CU Citizen Access
By JELTER MEERS
Each year, Champaign spends $20,000 from its Urban Renewal Fund to demolish a few nuisance properties.
David Oliver, the city's code compliance manager, said another $50,000 from the state's Abandoned Property Program funds has been used to demolish five nuisance properties in Champaign in 2016.
About this project: CU-CitizenAccess.org operates under the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois and focuses on local investigative reporting, with an emphasis on social, justice and economic issues. The project began with funding from the Marajen Stevick Foundation and the UI and a matching grant from the John S. Knight and James L.
By PAM G. DEMPSEY
Sewage wastewater backup, cockroach infestation and houseflies “too numerous to count” were among the violations leading to closures and failures of eateries across the county since April.
URBANA — Health inspectors shut down the cafeteria at Presence Covenant Medical Center in May after noting a repeated critical violation — sewage wastewater backing up from the floor drain underneath a hand sink into the grill area.
By TIM MITCHELL/The News-Gazette
and NICOLE ANDERSON COBB and LOIS YOKSOULIAN / CU-CitizenAccess.org
TUSCOLA — In October 2014, state and local officials and Cronus Chemicals CEO Erzin Atac donned hard hats in an empty farm field to announce a deal to bring a $1.4 billion nitrogen-fertilizer plant to central Illinois.
By SEAN NEUMANN/CU-CitizenAccess.org
If a student's bike is stolen on the University of Illinois campus, there is little chance it will be recovered.
In fact, of the 95 bikes worth about $27,000 that were reported stolen in 2015, only 16 — about $3,600 worth — were recovered, according to university police.
Champaign County landlords are reaping more than $20 million in tax exemptions a year by taking advantage of a loosely written state law and an interpretation of that law by the county supervisor of assessments.