Editor to sue Daily Illini board over firing

CHAMPAIGN – A fired Daily Illini editor intends to sue the newspaper's board for defamation and unlawful dismissal.

Former editor in chief Acton H. Gorton was fired Tuesday night, more than a month after he and the opinions page editor, Chuck Prochaska, were suspended with pay for publishing Danish cartoons ridiculing the prophet Mohammed on Feb. 9.

Parkland candidate brings experience to build on

CHAMPAIGN – Gordon G. Burns Jr. learned the value of work from a hammer, nails and his dad.

Born into a family with five kids and somewhat less than modest means, Burns started helping his father in his carpentry business at age 12, and hasn't stopped working since.

Uni High assistant track coach accused of molesting students

URBANA – An assistant track coach at University High School is accused of molesting two girls since last fall.

Yuri Ermakov, 23, who listed an address in the 1000 block of East Colorado Avenue, Urbana, was arraigned Monday on two separate counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Urbana Council's 4-3 vote backs withdrawal from Iraq

URBANA – The Urbana City Council narrowly endorsed a resolution that backs "initiating the immediate withdrawal" of U.S. military forces from Iraq.

Aldermen voted 4-3 in a voice vote to support the resolution, which will come before the city council next Monday for a final vote.

Site picked for new school in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A site selected for a new school north of University Avenue meets one consent decree criterion – it's north.

But, fulfilling the fears of vigilant members of the black community who keep a close eye on equity issues, it's also on the edge of a new subdivision likely to have a primarily white population, which means black student busing will still be the rule rather than the exception.

Rantoul's no-bid contract raises concern

RANTOUL – A Rantoul Village Board member is questioning a proposal to award a no-bid contract for design work to rebuild the village's east water plant.

The east plant has been inoperative since Jan. 6, when the building collapsed after 21 tons of lime burned through the bottom of a tank, tore a hole through a 15-inch-thick concrete-reinforced roof and spilled all the way to the basement.

Students going for Alternative Spring Break

CHAMPAIGN – This weekend, two dozen University of Illinois students will be heading to the Gulf Coast. Their destination is not the beaches of South Padre Island or Florida, and they won't be spending their days drinking and soaking up the sun.

Instead, they'll be doing cleanup in the areas hit by hurricanes last fall. The trips are offered by Alternative Spring Break, an organization that coordinates service trips centered around various social justice issues.

Dialogues with Champaign police spur changes

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign police are responding to some of the suggestions they heard from Champaign residents during 14 citizen and police dialogues held last fall.

Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney said the dialogues, which were scheduled last summer after the release of a state traffic stop report, proved valuable to the department.

Nanoparticle-studded capsules could have lots of purposes

Fatty molecules that make up the membrane surrounding, and compartments within, cells have been turned to a different purpose by University of Illinois researchers.

While structures created with lipid molecules aren't very stable normally, UI Professor Steve Granick's lab has found a way to "cover them with studs of nanoparticles that sort of armor them."

Much-needed space would give students, teachers, staff room to grow

CHAMPAIGN – Esther Muhr and the 137 students in her Bottenfield School enrichment classes trek daily, rain or shine, across two parking lots to their classroom in Faith United Methodist Church.

Muhr said everyone's adjusted well to that displacement.