Getting Personal: Amanda McGrory

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 30-year-old Savoy resident Amanda McGrory, a professional athlete and a graduate student, teaching assistant and research assistant at the University of Illinois, chats with The News-Gazette's Melissa Merli.

What interests you the most right now?

Coming Attractions: Future Central has plenty of choices to make

Glass walls. Mobile furniture. Natural lighting, and plenty of it.

The 21st-century high school, like the one taxpayers gave Unit 4 permission to build for $87.1 million, looks nothing like the one currently at 610 W. University Ave.

Out: dimly-lit, lecture-style classrooms with white boards, textbooks and desks in a row.

Fate of UI employees' possible mid-year raises undecided

URBANA — University of Illinois employees will get a few extra days off over the holidays, but there's still no decision on possible mid-year raises, a spokesman said Friday.

UI, service-employee union's contract talks heading into next year

CHAMPAIGN — Months of contract talks between the University of Illinois and its service-workers union will apparently continue into next semester.

Two sessions with a federal mediator haven't resolved key financial issues, according to Ricky Baldwin, spokesman for Service Employees International Union Local 119. They will meet with the mediator again on Jan. 9-10.

Chicago schools: Cuts possible due to pension aid veto

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois Democrats failed Thursday to override the Republican governor's veto of $215 million to help the financially struggling Chicago Public Schools with pension payments as negotiations on an overdue state budget broke down again.

Parkland trustee: Eliminate athletics to shore up budget

What should Parkland do? Submit a Letter to the Editor here

CHAMPAIGN — For years, Donna Giertz has been trying to convince her fellow board members that the smartest solution to Parkland College's financial ills is to eliminate athletics.

Danville school district seeking a few good teachers

DANVILLE — Danville schools officials have put out a "help wanted" sign again.

Human Resources director Dianna Kirk said the district is in need of teachers who can fill several full-time positions, starting in January.

They include:

— An early-childhood teacher at Southwest Elementary School.

Danville school board OKs raises for admins, non-union workers

DANVILLE — Thirty-two Danville school district administrators and directors and nine non-union salaried employees are getting raises this year.

The school board on Wednesday voted 6-1 to approve a 2016-17 salary chart for administrators, an overall 5 percent increase over last year's spending for those salaries.

UI campus examining 'sanctuary' legalities

URBANA — A campus working group is studying the legal ramifications of making the University of Illinois a "sanctuary" for undocumented students, an effort launched earlier this month by faculty at the UI and other colleges across the country.

Wrestling with his loss

CHAMPAIGN — A former St. Thomas More wrestling standout whose life was tragically cut short by a traffic accident last year will be honored in a special way at his alma mater.