State slaps facility with $10,000 fine

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined Vermilion Manor Nursing Home $10,000 for alleged failure to provide adequate care to a diabetic resident who died later that day.

The fine also included a violation of employing a nurse who did not have a valid license to practice in Illinois.

Governor will unveil economic plan on Friday

SPRINGFIELD – The wait for East Central Illinois' Opportunity Returns economic development plan may be over.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is reportedly scheduled to appear at the University of Illinois Research Park at 2 p.m. on Friday to unveil the plan for the region, which includes Champaign, Vermilion, Ford, Douglas, Iroquois and Piatt counties.

Rantoul plant explosion kills 1

RANTOUL – One employee was found dead late Wednesday night after an explosion rocked Conair Corp., one of Rantoul's largest industrial plants.

According to Rantoul Fire Chief Ken Waters, the worker's body was found in the vicinity of the plant's alcohol room, which is also where the fire is believed to have started. Further details about the worker's identity will not be released until after the family has been notified. The Associated Press reported today that the victim was a woman.

Inn on Square to serve last meal on Saturday

OAKLAND – The only thing sadder than "no room in the inn" is no inn at all.

But that's the way it's going to be in Oakland after the historic Inn on the Square closes Saturday .

Bad Break for Dee Brown

CHICAGO – As the NBA predraft camp dawned, Dee Brown stormed in, focused and energized, a bundle of energy ready to make his move.

This morning, he hobbled into Moody Bible Institute's Solheim Center on crutches, head hanging and his mother, Cathy Blocker-Brown at his side.

Good deeds in Philo

PHILO – Blake Franklin was standing in the rain, waiting for the school bus to arrive one morning this spring, when it occurred to him that it might be nice to have a bus shelter.

"Some of the kids were coming to school soaked from head to toe, and I had my share of getting wet," said Franklin, 15, of Philo. Franklin, a member of Philo Boy Scout Troop 60, will be spending his summer building a bus shelter for the schoolchildren of Philo.

Champaign City Council vacancy not resolved

CHAMPAIGN – A deeply divided Champaign City Council could not come to a decision Tuesday night about whether to appoint Deborah Frank Feinen or Marci Dodds to fill the District 4 vacancy on the council.

Neither Dodds nor Feinen could muster the five votes needed for appointment under council rules – despite 14 separate votes Tuesday.

Organization hands out $1 million to area groups

CHAMPAIGN – In Champaign County, a family of four with two working adults must earn $39,779 a year to afford life's basic necessities – food, housing, transportation, child care and health care.

With the county's median income at about $37,780, one-third to one-half of working families don't earn enough to be self-sufficient under the state's "Self-Sufficiency Standard," according to United Way officials.

UI men's tennis coach heading Down Under

Craig Tiley called friend and former assistant coach Bruce Berque on Tuesday night and told him he was leaving the University of Illinois for a job with Tennis Australia.

Berque didn't drop the phone.

Building incentive proposal scaled back

RANTOUL – Home buyers looking to build a new home in Rantoul will have to forget about getting cash grants – as least for now.

Last month, village board member Mike Graham proposed offering cash grants of up to $15,000 to anybody who builds a new home or rehabilitates an existing home.