Street work to begin Monday on University Avenue near First Street

CHAMPAIGN — To complete a pavement patch at the northeast corner of First Street and University Avenue in Champaign, Illinois American Water will close a westbound lane of University Avenue from Monday to Wednesday.

Westbound traffic will be reduced to one lane in the area.

Erlanger House

The house was designed by Jack Baker for Margaret Erlanger, then head of dance at the University of Illinois. The house in Urbana near Carle Park is now owned by the university and used for visiting artists and receptions. 



Still time to take plunge for Special Olympics

MAHOMET — There is still time to take leave of your senses for a great cause.

Anyone wanting to jump in the frozen water at the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve District in Mahomet  Saturday to benefit Illinois Special Olympics may do so up until the time of the Polar Plunge, scheduled for noon.

Police find nearly a pound of cannabis in vehicle

URBANA – Two Charleston men stopped for a traffic violation on Interstate 57 early Thursday were arrested after a trooper found almost a pound of cannabis in their vehicle.

Thomas Battle, 24, and Natavin Floyd, 33, were charged Thursday in Champaign County Circuit Court with possession with intent to deliver cannabis.

Union: Danville school district proposes deep cuts

DANVILLE – Danville school administrators are looking to eliminate 60 to 90 positions in the upcoming fiscal year, according to a top union official.

But the Danville Education Association strongly disagrees with the number of staff cuts on the table given the district's level of reserve funds, as well as where the cuts are coming from, association President Robin Twidwell said.

First of three obesity hearings set for today

SPRINGFIELD – Do you have something to say about America's out-of-control obesity problem and how to fix it?

The first of three public hearings focusing on the human and social costs of obesity in Illinois will be held in Chicago this morning and the second will follow March 8 in Springfield.

The hearings are being conducted by the state Department of Public Health and are open to everyone, public health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says.

No charges filed in phone message system prank

URBANA – Two Tolono men who admitted they sent out a prank message through Unity High School's parental notification system last month will not be charged with a crime.

Nathan Martin and Dylan Williams, both 18 and both recent Unity graduates, were referred Thursday to Champaign County's adult diversion program.

The program is an alternative to prosecution for those who accept responsibility for their conduct and agree to perform public service.

Crime report

In crimes reported recently to area police:


– 500 block of Crystal Lake Drive: Residence entered Tuesday; cell phone stolen.

– 1900 block of North Lincoln Avenue: Vehicle broken in Tuesday; cosmetics and global positioning system stolen.

– 2500 block of Skyline Drive: Vehicle window broken Tuesday; nothing taken.

– 1600 block of Willow Road: Vehicle window broken Tuesday; GPS stolen.

– 1700 block of Melrose Village Circle: Vehicle window broken Tuesday; GPS stolen.

Delegation to lobby D.C. for funding

CHAMPAIGN – Eighteen area residents will travel to Washington next week in hopes of improving Champaign County's chances for getting federal money for high-speed rail and an extension of Olympian Drive.

It's the second annual trip by the Champaign County First advocacy group to the nation's capital. Last September, 20 people made the trip to push for both those initiatives, as well as a "green" schools project.

Man taken into custody after standoff

URBANA – A man was taken into custody Thursday evening after a standoff of more than six hours in southeast Urbana.

Reginald Thurston, 57, who had barricaded himself in an apartment, was taken into custody at Steer Place, a public housing apartment building at 1202 E. Harding Drive, U. Thurston is a resident of Steer Place, police said.

Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said that just before noon, management at the building had a "problem" that turned into a confrontation with a resident.