Courts Police Fire

Courts Police Fire

Judge: Deeming juvenile's behavior habitual 'the best option to protect the public'

URBANA — A Champaign teen whose criminal activity escalated this year from property crimes to an attack on a University of Illinois student in an elevator has been found to be a habitual juvenile offender.

The finding, a rarely used prosecutorial tool, means that the 15-year-old Champaign boy will be sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice until he's 21.

Top of the Morning, Nov. 20, 2017

I've talked often here about our use of Google's technology to provide interactive maps alongside stories on, but it was our own mapping software that got a workout Thursday evening.

Police still searching for suspected credit card thief

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign County Crime Stoppers and the Champaign Police Department need help finding a man who allegedly stole credit cards and used them.

About 10 a.m. on Nov. 7, a man entered a private office at Christie Clinic on University Avenue and stole credit cards from a purse. The credit cards were later used at Walmart to make purchases over $500.

John Roska: Appearance fees are common but can be waived

Q: I got sued in small-claims court. I went to court and asked for a trial. The judge scheduled one but told me I had to pay an "appearance fee" before that date. If I don't, I lose. Is that right? Why do I have to pay, if I didn't file anything?

Getting Personal: Kathy Wallig

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, staff wrtier Paul Wood chats with 66-year-old Urbana resident Kathy Wallig, a former Urbana schools public relations coordinator, journalist and METCAD dispatcher — and the mother of three public servants. Mostly, she is a neighborhood activist. When she has spare time, she quilts.

Champaign woman accused of having heroin for sale at home

URBANA — A Champaign woman who allegedly had heroin for sale in her home is due back in court next month after being criminally charged Friday.

Yasmine Nichols, 24, of the 1300 block of Hanover Drive was arraigned on a Class 2 felony charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Homeless man gets probation for domestic battery in attack on ex

URBANA — A homeless man arrested in the spring for forcing his way into an ex-girlfriend's Urbana apartment and striking her has been sentenced to 30 months of probation.

Paul Foster, 22, was also ordered to perform 50 hours of public service, get a substance-abuse evaluation and partner-abuse intervention counseling, and spend 198 days in jail, which he's already done.

Interim U.S. attorney for Illinois' Central District named for 120-day stint

SPRINGFIELD — An interim U.S. attorney has been appointed for the Central District of Illinois.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed John E. Childress, 52, to serve for 120 days, replacing acting U.S. Attorney Patrick Hansen.

UI police chief retiring at year's end after 32 years with department

URBANA — Policing has changed since University of Illinois Police Chief Jeff Christensen first signed on as a student patrol officer in 1983.

There's more gun violence, and with publicity about police shootings nationwide, officers have to work harder to win public trust, he said.

Tuscola man arrested after two pickup trucks stolen in Atwood

ATWOOD — A Tuscola man is in custody after he allegedly stole two pickup trucks with keys left in them Thursday in and near Atwood.

Atwood police Chief Rob Bross said the vehicle thefts led to a "soft lockdown" at Atwood-Hammond Grade School for about 30 minutes until police determined that the alleged thief, Kenton Gingerich, was not in the area.