A lesson on the new Urbana school leaders

When students enter Urbana schools this fall, chances are they'll see plenty of new faces — and not just classmates. Four Urbana elementaries have new principals, and three top administrators are new to their positions. Here, News-Gazette staff writer Amy Reiter offers the basics on the new administrators and where they work:

Two arrested in Champaign bank heist

CHAMPAIGN – Police arrested two Danville men on charges of armed robbery Saturday morning after they held up First Federal Savings Bank, 1912 W. Springfield Ave, C.

The incident occurred at 8:58 a.m. when one of the men, wearing a hat, gloves and a jacket, entered the bank armed with a handgun and demanded money.

Christie gets active in economic development

CHAMPAIGN – For the first time in years, Christie Clinic is taking an active role in Champaign County economic development.

By contrast, crosstown health care provider Carle Foundation has been well-represented in economic development work for years.

Master Farmer Dave Downs talks about past, present, future

Dave Downs, 58, of Allerton was named by Prairie Farmer Magazine in July as one of four 2007 Master Farmers. He farms in Champaign, Edgar and Vermilion counties with his brother, Jim, and son, Doug. The Allerton-based Downs family also includes his wife, Janece, son Rob, a Chicago area banker, and Doug's wife, Dawn, and daughter, Samantha.

Champaign man accused of armed break-in

URBANA – A Champaign man is accused of an armed robbery last month.

Harvey Peter Blakely, 43, who listed an address in the 1600 block of Williamsburg Drive, was arraigned and pleaded innocent Friday to charges of armed robbery and robbery.

Champaign schools scheduling registration

CHAMPAIGN – Registration for most Champaign school students begins next week.

All students must show proof of residency. In addition, students entering kindergarten, fifth and ninth grades must have a school physical and up-to-date immunizations.

County committee to consider new court fee to fund program

URBANA – The Champaign County Drug Court is asking for a new $5 court fee so it can continue treatment and training for alcohol- and drug-abusing clients.

The proposed court fee will come before the county board Justice and Social Services Committee at 7 p.m. Monday at the Brookens Administration Center, 1776 E. Washington St., U.

Mediator sought in Fisher; Mahomet teacher talks continuing

FISHER – Teacher contract talks are ongoing in two area districts. In Fisher, a federal mediator has been called in. In Mahomet, that step has not yet been taken.

Gene Vanderport, Uniserv Director for Region 9 of the Illinois Education Association, said a mediator will moderate the next meeting between Fisher's teacher union representatives and the school board.

I-57 traffic will be detoured temporarily

CHAMPAIGN – Get ready for some traffic disruptions in the area of the new Interstate 57 interchange at Curtis Road.

Overnight Monday, state workers will close I-57 on either side of the new ramps to work on the Curtis Road bridge over the highway. The detour will take drivers off the highway at the new exit ramps and then back onto the highway at the new entrance ramps – "right off and back on," according to Jeff Birch, an engineer for the state transportation department.

Dental practice gives free exams and school supplies

CHAMPAIGN – Dozens of children without dental insurance got free exams – and school supplies to boot – at a free clinic Friday in Champaign.

Dr. Vinh Hick and her staff at Baytowne Dental Center, 907 W. Marketview Drive, C, provided free teeth-cleaning, exams, X-rays and small fillings from 8 a.m. to noon Friday.