Newcomer takes over two school positions in Ludlow

LUDLOW – Drusilla Lobmaster of Springfield is the new superintendent-principal at Ludlow Grade School.

She will succeed Jerry Zachary as superintendent and Tom Townsend as principal at the end of the school year.

Rantoul schools board hears calls for full-time social worker

The Rantoul City Schools board is not ready to make a decision on a proposal to hire a social worker at J.W. Eater Junior High School.

Board member Bill Sweat proposed the hiring at last month's meeting as Eater experiences increased difficulty with some children. But board President Kevin Modglin said Thursday night he wanted more information before voting.

Urbana residents petition for closure of park

URBANA – Residents concerned about large numbers of rowdy youths congregating at a minipark near King Elementary School and a recent nearby shooting have petitioned the city to close the park.

The petitions, signed by about 65 residents, were presented to the Urbana City Council this week by Rosalind Lewis, the wife of Alderman Robert Lewis, D-Ward 3. The Lewises live at 803 N. Goodwin Ave., near the city-owned minipark at the southwest corner of Goodwin and West Beslin Street.

Two principal finalists discuss leadership styles

CHAMPAIGN – The two candidates for principal of Bottenfield Elementary School spoke to parents and teachers at a community forum Thursday evening about their management styles, how they support teachers and the role of parents in a school.

The finalists are Heather Livengood and Elizabeth Bretz.

Valedictorian chose DACC over others that offered scholarships

DANVILLE – When Eric Free was a senior at Bismarck-Henning High School, he was offered full-ride scholarships to Blackburn College and several other small schools.

He turned them down to attend Danville Area Community College.

Lodge residents receive info on new plant

LODGE – Groans and raised eyebrows greeted representatives from Clarkson Grain during a public meeting to discuss bringing a corn-processing plant to a 40-acre site in Lodge.

The plant would be used to process corn to make tortillas and corn chips.

Urbana school district takes measures following Thursday Threat

URBANA – Students and faculty at Urbana Middle School will have extra security measures the rest of the year after a threat was found in the school Thursday afternoon.

An employee found a graffiti message containing a threat about turning the school into "the next Virginia Tech" in a school bathroom at about 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon, said UMS Principal Nancy Clinton.

Urbana Middle School next school to undergo lockdown

URBANA – A graffiti message containing a "potential threat" was found by an Urbana Middle School employee in a school bathroom early Thursday afternoon, said John Muirhead, the Urbana school district's spokesman.

The message – discovered between 1 and 2:15 p.m. – has not been released; however, it was said to contain a reference to Virginia Tech, which Muirhead did not deny.

Alternative in works for Rantoul students behind in credits

RANTOUL – Rantoul Township High School officials plan to open an alternative high school this fall for students who need to make up credits.

The school board this week approved the plan to address a graduation rate, 67.9 percent, and test scores that don't please district or state officials. Superintendent David Requa said the project, named Eagle Academy, will be housed at a location separate from the high school. He's looking for that location and for teachers to work there.

Oakwood parents to get letters about grade school threat

DANVILLE – Parents will get letters today from school officials regarding a threatening message at Oakwood Grade School that was found Wednesday in a bathroom stall.

A student has been disciplined over the threat.

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