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It's Your Business: Danville bookstore plans Harry Potter party

Blue Kangaroo Books in Danville will host a late-night book release party in honor of the fifth installment of a best-selling series.

Owner Vicki Auditore plans to open her downtown business for the party, starting at 10 p.m. Friday. The new book, "Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix," will be sold at midnight.

Serious trouble at school

CHAMPAIGN – In mid-May, police were called to Franklin Middle School after a bomb threat, a dramatic event emblematic of the troubled year there. It wasn't the last time police would visit the school.

Faculty members at Franklin say events during the school year just completed have been so

Carle, UI test computer-generating new bone

In the future, a doctor with a patient in need of a new bone might design one on a computer screen and then punch a button to make it reality.

If that sounds like science fiction, consider this: Researchers at the University of Illinois and Sandia National Laboratories, working with Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, did something a lot like it recently.

Uni grad pedals to fight cancer

URBANA – When Matthew Woodbury rolled up to his parents' house in Urbana on Saturday, he had ridden his bicycle for two weeks, through rainstorms and over mountains, to get there.

And he's only about one-fourth of the way through his trip.

Carle doctor helped plan Navy's floating ERs

URBANA – Navy Commander James Gregory turned to his civilian self, Dr. James Gregory, to come up with a plan for floating trauma centers in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

And the immense Navy Afloat Trauma System, despite all the uniforms, ended up looking a lot like civilian emergency rooms, using many of the same standards in finding, triaging and treating wounded or ill military personnel – Iraqis among them.

El Centro chief at 70 has found his calling

URBANA – Hugh Phillips studied for the priesthood for a decade before he changed careers and became a teacher in California.

Forty years later and, by a circuitous route, in Illinois, he started a third career, as director of a group that helps Latino workers, El Centro por Los Trabajadores.

School employee accused of abuse

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign school teacher's aide is accused of fondling a girl at South Side Elementary School last month.

Donald Lee Stewart, 37, who listed an address in the 1300 block of Larkspur Lane, Champaign, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery in a public place, namely South Side Elementary, 712 S. Pine St.

Rossville-Alvin near merger choice

ROSSVILLE – Months of merger discussions with neighboring school districts may finally give way to action Monday night when the Rossville-Alvin school board considers a resolution to pursue a high school cooperative with the Bismarck-Henning school district – or a consolidation with the Hoopeston Area school district.

Rossville-Alvin Superintendent Carl Sartwell said the resolution states that Rossville-Alvin and Bismarck-Henning will form an athletic cooperative in all sports in the 2004-05 school year and begin sharing some academics. That would serve as a transition to share all athletics and academics in following school years.

Scholarships may put end to hot air event

DANVILLE – A decision by the Balloon Classic Illinois board of directors to establish an education fund at Danville Area Community College has basically signaled the end of the annual hot air balloon event.

Balloon Classic Executive Director Ron Crick announced Friday that the organization will contribute $100,000 to the DACC Foundation for two annual $500 scholarships for students who are active volunteers in the community. The contribution depletes the organization's reserve funds, making it nearly impossible to finance another Balloon Classic event. The last one was in 2001.

Tuskegee Airmen honored by larger display

RANTOUL – Col. Bill Thompson said he was too busy trying to defend his country to worry about breaking color barriers in the military 63 years ago.

"When you put your life on the line to defend the world for democracy, you don't think a lot about a person's color of skin," said Thompson, one of the original members of the 99th Pursuit Squadron. "We were all Americans first."