Bill would require high schools to provide path to associate degree

SPRINGFIELD — A state senator wants to give all Illinois high school students the opportunity to walk across the graduation stage with an associate degree to complement their diploma.

From Pacific to Arctic, students demand action on climate

BERLIN (AP) — From the South Pacific to the edge of the Arctic Circle, students mobilized by word of mouth and social media are skipping class to protest what they see as the failures by their governments to take tough action against global warming.

Others in C-U used company at center of college-admissions scandal

CHAMPAIGN — Elisabeth Kimmel, who announced her resignation from First Busey Corp.'s board of directors Thursday after being charged in a college-admissions bribery scandal, isn't the only person with ties to the area who was familiar with the company at the center of the allegations — The Key — and its owner, Rick Singer.

UI to hire hundreds more faculty over next 5 years to handle rise in enrollment

URBANA — The University of Illinois plans to hire hundreds of new faculty members across its three campuses over the next five years to accommodate rising enrollment and invest in strategic areas.

That would mean 168 new positions for the Urbana campus, in addition to faculty hired to replace professors who leave or retire.

Court casting wide net for jury in Christensen trial

PEORIA — A thousand questionnaires have been sent out this month to potential jurors in the trial of accused kidnapper and killer Brendt Christensen, U.S. District Judge James Shadid said Thursday at a hearing in Peoria.

First Busey board member accused in college-admissions scandal resigning

CHAMPAIGN — Elisabeth Kimmel announced her resignation as a member of First Busey Corp.'s board Thursday, two days after she was charged by federal prosecutors in an alleged college-admissions conspiracy.

Authorities allege that Kimmel used her family's charity to bribe the tennis coach at Georgetown University to help her daughter get admitted in 2013.

'Champ' proponents make pitch to UI trustees; Chief defenders critical

URBANA — "Champ" made his official pitch to be the University of Illinois mascot Thursday, with an ROTC student showing up in full costume to greet UI trustees.

UI sophomore Mike Skibski presented the idea for a World War I soldier to represent the Fighting Illini during the public comment section of the board's meeting at the Illini Union.

Charity masked web of fraudulent college donations, feds say

The mastermind of a wide-ranging college admissions scandal set up a charity that wove a deep web of deception and fraud to mask bribes and payoffs, funneling millions of dollars through the tax-exempt organization under the nose of U.S. officials, according to prosecutors and tax documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

On UI trustees' agenda: Student health-insurance rate increase, mascot ideas

URBANA — Higher student health-insurance rates, a new international travel policy for students and public comments on proposed Illini mascots are on today's agenda for University of Illinois trustees.

The board meeting begins at 8 a.m. at the Illini Union, though the public portion of the meeting doesn't start until around 9:30 a.m.

Danville schools committee recommends metal detectors at high school

DANVILLE — A Danville schools panel that's been studying safety measures would like to see walk-through metal detectors, wands, an electronic visitor-management system and increased security staffing at the high school.