Labor day comes early

VILLA GROVE – The end of the school year holds a special kind of promise.

Tests are completed; papers handed back. The seniors donned their caps and gowns and flipped their tassels Friday. Students buzz with anticipation, summer's languid days imminent. It seems it could stretch on forever.

Soccer supporters push to include program at school

Nearly 50 people attended the St. Joseph-Ogden High School board's meeting Tuesday night in support of getting a varsity soccer program up and running at the high school in the fall. Those in attendance said they were a fraction of the people from the community who are directly involved with the sport via their children playing in St. Joseph's club soccer programs for students from grades K-12.

According to the club program's founder, Mary Hack, about 175 players are involved in the fall soccer season through all the levels, and those numbers have been consistent.

Danville school board fills most leadership posts

DANVILLE – The Danville school district is just one position away from having its administrative staff in place for the 2008-09 school year.

On Wednesday, school board members filled six key positions, including two elementary school principals, two Danville High School assistant principals and the administrators for the alternative school program and Danville High's Freshman House. The last two positions were created this year under a plan to improve alternative education programming in the district and another to boost instruction and student achievement at the high school.

Four at high school to take on new roles

DANVILLE – Four Danville High School leaders will take on new roles soon.

Danville school board members on Wednesday tapped Assistant Principal Mark Lindvahl as Edison Elementary School's principal.

Ex-foster mom agrees not to contact Arnette children

URBANA – The woman who once acted as a foster parent to the children of a slain Sadorus woman has agreed to have no contact with them.

In an agreement worked out in Champaign County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Angela Roy agreed to a request by the lawyer representing the seven surviving children of the late Naomi Arnette that she not contact the children.

State comptroller fighting for higher education

URBANA – As the deadline looms for a new state budget, Comptroller Dan Hynes has a message for Gov. Rod Blagojevich and legislators: stop picking on higher education.

Hynes, the state's chief fiscal officer, stopped at the University of Illinois Wednesday to push his campaign for more money for the state's colleges and universities.

Only Spanish-speaking employee leaving Danville library

DANVILLE – For the Danville Public Library, Rosalba Hernandez bridged a gap between an English-speaking environment and the community's Spanish-speaking population.

Hernandez, 61, is the library's only Spanish-speaking employee and works in the children's department.

Four-vehicle pileup occurs in work zone

CHAMPAIGN – Four vehicles were involved in a series of collisions on Interstate 57 north of Champaign on Wednesday evening.

State police at District 10, Pesotum, reported the accidents occurred at 4:57 p.m. Wednesday in the southbound lane of I-57 near Olympian Drive as a pickup truck towing a camper rear-ended another truck, resulting in collisions involving two other vehicles. State police reported one injury.

Woman pleads guilty in child solicitation case

URBANA – A former employee of a Ludlow grade school who admitted soliciting a student to have sex with her will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

Deborah Kissell, 32, of Ludlow, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis to indecent solicitation of a child, admitting that on April 13, she solicited a 16-year-old boy to engage in sex with her.

Man accused of setting house fire arraigned

URBANA – A Champaign man accused of setting fire to his girlfriend's home is due to be back in court June 17.

Kenneth D. Brown, 47, of the 500 block of East Columbia Avenue, was arraigned Tuesday on a single count of residential arson, accusing him of damaging the home of Serlena Britt at 909 W. Beardsley Ave., C, Sunday night.