Georgetown-Ridge Farm school board OKs bond sale to generate cash

GEORGETOWN – School officials voted Monday to sell about $2 million in bonds to generate money for the district and to restructure some older, higher-interest bonds.

Two new 'upper house' proposals ready for Danville High School

DANVILLE – A new student-centered program infusing arts and creativity into core subjects. Another where students study a global topic at home and throughout the world.

New courses including drama, photography and sports and entertainment marketing, and the latest technology to support those projects and activities.

These are some of the ideas that Danville High School staff and students hope will take flight in the ACE and GLOBAL "upper houses," starting next school year.

Ex-House speaker stops at UI to talk technology, agriculture

URBANA – Dennis Hastert has kept busy since retiring as speaker of the U.S. House three years ago.

Besides serving as an adviser to a Washington law firm, the 68-year-old Republican has worked internationally on behalf of Naperville lighting company PolyBrite International and the Iowa-based Howard R. Green Co. He's also on the board of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Several on Champaign school board say they're against cutting music

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board saw an expanded list of possible budget cuts, and ways to increase revenue, for the coming year on Monday night.

The board began talking about how to make more than $2 million in budget cuts in late January, and asked the administration for more options.

The board has heard the most public comment on the proposal included in the first list of possible budget cuts – to eliminate elementary band and strings. Several board members said they were not in favor of cutting the program.

Rhythm and Raag starting new 12-week session

URBANA – Rhythm and Raag, an institute for the performing arts of India, will start a new 12-week session of classes by Feb. 15 for sitar and by March 1 for tabla and Hindustani vocals.

The sessions will continue to May 10.

West African dance class now offered in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A new weekly West African dance class taught by Alseny Soumah is being offered from 6 to 7:20 p.m. Wednesdays at the Capoeira Academy, 32 E. Springfield Ave., C.

A master teacher, Soumah is adept at teaching students at a range of levels in the same class. The class operates on a "drop-in" basis; the cost for each class is $10 for students and $12 for the general public. Bulk-purchase discounts are available.

'Northern roots' musician begins stint at UI today

URBANA – Nationally known "northern roots" musician Tim Eriksen, who served as a music consultant for "Cold Mountain" and other movies, will be the Unit One/Allen Hall guest-in-residence from today through Thursday.

All events featuring him will be free and open to the public and will take place in Allen Hall, 1005 W. Gregory St., U.

It's Your Business: Pauly's joins bevy of barbecue joints

East Central Illinois has one more place to savor locally smoked and barbecued meats.

Pauly's BBQ opened on Friday in the former Tom's Dairyland in Arthur.

Children's play presents 3 Washington Irving tales

URBANA – Urbana High School students are presenting their 22nd annual children's play at UHS Cobb Auditorium.

"Gold in the Bones: Three Haunted Tales by Washington Irving" will be presented to the public at 7 p.m. today and Feb. 12 and 13. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children.

New Web site to share ideas, info on UI resources

URBANA – The University of Illinois has launched a new budget Web site to give students and employees input on how to best use scarce university resources.

The site, "Stewarding Excellence at Illinois," was created to provide a "one-stop source" for people who are curious about the ongoing budget review process, are working on a budget issue on campus, or want to offer ideas, UI spokeswoman Robin Kaler said on Friday.