Teacher of the week: LaDonna Hackler

On Wednesdays, we'll spotlight a difference-making area educator. To nominate a teacher, tweet to education reporter @Nicole_Lafond with the hashtag #TeacherOfTheWeek.

Area update: Alderman named mayor of Monticello

MONTICELLO — Ward 1 Alderman Larry Stoner was appointed mayor of Monticello at Monday night's city council meeting.

Chicago teachers rally to push ahead stalled contract talks

CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of Chicago teachers and their supporters held a rally as the fight continues between the teachers union and the school district for a new contract.

Burton chosen to lead chancellor search committee

URBANA — A history professor who has headed up a major humanities institute on campus will chair the search committee for a new Urbana chancellor at the Universi

Area update, Nov. 22, 2015

Housing authority board to discuss director's job

DANVILLE — The Danville Housing Authority board has called a special meeting for Tuesday to discuss the employment of the agency's executive director, Greg Hilleary.

Ask 'Mimi,' Nov. 22, 2015

Was Heloise Godet, the French actress who was at the 2015 Ebertfest, in Paris during the terrorist attacks?

Yes, and I'm happy to report she's safe. I actually first heard of the attacks while sitting at my desk here at work and checking Facebook, where she posted this message:

Students 'flip' over prof's class, which blends online and in-class learning

URBANA — Not everyone would show clips of the unfortunately named British game show "Golden Balls" to illustrate a microeconomics lesson, but Jose Vazquez is not a typical teacher.

Class only a click away

URBANA — As a first-semester freshman, Madison Aiello was leery of piling too many hours into her class schedule at the University of Illinois this fall.

So she signed up for four classes on campus and two more eight-week UI courses online: introduction to theater and integrative biology.

Parkland bomb threat: 'Safety comes first'

CHAMPAIGN — Parkland College Vice President Chris Randles was in his office midmorning Thursday when he got the word from Parkland Police Chief William Colbrook.

An anonymous user had posted on Reddit, "Bomb. Parkland college. 11 am."

Banding together for big day

CHAMPAIGN — The Chargers and the Maroons are setting aside their differences for a big day.

As Central's football team prepares to take on Lincoln-Way West this afternoon — with a trip to the IHSA state finals at stake — members of the two Champaign high school marching bands will meet up, tune their instruments and play the Central fight song, together.