Co-op soccer program under consideration

HOMER – Heritage school board members are considering a proposal to have a cooperative soccer program with St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

At Wednesday's Heritage meeting, coach Bill DeJarnette of SJ-O proposed a soccer sports cooperative with Heritage that would be eligible for play in the Illinois High School Association. Parents and students who support St. Joseph-Ogden adding a soccer team to its sports program attended the meeting in Homer and voiced support for the possible co-op.

State school board praises Rantoul's reorganization

RANTOUL – State education officials say that changes implemented two years ago by Rantoul City Schools appear to be successful.

Rantoul City Schools Superintendent Bill Trankina told the school board Thursday night that he got a letter from representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education on June 4 praising the district's reorganization efforts, which began two years ago.

Two other suspects in St. Joseph attack arraigned

URBANA – Two more men accused of an attack on a St. Joseph couple are due to return to court after being arraigned Thursday.

Arraigned on Class X felony charges of home invasion and armed robbery were Jamal T. Williams and Chad K. Todd, both 20-year-old Chicago men. Both were arrested on warrants charging them each with two counts of home invasion and armed robbery and one count of residential burglary.

Processions, speeches to mark Urbana's 175th year

URBANA – A sidewalk procession through downtown Urbana Saturday morning along with speeches from a number of local officials will mark the 175th birthday of the city of Urbana.

"It's going to be fun," said Alderman Dennis Roberts, D-Ward 5. "We'll have musical instruments and signs. We're just celebrating the fact that we're alive and well after 175 years."

Westville school board hires testing company

WESTVILLE – School officials approved a one-year agreement with an online testing company to gauge student progress throughout the year.

Westville School Board members approved a $15,500 contract with the North West Education Association of Lake Oswego, Ore., to provide Measured Academic Progress testing to kindergarten through 11th-grade students up to four times during the year.

Savoy looks to guide growth through plan

SAVOY – A city planner hired by the village of Savoy to help update a comprehensive plan told the board and public about Savoy's progress since 2002, urging the public to give its input to help guide the future growth of the community.

Planner David Johnston talked about the rapid growth at a joint meeting of the village board and Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday, called to get public opinions on Savoy's future plans. Johnston said since November 2006, Savoy has seen developers approach, submit and receive approval for 566 acres of preliminary platted land for development, mostly slated to be used for residential purposes.

Crash deaths all judged to be accidents

URBANA – In other inquests Thursday, the jury ruled the deaths of three men in two separate crashes to be accidental.

– Delt Baines, 66, of Champaign, and his friend, Ronald Huffman Sr., 64, of Clinton, each died from injuries they received on April 23 when a car crossed over the center line of U.S. 150 near Ogden and hit their motorcycles head-on.

County board vote OKs nursing home loan, consultant

URBANA – The Champaign County Board voted Thursday night to hire management consultants to run its troubled nursing home.

The $15,000-a-month contract goes to Management Performance Associates, a St. Louis-area firm. Only Democrats Carol Ammons, Lloyd Carter, Lorraine Cowart and Jennifer Putman voted against the measure.

Deaths ruled as homicides, suicide

URBANA – A Champaign County coroner's jury ruled that an Urbana man killed his wife and daughter then killed himself last fall.

The jury took only minutes to find that the Dec. 6 deaths of Sarah Reed, 30, and her daughter Madeline Reed-Moss, 14 months, were homicides and that the death of Mark E. Moss, 30, was a suicide.

Healthy habits taking hold in Danville elementary school

DANVILLE – Northeast Elementary Magnet School teachers knew a wellness program launched last year was making a difference when students cheered for the salad bar.

Parents knew when their children began asking for fresh fruit instead of candy, and riding their bikes and inline skating instead of watching TV and playing video games.