Villa Grove makes moves because of weather

VILLA GROVE — The Villa Grove school district announced Tuesday that school would be canceled Wednesday — and delayed Thursday — due to the winter weather.

Salt Fork district name, officials approved

CATLIN — Jamaica school Superintendent Phil Harrison will hold the same title for the joint Catlin-Jamaica district come fall.

Fleet maneuvers: Keeping school buses running when winter hits

CHAMPAIGN — You know winter is finally here when the "STOP" arm on a school bus freezes.

"It's just one of those things you can run into," said Jeremy Roark, director of transportation for the Mahomet school district, which has a fleet of 25 buses that was about to start its 18 daily routes Monday morning, the first day back from holiday break, when that happened to one.

School proposal for April ballot coming Monday

CHAMPAIGN — On Monday, the Champaign Unit 4 school board plans to come forward with a new ballot proposal — one that includes a similar, if not lower, price tag; a plan for Dr. Howard Elementary School, as well as a new Central High School at the Interstate Drive location; renovations to Centennial High School; and a plan for repurposing the current Central.

Updated: UI proposes no tuition hike for freshmen

Rates would increase by 2 percent for nonresidents

URBANA — Faced with more Illinois students turning them down, the University of Illinois has proposed keeping tuition rates flat for in-state freshmen who enroll for this fall.

Updated: Bennett to step down from Parkland board

GIBSON CITY — Parkland College Board Chair Tom Bennett said he will resign from the board on Jan. 22 in order to devote all of his time to being a state representative.

Earlier, Bennett had said he intended to try to serve in both offices.

Education's glimmer of hope

By Gene Budig

News about the present and future of American K-12 education continues to be discouraging.But a series of effective out-of-school programs is creating a glimmer of hope.If we focus on these, thousands of children can be salvaged from a broken system.

First the bad news (culled from three recent reports).

Stores, schools, road crews all warming up for winter

CHAMPAIGN — Hand warmers? Check.

Shovel? Check.

Snowblower? Somewhere in the back of the garage, where it's sat unused since last year.

If you don't have ice melt for your walkway, you might want to add that to your list, too.

Go figure, Jan. 1, 2015


Men convicted of crimes in Champaign County who were treated to New Year's Eve pardons by outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn.

But the granting of clemency to Russell Dearing (possession of controlled substance, charged in 2004), Donald Tyree (burglary, 1985) and Richard Cotner (burglary, 1982) was just a sidebar to Wednesday's bigger headline.

Area update: GCMS backs idea of academy at Parkland

GIBSON CITY — School board members want to give Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley students every opportunity to advance their career goals, especially those who might "fall through the cracks" if not given such chances.