Champaign duo's Snickers ad earns $5,000 in contest

CHAMPAIGN – You could say Joe Taylor and Bill Kephart are enjoying a satisfying result in their first video contest.

The two, with actor Thomas Nicol and others, created a 30-second ad for Snickers candy bars that placed among the top three in a competition facilitated by Poptent, a Web-based group of filmmakers who contact companies that might want to sponsor ad contests.

Champaign Surplus ownership passes to 3rd generation

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Surplus owners Ira and Lynn Wachtel have sold their store for outdoors enthusiasts to their daughter and son-in-law, Shira and Dan Epstein.

It's the second time the 63-year-old store has passed to a new generation. Twenty-nine years ago, the Wachtels bought the business from Lynn's parents, Leo and Anne Weisel.

Urbana teen arrested for child molestation

URBANA – An Urbana teen accused of sexually molesting two young boys more than a year ago has been criminally charged.

James L. Clark, 17, was arrested Thursday at a motel where he was staying in the 1900 block of North Cunningham Avenue in Urbana. He appeared Friday before Judge John Kennedy and was ordered to be back in court March 9. Kennedy set Clark's bond at $125,000.

Grade school teacher killed in crash

GIFFORD — A grade school teacher from Penfield was killed in a single-vehicle crash in northern Champaign County Friday morning.

Area update

area update

Philo residents volunteer for several board posts

PHILO – Five Philo residents have stepped forward to fill three positions with two local government bodies.

Crime report

In crimes reported recently to area police:


– Sigma Chi fraternity, 410 E. John St.: Burglars broke in Jan. 4 to steal a composite picture; because of broken windows, the extreme cold caused pipes to freeze, leading to other damage.

Who's taking care of the caregivers?

URBANA – If you're taking care of someone with cancer, here's a question you may never allow yourself to consider:

Who's taking care of you?

A Lego up on science

The robot maneuvering around the tabletop drops a ramp over an obstacle, rolls over it, turns and heads to a corner of the table to earn points by changing the position of the marker.

But as the robot turns, it knocks over a small "warning beacon." That's a 10-point deduction.

Red Cross, international charity join forces

CHAMPAIGN – An estimated 190 volunteers will be going door-to-door Saturday afternoon to provide fire safety information to 1,500 homes in Champaign-Urbana.

Former St. Joe man found shot to death in home

ST. JOSEPH – Police are investigating the murder of a former St. Joseph man in his home in Will County.

According to a Will County sheriff's office report, police were called to a home in unincorporated Frankfort Township at about 8 p.m. Monday.