Josephine Bibb remembered for love for community, kids

DANVILLE – Brenda Demos took time at this week's staff meeting to remember a woman who served the Danville school district through her love of children.

"Every community needs a Josephine," Demos, Danville schools director of food services, told her staff.

Talks center around conditions at Catlin park

CATLIN – The village's park was the center of discussion at the village board meeting Tuesday, as a small group of women complained about the conditions there.

Kristin Yelenick said the playground equipment in the park is old, the garbage cans are sometimes overflowing and the grass sometimes gets too high between mowings. Her major concern, however, was the sand around the swings and playground equipment.

Governor signs driving law inspired by Urbana tragedy

SPRINGFIELD – Teens learning to drive will get a mandatory lesson about the dangers of distracted driving, under legislation Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed on Tuesday.

The measure was prompted by the death of bicyclist Matt Wilhelm, who was struck and killed in Urbana by a teen driver who veered off the road while downloading cell phone ring tones last September. The law requires all driver's education programs to include a focus on distracted driving as a safety issue.

UI convocation speakers urge students to get involved, enjoy college years

CHAMPAIGN – Where will you be at the end of four years?

That's just one of many questions University of Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman asked of thousands of freshmen students on Monday.

Girl dies after falling from bunk bed

TOLONO – Days after her granddaughter died after falling from a bunk bed at a slumber party, Judy Thrower said Taitum Nelson will be dearly missed.

"She just was full of sunshine and laughter. She was so spontaneous; she just was a joy to have around," said Thrower, a Tolono resident. "She was just so full of life that, any minute, I expect to see her come dancing in the room."

Senator's bill aimed at helping injured veterans

CHAMPAIGN – Traumatic brain injuries are the "signature wound" of battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sen. Dick Durbin said on a visit to a wounded Champaign veteran.

The Illinois Democrat was at the house of Sgt. Garrett Anderson, who spent 18 months struggling to get full benefits for his grievous wounds.

State Teacher of Year shares his strategies

DANVILLE – As a new Effingham High School teacher, Joe Fatheree discovered he couldn't teach his students to write using only the methods he learned in college.

Some of them were 19 and reading at a second-grade level. They lacked the confidence and support to succeed.

Off-duty police officer stops Urbana Busey Bank robbery

URBANA – An off-duty police officer working as security tackled a man in the parking lot after a robbery at a Busey Bank branch in Urbana Monday afternoon.

According to an Urbana police report, Troy Burke, 24, whose address was unknown, was arrested for bank robbery about 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Danville nightclub presents case next week

DANVILLE – The second half of a hearing to determine the status of a downtown nightclub's liquor license has been set for next week.

A hearing was scheduled earlier this month to determine if a liquor license issued to Digital City, 128 N. Walnut St., should be suspended or revoked based on reasons that include failing to abide by a previous order, regular fighting on the premises and insufficient security.

Cleaning contract could be continued at Danville courthouse

DANVILLE – Vermilion County officials would like WorkSource Enterprises to continue cleaning the courthouse and annex for another year after hearing Monday night good reports about the nonprofit organization's first year of service with the county.

"They're doing a really good job," said Mark Cravens, building and grounds director for the county, at Monday night's property committee meeting.