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News

Area history, Sept. 24, 2016

Today is Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Area jobless figures show improvement

CHICAGO — Unemployment rates fell slightly in August in Champaign and Vermilion counties along with several areas of East Central Illinois last month compared with the same month last year.

Weekend Planner: A mattress moment

Organizers will knock down mattresses like dominoes at Centennial Park todayas part of an effort to help needy families and shelter. The 4 p.m. Human Mattress Dominoes is the headline event at Champaign Park District’s first Flannel Fest (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Quick promotion for Miller-Jones

URBANA — It took Champaign County’s circuit judges almost no time to decide that the second-in-command in the public defender’s office should get a promotion.

Presiding Judge Tom Difanis said Friday that he has appointed Janie Miller-Jones, 46, of Rantoul, as the new public defender.

Top of the Morning, Sept. 24, 2016

No one lights up the Stevick Senior Center like the men’s coffee club that I happened upon this week in downtown Champaign.

It hit me when I asked the group to pose for a picture.

“Everybody put your teeth in,” one man said.

He was joking, of course, just the first in a series of one-liners that had the men — from 66 to 97 years old — laughing the morning away.

Protests play out in C-U on Friday

Rallies and protests played out in C-U on Friday night.

In Urbana, the C-U chapter of Black Lives Matter organized a "No More Stolen Lives" rally at the Champaign County Courthouse. It was the first of two weekend gatherings held in the wake of fatal shootings involving police officers and black victims.

UPDATE: Crashes on I-74 westbound cleared

5 p.m. update

All lanes on I-74 westbound are open and traffic flow has improved.

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Illinois State Police are on the scene of two traffic accidents on Interstate 74 westbound between Champaign and Mahomet.

The accidents occured near milepost 175 and 176 on Friday afternoon. Alternative routes are recommended as traffic is backed up.

Presence Pro Ambulance gets license to serve Danville area

DANVILLE — Presence Pro Ambulance has received a license to serve Danville and the surrounding area, and plans to be operational there next month, according to Presence Health.

Pro is still finalizing plans and operations for the new ambulance service with the city, according to Presence.

Probation for man tied to Savoy break-in

URBANA — An Urbana man who admitted his role in trying to burgle a Savoy home was sentenced Friday to two years of probation.

The sentence for Persevald Blissit, 22, of the 1500 block of Curtiss Drive, was the same that Corrion Brown, 21, also of Urbana, received in July when he pleaded guilty.

Street closures listing

Here is a list of street closures and road construction in East Central Illinois, provided by public works offices: (If your public works department wants to send one, submit it via email to breaking@news-gazette.com.)