Newcomer takes over two school positions in Ludlow

LUDLOW – Drusilla Lobmaster of Springfield is the new superintendent-principal at Ludlow Grade School.

She will succeed Jerry Zachary as superintendent and Tom Townsend as principal at the end of the school year.

Man gets 25 years for producing meth in home

URBANA – A 63-year-old man producing methamphetamine in a large Urbana apartment complex last fall was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison.

Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd lashed out at James F. Lewis for the danger his operation posed to other residents of the Town & Country apartment complex at 819 Oakland Ave., U. The components used in methamphetamine production are highly toxic and volatile.

Rantoul schools board hears calls for full-time social worker

The Rantoul City Schools board is not ready to make a decision on a proposal to hire a social worker at J.W. Eater Junior High School.

Board member Bill Sweat proposed the hiring at last month's meeting as Eater experiences increased difficulty with some children. But board President Kevin Modglin said Thursday night he wanted more information before voting.

Off-street parking ordinance in works in Urbana

URBANA – Off-street parking is a mess in residential areas in west Urbana, and the city council will consider a zoning text amendment Monday night to clarify what the city considers to be appropriate parking.

The proposal also includes an enforcement strategy, and 26 single-family houses and duplexes in west Urbana could eventually be ordered to remove inappropriate parking spaces in their back or side yards, according to a city memo.

Danville mayor offers ideas to end housing woes

DANVILLE – "Blight court," tenant registration and increased fines for vandalism are all part of a proposal Mayor Scott Eisenhauer has for improving the city's housing by the end of the year.

Eisenhauer is set to present a plan that addresses the city's housing problems Tuesday at the city council's public services committee.

Getting wireless Net, sewer service cited as chief needs for Homer

HOMER – Homer residents believe their community's greatest needs are getting sanitary sewer service and wireless Internet, cleaning up and improving old buildings downtown and increasing support for local businesses.

More than 70 people turned out at the new Homer City Hall on Thursday to set those issues as Homer's priorities for the coming year during a planning workshop organized by the Homer Community Improvement Association and the board.

Two principal finalists discuss leadership styles

CHAMPAIGN – The two candidates for principal of Bottenfield Elementary School spoke to parents and teachers at a community forum Thursday evening about their management styles, how they support teachers and the role of parents in a school.

The finalists are Heather Livengood and Elizabeth Bretz.

Philo sewer contender heard from

PHILO – Philo residents and board members Wednesday heard from the second of three companies vying to provide sanitary sewer service.

Jeff Langenderfer of an Ohio company called Crane Pumps & Systems told board members about low-pressure sewer systems manufactured by Barnes Pressure Systems. Langenderfer said pressure sewer systems provide an economical solution for remote or otherwise challenging properties.

Urbana residents petition for closure of park

URBANA – Residents concerned about large numbers of rowdy youths congregating at a minipark near King Elementary School and a recent nearby shooting have petitioned the city to close the park.

The petitions, signed by about 65 residents, were presented to the Urbana City Council this week by Rosalind Lewis, the wife of Alderman Robert Lewis, D-Ward 3. The Lewises live at 803 N. Goodwin Ave., near the city-owned minipark at the southwest corner of Goodwin and West Beslin Street.

Valedictorian chose DACC over others that offered scholarships

DANVILLE – When Eric Free was a senior at Bismarck-Henning High School, he was offered full-ride scholarships to Blackburn College and several other small schools.

He turned them down to attend Danville Area Community College.