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Top of the Morning, June 20, 2019

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman's whirlwind media tour was interrupted — in a good way — on Wednesday morning, when Champaign Rotary members surprised him with the Paul Harris Fellow award.

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Illinois athletic director JOSH WHITMAN's whirlwind media tour was interrupted — in a good way — on Wednesday morning.


Courthouse's new lactation room 'not pretty,' but it meets letter of new law

The walk-in storage closet is private, has a table and chairs and isn't a bathroom, and while there's not much else going for it, 'we're trying to make it as good as we can," said county Facilities Director Dana Brenner.

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Danville High principal's advancement prompts scramble for replacement

Superintendent Alicia Geddis said Kim Norton's position was posted Wednesday and applications will be accepted until July 1, after which a selection committee will review submissions and conduct the first round of interviews July 8.


Champaign Plan Commission OKs rezoning In-Town neighborhood properties

The decision, which followed a heated public hearing Wednesday, sends the request to change three parcels at John and State streets to allow for multifamily housing to the city council, which could vote on it July 9.



A Life Remembered | For Villa Grove machinist, family was business

That Paul Cler, 97, died on Sunday — Father's Day — is somehow fitting, given that he sired nine children with his wife of 74 years, six of whom would follow him into his line of work.

VILLA GROVE — It is somehow fitting that Paul Cler left this world on a day designated to honor fathers.
He knew a lot about that, having sired nine children with his wife of 74 years.


Christensen's ex-girlfriend on wearing wire: 'I wanted to know why he was lying'

As she testified Wednesday, Terra Bullis started to tear up at points, describing her complicated relationship with a man whose attorneys have admitted killed visiting UI scholar Yingying Zhang.

PEORIA — When his ex-girlfriend walked into the courtroom, Brendt Christensen looked straight ahead.


Illinois' public schools getting $375 million more, most of it 'tier' funding

That was the news the Illinois State Board of Education heard Wednesday when it received its annual legislative and budget updates.

SPRINGFIELD — Public schools in Illinois will have a lot of new money to work with in the upcoming fiscal year, along with a host of new laws to implement.


Prosecutors: Clarence terror suspect tried to escape

A court document filed by prosecutors says 48-year-old Michael Hari tried to flee when he was being transported to a Minnesota jail. The report gives no details about the escape attempt.

MINNEAPOLIS — A Ford County man who faces trial in the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque had tried to escape from custody earlier this year.


LIVE: The trial of Brendt Christensen, Day 7

NEW: In recorded conversation with girlfriend, Brendt Christensen says he’s the scapegoat of the investigation.

PEORIA — On Thursday morning, the jury in the Brendt Christensen trial heard more clips recorded by his former girlfriend, Terra Bullis, as Christensen gradually reveals more to her.


Campustown street shut down after golf cart hits natural-gas valve

Champaign Deputy Fire Chief Roger Cruse said Ameren crews had the gas shut off by 11:15 a.m., and the residents of 912 S. Fifth St., the only building evacuated, were allowed back in within the hour.

CHAMPAIGN — A gas leak in Campustown prompted Champaign firefighters to cordon off an area for a block in each direction for about an hour Wednesday morning.


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