Champaign And Urbana Police Struggle To Diversify

Despite pledges over the years to diversify the police department, both the Champaign and Urbana police staff have remained overwhelmingly white. In 2014, the police staff in Champaign was 88% white and Urbana’s police staff was 84% white, CU-CitizenAccess reported at that time. Almost seven years later, those numbers are virtually unchanged.  In Champaign, 99 out of […]

U Of I Police Department Hiring Social Workers To Handle Mental Health Crisis Calls

URBANA – The University of Illinois Police Department is planning to increase the number of mental health professionals on staff to help officers respond to crisis calls.  Lieutenant Aaron Landers leads UIPD’s community outreach efforts, including the new mental health pilot program, known as Response, Evaluation and Crisis Health, or, REACH. He says the plan […]

Illinois House Passes Bipartisan Ban On Deceptive Interrogation Of Minors

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House unanimously passed a bipartisan juvenile justice reform Saturday that outlaws the use of deceptive interrogation techniques on minors. The measure, contained in amendments to Senate Bill 2122, makes confessions by minors in custody inadmissible if they were obtained by “a law enforcement officer or juvenile officer (that) knowingly engages in deception.” […]

State’s Attorney Says Deadly Force ‘Justified’ In Police Shooting

Editor’s Note: Illinois State Police released videos of the deadly May 19 shootings in Champaign. You can find a synced video of area surveillance cameras and police body cams here. The video is graphic. Viewer discretion is strongly advised. CHAMPAIGN – On the day after Champaign Officer Chris Oberheim’s funeral, Illinois State Police released surveillance […]

News Around Illinois — Sept. 1, 2020

Advocate Warns Of Moving Foster Children To Managed Care Beginning Sept. 1, an estimated 18,000 foster children will be transferred from the child welfare system into a health care coverage plan. YouthCare is a “managed care” insurance program. Under managed care, a private, for-profit insurance company is paid a flat monthly per-person rate to manage […]

News Around Illinois – July 10, 2020

Gov. Pritzker Names New Head Of Unemployment Department Months After Complaints Pile Up Democratic Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker Thursday named a new director of the agency that manages unemployment claims after the department encountered serious problems dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The Illinois Department of Employment Security also started a new approach […]

Urbana City Council Devotes Special Meeting To Police Concerns

The Urbana City Council spent more than three hours Thursday night looking over police issues with members of the community. But council members have put off a discussion of next steps until July. The meeting, called by three city council members,  Jared Miller, Maryalice Wu and Dennis Roberts, featured comments by both community members and […]

News Around Illinois – June 19, 2020

At Some CPS Schools, Conversations And Peace Circles Will Replace Traditional Punishment When Iysha Jones and her team took over Doolittle Elementary School last year, it was a place where students had trouble talking about how they felt because they expected bad behavior to result in harsh discipline, like suspensions. So Jones was elated when […]

Former Urbana Substitute Teacher Accused Of Abusing Students

URBANA – Police in Urbana say a former substitute teacher is accused of abusing several 10-year-old students at an elementary school. In a press release on Tuesday, police identified the suspect as 36-year-old Clarence Walker of Champaign. He is scheduled to be arraigned on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Wednesday. As of late […]

News Around Illinois – April 28, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Illinois Sees Highest Number Of COVID-19 Deaths In One Day CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker responded Tuesday to the ruling of an Illinois judge that sided with State Representative Darren Bailey against the extended stay-at-home order. Gov. Pritzker said the judge’s ruling on Monday is limited and only applies to one person. He noted the […]

Champaign Police Officer Tests Positive For COVID-19

Champaign Police Cars

CHAMPAIGN – The city of Champaign announced late Thursday night that a police officer has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. In a press release, the city said the officer is at home in isolation and does not need hospitalization.  The city did not release any other information about the officer’s […]

News Around Illinois – February 18, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

President Commutes Prison Term Of Former Gov. Blagojevich CHICAGO – President Donald Trump says he has commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The 63-year-old Democrat is expected to walk out of prison later Tuesday. Trump told reporters the sentence was “ridiculous.” The former governor was convicted of political corruption in […]

News Around Illinois – January 22, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Pritzker Says SIU-Carbondale Project Is Sample Of Higher Ed Improvements CARBONDALE – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker visited the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus Tuesday to highlight the state’s capital program funding for higher education. Pritzker touted over eight million dollars in funding to start planning the renovation and expansion of the campus’ Communications Building, built […]