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Local News

Police probe fatal shooting

An arrest has been made in connection with the fatal shooting in Danville on Wednesday. Deputy Chief Terry McCord said in a news release that Wednesday evening police responded to the 800 block of South Street on a report of subjects shooting. Police located two men at the scene.

A 30-year-old Bourbonnais man identified as Leequale E. Key was transported from the scene to the Danville hospital. He was later pronounced dead from his injuries.

Police took into custody 26 year old Nairobi Williams of Champaign for investigation of 1st degree murder.

This incident is currently under investigation and no other details are being released. Anyone with information on this incident can contact the Danville Police Department at 217-431-2250 or Vermilion County Crime Stoppers at 217-446-TIPS.

 

Danville's Got Talent returns

Danville’s Got Talent returns to the Fischer Theatre Friday. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 6:30.

13 local performers will appear on the Fischer Theatre stage as they compete for the title of Danville's Most Talented and for cash prizes.

First Prize - $1500

Second Prize - $1000

Third Prize - $500

People's Choice - $500 (decided by the audience)

Tickets for the main floor and balcony are only $5 and are available at the box office tonight

Carle Hoopeston cited for patient care

Article supplied by Carle

A publication that focuses on healthcare industry news recently listed Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center (CHRHC) among the top hospitals in the country, including among only 15 in Illinois, to be the best in nurse communications for patients.

Becker’s Hospital Review came up with the list based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems data from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services. The star rating is based on responses to three survey questions on how patients feel about nurses providing clear explanation, nurses treating patients with courtesy and nurses respecting and listening to patients. The data, released Jan. 31, 2024, is from post-visit patient surveys done between April 2022 and March 2023.

“We are very proud of our nurses at Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center. The care and respect the nurses offer each patient is evident each day. The nursing teams have provided a commitment to a rural area that is otherwise limited to care received close to home. The nurses take pride in providing access to world-class care, listening to individual patient needs, and ensuring they have the information they need for healthcare decisions,” Heather Tucker, DNP, RN-BC, NEA-BC, Hospital Administrator at Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, said.

CHRHC nurses are on a journey to Magnet designation, the highest recognition for nursing excellence in the healthcare industry. They are dedicated to creating an inclusive and compassionate care experience and are proud to earn the trust the community has in their care. 

Mayor seeks to end odd rumor

Danville Mayor Rickey Williams says it’s time to end a strange rumor.  The owners of the Village Mall are emptying out part of the building and have been unresponsive to city overtures.  Williams says the rumor is that the Mall owners are going to turn it into a housing area for illegal immigrants.  The Mayor says that is simply not true.

         

 

The Mayor has expressed disappointment with the lack of communications with the out of town Mall owners.

Senator announces grant funds

 

State Senator Paul Faraci has announced that Danville Area Community College is set to receive $550,000 and the Illinois Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors is set to receive $165,000 in grant funding. The money is to support pre-apprenticeship programs for the construction trades.

The money to DACC was previously announced for its pre-apprenticeship program which helps prepare students to successfully transition to a registered apprenticeship in carpentry, plumbing and construction. Tuition and fees for this program are entirely grant-funded through state programs.

Faraci said that the money given to the  Associated Builders & Contractors will also have a local impact. Its pre-apprenticeship program offers opportunities to workers located within 50 miles of Champaign-Urbana.

 

War Museum to re-open

The Vermilion County War Museum will be re-opening this Saturday,(March 2) following remodeling. Several new exhibits, spaces and rooms will be open including a Media/Technology Center which features an area for recording videos with veterans, an 85-inch TV screen for videos, research and historical programming, a library and displays. The Medal of Honor Hall is now complete with uniforms like those worn by each of the local recipients, storyboards and displays. A new downstairs display area is also open with new exhibits and a coffee bar for visitors, volunteers, and veterans. Painting and “freshening” have been completed in many areas of the museum as well. A new World War II Jeep desk is at the sign-in area for visitors downstairs. Various displays have been changed or updated throughout the Museum as well.

