Sanitary district may use eminent domain for final properties for Cronus pipeline

TUSCOLA — A must-have pipeline, which would transport treated wastewater from Champaign to Cronus Chemicals' $1.5 billion fertilizer plant outside Tuscola, still needs commitments from the owners of nine properties along the route.

And if signed papers don't arrive soon, the Urbana & Champaign Sanitary District will resort to using its powers of eminent domain, officials say.

Killeen focuses on budget discussions

URBANA — With a new president in place and budget discussions intensifying in Springfield, the University of Illinois hopes to have a budget-cutting blueprint ready by the end of May.

President Timothy Killeen, who officially took office on Monday, said a small working group is plotting different scenarios, depending on what cuts the final state budget might demand.

UI grad's mansion can be yours for at least $850,000

MAHOMET — Would you sip your morning coffee in the glass-enclosed conservatory, or by the fireplace in the two-story great room, or perhaps outside on the flagstone porch overlooking the lush grounds?

Or, maybe sometimes you wouldn't even be waking up in your ginormous English Arts and Crafts-style mansion at all.

Getting in on the game

CHAMPAIGN — Video gaming cafes are multiplying in Champaign, Urbana and Savoy with nine already open and at least eight more on the way.

Home sales up for first four months of 2015 vs. 2014

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign County home sales for the first four months of 2015 were running ahead of the same time a year ago, according to statistics from the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

April sales were up only slightly from a year earlier in terms of dollar sales — and were down slightly in terms of number of units sold.

Senate committee: Study Rauner pension plan before vote

SPRINGFIELD — Democratic members of the Senate Executive Committee approved a resolution Wednesday calling on the State Universities Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System to conduct a study of Gov. Bruce Rauner's pension reform plan before the Legislature acts on it.

Group backs options for more state income

SPRINGFIELD — A pro-tax group Tuesday unveiled what it said was "a range of revenue options" to fill an estimated $6 billion budget hole and avoid state budget cuts, but there was a noticeable lack of lawmakers at the announcement.

Champaign city council to hear budget presentation

CHAMPAIGN — The month-long process of adopting a budget for the city of Champaign will start Tuesday night when city staff presents a proposal to the city council at a study session.

State revenue off less than 1 percent, but some urge caution

SPRINGFIELD — State officials had expected a big drop in tax revenue following the reduction in Illinois income tax rates on Jan. 1, but through April the net loss has been only $68 million, a legislative commission reported Monday.

Late fees in six figures helping libraries stay afloat

Librarians understand that late fees happen.

In fact, the Urbana Free Library's executive director, Celeste Choate, currently owes $5.20 herself. Champaign Public Library Director Marsha Grove said, like everyone else, she sometimes accumulates overdue fines, too.

"I just don't get (my books) here in time," Grove said.