Coolest clique in school urges seat belt use

Kayla Thrasher was about to pull away from Urbana High School in her truck on a recent afternoon.

But before she did, she fastened her seat belt. She always wears it, she said. It's something her parents have always encouraged her to do.

Board sees lower tax bills next year

CATLIN – School officials approved a $2.23 million tax levy for the upcoming year on Thursday, which is expected to generate an additional $63,600 for the district.

Superintendent Gary Lewis said he expects the value of property within the district to increase by about $2 million to a total of about $43.6 million, allowing the schools to collect more money while reducing the tax rate.

Danville program considers adding GED course

DANVILLE – Six years ago, Melissa Gnaden and some other students she knew dropped out of Danville High School.

Music boosters launch candy sale

DANVILLE – The Danville High School Choral Music Boosters candy fund-raiser is under way.

Orders for See's Candies will be taken through Nov. 16 and delivered beginning Dec. 4.

Books for prisoners wins 2nd place

URBANA – The local Books 2 Prisoners program won second place in its category at the 2009 Governor's Hometown Awards in Springfield.

The awards were announced in late October.

Westville school officials unveil $2.3 million tax levy

WESTVILLE – School officials on Wednesday unveiled a $2.3 million tax levy for the upcoming year, and plan to formally approve it next month.

Superintendent Jim Owens said he estimated that the proposed levy would generate about $80,000 more than the current levy. He also said that he expects the value of property within the district to hold steady at about $50 million, allowing the schools to collect more money with just a small increase in the tax rate.

Judge rules in favor of Villa Grove boy's service dog

TUSCOLA – A Douglas County judge ruled on Tuesday that the Villa Grove school district must continue to allow a 6-year-old boy to bring his service dog with him to attend fall classes.

Nichelle and Bradley Drew of Villa Grove filed suit in circuit court to require the school to allow the dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Chewey, to accompany their son, Kaleb, to school.

Champaign high school redistricting set for fall 2010

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign high school redistricting plan will go into effect next fall.

The school board approved the redistricting plan at its meeting Monday night.

Urbana Middle principal to retire at end of school year

URBANA – After spending 36 years as either a teacher or school administrator, Urbana Middle School Principal Nancy Clinton is ready to spend her days at her own speed, rather than the fast, intense pace of a middle school principal.

New Washington School design OK'd

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board Monday night approved the design for a new Washington Elementary School and heard more about plans for an expansion of Garden Hills Elementary School.