Close to home: Search for a new Central

Questions? Email education writer Nicole Lafond at

If the next Central High School isn't built on 80 unpopular acres of farmland at Interstate Drive, it ought not leave its current neighborhood.

A mother's letter to a coach

This is what Karen Snook wrote to Monticello Coach Cully Welter about her son's final season as manager.

Tonight was a rarity for me. It was a moment that doesn't happen often, a moment most would not treasure. My son cried. Hard. He cried, tried to regain his composure, then cried more. The reason? You.

For the retirees, March 20-27, 2016

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 48 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, phone 359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

'This is payback time'

DANVILLE — As a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, Julius W. Hegeler II flew 70 combat missions in the Korean War, including the last.

Later, he helped build a company that would become the world's largest contract packager of chemical specialties and one of Vermilion County's largest employers.

Officials hoping second PARCC year smoother than 1st

SPRINGFIELD — The second year of PARCC testing is underway, with a shorter, simplified exam that state officials hope means fewer headaches than last year.

Righter hits Killeen over UI hiring

SPRINGFIELD — University of Illinois officials were forced to admit Thursday that a hiring freeze announced last summer wasn't really a hiring freeze.

The university has hired 1,111 people systemwide since last July 1, said state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Charleston, including 23 in central administration.

A surprising gift from a quiet couple

DANVILLE — Harold "Boo" and Virginia "Ginny" Auter led quiet, unassuming lives.

The Danville man worked as an engineer at Esco Corporation, and his bride of 55 years worked at the GE plant.

During most of their marriage, they lived in a house they built on the edge of town, where they could enjoy nature.

UI has lost 22 professors this year

URBANA — The numbers are still "fluid," but the University of Illinois' flagship campus has lost 22 tenure system professors so far this year, a 70 percent increase over the comparable figure last year.

The numbers, as of January, include tenured professors and those on the tenure track, according to Vice Provost Abbas Benmamoun, who oversees faculty matters.

Two high school sites ruled out

CHAMPAIGN — South Side Elementary School neighbors and Country Fair business owners can rest easy, for now.

A new high school will not be built on either of those sites, Unit 4's special facilities committee decided Thursday evening.

Transcript of Killeen's remarks to Legislature

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen's remarks as prepared for delivery to a state Senate committee on higher education. Provided by the UI: