Land purchase for FutureGen project proceeding

MATTOON – The parties involved in attempting to bring the FutureGen clean power plant to Mattoon will finish buying the land next week.

Coles Together and the FutureGen Alliance are basically splitting the $6.5 million cost of about 400 acres that have potential to allow the storage of liquefied carbon dioxide deep underground.

County board committee advances school tax proposal

URBANA – Champaign County taxpayers could see property tax rebates in exchange for a sales tax increase under an agreement with county school districts.

The county board's policy committee voted 5-2 Wednesday to send the schools sales tax election issue on to the full board, which meets at 7 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Brookens Center, 1776 W. Washington St., U.

Planning panel for Urbana schools in place

URBANA – Twelve people from around Urbana have a mission.

Their challenge, now that the school board has accepted them, will be to peer 10 years into the future of Urbana schools and come up with something more than fixing stairs or repainting an entrance.

Thomasboro looking at increasing water rates

THOMASBORO – A 20 percent water rate increase is being considered by the Thomasboro Village Board to offset the costs of needed repair work to the water tower.

Now, the minimum amount for residents is $7.50 per month for the first 1,000 gallons of water used and $1.75 per 1,000 gallons after. This has not been raised since 1999.

Danville TIF district proposal gains support

DANVILLE – Ann Lilley has lived on East Main Street for more than 20 years and worked at nearby Danville Area Community College for 17 years.

She told the Danville city council Tuesday night that a proposed tax-increment-financing district on East Main Street would benefit the college, its students and the neighborhood.

Preparations begin for Freshman House at Danville High

DANVILLE – Some Danville High School classrooms are getting a fresh coat of paint. But instead of the institutional white students are used to seeing, crews are painting in shades of blue and green, tan and pink and "buttercup" yellow.

The new color scheme – which research shows is conducive to learning and creativity – is one of many details that has gone into creating the Freshman House program, which begins in a couple of weeks.

Champaign psychiatrist to teach fall class at Parkland

CHAMPAIGN – Dr. David Kopacz, a Champaign-based psychiatrist, will teach an introductory Energy Healing Class this fall at Parkland College. HCS 136 will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays.

The course will combine academic and experiential learning for the purpose of personal growth. Energy Healing is a process of increasing self-awareness to better understand yourself and how you distort reality through your defenses. Human beings are made up of many different mind-body-spirit levels which the class will examine. Other topics will be how people change, the defense system, intuition, and how growth is a function of personal responsibility. The course does not lead to certification in energy healing.

Hoopeston Multi Agency providing aid with school supplies

HOOPESTON – The Hoopeston Multi Agency Service Center is taking applications for low-income families in the Hoopeston school district to receive assistance with school supplies.

Applicants must bring proof of income for the past 30 days and social security cards of everyone in the household. If the family gets public assistance through the Department of Human Services, a medical card for each family member must also be furnished. Complete applications with documentation at the agency, 206 S. First St.

Urbana school district's Splash program funding drying up

URBANA – There's no water involved, and yet the Splash program at Urbana Middle Schools seems to have made a big one.

Last year, about 380 middle schoolers – about one-third of the school – took part in the many after-school and before-school activities offered in the grant-funded program, said Principal Nancy Clinton.

Top students may not be getting into state universities

Legislators have asked a state commission to look into its program for high-ranking high school juniors to find out if the students are getting into the state universities of their choice.

Every year the Illinois Student Assistance Commission honors the top 10 percent of all high school juniors from around the state by designating them state scholars. In recent years some legislators have heard anecdotes about scholars who, despite their high grade point averages and ACT or SAT scores, were denied admission in state schools, particularly the University of Illinois, said State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington. Brady, who sits on the appropriations and higher education committees, introduced the legislation. It unanimously passed the Illinois State House and Senate.