Courts Police Fire

Courts Police Fire

GOP lawmakers in North Carolina seek map ruling delay

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican legislators have started trying to block a federal court ruling ordering them to draw new congressional districts because the judges said the GOP went too far to protect its partisan advantage with the current boundaries.

Illinois man gets prison for using Air Force members' IDs

CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago man has been sentenced to just over five years in prison for a scheme in which he used stolen IDs of Air Force servicemen to file for $845,000 in fraudulent tax returns.

Team to review Obama-era Hezbollah probes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is forming a team of prosecutors to investigate drug trafficking and money laundering linked to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant movement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday. The move follows reports that Obama administration officials thwarted drug prosecutions related to Hezbollah for fear of jeopardizing a nuclear deal with Iran.

Search continues for mudslide victims; death toll at 17

MONTECITO, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of rescue workers slogged through knee-deep ooze and used long poles to probe for bodies Thursday as the search dragged on for victims of the mudslides that slammed this wealthy coastal town. Seventeen people were confirmed dead and eight others were missing.

Experts: Feds' use of death penalty in 2 recent cases not bellwether for Christensen's

The U.S. Justice Department recently announced plans to seek the death penalty in two murder cases, the first capital cases under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

This has led to speculation that use of the federal death penalty will increase under Sessions. But a former federal prosecutor and an expert on the death penalty say it's still too early to tell.

Youth Assessment Center to settle on new site by spring

CHAMPAIGN — A new location for Champaign County's juvenile-diversion program will be chosen by early spring, its coordinator said Wednesday.

The Youth Assessment Center's current location, a Unit 4-owned building on Randolph Street, will soon get reclaimed by the Champaign school district for office space.

Jim Dey: Eliminating townships has worked before in Illinois

"It's absurd to think the city council can simply absorb the township."

So said a community member who expressed concerns about a suggestion by an Urbana City Council member that it might be time to eliminate a low-level branch of government — Cunningham Township — and fold its duties into the city with which it shares identical boundaries.

Hobbico seeking a buyer as it works through bankruptcy

CHAMPAIGN — One of the largest hobby product distributors in the country filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday, which could spell trouble for the 332 employees at its Champaign facility.

Rantoul man gets 18 months for having gun in car

URBANA — A Rantoul man who admitted he had a gun that he wasn't legally allowed to have last fall has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Demetrius Collins, 20, who listed addresses in the 1300 block of Abram Drive in Rantoul and Paula Drive in Champaign, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Judge Roger Webber to aggravated unlawful use of weapons.

Champaign man gets 20 years for latest drug convictions

URBANA — A Champaign man with a history of drug convictions was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this week for his latest drug-related convictions.

Assistant State's Attorney Joel Fletcher sought a sentence in excess of 20 years for Lateef Thomas, 40, while his attorney, Jim Dedman of Savoy, asked for closer to the minimum of six years.