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Pana High School is taking the Solar Car Challenge, another in a long line of out-of-this world projects the school has embarked on over the past decade.

Four other stories you should see are the weekend heats up, council to consider Tyus for interim city manager, Decatur man seeks to have murder conviction overturned and  

Pana students energized by Solar Car Challenge

Students at Pana High School don't shy away from tackling complicated, out-of-this-world challenges.

For a decade, industrial technology teacher Steve Bonser's students built a moon buggy for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, previously known as the Great Moonbuggy Race. Bonser guides their effort, but the students do the work and solve the problems — it's their project. Pana was the only school in Illinois to compete.

In 2015, his students tried something new, the National SeaPerch Challenge, which is a remote-controlled robotic vehicle that travels in water. The students this year intended to do the moon buggy again, until they heard about the Solar Car Challenge.

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Heat, humidity descend on Central Illinois

Central Illinois will be on the edge of heat advisory temperatures this weekend, with humidity returning to the area. An official advisory has not been issued, but that may change, said Daryl Onton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln.

A heat advisory is typically initiated when temperatures reach between 105 degrees and 110 degrees Fahrenheit, Onton said.

On Saturday, temperatures are forecast to reach 91 degrees with a heat index of 105. There is a 20 percent chance of showers after 1 p.m. On Sunday, temperatures are forecast at 88 degrees with a heat index of 99.

Council to consider Tyus for interim city manager

The Decatur City Council will vote Monday on whether to name Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus as interim city manager.

Reached by phone after the council agenda was released Thursday afternoon, Tyus, 46, said he did not want to comment until the council formally considers him for the role.

Decatur man seeks to have murder conviction overturned

A Decatur man facing anywhere from 20 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of murder and attempted murder is asking the trial judge to acquit him or grant him a new trial.

Keirsean M. Bond, 26, filed post-trial motions arguing everything from a lack of convincing evidence to the possibility his case was prejudiced by the behavior of a juror who he said flashed a thumbs-up sign to the victim’s family.

Auctioneer offers $5,000 reward regarding theft of guns

A Decatur auctioneer said he is left feeling sad and angry after the theft of nine consigned firearms that were scheduled to be auctioned Saturday.

And Cody Redman has come up with 5,000 reasons why he thinks he can persuade someone to unload clues that will lead to the recovery of the stolen weapons, which include pistols, shotguns and one antique shotgun.


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