URBANA – Health Alliance Medical Plans has been ranked one of the nation's top 10 health plans in a study just released by U.S News & World Report.
An Urbana managed care company owned by Carle Clinic, Health Alliance was ranked 10th best in the nation for its Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Point of Service plans on a list of 257 commercial health plans nationwide.
ST. JOSEPH – Tom Mathis of Ogden says he is amazed at how fast the St. Joseph-Ogden school district is growing.
"Every time you turn around, there is a new housing development going up here or a new subdivision going up there," said Mathis, a member of the high school board.
With the price of diesel fuel at more than $3 a gallon, many rural school districts might have to consider cutting back on field trips or other extracurricular activities to save fuel.
Keven Forney, superintendent of the Oakwood school district, said more than 800 of the 1,100 kids in the district are bused, and between May and Sept. 1, diesel fuel prices increased 45 percent. He hasn't checked for the last two or three weeks but knows it's even higher.
CHAMPAIGN – Parents and students say they won't let administrators downgrade foreign language programs without a protest.
More than 120 parents and youths jammed the school board meeting room Monday to express concern about the discontinuation of German studies at the middle schools and other changes they said penalize students who want to learn languages early.
CHAMPAIGN – For decades, Illini fans could always count on one thing (if not a victory) when they visited Memorial Stadium or Assembly Hall.
Just to the south was a sharp reminder – for the eyes and nose – of the rich agricultural heritage of the University of Illinois.
URBANA – An advisory task force will look at how to reduce crime in and around larger apartment buildings, after its approval Monday night by the Urbana City Council.
Alderwoman Lynne Barnes, D-Ward 7, suggested creating the task force, saying she was concerned about an increase in crime in southeast Urbana that began in 2004.
URBANA – The federal government has granted almost $1 million more to a history project planned by Urbana school district teachers.
The money will enable the teachers to continue their work, which started in 2003 with a $719,999 federal grant, until 2008, said Don Owen, a district staff development specialist, and Kathy Barbour, program coordinator.
SAVOY – Champaign County's fastest-growing community is about to get even larger. And its big neighbor to the north is getting bigger, too.
A Minnesota-based developer, Select Development Co., plans to start a 240-acre subdivision called Liberty on the Lake on the northwest side of Savoy starting in the spring.
CHAMPAIGN – Bar owners who allow too many underage patrons to drink alcohol in their establishment could face penalties under a proposal that will be considered Tuesday night by the Champaign City Council.
As part of a package of proposed alcohol enforcement policy changes, the city is, for the first time, proposing to make it a violation of the liquor code if, on any bar check by police, the number of arrests for underage consumption or possession of alcohol exceeds 3 percent of the licensee's occupancy limit for rooms that are in use.
URBANA – Champaign County voters have used the stylus and punch card for the last time.
Champaign County is about to buy a $1.1 million optical-scan system that will let voters know when they have voted for too many candidates – and also will allow for much quicker and highly accurate counting of ballots.