Go figure: March 13, 2015

Go figure: March 13, 2015

A numerical look at local headlines


How old one of Paxton's favorite sons was when cancer killed him last month. But Clayton Hale won't soon be forgotten around town.

Next month, the Paxton city council will approve naming the walking bridge over the Canadian National tracks for Clayton, whose passion for locomotives was so well-known, customers would bring him train magazines at Paxton Hardware & Rental. And, as fellow employee Nikki Jayne told the Paxton Record: "You always knew Clayton was around when you would hear the train whistle when his phone would go off."

Resident Judy Hastings requested the tribute, which will include signs commemorating the bridge at both the west and east ends. Clayton's parents, Larry and Diana, are all for it, Hastings said.


Teachers honored Thursday with 2015 Cupcake awards — the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation's annual salute to educators who display "exemplary service, extra efforts, enthusiastic attitude and innovative ideas that noticeably benefit students."

Roll call:

Lucia Black, who teaches English as a second language at Unit 4's International Prep Academy. From her nominator: "There is no mass-produced textbook series that would be appropriate for her to use with her students, so she is constantly collecting, creating and modifying materials that fit her students' particular and unique needs."

— Of Martin Luther King Elementary kindergarten teacher Laura Campbell, who's in her 27th year with the Urbana school district, her sponsor wrote: "She is considered a teacher leader because she learns about new things and tries them out with her students. Other teachers are able to learn from her successes, and move forward with implementing new strategies to make students successful."

Jay Hooper, who teaches math at Centennial High School, was chosen because he "provides his students with access to software that is widely used by statisticians and data analysts and designs instructional videos and assignments for students as a resource outside of class," the foundation said.


The increase in impact fees charged to new single-family homes in the Urbana & Champaign Sanitary District, beginning May 1. The district now charges new homes $1,942.50 in impact fees; those will go up to $2,082.50. The fees will go up another $140 in May 2016 and $157.50 in May 2017.

Those extra dollars will help pay for the district's new Second Street pump station project, expected to cost between $6.5 million and $8.5 million. The new pump station, located near Scott Park, will handle sanitary-sewer loads from new development on campus and in Campustown, downtown Champaign, downtown Urbana, the University of Illinois Research Park and as far west as the Kraft plant.


Classes participating this week in Mahomet-Seymour High's annual Shakesfest, a school-wide English 2 competition that tests students' script-writing skills, acting abilities and Shakespeare knowledge.

Freshmen were given "Romeo and Juliet" while sophomores were tasked with interpreting "Julius Caesar."

How it works, courtesy teacher Marissa Franks: "After students have read and studied Shakespeare's famous work, they spend one week preparing for a performance for that piece. They write a script, make a set, bring in props and costumes, make posters advertising the performance, and rehearse all week. On performance day, others classes are invited to watch."


Unit 4 school board candidates endorsed by the Champaign Federation of Teachers. They are: Chris Kloeppel, Kathy Richards, Kathy Shannon, Jonathan Westfield and Alissia Young.

To earn the CFT's approval, candidates were asked to fill out a questionnaire and attend a group meeting. Said CFT President Cathy Mannen: "What we are looking for is the ability to have dialogue and a common vision on the issues facing us. We need a board that can help this community come together instead of drift apart."

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