Georgetown-Ridge Farm district sees slight deficit

GEORGETOWN – School officials approved a $10.69 million spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year on Monday that may include up to $143,000 in deficit spending.

Superintendent Kevin Tate projects that the district will generate about $10.55 million in the upcoming fiscal year – about half of which will come in the form of general state aid.

GCMS teens spread safety messages

GIBSON CITY – Teens at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School are determined to continue a message of safe driving and determined to continue to excel while doing it.

Their newest program, "License to Live," has been selected as one of 10 finalists in a U.S. Department of Transportation Rural Teen Traffic Safety competition coordinated by the National Organizations for Youth Safety, according to sponsor and driver-education instructor Judy Weber-Jones.

Honor society's DACC chapter hosting voter registrations

DANVILLE – A Danville Area Community College organization wants to make it easier for people to register to vote.

The Pi Omega chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society is hosting two drive-through registration events on the college's main campus, 2000 E. Main St.

Noel family gives $500,000 to Cunningham Children's Home

URBANA – A multimillion-dollar campaign to build a new school and therapies complex at Cunningham Children's Home is $500,000 closer to its goal.

Cunningham officials planned to honor Richard and Rosann Noel and their family at a brunch today for their $500,000 gift, the largest single donation by the Noel Foundation.

Lawyer: Champaign schools make progress on racial equity

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district's consent decree should be extended another three to four years to accomplish its goals, the lawyer for the district's black families told the judge overseeing the consent decree earlier this month.

Carol Ashley, lawyer for the plaintiffs in the case, said the district needs more time to reach its goals in several areas, including special education, discipline and student achievement.

Competition focuses students on traffic safety

CHAMPAIGN – Students at Central and Centennial high schools in Champaign and at Urbana High School will have the chance to win a car next spring if they wear their seat belts and have no driving violations.

Forum on economy set for Wednesday on UI campus

URBANA – The University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs will sponsor a forum on the economy Wednesday morning on the UI campus.

The forum will bring together nationally known experts on the economy, tax policy and the financial markets to analyze the situation facing the financial system, the proposals before Congress and prospects for the future.

Disparities for black males to be addressed

CHAMPAIGN – Education, criminal, health and economic disparities among black males and other racial groups have prompted a series of town hall meetings statewide, including a stop next week in Urbana.

The state's Department of Human Services' Task Force on the Condition of African American Men in Illinois will have a town hall meeting in Urbana on Tuesday.

Hidden history uncovered in dig on South Farms site

CHAMPAIGN – Just before the Civil War, Simon and Catherine Percival spent a decade scratching a farm out of treeless prairie south of Champaign.

For decades, their homestead lay under a horse pasture in the University of Illinois South Farms. What's left of it, mostly a cellar, was being dug up and cataloged Thursday by a trio of UI archaeologists.

Teacher sees many positives in separate classes for boys, girls

CHAMPAIGN – The students in Tracey Jones' sixth-grade math classes at Franklin Middle School were making posters Thursday illustrating improper and mixed fractions.

Several boys finished their work and soon they were gathered around a box of Legos on the windowsill. Jace McEwen held a fierce-looking creation.