Champaign teen beaten over weekend

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign teen was attacked and beaten early Saturday, according to a Champaign police report.

Police officers were dispatched to the 1000 block of West Harvard Street about 1 a.m. Saturday on a report that someone was throwing rocks, police reported.

Champaign city council to consider overpass issues

CHAMPAIGN – City council members will talk Tuesday night about what to do about railroad overpasses that are falling apart.

Railroad overpass rehabilitation is a topic for the council's study session set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the city building, 102 N. Neil St. Also on the agenda are updating the city's comprehensive plan and a proposed process for the 2007 goal-setting by the council.

UI researcher leads effort to map protein functions

If understanding the function of various protein molecules is the next frontier of biology and medicine, as many scientists believe, a team headed by a University of Illinois researcher may be leading the way to better mapping of that frontier.

UI biochemistry Professor John Gerlt and colleagues Matthew Jacobson and Patricia Babbitt at the University of California, San Francisco, and Steven Almo at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York have combined computer search techniques and modeling with experimental validation to tease out the function of some of the millions of proteins whose purpose is as yet unknown.

Danville pilots healthy school program

DANVILLE – Sure, kids go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

But what happens when Northeast Elementary Magnet School officials replace the sugary cereal – and the maple syrup-laden pancakes, for that matter – with healthy grain cereals and fruit-and-yogurt parfaits in the breakfast lineup?

Police from across state attend officer's funeral

TUSCOLA – Several hundred police officers from across the state honored a fallen comrade, Tommy Martin, at his funeral Sunday in Tuscola.

They came from surrounding counties and communities, from Chicago and its collar counties, from Winnebago County on the Wisconsin border, Cass County to the west and Robinson to the southeast. There were representatives from the Secretary of State Police, the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police, even U.S. Customs & Border Protection.

Federal housing funds report positive

DANVILLE – The more than $860,000 of federal funds that the city spent in the Joe Cannon Neighborhood has paid off.

And members of the city council's public services committee will hear how during a regular meeting on Tuesday.

Auditor's request again on Vermilion board agenda

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County board may reconsider adding an employee in the auditor's office after a recent slowdown in the bill-paying process.

In the last two weeks, some county board members got phone calls from local businesspeople who were waiting on payment for work done for the county.

How to file a property tax appeal

URBANA – If the arrival of property tax notices has you muttering under your breath and complaining to family and friends but paying the bill with no questions asked, there is an alternative. You can appeal your property tax bill.

Statistics show the move often pays off. The Champaign County Board of Review heard 953 complaints from county taxpayers in 2006. More than six out of every 10 – 61 percent – received some level of reduction in assessed value based on evidence that showed recent purchase prices, independent appraisal values and listing prices of property. Thirty-nine percent had no reduction in assessed valuation.

Assessments: Some under, some over

CHAMPAIGN – They are some of the most stately houses in Champaign, home to some of the most successful people in town.

The owners are often familiar local names. They own development firms and fast-food companies. Some are high-powered attorneys or University of Illinois professors. Their expansive homes and tree-filled yards surround the Champaign Country Club, in central Champaign.

8 neighborhoods with underassessment

Eight of the 33 neighborhoods in City of Champaign Township have higher-priced homes that tend to be underassessed compared with lower-priced homes, according to a statistic called the price-related differential.

Overall, however, the township falls within acceptable boundaries for the price-related differential, which is calculated using data from home sale prices and assessed values within a neighborhood.