War Museum Vice President Larry Weatherford said, “We think that visitors will like the new look and feel of the Museum and enjoy learning about and seeing all our new items and displays. We also have plans for a soon-to-be constructed interactive children’s area. That should be in place by late spring or early summer.

Curator Ron Bolser said, “An Open House to commemorate and celebrate our 25th anniversary is being planned for later in the year. Special observances of military holidays are also planned throughout the year.”

The Vermilion County War Museum is located at 307 North Vermilion Street in Danville. The 14,000 square foot building was originally Danville’s Carnegie

Library. “Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. We do have openings for volunteers in various areas. You can call  431-0034 or stop by the Museum for details.”

 

Liquor & video permit license changes move forward

A proposal to update Danville liquor and video gaming licenses has passed through committee, but some changes were approved first. The plan changes the type and number of liquor licenses. It also changes fees for liquor licenses and video gaming permits. Mayor Rickey Williams says the proposal is designed to meet current needs and to help businesses

The Public Services Committee reduced the planned cost of licenses for bars, restaurants and video gaming parlors.  Micheal Gregory was one of the bars owners who told Aldermen that bar profits are slipping.

 

The new proposal creates a video gaming permit which allows 10 businesses in the city to have video games without serving liquor.

 The committee also approved a plan to purchase two police dogs and associated training of the canines and canine handlers. The agreement with a professional canine service would cost 33 thousand dollars. The Danville Police Department currently has one canine unit.

The committee also approved applying for an Assistance to Firefighters grant for 60 thousand dollars. If accepted, the grant would cover 90% of the cost for ten sets of personal protective equipment for firefighters.

All of the committee’s actions will go to the full city council next week.

Fischer Theater Director leaves job

Article supplied by Vermiion Heritage Foundation

The Vermilion Heritage Foundation is announcing the resignation of its Executive Director, Jason Rome, effective February 29, 2024. We have been working towards this transition for quite some time and we would like to congratulate Jason for five years of service to The Fischer Theatre, its patrons, and to the community at large. During his tenure as Executive Director, Jason led the organization through what felt like the impossible - making the dream of so many a reality as our Lady opened her doors to thousands of visitors to experience the arts in this magical and historic space. 

Jason was successful in pushing the organization through a global pandemic, thoughtfully restructuring the financial position of the foundation, creating diverse opportunities, and presenting a variety of programming to the members of our community during his time of service to the organization. Jason consistently made choices with the survival and mission of the theatre at the top of his mind, and we are grateful for his leadership. 

We wish him the best in all his future endeavors and would like to extend our gratitude to Crystal Bivans for accepting the role of Interim Director effective March 1, 2024. Crystal has been serving at the Fischer Theatre in the role of Operations Director since July of 2021. She has been instrumental in driving the theatre's forward momentum through thoughtful communication, streamlining processes, dreaming up creative and engaging events, introducing flavorful concoctions to the café, and coordinating our volunteers. She has consistently been a positive resource for the theatre, and the Board of Directors is confident in her abilities to bridge the gap for the organization during this transition. 

The mission of the Vermilion Heritage Foundation is, "We believe that art is vital to a good life. Our purpose is to fund and oversee the restoration, maintenance, and operations of the Historic Fischer Theatre in order for all to experience the arts in this local treasure." Our promise to the community during this transitional period is to keep the mission of The Vermilion Heritage Foundation at the center of our focus as we begin the search for our next Executive Director. 

We will make every effort to continue providing programming during this transitional time, and we ask the community, our partners, and our patrons to be patient with us while we reorganize, strategize, and continue to grow stronger as an organization. We know how incredibly lucky we are to have this gem in our community, and we will be serving diligently, with integrity, to ensure the best possible outcome for all. 

We extend our gratitude to all who have given time, talent, and treasure to the Fischer Theatre, carrying the torch to this point and into the future. The Fischer will never go dark so long as we have our friends. 

 

Danville issues burning ban

A burning ban has been issued for the City of Danville and will be in effect until 8 a.m. Wednesday. Warm temperatures, gusty south winds, low relative humidity, and dry vegetation will create conditions favorable for the rapid spread and growth of fire. Strong gusty winds of 30-40 mph will persist through Wednesday.

