Senate panel clears bill to change how higher ed is funded

SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Gov Sheila Simon, much of the state's public higher education community and business groups Tuesday lined up behind a plan to begin "performance-based funding" in Illinois.

Urbana teen faces new charges in unrelated case

URBANA – An Urbana teen already in custody on aggravated battery charges has been accused of an unrelated sexual molestation.

Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Weber said she filed a charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault against Daniel Outlaw, 16.

Lane closed on section of Neil Street

CHAMPAIGN – Northbound traffic on Neil Street between North Street and Eureka Street has been reduced so that Melander Holdings can perform masonry work.

One of the northbound lanes will be closed from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. each working day, with the work expected to be completed by March 25, weather permitting.

Champaign man arraigned in sex case

URBANA – A Champaign man accused of sexually molesting a toddler is due back in court April 19.

Deandre Weatherall, 28, who listed an address in the 1200 block of North Champaign Street, was arraigned Monday on two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Retired justice headed back to Fourth District Appellate Court

SPRINGFIELD — A retired appellate court justice has been reappointed to a post on the Fourth District Appellate Court in Springfield.

Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman has asked Robert Cook, 67, of Quincy, to come back to the appeals court in Springfield to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Sue Myerscough to the federal bench.

Ex-police officer charged with felonies

URBANA — A former Champaign police officer already charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence has had additional felony charges lodged against her for allegedly lying to the Secretary of State.

UI panel backs keeping Institute of Aviation open

URBANA – In an advisory vote Monday, the faculty/student senate's educational policy committee came out against closing the Institute of Aviation.

The paper ballot had four votes for closing the University of Illinois facility, and 10 against.

Nursing home board OKs loan repayment plan

URBANA – Members of the Champaign County Nursing Home board are committing to repay a $330,000 operating loan at the rate of $1,000 a month, beginning next year.

The nursing home board agreed Monday night to start repaying the loan that was borrowed from the county's general fund during lean financial times at the nursing home a few years ago.

Prairie Village taking part in pilot program

RANTOUL – Prairie Village, a retirement community in Rantoul, is one of five senior-housing facilities in the state that will take part in a state pilot project that will create specialized supportive-living apartment homes for people with dementia.

Champaign County panel to start reviewing map options

URBANA – Now that they have suggestions to work with, members of Champaign County's first-ever redistricting commission say they don't believe they'll have trouble meeting an April 15 deadline for submitting a proposed 11-district county board map to the board.