District opposes request for good-faith consent decree hearing

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district opposes having a comprehensive good-faith hearing before its consent decree is scheduled to expire, saying it is not necessary and it would be a "significant waste of judicial and district resources."

Two of Westville school district's principals to retire

WESTVILLE – Two of the district's three principals plan to retire at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

Judith Giacoma Elementary School Principal Melinda Pollock and Westville Junior High School Principal Greg Lewis both notified the Westville school board on Wednesday of their intentions to retire.

GM dealerships optimistic cuts will help

Area General Motors dealers reacted with both optimism and wariness to GM's plan to cut its dealership network sharply and discontinue Pontiac.

In Champaign, Charlie Shapland said the elimination of Pontiac could actually be a good thing for Worden-Martin Inc., which has the local Buick, Pontiac and GMC franchises.

Pair of Danville teachers chosen for posts in administration

DANVILLE – Two former Meade Park Elementary School teachers will take on new roles as district administrators next school year.

Unit 4 parents will learn next week where kids will attend kindergarten

PEORIA – Champaign parents will find out next week where their children will attend kindergarten, now that the Champaign school district is free to proceed with a student-assignment plan that uses economic status as a factor.

At a hearing in the consent decree case in federal district court in Peoria on Tuesday morning, Carol Ashley, the attorney representing the district's black students, said she wouldn't object to replacing race with economic status as a factor in student assignments.

Woman wants universities to cut ties with Russell Athletics

CHAMPAIGN – Tears spill from Norma Mejia's eyes as she talks about her two young sons back home in Honduras.

Instead of going to school, they're working construction to help support the family. Mejia, a seamstress, lost her job when Russell Athletics closed the local factory, and she said she's been blacklisted from other factory work.

3 Champaign high school redistricting ideas presented

CHAMPAIGN – Parents of Champaign students learned about three possible options to decide whether their children will ultimately become Central Maroons or Centennial Chargers.

But school officials admitted the discussion remains a work in progress.

Ultra-conservative man shouting, but who's listening?

Mark Thompson is screaming from the treetops – figuratively – but he's worried that nobody is listening.

He's running radio spots, promoting his Web site (, writing to Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, draping toilet paper on trees and organizing a protest this weekend next to the home of University of Illinois President B. Joseph White. So far, though, he's just a non-silent minority.

Community colleges to offer UI profs' ag classes

URBANA – Some community colleges will be offering online agriculture courses taught by University of Illinois professors starting this fall.

Introductory courses will be available in animal sciences, crop production, horticulture and soils. All Illinois community colleges are eligible to participate.

Former St. Malachy administrator sues for defamation

RANTOUL – A former development director at St. Malachy School is suing the local priest and diocese for defamation of character.

Carolyn L. Taylor worked as an administrator for the Catholic grade school in Rantoul.