Citizens police review board idea receives good reception in Urbana

URBANA – A proposal to create a citizens police review board in Urbana to investigate complaints against police officers is getting mostly positive reviews.

But the union for city police, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 70, is arguing that the proposal still has to be negotiated, which could delay passage.

Fisher residents create goals to improve community

FISHER – More than 100 of Fisher's 1,700 residents gathered Sunday to help in mapping out the village's future.

The meeting, organized by a 35-person committee called MAPPING (Managing and Planning Programs Involved in Non-metropolitan Groups) was held in Glade Hall on the Fisher Fairgrounds.

Champaign city council will address vacant seat

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart is wondering if the Champaign City Council, which saw itself bitterly divided over the smoking ban issue, can come together on appointing a replacement for Kathy Ennen, who resigned from the council effective June 30.

But two other council members say they think five council members will be able to agree on a replacement for Ennen, who is moving with her husband to Southport, N.C.

Man arrested for hitting motorcycle, leaving scene

CHAMPAIGN – An Ogden man is accused of smashing a motorcycle into the back of a police squad car, then leaving the scene early Sunday.

Joshua Joy, 21, was arrested by Champaign police for leaving the scene of an accident, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and having no insurance, according to a Champaign police report.

Electronic voting to be considered in Rantoul

RANTOUL – The Rantoul Village Board is considering a proposal to allow trustees to take part and vote at board meetings electronically without being physically present at the village hall.

Village Clerk Jeremy Reale has asked the board to consider a policy allowing board members to vote by telephone or by electronic means in cases of personal illness or disability, employment purposes or "family or other emergency situations."

Couple married during World War II still together, in love

MAHOMET – Pictures of big, lumbering B-17 bombers hang inside the Mahomet home of Voyle and Ruth Spence. Voyle trained as a navigator on the bombers during World War II, and he has hundreds of photographs from his training in the United States and from their first assignment along the southern route to Africa and up to England.

But one cherished photo he has a difficult time looking at is of the men who flew with him on the B-17 that they named Lochinvar.

Mahomet soldier's death still haunts family

MAHOMET – In kindergarten, Sierra Cawvey wrote e-mails to her mother, who was away driving trucks and Humvees with the National Guard in Iraq.

The 5-year-old didn't write many words, but what she said got right to the point.

Champaign man travels many paths before becoming restaurant owner

CHAMPAIGN – Long before he became a restaurateur, Harold Allston dreamed of being a chess champion, or the next Great American Novelist.

But a chance job he took at the now-defunct Greater Downtown Food & Beverage restaurant in downtown Champaign started him on a different path.

40-year-old migrant program still meets changing needs

HOOPESTON – The summer migrant education program at Hoopeston schools is housed at David Greer School this summer, back where it started 40 years ago.

Maria Martinez hopes that's not a bad omen. Martinez, who's worked with the federally funded program every year since it began, said participants' numbers have dropped dramatically, but students' needs have changed and grown.

Retaining knowledge: UI tries to keep faculty from leaving

URBANA – Brian Wansink had it pretty good.

He liked his job as a professor of marketing, nutritional science and agricultural economics at the University of Illinois. He liked his colleagues. He liked Champaign-Urbana. He even played saxophone in a local band.