CHAMPAIGN – There's a brisk argument going on at Next Generation Middle School about whether students' robots should be called pentapods or hexapods.
Andy May calls Slimy a hexapod, arguing that the machine he's created from scratch has six legs even though two of them are fused.
RANTOUL – The Rantoul Township High School dance team will continue next year, but with new rules, including administrators approving all costumes and choreography one week before scheduled performances.
The decision Monday night by the school board ends two months of uncertainty about the future of the Eagle Dance Team. In late January, high school officials canceled the last four basketball halftime performances, saying the school wanted to go in another direction.
HOOPESTON – When low standardized test scores landed Hoopeston Area High School on the state's academic early warning list three years ago, educators ripped a page from the history books and launched the Marshall Plan.
Now, Hoopeston Area High joins three other Vermilion County schools that have received an academic improvement award and recognition on the state's honor roll, along with 295 other schools statewide.
CHAMPAIGN – Before catching a flight to Washington, D.C., on Monday, U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, had a few things to say to his friends in the agriculture community.
He opposes cuts to the ag budget and will work to maintain the level of funding promised to farmers in the 2002 farm bill.
Astronomers can't poke a thermometer in the sun's mouth, or elsewhere, to take its temperature, so they use light.
That is, they extrapolate the temperature from the relative intensity of the lines in the spectrum of light from the sun and other stars, essentially the variations in the colors or wavelengths of light they give off.
CHAMPAIGN – The educational toy that Westview School students designed – on paper – won them a trip to the Sally Ride Toy Challenge at Raleigh, N.C., in May.
Now they have one hurdle to cross – they have to physically make the Readermark.
CHAMPAIGN – For three local entrepreneurs, the lure of Champaign's historic train station and a downtown in the midst of a revival proved too irresistible.
So they've leased some vacant space at the train station, and are turning it into something they hope will give people another reason to venture downtown – an upscale sports bar and restaurant called Tracks.
RANTOUL – After two months of discussion and controversy, the fate of the Rantoul Township High School dance team will be cleared up today at the school board meeting.
"The future of the Eagle Dance Team will be discussed and determined," said Jerry Zachary, superintendent for Rantoul Township High School.
Public teachers, university employees and state workers who are yet to be hired would end up with significantly less inflation protection than current employees enjoy when they retire, if Gov. Rod Blagojevich gets the pension reforms he is seeking.
The governor has proposed limiting automatic annual pension increases after retirement to 3 percent or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower.
DANVILLE – Ward 1 Alderman Robert Boyd remembers a time when Carver Park was a popular gathering place for children, families and church congregations.
"In the summer, it was just filled with people and activities – kids playing basketball, kids playing softball, people having picnics," recalled Boyd, who played there in his youth.