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Central Illinois Headlines – April 25, 2024

Urbana police looking for a missing young refugee

Tiago Zumarraga-Mosquera Urbana Police Dept.

URBANA – Urbana Police are looking for a missing teenage refugee from Ecuador. officers say 14-year-old Tiago Zumarraga-Mosquera left home on Sunday morning to run an errand. He never returned home. Tiago is 6 feet tall, 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing khaki shorts and a khaki hooded sweatshirt. He may have a red rolling suitcase and white backpack with him. Tiago speaks Spanish and has limited English skills. 

Police ask you to call 9-1-1 if you think you’ve seen this missing teenager. – Reginald Hardwick/IPM News

Postal Service moving mail operations out of Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – The US Postal Service says it is moving ahead with plans to take regional mail operations out of its Mattis Avenue facility in Champaign and merge them with operations in the Chicago area. The USPS said with regional operations moving out, space in the Mattis Avenue post office will become a Local Processing Center, and a Sorting and Delivery Center.

Similar plans have been proposed but not decided on for the Springfield post office, in which case regional mail operations would move to St. Louis. In both cities, local government and union officials opposed the loss of regional mail operations. They said it will slow down local delivery times. But the Postal Service says that won’t happen, adding that distance is not the main factor in the logistics of delivering the mail. 

A timetable for the post office changes in Champaign has not been announced. – Jim Meadows/IPM News

Republicans want heavier penalties for protests

SPRINGFIELD – Republicans in the Illinois House introduced a new bill that could increase the penalty for people who protest on some busy roadways. The bill targets blockages that last more than five minutes and prevent emergency services from traveling. It would make that a felony.

Currently, people who block traffic in Illinois can receive a misdemeanor. The proposal follows a protest last week, when pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked traffic into Chicago O’Hare International Airport. – Jade Marceau/WBEZ News

A pair of Springfield streets are switching to two-way traffic

The City of Springfield has announced a portion of two streets will be changed from one-way to two-way traffic next month:

  • 4th Street from South Grand Ave. to Dodge St.
  • Adams Street from 6th St. to 9th St.

City officials say it is part of ongoing efforts to improve traffic flow and enhance safety. From May 6-10, drivers and pedestrians are urged to exercise additional caution when traveling in the referenced areas and be aware of all directions of traffic.

When approaching and entering intersections and driveways, watch for vehicles and pedestrians that may be unaware of the new traffic directions.

Specifically, on Adams St, parking on the south side will be reverse angle parking. This change is designed to increase parking efficiency and reduce the risk of accidents when entering and exiting parking spaces. – Sean Crawford/NPR Illinois

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Urbana Mayor Marlin confirms she won’t seek third term

Democrat Diane Marlin is confirming what she has been talking about for more than a year: she’ll step down as Urbana mayor when her current term ends next spring.

“After 8 years on City Council and 8 years as mayor, 16 in city government, is a good long run,” Marlin said in an interview with Illinois Public Media.