MTD board votes, with dissent, on lease for driver training area

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board members voted Thursday to approve a lease agreement for a 3-acre property near the district's bus garage in Urbana that will be used for driver training.

Message gets driven home to school board

CHAMPAIGN — After getting an earful from frustrated bus drivers and staff at this week's meeting, the Champaign school board is looking into freeing up additional funds to speed up the renovation of the district's transportation facility.

Liberty to the rescue at Cannon

DANVILLE — When some fifth graders at Liberty Elementary School learned that Cannon School would be closed the rest of the year due to flooding problems, they wanted to do something to help the displaced students.

Fall aboard

CHAMPAIGN — When retired University of Illinois professor Barbara Ford goes to Chicago, she leaves the driving to Amtrak.

Her single complaint about riding the train is the delays, she said, "but overall, I think it's much better than driving."

"You can always get delays in traffic, too," said Ford, of Champaign.

Rail-trail project may be set back by high bidding

SPRINGFIELD — Construction bids for the first phase of the 24.5-mile Kickapoo Rail Trail came in about $400,000 over estimates Friday, sending organizers back to the drawing board and threatening plans to begin construction this spring.

PODCAST: Savoy Mayor Robert McCleary

PODCAST: Savoy Mayor Robert McCleary: Play now!

Village of Savoy Mayor Robert McCleary joins the News Hour to discuss the town's growth and infrastructure projects.


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Tom's #Mailbag, Jan. 8, 2016

Got a question for Tom? Ask it here

Plenty of questions answered this week but also an unusually large number that are on hold. If you're looking for an answer to your question, I'm still working on it. Give me another week.

Danville OKs shared-use path by high school

DANVILLE — Danville aldermen Tuesday night authorized the purchase of property for a new shared-use path that will pass by Danville High School and include construction of a roundabout at English and Jackson streets and a median on Fairchild Street.

MTD board OKs 6% tax levy increase

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board members unanimously approved a 6 percent property tax levy increase Wednesday, although it's likely property owners won't see that big an increase to the MTD on their tax bills next spring.

That empty feeling

CHAMPAIGN — Mike Thomas may be gone, but one of his least-popular decisions as University of Illinois athletic director will play out this weekend — in downtown Chicago and its far-west suburbs.