State Briefs 7/27/09

Cancer research center moves closer to reality

PEORIA – A cutting-edge cancer research center is ready to move from concept to reality on the campus of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

UICOMP held a news conference Monday morning to detail specifics of the project, about two years after first publicly disclosing its intention to build the research center.

The medical school’s regional dean, Dr. Sara Rusch, said UICOMP’s board of trustees is expected to have architectural designs in hand for the 20,000-square-foot building in November, with groundbreaking planned for early 2010.

Rusch said the state’s capital bill, approved July 13 by Gov. Pat Quinn, contained $3 million in funding for the cancer center. That brought UICOMP close enough to the projected $13 million construction cost of the building that UICOMP’s board of trustees took action July 23 to move ahead with the design of the building, with plans to approve an architectural design in November.

Dr. Jasti Rao, a world-renowned researcher at UICOMP, said the building is expected to allow for the hiring of 45 faculty and cancer researchers. It also will help recruit physicians who would conduct research in the lab while also practicing medicine in the Peoria area, Rao said.

Peoria Journal Star

University of Illinois at Springfield drops ‘at’

SPRINGFIELD – The former Sangamon State University is now the former University of Illinois at Springfield.??

The school has dropped the “at” from its name, officials announced in conjunction with the unveiling of a new Web site late Friday.?

?“The university now will be known as University of Illinois Springfield or, simply, Illinois Springfield,” the school said in a news release.??

No signs or documents will be changed. “In fact, the original name remains on very permanent structures such as entrance signage, the colonnade, and the tile floors” in some campus buildings, the release said. ?

State Journal-Register

Three arrested in death of cab driver

SPRINGFIELD – Three people are in police custody in connection with the shooting death of a Springfield cab driver during the weekend.

Arrested were Brandon L. Allsup, 26, Donnella D. Hamilton, 26, and Ashley N. Davis, 20, all of Springfield, according to Christian County State’s Attorney Thomas Finks.

Allsup and Hamilton are charged with first-degree murder and Davis is charged with concealment of a homicide, Finks said.

The victim, Steven L. Brummett, was found shot in the back of the head about 10:45 a.m. Saturday in the driveway of an empty home west of Kincaid in Christian County.

Brummett, a driver for Lincoln Checker Cab of Springfield, was last seen Friday night at The Cove, a bar in Springfield. He picked up a fare at the tavern, but the cab company did not hear from him again.

St. Louis police found his taxi van abandoned in Forest Park late Sunday afternoon.

Bond for Allsup and Hamilton has been set at $1 million. Bond for Davis is $100,000.

Allsup was sought by Springfield police for allegedly robbing the CVS Pharmacy at Sixth Street and South Grand Avenue Thursday night. Police surrounded an apartment building for four and a half hours Friday morning believing he was inside, but once they finally entered they found his apartment empty.

State Journal-Register

Man arrested for slashing police car’s tires

HARRISBURG –  Harrisburg Police have arrested a man accused of having slashed the tires of Officer Brent Davis' patrol car.

??Chief Bob Smith said the vandalism occurred July 12. The subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Dean Raymer, 35, of Harrisburg, Smith said.

??Raymer is charged with criminal damage to state supported property.

Harrisburg Daily Register