A still from the Champaign Police dashcam video of the March 16, 2014 arrest of Benjamin Mann.
April 15, 2016

Williams: Rush Incidents Have ‘Derailed’ Improved Relations With Police

Seon Williams of Champaign says the excessive force incidents involving officer Matt Rush, and resulting lawsuits have 'derailed' the progress the African-American community has made in improving relations with city police.  He says the city deserves better officers on the street who make better decisions.

Officer Matt Rush, who was fired for a second time Wednesday by the Champaign Police Department.
City of Champaign
April 13, 2016

Champaign Fires Officer Matt Rush A Second Time

The city of Champaign Wednesday released two letters citing internal investigations regarding Officer Matt Rush.  One cites Rush's 'disciplinary history and judgment in crisis situations', while the other documents the officer's alleged behavior in a local bar in late February.  He's been the subject of four excessive force lawsuits, three of them resulting in $320-thousand in settlements.

marijuana plants
Teresa Crawford/Associated Press
April 04, 2016

Urbana Council Takes Final Vote On Marijuana Fine Reduction

A week ago, Urbana aldermen approved lowering the fine for posessing small amounts of marijuana from $300 to $50.  Alderman Aaron Ammons calls the higher amount 'egregious', and said it disproportionately impacts African-Americans in the city.  The fine applies to someone with less than 30 grams of the drug.

Gov. Bruce Rauner at an AutoZone distribution facility in Danville
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
March 29, 2016

Rauner Expects Illinois Fair Share Case Fight To Reach U.S. Supreme Court

Gov. Bruce Rauner says a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing labor unions to collect fees from non-members is "tragic'' and a lawsuit aimed at banning the practice in Illinois will continue. Justices divided 4-4 Tuesday in a California case over whether public workers represented by a union can be required to pay "fair share'' fees.

Jack McCullough
Illinois Department of Corrections/via Associated Press
March 29, 2016

Judge To Appoint Counsel For DeKalb County Cold Case

Jack McCullough will get a new attorney to help him pursue freedom from his conviction of murdering seven-year-old Maria Ridulph in 1957.  Last week, the DeKalb County State's Attorney said a six-month review turned up serious missteps during the investigation.

Lynn Rohrscheib inspects her soybean fields.
Courtesy of Lynn Rohrscheib
March 21, 2016

The 21st: Trade With Cuba, & STEM Education

Before the embargo - U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba were worth about $600 million a year - in today’s prices.  Others estimate Cuba is a $1.2 billion market for agricultural exports if the embargo and other trade barriers are lifted. Today on The 21st we explored what an open Cuba would mean for Illinois. Also, how a team of Illinois State University researchers and a turtle are changing STEM education. 

Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland is introduced as President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
March 18, 2016

Sen. Kirk Calls For Vote On Garland Nomination

The Republican told WLS Radio in Chicago Friday that the Senate should he Senate should "man up and cast a vote.''  President Obama nominated U.S. appeals court Judge Merrick Garland on Wednesday.  Kirk is the first GOP Senator to break with party leaders, who say there won't be a hearing for him.

Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, right, shakes hands with President Barack Obama as he is introduced as Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, Mar
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
March 16, 2016

Obama’s High Court Nominee Is Chicago Area Native

President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland was born in Chicago. While attending Niles West High School in nearby Skokie, he was involved with student government, drama and debating. 

US Voting graphic
Wikimedia Commons
March 16, 2016

Record Primary Turnout For Champaign County

Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten says interest in both presidential primaries contributed to the roughly 60,000 votes cast, but he says others, particularly University of Illinois students, were drawn to the polls because of a new same-day voter registration law.  He says at one campus polling site, about 200 were still in line as the polls closed at 7 p.m.

Illinois' Jaylon Tate (1) in action during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Indiana, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Bloomington, Ind.
Darron Cummings/Associated Press
March 12, 2016

Illinois Guard Tate Arrested On Domestic Battery Charge

Jaylon Tate was arrested hours after Illinois' loss to Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament Friday.  He's facing a misdemeanor charge. Tate is the third Illinios player to face charges since August. 

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