The burn ban does not apply to charcoal or gas grills used for cooking, although extra safety precautions should be taken.

Home damaged by fire

Firefighters are investigating a fire that damaged a home at 210 State Street in Danville. Firefighters were called to the scene Sunday night and found a large fire in the front porch area. They immediately extinguished the fire on the front porch and moved into the home to extinguish the blaze inside the structure. A search of the home was carried out, and no victims were found. The occupants of the structure were not home at the time of the fire.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined. Damage was estimated at $19,500.

DSO to continue its concert season

The Danville Symphony Orchestra (DSO) continues its 2023-24
season and Music Director search Mar. 9 th with “¡Noche Hispana!” in the Dick Van Dyke Auditorium.
On Saturday, March 9 th at 7:30 pm, Music Director Candidate, Maestro Richard Zielinski, will
return to the podium and lead the DSO through a classical program inspired by the Hispanic
world, featuring composers Berstein, Bizet, Debussy, and Márquez. This concert will also feature
renowned classical piano recording artist and scholar, Rochelle Sennet, who will be performing
Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain – Noches en los Jardines de España.
Following the concert, patrons are invited to a small reception in the lobby to meet the Maestro.
Light refreshments will be provided.
“¡Noche Hispana!” is made possible by Sybil Mervis in memory of Lou Mervis. Tickets are still
available for the Mar. 9 concert, with seats remaining on the main floor and balcony for $35 and
$45. Students with a valid ID can buy tickets for $10.
Tickets may be purchased online at danvillesymphony.org, or by calling (217) 443-5300. Tickets are also available at the DSO office at 715 West Fairchild Street, Danville. Hours 1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Danville police seek canine helpers

The Danville police department wants to add a pair of four footed helpers. The Public Services committee this week will discuss a plan to purchase two Police Service dogs and associated training and certification of the canines and canine handlers through an agreement with Midwest Profession Canine Services. The agreement would cost 33 thousand dollars.

The resolution says the police Canine Unit needs to replace previously retired Police Service Canines and handlers. The service Canines and Police Officers handlers will be professionally trained and certified to State and Departmental standards,

The Public Services committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

MEG units remove guns and drugs from streets

The Illinois State Police report that in 2023, Metropolitan Enforcement Groups and multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Forces across the state seized 718 firearms, 17,812 pounds of drugs, and arrested 1,904 individuals. The Vermilion County MEG last year made 90 arrests. The agency also took 34 guns and 153 pounds of narcotics off the streets.

These groups are comprised of state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies and are focused on enforcing Illinois drug laws, investigating gang activity, and combating high-level gun, drug, and human trafficking.

Felon with a Gun Gets 6 Years

News provided by State's Attorney


On February 20, 2024, Emmit Brown (DOB 9/7/1979), formerly of Danville, Illinois, pleaded guilty to Unlawful possession of a Weapon by a Felon, a class 2 felony. He was sentenced to 6 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, to be followed by 1 year mandatory supervised  release.
Circuit Judge Robert McIntire heard evidence that on January 11, 2024, Emmit Brown was stopped by an officer with the Danville Police Department for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation it was discovered that Brown was on mandatory supervised release for a prior felony conviction. Officers subsequently searched the vehicle and found a loaded Hi-Point handgun under the driver’s seat.

9 year prison sentence given for drug sales

News provided by State's Attorney

On February 20, 2024, Avery Brandon (DOB 5/23/1973), formerly of Danville, Illinois, pleaded guilty to Unlawful Possession With Intent to Deliver Controlled Substance, a class 1 felony. He was sentenced to 9 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, to be followed by 1 year mandatory supervised release.
Circuit Judge Robert McIntire heard evidence that on October 28, 2022, agents with the Vermilion County Metropolitan Enforcement Group executed a search warrant of the residence of Avery Brandon. During the search, agents located many grams of cocaine, plus drug scales. During an interview, Brandon admitted he had cocaine throughout the house and that he had sold cocaine on October 28, 2022.
 

