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County board votes to raise variety of fees

URBANA – With little discussion, the Champaign County Board voted Thursday to approve increases in a variety of court fees and fees levied for copies of documents from the county clerk's office.

All told, the increases approved will generate an additional $756,000 for the county in fiscal 2004, which begins Dec. 1. They come on top of $226,000 in other fee increases approved earlier this year for the sheriff's office and for parking.

College fair gives students chance to 'window shop'

CHAMPAIGN – Area high school students can shop for the right college at the upcoming Illinois College Exposition on Wednesday at Parkland College.

About 70 different colleges and universities, ranging in size from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and other major state universities to tiny Berry College at Mount Berry, Ga., will be represented at the event from 6 to 8 p.m. at Parkland's gymnasium.

Interim department head at UI selected

URBANA – Howard Maclay, a former University of Illinois director of the Institute of Communications Research, has been named interim head of the department of advertising, effective immediately.

The selection, made by Interim College of Communications Dean Ronald Yates, is a move to stabilize a department that has been rocked by criticism. This week a committee that was appointed to evaluate the UI's College of Communications described the advertising department as "imploding" and recommended disbanding the department and making it an area of specialization.

UI garden used to educate people about dangers

Rebecca Dieter and Marianne Krumdick have a really impressive garden growing, more than 90 species – some of which can kill you.

In fact, pretty much everything in the garden Dieter and Krumdick, two University of Illinois veterinary students, maintain near the corner of Lincoln Avenue and St. Mary's Road in Urbana could at least make you sick.

Punch ballots again for '04 votes

URBANA – Vermilion County Clerk Lynn Foster says that the punch-card system of voting is "not a good system." In particular, she said she notices that whenever she handles punch-card ballots, she invariably finds loose chads left behind, making her question the accuracy of vote counts.

"Are these chads loosened by the voters, or are these ballots fragile enough that chads fall out on their own?" she asked.

Professor stresses basics in math learning for kids

Children need to walk before they can run and the same thing goes for learning math, University of Illinois research indicates.

Preschool kids who first gain an understanding of basic concepts like "oneness" and "twoness" will do better later learning fairly abstract skills, such as subtraction, says UI Professor Art Baroody.

Some faculty angered by report on UI college

URBANA – An analysis released Tuesday concerning the University of Illinois College of Communications and its various units was misinformed, racist and sexist, says one faculty member in the college.

Paula Treichler, director of the Institute for Communications Research, said she was shocked and blindsided by the report.

High-tech weather forecasts planned

A new system to improve forecasting of dangerous weather such as tornadoes will be designed in part at the University of Illinois and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

The National Science Foundation on Wednesday announced that $11.25 million has been awarded to a project called Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery, or LEAD, on which the UI, the NCSA and several other institutions are collaborating. The UI gets $2 million.

United Way sets lofty goal

URBANA – The United Way of Champaign County has set an annual goal tied for its highest ever, $3 million, even as other communities lower their sights in an ailing economy.

The umbrella foundation did it in style Wednesday evening, as Busey banker and drive Chairman Curt Anderson landed at Frasca Field in a biplane, along with airport owner Rudy Frasca.

Champaign fire chief will retire

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign's fire chief for the past decade has told city officials he intends to retire, effective August 2004.

John Corbly, 58, who became the city's fire chief in June 1993, said he told city officials about his plans at a meeting Wednesday morning.