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All Education Content

Gibson City students' campaign stresses dangers of unsafe driving

GIBSON CITY – Bonnie Arends says her whole world came crashing down on her on Jan. 17, 2003.

That's the morning when her twin sons, Greg and Steve, both seniors at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School, were riding a silver Oldsmobile on Illinois 54 outside of town when the car suddenly left the road and struck a utility pole.

Champaign board plans special meeting to consider school options

CHAMPAIGN – School officials have proposed a compromise to address concerns of the black community – replacing and enlarging Washington School instead of building in Boulder Ridge.

The board will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Friday at district headquarters, 703 S. New St., to consider that and any other options that might emerge.

Opinions, emotions mix over school site

CHAMPAIGN – Emotions ran high at a meeting Wednesday between school officials who are trying to find a location for a new north side school and black community leaders who don't accept the site the district chose.

During the 2-hour meeting, community members lashed out at school officials, questioning their commitment to their legal agreement to equalize education for white and black children. Lawyers and officials clashed, confrontations quickly quelled by committee head William Trent, a University of Illinois education official who guides the committee's discussions.

Site for new Champaign school draws fire

CHAMPAIGN – Two leaders of the black community are criticizing the site for a proposed new school in northwest Champaign.

"It is so far out and so unacceptable," said Tracy Parsons, head of the Champaign County Urbana League. "I drove out there myself to see it. I think it presents a dilemma to those of us who want to support the school referendum. It's important because work needs to be done in the schools. But that location is unacceptable, and there's no way we can support that."

Parkland candidate stresses caring

CHAMPAIGN – If Kathryn Jeffery were Parkland's president, the college would market not just its high tech, but its "high touch."

The last of five Parkland presidential candidates to address its staff, Jeffery stressed the caring and counseling a community college can give its students.

Parkland candidate brings experience to build on

CHAMPAIGN – Gordon G. Burns Jr. learned the value of work from a hammer, nails and his dad.

Born into a family with five kids and somewhat less than modest means, Burns started helping his father in his carpentry business at age 12, and hasn't stopped working since.

Site picked for new school in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A site selected for a new school north of University Avenue meets one consent decree criterion – it's north.

But, fulfilling the fears of vigilant members of the black community who keep a close eye on equity issues, it's also on the edge of a new subdivision likely to have a primarily white population, which means black student busing will still be the rule rather than the exception.

Uni High assistant track coach accused of molesting students

URBANA – An assistant track coach at University High School is accused of molesting two girls since last fall.

Yuri Ermakov, 23, who listed an address in the 1000 block of East Colorado Avenue, Urbana, was arraigned Monday on two separate counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Projected bump in elementary students hasn't materialized

CHAMPAIGN – Numbers used to promote a 1997 Champaign school referendum show housing start estimates don't always translate into new students to fill schools.

In projections promoting a 1997 referendum to build Stratton and Barkstall schools, school officials based population projections on estimates of 1,343 new housing starts in the district.

District set to respond after vote — up or down

CHAMPAIGN – If voters approve a tax increase on the March 21 ballot to build three new elementary schools, district officials are ready to take fast action.

"We'll hit the ground running," Chief Financial Officer Gene Logas said. "We'll let bid packages for the northwest and Savoy schools within a couple of weeks. We'll get moving on them as soon as possible, and I hope we're building by late summer so they can be enclosed by winter."