Urbana woman treasures correspondence with Cronkite

URBANA – Cowering alone in an interior hall of her Urbana home as a tornado passed on April 19, 1996, Joan Zernich was confident she would survive.

"I thought, 'I cannot die. I have not done enough nice things for people yet,'" she recalled.

Danville board to talk about goals for new superintendent

DANVILLE – The Danville school board will hold a special meeting this week to discuss annual goals for new Superintendent Mark Denman.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St., Danville.

Trial for man accused of killing toddler delayed again

DANVILLE – The trial of a man accused of shaking 2 1/2-year-old Reagan Williams to death in 2006 has been postponed.

Ryan Allhands, 23, of Tilton was scheduled to stand trial today on four counts of first-degree murder stemming from Reagan's July 2, 2006 death. But instead, a judge will set a new trial date at that time.

Danville Housing Authority getting flooded with requests

DANVILLE - The Danville Housing Authority recently opened its Section 8 housing wait list, which attracted 700 new applicants in five days and reinvigorated a push from city officials to give preference to applicants from the Danville area.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer has asked the local housing authority, verbally and in writing, to consider reducing the number of public housing units and public housing vouchers in Danville and to consider a local preference when prioritizing applicants on the wait lists.

Champaign council to consider two drainage studies

CHAMPAIGN – The city council will consider authorizing two drainage studies Tuesday, at a cost of $93,000, to try finding short-term solutions to recurrent flooding along Washington Street.

Council members will also consider enacting a $250 vehicle-impoundment fee that drivers would have to pay before they can reclaim their vehicle when the driver is arrested for certain traffic or criminal offenses, such as driving under the influence or driving on a suspended or revoked license. The fee is expected to generate $450,000 annually for the city and would take effect Oct. 1.

Champaign bicyclist listed in stable condition at Carle

CHAMPAIGN – A bicyclist who was pinned underneath a minivan late Thursday afternoon was listed in stable condition at an area hospital.

Jonathan P. Jackson, who listed an address in the 2400 block of Lakewood Drive, Champaign, was riding a men's 24-inch Electra bicycle west on the sidewalk approaching the McDonald's restaurant at 2909 W. Kirby Ave., C, at 5:16 p.m. Thursday.

Report: Illinois hospitals gave $4.7 billion to cities

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois' largest hospitals contributed nearly $4.7 billion in programs and services to their communities last year, according to a new Illinois Hospital Association report.

The data was taken from the 109 hospitals in the state that filed community benefit reports for their fiscal years, which ended between Dec. 31, 2007 and Sept. 30, 2008.

Emergency personnel called to rural crash

VILLA GROVE- Emergency personnel have been called to the scene of a vehicle crash at County Road 1600E and County Raod 300N in rural Villa Grove.

Philo volunteer firefighters were called at 3:13 p.m. to respond to two injuries at the scene of the crash.

Urban planner says tent communities 'no solution at all'

Tent cities are "no solution at all" to the problem of homelessness in Champaign, or anywhere, according to a local expert on housing.

Len Heumann, professor emeritus in urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois, and an expert on affordable housing, said, "homelessness is a major issue to cities dealing with affordable housing."

Tent city's organizers confident they'll find a new home

CHAMPAIGN – They haven't found a new home yet, but the organizers behind the Safe Haven Tent Community still have big future plans that go way beyond pitching several tents in a backyard.

The several-week-old tent community for the homeless was established several weeks ago in the back yard of the Catholic Worker House, 317 S. Randolph St., C. The city of Champaign says the encampment of eight to 10 homeless people is in violation of the city's zoning ordinance. And the Catholic Worker House, which shuts down for the month of August, has informed the residents that they must be out by July 31.