Stores forced to close in Village Mall but Mall owners decline city help

Two store operators in Danville’s Village Mall say they are being forced to close by the mall owners. And City officials say they have offered to help the Mall, but the owners are not interested.

The issue of the JumpOff store in the Mall being forced to close prior to its lease being up came to the Danville City Council Tuesday night. According to business owner Alvarez Dixon, the JumpOff! indoor family fun center received a 30-day notice of early termination of its lease with the Danville Village Mall.

Mayor Rickey Williams said the situation is sad because JumpOff has been providing a good entertainment option for kids. The city would like to help, but the private owners of the mall have declined assistance.

         

 

Claire’s has also been forced to close at the mall next month. And Burlington also recently announced it was closing.

JumpOff is launching a crowdfunding campaign online to help with the cost of relocation. Community Development Administrator Logan Cronk says the city is helping the store.

         

 

Williams says the city has no control over leases with a private business. The Village Mall owners are incorporated in Texas.

Governor provides state spending plan

Gov. JB Pritzker delivered his budget address to Illinois lawmakers Wednesday. Capitol News Illinois reports the 51.7-billion-dollar spending plan includes increased funding for human services, healthcare, education, and more.

Pritzker highlighted his Smart Start early education initiative, saying in its first year, the state exceeded its goal of 5,000 new preschool seats by 15 percent.

 

           

Pritzker announced plans to push for a new “Healthcare Consumer Access and Protection Act,” which will impose stricter regulations on health insurance companies and the coverage they provide. Pritzker says doctors and patients should be in charge of making healthcare decisions – not insurance companies:

 

            

Although Gov. Pritzker’s spending plan calls for spending $1.8 billion more than the current fiscal year, financial forecasters are predicting a deficit next year. Pritzker says his proposed budget makes – quote – hard choices.

 

                  

Local state Senator Paul Faraci called the Governor’s budget plan a good start. He was happy to see increased funding for education. He also liked that the budget calls for funding to help people living with disabilities. He says he would like to see more of such funding.

Republican local Representative Brandun Schweizer was not quite as supportive of the Governor’s plan and said he was skeptical of the priorities. He said he is a team player and wants to see the budget planning to fruition, but he is uncertain if lawmakers will all agree to roll back on unnecessary spending.

 

Study urges demolition and rebuilding 3 fire stations

A study shows a need for Danville to demolish and rebuild all three of the city’s fire stations. The firm ShiveHattery gave a presentation to the City council Tuesday examining the current stations and the need to improve fire safety in the city.

Andrew Avara of the firm said all three stations show structure damage. He says any new construction would be built to last longer than those buildings.

         

 

The study also shows that the location of the fire stations makes it impossible to reach all locations in Danville within the four minute industry guidelines. Daniel Spake said that is the reason that  the recommendation is to move some of the stations.

 

Station three would be located in a spot where it could better serve residents on the east side as well as the VA and businesses in Eastgate.

Much of the plan is also designed to protect firefighters. There would be zones where equipment and the trucks could be safely cleaned of toxic materials away from firefighter living areas.

          Such a plan would have a hefty price tag.

                  

 

Mayor Rickey Williams such the city would have to do a bond sale to fund such a project. The City council and the fire department will be discussing the plan over the new few months. The consultants estimate it would take about two years to build new fire stations.

Danville looks at liquor ordinance

Danville is proposing changes to the liquor and video gaming license structure. Mayor Rickey Williams presented a proposal to the city council Tuesday saying it is designed to correct some licensing issues and to help local stores.

 

The plan changes the type and number of liquor licenses. It also changes fees for liquor licenses and video gaming permits. After getting alderman input, the proposal will go to the Public Services Committee next week and then on to the full city council.

Construction causes calendar change at Danville school

Ongoing expansion and renovation work at Northeast School is causing a calendar change for the Danville School. The school will be continuing a traditional school calendar next year. The school had operated with a balanced calendar for several years, but went to the traditional calendar this school year because of the construction at the school. The plan had been to revert to the balanced schedule next school year.

