Daily dose: Local history, international students, courthouse designations, regional superintendents to get paid, above average November

Daily dose: Local history, international students, courthouse designations, regional superintendents to get paid, above average November

Local history

In 1911, as contemptible a trick as could be imagined occurred last night when someone stole the mite box the street railway boys were having to provide for the orphans of the Cunningham Children’s Home on Christmas Day. Luckily the box had been in place for only a few days and the sum was not large. Last year the streetcar boys contributed $27 to the orphans for Christmas presents.

In 1961, Champaign-Urbana’s switchover to “all number dialing” on Jan. 21 is part of a nationwide plan to present better telephone service. Letter prefixes “will be eliminated and we’ll go to all-number dialing — seven digits instead of the present five with two-letter prefixes,” explained Ronald Cate, manager of the local Illinois Bell Telephone area. And next summer, Cate said, local phone users will simply dial “1” to get into the long distance lines, rather than “112.”


International students at the UI

From Wednesday's column ...

There were 7,991 international students on the Urbana campus during the 2010-11 academic year, according to a new report by the Institute of International Education, putting Illinois behind only the University of Southern California and its foreign student enrollment of 8,615. (The UI’s international student enrollment this fall is up to 8,009).

During the 2000-01 academic year there were 3,798 international students on the Urbana campus, meaning the international enrollment has grown by 110 percent in 10 years. Four other Big Ten schools that had greater international student enrollments than Urbana in 2000-01 have reported increases in that time but not at as high a rate.

Purdue, for example, was No. 4 in 2000-01 with 4,469 foreign students. It is No. 4 in the latest rankings as well, but with an enrollment of 7,562, or 70 percent more than 10 years ago. Most of the other conference schools had international student enrollment increases of 10 percent to 52 percent.

Nine of the 12 Big Ten schools rank in the top 25 — every institution but Iowa, Nebraska and Northwestern.

Not only do international students add cultural diversity to college campuses, according to the IIE, but they bring financial benefits as well. At the UI, for example, tuition for an international freshman is twice what an in-state student pays. And the IIE estimates that the 33,766 foreign students in Illinois last year spent $945 million. If true, that would mean the 7,991 international students on the Urbana campus were worth about $224 million to the state’s economy. That’s about $28,000 per student at the UI.

Nationally, foreign student enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities rose 5 percent last year to a record 723,277, the IIE said.
Nearly 22 percent of all foreign college and university students in the United States last fall came from China.

On the Urbana campus, though, students from China make up 38 percent of the international enrollment this fall, followed by South Korea (19 percent), India (11 percent) and Taiwan (5.4 percent).

Honorary designations

Champaign County Board members Thursday night forwarded to Illinois' congressional delegation a request that the federal courthouse in Urbana be named for the late James R. Burgess, who had been a Champaign County state's attorney as well as a U.S. attorney. Burgess also was the first African-American elected to countywide office in Champaign County.

Some of those who voted against the proposal did so claiming that they didn't like the idea of naming public buildings for people.

But there's certainly a precedent for it in Illinois.

Among the nine federal courthouse in Illinois -- listed on the General Services Administration website -- five already have an honorary designation. They are in Alton (William L. Beatty), Chicago (Everett Dirksen), East St. Louis (Melvin Price), Rockford (Stanley J. Roszkowski), and Springfield (Paul Findley).

In addition to Urbana's federal courthouse, those without honorary designations are in Benton, Peoria and Danville. Shouldn't the Danville courthouse be named for Uncle Joe Cannon, Danville's greatest benefactor?

Regional superintendents to get paid -- after about five months without pay

From The State Journal-Register ..

Illinois’ regional school superintendents should start getting state paychecks again at the end of the month, although their back pay could take a little longer.

State Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Fergus said Thursday the agency is working to ensure paychecks are issued to regional superintendents and their assistants on Nov. 30. The checks would cover work done the previous two weeks, she said.

After that, the superintendents and assistants will resume a regular schedule of being paid on the 15th and the last day of each month.

Regional superintendents and their assistants haven’t gotten state paychecks since July 1, after Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed money for their salaries from the state budget. During the veto session, lawmakers approved a bill reinstating those salaries, but paying them out of personal property replacement taxes that are distributed to thousands of local taxing bodies.

The superintendents also are due back pay dating to July 1. Fergus said the state board is still computing those amounts.

“We are working to get it paid as quickly as possible,” she said. “We hope it is soon.”

Brad Hahn, spokesman for Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, said the office is prepared to issue checks to the superintendents as the state board submits authorization. The superintendents and assistants are not entitled to interest on their past-due salaries, he said.



A balmy November, so far

The coldest local temperature so far this month was 24 degrees on Nov. 11.

That compares favorably with most of the last 11 Novembers when there usually had been a colder day by now, including 18-degree November days in 2005 and 2006.

The exceptions were 2009 when the coldest temperature all month wasd 28, and 2001 when the low was just 27 degrees.

The average temperature this month is 49 degrees, quite a bit warmer the historic average for November, which is 41.3 degrees. The coldest days of the month lie ahead, of course.




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