – One look at the vandalized cemetery here, and you can see that the people who did this are not only disrespectful but just plain lazy.

Somebody knocked over dozens of tombstones at the Farmer City Cemetery last week, and there's no pattern to it – except that the criminals went after old, historic stones in poor repair.

Parkland hosting conference on farming and energy production

CHAMPAIGN – Farmers and area landowners can learn about the role Midwestern growers may have in producing energy at a conference planned next week at Parkland College.

"Preparing for Tomorrow's Harvest" is the theme for the conference, sponsored by the Champaign County Farm Bureau.

New Vermilion County Board member sworn in

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County board welcomed a new board member Tuesday night when businessman Robert Boyd, 46, of Danville was sworn in and took the seat vacated earlier this year by Karen Jones-McKissack.

Boyd, who was appointed and sworn in during Tuesday night's regular county board meeting, will fill the remainder of McKissack's term, which continues through 2010. He will serve in District 8 along with the other two board members in that district, Ivadale Foster and Daniel Walls Sr.

Fatal motorcycle-tractor wreck near Sidell investigated

DANVILLE – Authorities still are investigating a motorcycle-tractor collision that killed an Indianola man late Friday afternoon.

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson said Raymond A. Ingram, 52, was pronounced dead at 4:42 p.m. at the scene on County Road 370N, commonly known as the Sidell-Indianola Road, just west of County Road 9301E near Sidell.

Car-sharing business gets green light in C-U, Campustown

CHAMPAIGN – City council members gave their enthusiastic backing Tuesday night to creation of a car-sharing program in Champaign-Urbana, despite the fact that it could wind up costing the city thousands of dollars if drivers don't use it.

Meeting in study session, Champaign council members voted 8-0 in favor of directing staff to complete an intergovernmental agreement with Urbana, the University of Illinois and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, all of whom will share equally in the costs, and risks, of the car-sharing program.

Westville village officials tackling sewer problems

WESTVILLE – Village officials may have some additional sewer-improvement projects in their future, Mayor Jeff Slavik said Tuesday.

Slavik said that at a July 24 meeting, representatives from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Attorney General's Office told him Westville's sanitary sewers were an insufficient collection system during severe rain events.

Champaign County courts

URBANA – The following Champaign County criminal cases were recently resolved with guilty pleas or sentences imposed by judges:

– Richard Barber, 43, who listed addresses in the 500 block of West White Street and the 1300 block of Hanover Drive, Champaign, was sentenced to five years in prison with a recommendation that he get drug treatment in custody. He pleaded guilty in July to unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, admitting that on April 19 he possessed a pocket knife that he intended to use on his neighbor in the 500 block of West White Street.

Carle Foundation Hospital gets go-ahead to build addition

URBANA – Construction should begin by early next year on a $236 million addition to the main Urbana campus of Carle Foundation Hospital.

The hospital won state approval Tuesday for the nine-story addition from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. The state panel voted 4-0 to approve the project, which will be next to the hospital's north tower.

Danville committee approves new billing for garbage, sewer

DANVILLE – City officials moved closer Tuesday night to changing the way residents are billed for sewer and garbage services.

By a 4-2 vote, the Danville City Council's public works committee approved a five-year contract with the Danville Sanitary District to take over billing for sewer and garbage services. Alderman Rick Strebing, Ward 2, and Alderman Terry Baldwin, Ward 4, voted against the proposed contract.