Keeping Watch

Keeping Watch

For the Record | Quashed warrants

In an effort to lighten the load at the Champaign County Jail, Judge Tom Difanis took a bold step earlier this year — quashing outstanding warrants for ordinance violations, some issued as long ago as 2001.

Staff writer Ben Zigterman pored over all 2,547 warrants that were set aside by the county's presiding judge. Here's what he found.

Safeguarding dementia patients isn't an easy task

CHAMPAIGN — They were both older women, living in Champaign-Urbana nursing homes. And they both died last year after wandering outside unattended — one on a hot June afternoon, the other on a bone-chilling December night.

At the very places entrusted with the care and safety of the elderly, how could this happen?

End of net neutrality has dangerous potential, experts say

Most of us remember those dial-up internet days, waiting for pages to load as we listened to the high-pitched whine, beeps and whoosh of the connection through cyberspace.

BTN to avoid Chief logo in broadcasts, merchandise

What's your take? Submit a Letter to the Editor here

URBANA — The Big Ten Network has agreed to avoid images of the Chief Illiniwek logo during its Illini broadcasts following a complaint about its coverage of the Nov. 11 football game against Indiana.

Thieves likely got your personal data

CHAMPAIGN — It takes less than a minute to find out online if you're potentially affected by the massive Equifax data breach. But some experts contend consumers are safer assuming they're one of the 143 million unlucky ones.

In other words: Go ahead and check, but even if you get good news, consider taking steps to protect yourself.

Police weighing unexpected costs of body cams

About a year after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the village of Rossville took the same step as hundreds of small towns and major metros from coast to coast — it invested in body cameras for its police officers.

Crossing examination

Tonya Strong was never bothered by the rumble of freight trains or shrill of their whistle as they traveled through Danville, or the screech of their wheels as they came to a stop across the Griffin Street crossing, about a block north of her house.

Her son's death one month ago changed that.

How much is too much?

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It pays to be appointed to local sanitary district boards: $6,000 a year for 12 meetings (no matter how many one attends). How that compares to other boards:

Urbana council: Just shy of $6,000

2017 city salaries: Champaign

After weeks of discussion, the Champaign City Council unanimously approved a fiscal-year 2017 budget that restores library hours, allots $300,000 for property-crime investigations and awards 2.5 percent salary increases to most non-union employees.

New Parkland board member refuses to relinquish posts

CHAMPAIGN — The newest member of the Parkland College board, in an exchange of memos with the college's attorney, says she will neither resign as a board member nor give up her faculty position.