About Us

CU-CitizenAccess is an online newsroom devoted to community and watchdog reporting by journalism students at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The newsroom focuses mostly on Champaign County and central Illinois, but produces occasional regional, national and international stories.

NEW TOOL: Click here to search Champaign County property by owner name — a feature removed by county officials

Neighborhoods

Causes of many fires in Champaign and Urbana go undetermined; Campustown is a hot spot

A cigarette butt flicked out of an open window.  A late-night pizza sitting in the oven for too long.  A hair curler left on during a night out.       These scenarios are...

Champaign County suffers chronically high number of domestic violence calls and cases

In the first two months of this year, there were around 10 calls per day to emergency services regarding domestic violence and disputes in Champaign County. It is the leading statistic for...

University of Illinois campus trying to address safety concerns over e-bikes and e-skateboards; Accidents not being tracked

Almost two years ago, Illinois State University administrator Adam Peck was hit by a bicycle. Four days later, he died of his injuries. Peck, the assistant vice president for student affairs, was...

Neighborhoods

Causes of many fires in Champaign and Urbana go undetermined; Campustown is a hot spot

A cigarette butt flicked out of an open window.  A late-night pizza sitting in the oven for too long.  A hair curler left on during a night out.       These scenarios are...

Champaign County suffers chronically high number of domestic violence calls and cases

In the first two months of this year, there were around 10 calls per day to emergency services regarding domestic violence and disputes in Champaign County. It is the leading statistic for...

University of Illinois campus trying to address safety concerns over e-bikes and e-skateboards; Accidents not being tracked

Almost two years ago, Illinois State University administrator Adam Peck was hit by a bicycle. Four days later, he died of his injuries. Peck, the assistant vice president for student affairs, was...

Recent News

Toxins in the air: Central Illinois factories and plants release millions of pounds of risky chemicals

The Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) facility in Decatur, which processes grain products into food ingredients and ethanol, released 2.7 million pounds of toxic chemicals in 2022, including one...

Champaign’s vacant properties can languish for years without correction; Fines increased in past two years

Building paint is peeling, junk litters the property and “no trespassing” signs sporadically adorn fences surrounding the approximately 330,000 square feet of property of the mostly vacant C.S...

Seven07 pipe burst displaces residents

The night Monica Milanowski returned to her apartment at Seven07, a 14-story high-rise in Champaign, after going home for winter break in January, her apartment was flooded with...

Over one year later, no detached housing built following Champaign ordinance

Some residents expressed concern about a negative impact on neighborhoods when the city of Champaign passed a June 2022 ordinance to build additional, detached housing on their properties. ...

Complaints about yard waste and housing in disrepair continue to rise in Urbana; Property inspections behind schedule goal

Rental property and nuisance complaints have soared in Urbana over the past few years, records show.  The records, obtained via Freedom of Information Act Request, show a total...

Champaign County doesn’t allow looking up property by name. We made it searchable again.

Although the Champaign County Assessment Office has a property tax lookup tool developed by the software company DEVNET, the office decided to remove the ability to search properties...

Justice

Champaign County suffers chronically high number of domestic violence calls and cases

In the first two months of this year, there were around 10 calls per day to emergency services regarding domestic violence and disputes in Champaign County. It is the leading...

After fatal shootings, Rantoul police recommended more training. They just sent one officer to a gun range

This story is part of a partnership focusing on police misconduct in Champaign County between the Champaign-Urbana Civic Police Data Project of the Invisible Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit public accountability journalism organization, and IPM...

Champaign hired Police Chief Timothy Tyler despite disciplinary past and allegations of misconduct

This article originally appeared on IPM Newsroom on January 29, 2024. This story is part of a partnership focusing on police misconduct in Champaign County between the Champaign-Urbana Civic Police...

Accidents and emergency calls mount at Archer Daniels Midland plants in Decatur in past year; Employee dies in rail accident, multiple employees injured in explosions

Listen to WILL’s coverage for interview audio and hear from the reporters on The 21st Show. Just months before he planned to retire, 66-year-old Robert Dautel was killed in an...