Whether the federal government is serious or if it is only acting to appease ultrasensitive Chinese authorities, the prosecution of Chinese national Wenyi Wang on charges of "knowingly and willfully intimidating, coercing, threatening or harassing ... a foreign official performing his duties" is outrageous.
Wang is guilty of nothing more than being impolite to a government official, and that's almost a tradition in the United States. Last week, the 47-year-old medical doctor (who has a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Chicago) interrupted a White House lawn ceremony by waving a banner and shouting at Chinese President Hu Jintao, "Stop oppressing the Falun Gong," "Your time is running out," and "Anything you have done will come back to you in this life."
After trying two sites in East Central Illinois, the board of directors of the National Korean War Museum and Library has opted to move again – to Springfield.
The museum was incorporated in 1997, and its first home was in Tuscola. It moved to Rantoul in 2004, in an appropriate space in Grissom Hall on the old Chanute Air Force Base. In fact, the Korean War Museum is adjacent to the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum. Long-range plans called for a permanent museum to be built in Rantoul.
Despite his lawyer's claim to the contrary, Champaign County Supervisor of Assessments Curt Deedrich would be making a big mistake if he interprets a review of his treatment of office employees as a vindication of his management style.
The Champaign County Board voted overwhelmingly last week to chastise Deedrich for using inappropriate language in reference to one of his employees, with a couple of board members suggesting that Deedrich consider resignation. Board members, however, were advised by legal counsel that Deedrich's conduct, while inappropriate, did not meet the legal definition of harassment and felt they could go no further in admonishing him.
How proud Jack Anderson would be to know that even in death he is tormenting government officials.
The old muckraking columnist, who passed away last December at the age of 83, donated188 boxes of private files to George Washington University. The files were to be cataloged by librarians, then presumably turned over to researchers.
Sit through a presentation on the proposed FutureGen power plant and the immediate response is, "What are we waiting for?"
Indeed, the advanced technologies that would be used on the FutureGen plant are not pie-in-the-sky. They've been researched, tested and are included on a power plant under construction in Germany. That plant is expected be on line at least four years before the proposed low-emissions, coal-fired power plant in the United States.
Champaign officials apparently haven't thrown enough good money after a bad investment. Now they're considering whether to remodel a bar and banquet hall on North First Street – one that the city essentially owns after a fraternal lodge defaulted on its mortgage – and turn it into a city office building.
A new Apple computer store has opened in the brand-new Illini Media Co. building at 512 E. Green St., C.
But its sales of computers, laptops, iPods and other gadgets will be limited to University of Illinois students, faculty and staff.
Every now and then a federal court issues an opinion that is so bizarre that it cries out for review by a higher court.
The U.S. Supreme Court accepts only a relative handful of the hundreds of requests it receives each year, so it's a long shot that the high court will review a recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. But it ought to.
It's good to be respectful of tornadoes. East Central Illinois has had its share of twisters in recent years, and has been a witness to the damage they can wreak.
But likewise the recent spate of tornado sightings shouldn't cause Illinoisans to head to the storm cellar and stay there until October. There's a pretty good explanation for what seems like an epidemic of tornadoes this spring: improved technology.
After considerable lobbying and emotional public meetings, the Champaign school board and city council have approved a plan to place full-time police officers – called school resource officers – in the city's middle and high schools.
There's no call for celebrating this decision because it does not reflect well on the current state of discipline in the schools. But if there's to be any improvement – and there must be improvement – this action is necessary.