Classroom could teach lessons on giving spirit

VILLA GROVE – Barb Cler thinks her fourth-graders are a special bunch of students, but even she is a little surprised by their generous and caring hearts this holiday season.

This year, instead of the traditional gift exchange at the class Christmas party, the kids decided to pool their monetary donations to give presents, money and hope to a local family.

Sprouts at Jimmy John's focus of salmonella probe

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health, working in conjunction with local health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a salmonella outbreak at a popular area sandwich company.

Fisher school board approves tax levy

FISHER – The Fisher school board approved its 2010 tax levy of $3,288,000, $84,000 more than last year.

The amount reflects the $45,000 abatement of property taxes that will instead be covered by the county sales tax. The assessed property value increased in the district by about $1.5 million this past year.

Parents unhappy with plan to cut music, PE at Heritage

BROADLANDS – Parents of students at the Heritage School District are not happy with a plan to cut music and physical education programs at the elementary school.

School board members have expressed support for the cuts that would save the district $90,000 annually, though no vote on the matter has yet been scheduled.

Unit7 tax levy up by $72,000

TOLONO – School officials approved a tax levy increase of 4 percent Wednesday, which will generate approximately $72,000 in new funds for the coming year.

"We have to make sure we ask for all we can to be sure we have what we need to run the district," Superintendent Andrew Larson said.

'Things were already changing' at Danville Catholic schools

DANVILLE – The reorganization of Danville's Catholic school system will not come without pain.

How Danville Catholic schools are preparing for changes

The transition to the Schlarman Academy concept began with the 2010-2011 school year.

Before the school year, a 16-member Schlarman Academy board of trustees was selected, approved by the Pastors' Board and seated.

Economic agencies can't find ideal space to stay together

CHAMPAIGN – They worked alongside one another for 15 years, but no longer.

The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation and Convention & Visitors Bureau have decided there's no space right for all of them.

Ivesdale teen in custody for shooting mother

IVESDALE — An Ivesdale woman is hospitalized and her teenage son in police custody following a shooting at their home early Saturday.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said sheriff's deputies learned that the 14-year-old had apparently been planning for days to shoot his mother.

Reports to police

In crimes reported to area police:


– 1600 block of Queen's Way Drive: Home forcibly entered Wednesday or Thursday; 42-inch television valued at $700 stolen.

– Joe's Brewery, 706 S. Fifth St. Woman's jacket stolen about 1 a.m. Thursday; cell phone, keys also taken.