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Christensen's lawyers say he offered to plead guilty, reveal location of remains

In a motion filed Tuesday to exclude inaccurate victim-impact testimony during the sentencing phase of his trial, they said he made the offer six months after his arrest in exchange for a sentence of life without parole.


Get The Picture: Week of June 24, 2019

A look at daily life in central Illinois through the lens of the News-Gazette photographers.


Champaign woman charged in armed robbery; two men also sought

A Champaign police report said a 23-year-old man was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash at 12:15 p.m. Friday at South Staley Road and West Springfield Avenue.

URBANA — A Champaign woman has been arrested in connection with an armed robbery Friday afternoon on the city's west side.
Two men are also wanted in connection with the case, according to a police report.


Danville looking to strengthen stance on 'gambling cafes'

Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said aldermen will consider adding language to the city's liquor-license ordinance stating that any establishment with a liquor license may not generate more than 49 percent of its revenues from video gambling.


Second kindergarten-readiness report finds similar ratio of kids unprepared

Overall, 26 percent of the state's 115,920 kindergartens surveyed met the full gamut of readiness in three key developmental areas — up just 2 percentage points from last year's 24 percent.

Once again, just 1 in 4 children are adequately prepared for what's ahead when they enter kindergarten, according to new Year 2 readiness data from the Illinois State Board of Education.


Urbana council gives initial OK to $17M plan to renovate Landmark Hotel

The project from Maryland-based developer Marksons Affiliates LLC would see the facility become a Tapestry by Hilton-branded boutique hotel with the potential to be a 'turning point for the community,' said Alderman Dennis Roberts.


Monticello council denies permit for solar farm at middle school

The school district had proposed a 4.98-acre ground-based farm it estimated could save $1.2 million in utility costs over 25 years. Adjacent homeowners countered that it would be an eyesore and drive down their property values.

MONTICELLO — The city council on Monday night turned back a conditional-use permit that would have green-lit construction of a solar farm at Monticello Middle School.


Christensen verdict: 'A step toward justice ... and a step toward closure'

The conviction put a cap on a case that has captivated the University of Illinois community and garnered international attention.

PEORIA — More than two years after Yingying Zhang was last seen, and after listening to eight days of testimony from 35 witnesses, it took a federal jury less than two hours Monday to convict Brendt Christensen of kidnapping and killing her.


Champaign's Luke Smith is so much more than a few choice words

Louisville pitcher gained national notoriety on Friday night. For all the wrong reasons. But the Centennial graduate is more than just a 10-second clip that went viral. ‘He is an amazing person.’


Parkland summer camp has students getting hands dirty with science

The 'Messy Science' camp is one of several in Parkland's College for Kids program, which looks to educate 8- to 13-year-olds on potential career options within the science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields.


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