Coroner attributes boat death to carbon monoxide

HAMMOND – The Moultrie County coroner said that a 63-year-old Hammond man who died on a boat Sunday morning apparently died from fumes of carbon monoxide from the boat's engine.

According to a Moultrie County coroner's report, Harold and Katana Ponder of Hammond went to the Findlay marina and spent Saturday night on their boat at Lake Shelbyville. The couple left both the boat's engine and air-conditioning unit running throughout the night, the report said.

Vermilion County circuit clerk candidates state goals for office

DANVILLE – Both candidates for the Vermilion County Circuit Clerk's office think training and technology are top issues, but have different views on how to address those issues.

Darla Cruppenink, 46, of Westville has worked in the circuit clerk's office for 13 years, and Dennis "Denny" Gardner, 51, of Ridge Farm is a 15-year veteran of the Vermilion County Sheriff's Office and the county's DARE officer. Current Circuit Clerk Susan Miller is not seeking re-election.

Vermilion voters hear candidates' stances

TILTON – John Dewey hadn't quite made up his mind on how to vote in some of the Vermilion County races on Nov. 4.

But that changed after he got to hear the candidates speak about their experience and stance on issues at a candidates' forum at the Tilton Community Center on Monday night.

Obama wins Jefferson Middle School mock election handily

CHAMPAIGN – If Jefferson Middle School students were electing our next president, Barack Obama would be headed to the White House.

Students at the middle school voted Monday in the National Student/Parent Mock Election, a voter-education program for students from kindergarten through college. They can vote online at www.national

Champaign school board votes against use of 'Kite Runner'

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board reversed a committee recommendation Monday night and ruled that the novel "The Kite Runner" will no longer be used for a sophomore honors English class.

Several board members said they agreed with a parent who objected to use of the book on the grounds that it was not appropriate for 14- or 15-year-olds.

The vote was 5-2, with board members Sue Grey, Nathaniel Banks, Kristine Chalifoux, Scott McAdam and Dave Tomlinson voting not to use the book, and Greg Novak and Arlene Blank voting for it.

Former Washington Post editor earns UI journalism award

URBANA – Benjamin Bradlee, the Washington Post editor who helped break the Watergate scandal and topple the Nixon presidency, has won a lifetime-achievement award from the University of Illinois.

Bradlee, executive editor of the Post for more than two decades, received the Illinois Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism at a reception Friday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Three accused of stealing identity to get medicine

URBANA – Three people are accused of using someone else's identity to get drugs and or medical services.

Joseph Denton, 23, who listed an address in the 500 block of East Park Street in Champaign, was arraigned Monday on a charge of financial identity theft. Denton was posing as a University of Illinois student to get free medical services, according to UI police.

Meeting to address plans for two Champaign schools

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district will begin talking about programs for Washington and Garden Hills elementary schools at a community meeting this week.

Interested residents can attend the meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

Arrestee in fatality released; investigation continuing

URBANA – An Urbana man arrested over the weekend in connection with the death of his girlfriend was released early Monday afternoon from the county jail.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said early Monday afternoon that she will not be filing any charges at this time against Charles Laroe, 25, of the 2600 block of Brownfield Road, related to the death of April Ruthann Rahming, 23.

Forest preserve district seeks funds for fixes

MAHOMET – The Champaign County Forest Preserve District board is asking voters to approve a property tax hike to purchase additional forest preserve land, to develop a new bike and horse trail connecting Urbana to Kickapoo State Park and to improve infrastructure at the five county forest preserves.

But Champaign County farmers are leading efforts against the ballot question proposal because they oppose using property tax money to acquire more land, including farmland.