After a year punctuated by state budget problems, school districts are the latest entity to worry if they'll receive state money.
Several area superintendents say State Superintendent Christopher Koch and legislators warned districts to spend carefully, as they might not receive their last two state aid payments in June.
In an effort to bring a $1.8 billion clean coal-burning plant to Mattoon, one city official is heading to the nation's capital.
Public Works Director David Wortman is heading to Washington, D.C., for a Senate subcommittee hearing Thursday about the Department of Energy's decision to restructure FutureGen.
Champaign Central senior point guard Verdell Jones announced today that he will play college basketball at Indiana University.
"I have chosen to attend Indiana University to be a future Hoosier under Coach Tom Crean," Jones wrote in an e-mail to The News-Gazette. "I chose the university because of playing style, Coach Crean's energy, and the tradition."
Mannie Jackson, chairman and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, will be keynote speaker at the 137th University of Illinois commencement Sunday.
Jackson, a 1960 UI graduate, will speak at both the 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies at the UI Assembly Hall.
Jackson served as the first black team captain of the Illini basketball team, and, along with fellow Edwardsville graduate Govoner Vaughn, was one of the first two blacks to earn varsity letters. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in education.
DANVILLE – When Mary Elizabeth Coffman died unexpectedly last week, she left behind the footprint of a free spirit who voraciously embraced the world and all the lives she came across.
"It just seems like there's a big, black hole in the world right now," said close friend and former colleague Martha Kay, 69.
URBANA – Timothy A. Brumleve is sitting in his haven.
The razor-thin Brumleve, wearing a dirty brown jacket and work pants, is in the cramped basement of his Urbana home. He's surrounded by old televisions and videocassette recorders. A bare bulb provides light, and an old desk chair with a collapsed back provides seating.
On metal shelves, long cardboard boxes of videotapes are piled on top of each other. "Jews," "New York" and "Oklahoma" are some of the titles on the boxes.
DANVILLE – Pamela Starr considers herself a homemaker in God's house. At one point in her ministry, this was literally true.
"Twice we actually lived in a part of the church where I served. In one church, there was no clothes dryer, so I would spread the clothes out to dry in the sanctuary," Starr said with a smile. "I always had everything picked up and folded as quickly as possible, but at any time, Jesus could have been surrounded by laundry."
PAXTON – Ashley Marcotte was a well-liked and accomplished student at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School and a published poet and devoted family member in her private life.
By all accounts, she was a special person who is greatly missed.
CHAMPAIGN – Making retirement plans? How does an unpaid job helping homeless people in a faraway country sound?
Tom and Cecelia Tang, a retired couple from Malaysia, found themselves with lots of time on their hands when they moved to Champaign-Urbana to be closer to their daughter at the University of Illinois.
Jeff Nicoson, 48, has been a mechanic with the Danville Police Department for nearly 29 years. He oversees a fleet of about 45 police vehicles and regularly repairs the 18 cars on active patrol.
Nicoson rotates each one through a bumper-to-bumper inspection schedule. The active patrol cars each average between 700 and 1,100 miles a week. Occasionally, Nicoson has to don biohazard gear to clean out vomit, blood or urine from the back seat of a patrol car. He is also on call 24 hours a day.