Smith: Voters seem OK with sheriff hopeful's independent label

CHAMPAIGN – The woman backing out of the driveway in the upscale Republican neighborhood in southwest Champaign rolled down the window and asked the candidate going door-to-door whether he was a Democrat or a Republican.

"An independent," answered Jerommie Smith.

"That's a good answer," she smiled before driving away.

Facing first challenger, Sheriff Walsh finds politics getting in way of job

URBANA – This is all new to Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh. In four previous elections – primaries and general elections – he never had an opponent. Now he does: write-in candidate Jerommie Smith.

Hazel Park Rebuild 2010


KaBoom! and Kraft Foods and tons of volunteers rebuild Hazel Park  in Champaign, IL. Friday, October 8, 2010.

Urbana school tests a return to plastic trays

URBANA – The students at King Elementary School waited in line to get their orange plastic trays, filled with their lunch of pancakes, sausage, tater tots and milk.

When the kids were done eating Thursday, the trays went back to the kitchen, through the dishwasher, and they'll be brought out to serve lunch again today.

5 evacuated over vapor cloud at UI plant

CHAMPAIGN — Five people were evacuated from a chiller plant on the University of Illinois campus Thursday after chemicals temporarily produced a gas vapor cloud in the building.

Champaign firefighters were called to the Oak Street Chiller Plant, 1305 S. Oak St., C, at 11:45 a.m.

FutureGen Alliance will seek proposals for underground storage

WASHINGTON – Communities interested in hosting the underground carbon dioxide storage site for the FutureGen 2.0 clean-coal project not only have to meet several criteria, but they're going to have to act quickly to enter the competition, the FutureGen Alliance said Wednesday.

Groundbreaking for Monticello hospital set for November

MONTICELLO – A groundbreaking for the new Kirby Medical Center in Monticello has been set for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 6.

The hospital received official word this week that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has committed to a $31.2 million loan needed for the project.

Parkland trustee visits White House

CHAMPAIGN – A veteran Parkland College trustee met with Jill Biden and other community college leaders at the White House, where President Obama stressed the need for such institutions in the current and future economy.

Thomas Bennett, vice chairman of Parkland's board, was in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday for the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges.

Pet of the Week Libby

Libby is a quiet,playful,friendly 10 month old spayed tri color Pointer/Beagle mix dog, available at the Champaign County Humane Society. 

Roundhouse loses major funds, will narrow program

CHAMPAIGN – Roundhouse, a shelter for homeless and runaway children and young teens in Champaign, will refocus its program to serve young adults because its major federal funding source for younger teens and adolescents isn't being renewed.