Superintendent Alicia Geddis sent a note to Northeast parents saying there is work that needs to be done in the current portion of the school. So the school needs to open later than the balanced calendar allows to give contractors time to work. The school will open August 12 next school year.

Man arrested after warrant executed

A Danville man was arrested Monday after police executed a knock and announce search warrant. Deputy Chief Terry McCord said police went to the unit block of Stroup Street to execute the warrant obtained with assistance from the Vermilion county State’s Attorney. Police arrested 40-year-old Lafayette Harper on an outstanding warrant. Harper was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Restraint, Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Convicted Felon, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. All charges were developed from a complaint and investigation conducted by the Danville police. If anyone has more information to provide please contact the Danville Police Department at 217-431-2250 or Crime Stoppers at 217-446-TIPS (8477).

Probationary firefighters join Danville force

Three probationary Danville firefighters were sworn in Monday. Dean Lambert, Cristofer Harrier, and Nash Garrison all took the oath from Danville Mayor Rickey Williams in a ceremony at City Hall. All three will go into a training program. Five other firefighters are coming off training to keep the Danville Fire Department at full staff.

Local hospital renovates patient care areas

News supplied by OSF

For the past few months, OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville, Illinois, has been renovating the patient care area on the hospital’s fourth floor. Upgrades have been made to the floor, ceiling, furniture, showers, nurse call system and telemetry system. The walls have a fresh coat of paint and new artwork. The project was made possible thanks to generous community donations.


“Anywhere there’s patient care at the hospital, we’re looking at upgrading,” said Ned Hill, president of OSF Sacred Heart. “The fourth floor is usually where people spend multiple days with us to get better, so we want the area to feel welcoming and modern.”

Phase one of the upgrade, comprising roughly half of the patient care area, is nearing completion. Patients will soon be receiving care in the completed half while the other half is vacated to start renovations. OSF Mission Partners (employees), community leaders and others will gather to bless the completed space on February 21.

Danville's got Talent returns to Fischer

Article from the City of Danville

Join us for the third year of Danville’s Got Talent at the Fischer
Theatre! Danville’s Got Talent will take place on March 1

st, starting at 6:30 PM. Doors open at 6

PM.
Danville has been the hometown of many talented performers. Today, many gifted performers
still reside here!
Danville's Got Talent will display 13 local performers on The Fischer Theatre stage as they
compete for the title of Danville's Most Talented and cash prizes. Tickets for the main floor and
balcony are only $5, sold in advance at atthefischer.com or at the box office before the show.

First Prize - $1500
Second Prize - $1000
Third Prize - $500
People's Choice - $500 (decided by the audience)

For more information regarding Danville’s Got Talent, check out FirstFridaysDanville.com!

Local bus agencies get grant awards

Danville Mass Transit has been awarded four buses through a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The state said this is 688 thousand dollars awarded to the mass transit district. The state announced more than 500 paratransit vehicles valued at $57.1 million have been awarded to 113 public transportation providers and nonprofit organizations serving seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Champaign County and the Champaign-Urbana mass transit district each will receive 3 buses with a value of 360 thousand dollars.

CRIS Rural Mass Transit District will obtain 5 buses worth 600 thousand dollars, and  Crosspoint Human Services will also get 360 thousand dollars for 3 buses. For more than 20 years, the program has helped smaller transit agencies navigate the red tape of the public bidding process while ensuring their vehicles meet federal requirements and specifications. By purchasing in large volume, the state buys the vehicles at a lower cost than if they were purchased individually or in smaller amounts.

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Police probe fatal shooting

An arrest has been made in connection with the fatal shooting in Danville on Wednesday. Deputy Chief Terry McCord said in a news release that Wednesday evening police responded to the 800 block of Sou...

Read More


Danville's Got Talent returns

Danville’s Got Talent returns to the Fischer Theatre Friday. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 6:30. 13 local performers will appear on the Fischer Theatre stage as they compete...

Read More


Carle Hoopeston cited for patient care

Article supplied by Carle A publication that focuses on healthcare industry news recently listed Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center (CHRHC) among the top hospitals in the country, including amo...

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