Man's autopsy shows multiple gunshot wounds

URBANA – The investigation is continuing into Wednesday night's murder of an Urbana man.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said an autopsy in Bloomington on Thursday for Paris L. Thompson, 35, showed the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds.

Officials face tough decisions when cold weather hits

After a holiday, two teacher in-service days and a day off for cold weather, students in Urbana were back in school today for the first time since last Friday. In Champaign schools, it was the second day of school this week.

Spencer Landsman, principal of Urbana's Leal Elementary School, said school was "business as usual" this morning. Other than an outside activity that had to be postponed Thursday and again today, Landsman said staff members "haven't had to make a lot of adjustments" in lesson-planning or for kids getting back into school routines.

Former Piccadilly Beverage Shop building to be leased or sold

URBANA – The former Piccadilly Beverage Shop building in southeast Urbana will either be leased or sold, its owner says.

Jack Troxell said the store at 1508 E. Colorado Ave. wasn't meeting his standards, so he decided to close it at the end of 2007 when the liquor license was up for renewal.

Crash in Champaign kills Gibson City woman

CHAMPAIGN – A Gibson City woman was killed as the result of a crash in Champaign on Thursday.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said Kara L. Holt, 29, was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. Thursday at Carle Foundation Hospital.

Jury acquits Urbana man in robbery trial

URBANA – A Champaign County jury Thursday acquitted an Urbana man of robbing another Urbana man of his wallet.

The jury deliberated about four hours before deciding that Jack Beasley, 36, who listed an address in the 1000 block of Eastern Avenue, was not guilty of robbing Gary McCall of his wallet on Oct. 21.

County board OKs work on old courthouse

URBANA – The Champaign County Courthouse will get its tower and masonry repairs, despite a late wave of taxpayer opposition.

The vote by the Champaign County Board was 19-5 for White & Borgognoni Architects to oversee the stabilization and masonry restoration of the old Champaign County Courthouse, repair the exterior of the old courthouse, tear down an unsafe tower and rebuild it.

Pleas head off trial in shooting spree

URBANA – An Urbana man who went on a two-city shooting spree, firing at civilians and police officers last summer, faces between 26 and 50 years when he's sentenced in March for his crimes.

Torriano Johnson, 32, whose last known address was in the 500 block of Fairlawn Drive, pleaded guilty Thursday before Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd to the attempted first-degree murder of Karen McNutt-Peeples, his girlfriend's sister, and aggravated discharge of a firearm for shooting at Champaign police Officer Justus Clinton.

Memorial fund to assist family of fallen soldier

FISHER – A memorial fund has been set up for the widow and the unborn daughter of a Fisher soldier killed in Iraq earlier this month, the family says.

Army Pfc. Danny L. Kimme, 27, was killed with two other soldiers in Balad, Iraq, on Jan. 16.

Volunteers pump gas for seniors, disabled

WESTVILLE – The last thing most people would do on a freezing winter day with a minus-20-degree windchill is stand outside and pump gas – for other people.

And not for pay, or even a donation.

'Green' residence hall grows in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Back in the fall of 2006, when McKinley Presbyterian Church and Foundation staff sat down and began planning for a new residence hall, they put together a list of non-negotiable items.

Number One: It must be a green building.