CHAMPAIGN – A week ago, Army Spc. Gregory Regan was on patrol in Iraq, trying to keep the peace.
On Wednesday, the 20-year-old Homer man was sitting in his fatigues at Garden Hills Elementary School, listening to schoolchildren celebrate veterans.
CHAMPAIGN – Enrollment in Parkland College agriculture classes dropped to 75 students in 1985, and college officials worried about the future of the program.
But today, enrollment grows almost every year in classes teaching skills students need to be a success in the workplace. Bruce Henrikson, head of the college's agri-business program, said advisers and students realize that farming is a high-tech business and they need education after high school to become a success.
URBANA – A group of Thomas Paine Elementary School fourth-graders were some busy bees on Tuesday morning.
They braved the cold, taking a yellow school bus down a bumpy gravel road to a little hive of a lab on Lincoln Avenue in Urbana. There, they met University of Illinois Professor Gene E. Robinson, a leading researcher on bees and a guy who knows a drone from a queen – as do the kids.
ATWOOD – Survival isn't easy, reality television star Rupert Boneham has learned, but overcoming obstacles is worth the work.
Boneham, who competed on "Survivor: Pearl Islands" in 2003 and in "Survivor: All-Stars" the next season, started a talk for Atwood-Hammond High School students with a deep-throated battle cry he used while on the show.
URBANA – Ota Dossett, facilities director for the Urbana school district, is seeing far into the future: new flooring, air conditioning, more Internet connectivity in several Urbana schools.
Dossett presented the financial and structural possibilities to the Urbana school board on Tuesday evening in a six-year draft plan for facility and ground improvements for the district.
LEVERETT – A recent inspection on a bridge carrying Leverett Road over the Saline Branch Ditch found enough deterioration to impose a 15-ton weight limit.
Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesman Brian Williamsen said the limit will go into effect Thursday after signs are posted. The bridge is located between Leverett and U.S. 45.
DANVILLE – As Danville High School's English department chairman, Greg Williams is used to helping develop curricula for writing and literature classes.
But recently he has been creating lesson plans to teach middle and high school students about the dangers of shaking a baby.
CHAMPAIGN – Your child started kindergarten this fall.
He or she will be getting that first report card this week, and you'll be sitting down for your first parent-teacher conference.
DANVILLE – Some Edison Elementary School fourth-graders will serve up soup Monday to raise money for disabled veterans.
The public is invited to attend the burgoo lunch, which will be held at the Edison gymnasium, 2101 N. Vermilion St., from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
URBANA – The Champaign-Urbana One-to-One Mentoring Program, which pairs students with adult role models, is one of the premier programs of its kind, said Beth Welbes, the senior coordinator of research at the University of Illinois Center for Prevention Research and Development.
In her position, Welbes travels all around two states surveying mentoring and other programs that are supposed to connect children to school. She often has to be the bearer of bad news about those programs' results, she said.