Getting Personal: Tori Exum

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, Urbana resident Tori Exum, the senior manager for extra services at the University of Illinois, chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. She has had many other roles, from the Optimist Club to public service to being a mom to lots of children.

Are you still a troop leader with the Girl Scouts?

New discipline policy in at Urbana, while deans, suspensions are out

URBANA — Five months after unveiling a controversial new policy that led to an exodus of teachers and dominated debates at school board meetings, Urbana is set to put its new student discipline structure into action.

Districts see need for school resource officer as 'unfortunately ... a sign of the times'

After every early dismissal this year, Rossville-Alvin Elementary teachers and staff will spend 15 minutes discussing school safety.

And for the first time, a full-time school resource officer will be among their ranks.

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Aug. 12, 2018

Picking up where we left off last week: We asked 10 more local educators who've taught eighth grade to share a story about their own experience during that oft-awkward stage of adolescence.

Playtime's over: It's back-to-school season

Summer ended early for the elementary school kids at Barkstall, Kenwood, Thomasboro and Danville Northeast, where classes are underway. For the rest of the region, break is over in a matter of days. Here's an area-wide glance at when school starts.


Arthur Christian

Arthur district

Danville High (freshmen)

Prairieview-Ogden district

Retired Champaign teachers: 'It's like a family reunion'

URBANA — The retired teachers had gathered in Betty Rowell's backyard, pointing, exclaiming and hugging each other as a new one walked in.

But the man of the hour Friday afternoon was Jim Casey.

Top of the Morning, Aug. 11, 2018

In life, LIAM BROKISH, 6, was a friend to all.

And so it will be indefinitely, community members hope, with the addition of a memorial "buddy bench" at Carrie Busey Elementary in Savoy, where he once attended school. The first-grader was one of four Brokish family members killed in a Texas car crash while the family was on spring break.

Art installation teaches students 'to see something bigger than themselves'

URBANA — On the Webber Street fence outside Campus Middle School for Girls, the phrase "You Are Beautiful" projects outward with bursts of bright color.

Although it can be viewed as a quick, feel-good phrase, Traci Pines hopes it comes across with more substance.

Family Life | Make a back-to-school list and check it twice

If your family is like ours, we have registered the kids for school and started back-to-school shopping, and there is mixed emotion in our house of anticipation for the new year and the end of summer. This time of the year can be both exciting and rough for both parents and children.

As we ease into the school season, here are some tips to help your family transition:

Yankee Ridge honoring gymnast whose first flips came on its monkey bars

URBANA — It was the headstand that began an Olympic career.

In the gym of Urbana's Yankee Ridge Elementary, Mrs. Richards' class was having a competition to see who could stand on their head for the longest amount of time. Retrospectively, it's clear that no one else in Nancy (Thies) Marshall's class had a chance.