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All News Content

C-U to hear testimony on IP at joint hearing

CHAMPAIGN – The cities of Champaign and Urbana will be conducting a rare joint hearing to solicit testimony from the public on Illinois Power's reliability and service to the community.

The hearing was prompted by the experience of Amdocs in Champaign, which solicited the state and city help to pay for a second power feed to the facility or risk losing the company.

Audit gives Champaign curriculum low marks

CHAMPAIGN – Curriculum auditor Larry Frase said Champaign schools' systems failed to make good grades, and he recommended making substantial changes in the district's administrative and educational structure.

However, Frase said he didn't find any teaching or evaluation shortfalls at Champaign that he hasn't found in other districts.

Group to open school for Wicca in Hoopeston

   HOOPESTON ? The world of Wicca will become more accessible in East Central Illinois because Chicago-based Telepathic Media has purchased the former town hall building in Hoopeston for use as a school to teach Wiccan principles, which include a belief in a god and goddess of nature.

   "God is within the individual, and we teach that people should try to listen to the voice of the deity within them," said the Rev. Don Lewis, who was born into the religion 40 years ago.

Urbana school board OKs tentative budget

URBANA – After wrestling for months with fiscal realities, Urbana school board members Tuesday passed a tentative budget for the upcoming school year that's in the black – for now.

"Everything's very tentative," said Carol Baker, district business director.

Art Theatre set to reopen on Saturday

CHAMPAIGN – After a delay of one week, Boardman's Art Theatre will open Saturday with the hit movies "Chicago" and "Spider-Man" and show the films for free all week.

The grand opening, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, also will feature a searchlight over Champaign and guest speaker John F. Allen, who designed the sound system for the theater and has done sound for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Governor wants say on investing

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich's budget office is attempting to tell the State Universities Retirement System and the other public contributory systems how to invest the proceeds from the state's recent pension bond sales, rather than leave the individual boards to decide.

"Considering how huge a spending pressure the pension contributions are on the state, it would be foolhardy of the state not to have some kind of management oversight of how the pension funds are investing in these dollars," said Becky Carroll, spokeswoman for the governor's Office of Management and Budget.

Curriculum audit results to be presented

CHAMPAIGN – A team of experts who have reviewed the curriculum in Champaign schools will report what they've found at two public sessions this week.

Results of the study will be presented to Champaign school board members at a special meeting at 7 tonight. Community members and district employees are invited to attend that session, and they're also invited to attend a meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday for the community, including business and community leaders. Both meetings are at district headquarters at the Mellon Administrative Center.

Urbana Rotary gift benefits A Woman's Place

URBANA – Children forced to leave their homes to escape domestic violence face many adjustments, big and small – like finding a safe place to play.

A routine trip to a public playground can be dangerous for children fleeing an abuser.

Developer told to revise Green project

URBANA – The developer of a proposed apartment building that has been a source of neighborhood ire along the West Green Street corridor will have to revise his plans before the project can clear city hall.

The city's little-used Development Review Board on Monday directed Mahommad J. Feiz to revise interior designs, come back with a landscaping plan and materials that can be approved by the city, and improve plans for screening against a neighboring property.

Supervalu gets national SuperTarget deal

URBANA – A national contract to supply SuperTarget stores means another 50 full-time warehousing jobs at Supervalu's distribution center in Urbana.

Hiring for the positions began last week, with wages starting at $14.13 an hour and increasing to $19.60 an hour after three years, said Mike Guth, general manager of the distribution center.